Students from Palo Alto monitor test stations and offer a hand at the stock show.
By Carlos Ferrand
The Swine Skillathon challenges the knowledge of all things swine.
On Wednesday, in the swine barn on the north side of the AT&T Center parking lot members of 4-H and Future Farmers of America were tested on their knowledge of pigs.
Participants were separated into three groups: juniors aged 9-11, intermediates aged 12-14, and seniors aged 15-18.
Each group tests on difficultly levels.
The juniors looked at a pig diagram and was asked to identify sections of the pig.
Seniors must judge different cuts of pork and identify what part of the pig is being served.
Test sections included pig parts, pork cuts, pig breeds and medication station.
At the medication station, participants were given a mock sickness for a pig, and asked to determine what type of medication and dosage was needed.
Participants also graded on how well they handled the needle preparation in treating a pig.
Each participant was given 15 minutes at each station before rotating to a different challenge.
Students from the Lone Star Agriculture Club at Palo Alto College volunteered to proctor each test station and answer participants’ questions.
Agriculture sophomore Daisy Garcia was glad to volunteer.
“We get the satisfaction of seeing our future,” she said.
Agriculture sophomore Amanda Caraway felt right at home at the Skillathon because she had grown up entering similar events, she said.
Weldon Riggs, club adviser and agriculture professor, assisted students as they monitored their testing stations.
During the event, students learned leadership and teamwork while they assisted younger children with their tests and questions, Riggs said.
“They’re in my position; they are the teachers now,” he said.
Along with the hands-on test, each age group was given an exam with 100 questions to answer.
For a schedule of rodeo and stock show events visit sarodeo.com.