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Maryland Sheep & Goat Skillathon

A Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon is  held at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival the first full weekend of May.  The festival was not held in 2020 due to the Covid pandemic. It was held virtually in 2021. The skillathon was not held in 2020. It was held virtually in 2021. Hopefully, things will return to normal in 2022, with the skillathon taking place on the Sunday of the festival.

The skillathon is open to any youth between the ages of 8 and 18. Youth will compete according to their age as of January 1, 2021 (4-H age):  junior, 8-10; intermediate, 11-13; and senior, 14-18. Youth under the age of 8 (clovers) and adults (19 and over) may also participate, but no awards given.


​The Sheep & Goat Skillathon tests participants' cumulative knowledge of sheep and goats and the products they produce. This year's skillathon will consist of five sections:  1) Breeds; 2) Feeds; 3) Equipment; 4) Meat; and 5) Fiber. Each section will include multiple quizzes or exercises. Quizzes and exercises within a section may be weighted differently. The skillathon must be the work of the individual.

The festival committee of the Maryland Sheep Breeders Association will provide awards for youth competitors:  ribbons, premiums, and t-shirts.


2021 Skillathon Goes Virtual


One hundred and twenty-five youth and adults participated in the first virtual Maryland Sheep & Goat Skillathon, held May 1-2 in conjunction with the virtual Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. The skillathon drew participants from 21 states and 13 Maryland counties. Twenty percent of the participants were Marylanders. One hundred and twelve completed all five sections of the skillathon: meat, fiber, equipment, feed, and breeds.

Maryland youth did very well. The first place junior and senior were from Maryland and the same family. Caroline Clark was the first place senior. Her brother Preston was the first place junior. Five of the top ten seniors were from Maryland. In addition to Caroline, Philip Herbert, Jessica Martin, Riley Herbert, and Raven Herron all placed in the top 10. Two of the top 10 adults were Maryland ladies: Allison Seyfert and Kristan Latham. The winner was a former Maryland 4-Her and previous skillathon participant.

Next year should see a return of the actual Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. No skillathon was held last year. The festival has been virtual the past two years. The virtual skillathon may continue as an option for those who don’t attend the festival, or it may be developed for self-study.


Senior and Junior Winners
Caroline and Preston Clark

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