The Junior Sheep & Wool Skillathon, held annually in conjunction with the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, is being changed to a Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon. The 2014 contest will be held Sunday, May 4 at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Maryland. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The contest begins at 9 a.m. Awards are presented at approximately 1 p.m. A small donation is asked to cover the cost of lunch (pizza and sodas).

Wool stationAndy Bauer, 2nd place senior

A skillathon provides youth with the opportunity to blend knowledge and skills acquired in livestock judging, demonstrations, and care and exhibition of animals into a single activity. It consists of a series of stations where youth are tested on their knowledge and abilities related to livestock. In the Sheep & Goat Skillathon, all stations will pertain to sheep and/or goats.

The Junior Sheep and Goat Skillathon is open to any youth between the ages of 8 and 18. Individuals and teams (of 3 or 4) from any county, state, or province may compete. Youth compete according to their age as of January 1st of the current year. Youth ages 8 to 10 compete as juniors; youth ages 11 to 13 compete as intermediates; and youth 14 to 18 compete as seniors.

The Maryland Sheep Breeders Association provides ribbons and premiums to the top ten individuals in each age division and festival t-shirts to the members of the top three teams in each age division. In 2013, MSBA also provided awards for the top scorers in the two wool stations. Additional awards are provided by the University of Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program

Pre-registration of individuals and teams for the 2014 Junior Sheep & Wool Skillathon is requested by April 28. Pre-register by sending names, ages, and team affiliations via e-mail to Susan Schoenian at (or via fax at (301) 432-4089. Online registration is possible at

For more information, contact Susan at (301) 432-2767 x343.

Three Sisters Win 2013 Skillathon

Sixty-eight youth competed in the Junior Sheep & Wool Skillathon held May 5, 2013, at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival (61 competed in 2012). Participants included 19 juniors (age 8-10), 20 intermediates (age 11-13), and 29 seniors (age 14-18) and represented five states:  Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.  Maryland counties with competitors included Baltimore, Calvert, Cecil, Charles, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, Montgomery, and Washington.

In a remarkable feat, three sisters from Frederick County won first place in each age category. Kallan Latham was the first place junior. Kallam scored perfect 50's on feeds, breeds, equipment, you be the vet, and how much does stuff cost? The first place intermediate was Brietta Latham. Brietta scored perfect 50's on feeds, fleece judging, and wool and was the only intermediate to score above 30 in each station. The first place senior was Aislinn Latham. Aislinn scored a perfect 50 in breeds and was the only senior to score above 30 in each station. Among non-state team members, Aislinn place first in last year's skillathon.

2013 skillathon winners
1st place winners (L-R): Kallam (Jr), Brieta (Int), and Aislinn Latham (Sr)

The second place junior was Chet Boden from Virginia. Chet placed first last year. Elizabeth Miller from Montgomery County placed third in the junior division. The second place intermediate was Rebecca Herriotts from Howard County. Evan Lineweaver from Virginia was the third place intermediate.  Andy Bauer from Howard County was the second place senior. Andy won the Maryland State 4-H Livestock Skillathon in March. The third place senior was Ashley Braun from Charles county.

The first place junior team was one of the Virginia teams whose members included Chet Boden, Cyle DeHaven, Riley Ashby, and Haley Seabright. Frederick County (Maryland) had the second place junior team. Team members included Kallam Latham, Jessica Martin, Karianna Strickhouser, and Kiandra Strickhouser.

The first place intermediate team was Frederick County (Maryland). Team members included Laura Dutton, Brietta Latham, Ray Martin IV, and Benjamin Sanville. The second place intermediate team was one of the Virginia teams whose members included Mackenzie Ashby, Caleb Boden, and Evan Lineweaver.

1st place senior team
1st place senior team (Charles County, L-R): Ashley Braun,
Caitlyn Olejnik, Johnny Hancock, and Emily Solis.

The first place senior team was Charles County. Team members included Ashely Braun, Johnny Hancock, Caitlyn Olejnik, and Emily Solis. The second place team was Howard County, whose members included Andy Bauer, Audrey Bennett, Dean Bennett, and Maggie Goodmuth.

This year, a wool award was provided to the individual with the highest cumulative score in the two wool stations:  fleece judging and wool ID.  The Junior Wool Winner was Kaisy Knott from Frederick County. The intermediate winner was Brietta Latham from Frederick County. Brietta had a perfect score of 100. Logan Stoltman from New York had the top senior wool score (95).

The 2013 skillathon included the following stations:

Special thanks is extended to all the volunteers and extension workers who assisted with this year's skillathon.

Study Resources for Skillathons

Oklahoma State University Sheep Breeds
Sheep Breeds A-Z
Purdue Forage Identification Pages
Evaluating hay quality
Calculating Adjusted Weaning Weights
Sheep Evaluation, Selection and Judging learning module
A Glossary of Wool Terms
Grades and Lengths of Grease Wool
Wool Grading
Wool Judging for Beginners
An introduction to wool judging [PPT]
Judging wool and mohair
Sheep Diseases A-Z
Lamb cuts and what to do with them
Lamb cuts and how to cook them [PDF]

2006 Junior written test
2006 Senior written test
2007 Senior written test
2008 Test
2009 Test

2006 Senior team problem
2008 Senior team problem

2011 Junior written test
2011 Intermediate written test
2011 Senior written test
2011 Senior Team Exercise
2012 Senior Test

      Online Quizzes

Last updated on 10-Mar-2014 by Susan Schoenian.