Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon

@ Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival



The 2020 Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon will be held Sunday, May 3 at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. Pre-registration is required by Monday, April 27. The registration link is https://2020skillathon.eventbrite.com. Teams and individuals will be able to register online as the date gets closer. They can also contact Susan Schoenian at (301) 432-2767 x343 or sschoen@umd.edu. Registration for the contest starts at 8 a.m. The contest starts at 9 a.m. Awards are given at approximately 1 p.m.

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 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 Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon is always held the Sunday of the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival. The Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival is always held the first full weekend of May at the Howard County Fairgrounds in West Friendship, Maryland. Parking is free, but there is a small entrance fee ($5). Youth are free. There is a small registration fee to enter the skillathon. The fee will help to defray the cost of lunch (pizza + sodas), awards, and supplies.

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. Additional awards are provided by the University of Maryland Extension Small Ruminant Program.


Special thanks is extended to all the volunteers and extension workers who assist with the skillathon.

2019 Skillathon: Frederick County Youth Win Big


Seventy-five youth from four states competed in the 2019 Junior Sheep & Goat Skillathon held May 5 at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival:  16 juniors (8-10), 34 intermediates (11-13), and 25 seniors (14-18). Youth from Frederick County -- Maryland and Virginia -- dominated the winner’s circle.

Emily Vincent from Frederick County, Virginia was the first place junior. She had a score of 242/300 points or 81% correct answers. The average junior score was 178 points or 59% correct. The first place junior team was Frederick County, Maryland. Team members included Trennen Latham, Preston Clark, Josie Martin, and Ryan Martin.

For the second year in a row, Marie-Claire Des Rosier from Frederick County, Virginia was the first place intermediate. She had a score of 343/400 points or 86% correct answers. The average intermediate score was 232 points or 58% correct. The first place intermediate team was Frederick County, Virginia. Team members included Eddyn Molden, Kennah Kerns, Jackson Kelly, and Marie-Claire Des Rosier.

Addison Herbert was the top-placing senior. He had a score of 426/500 points or 85% correct answers. The average senior score was 333 points or 67% correct. The first place senior team was the Frederick County, Maryland team. Team members included Addison Herbert, Jacyln Bryan, Jessica Martin, and Grace Ellis.

2019 stations included hay judging, meat identification, breed identification, feedstuff identification, equipment, wool judging and questions, predation (intermediates and seniors only), and reproduction (seniors only). Sheep judging had to be canceled because of the rainy weather. Youth achieved the highest scores for equipment (80-90%), while meat ID (37-48%) and hay judging (38-65%) proved to be the most challenging stations, especially for juniors and intermediates.

The Maryland Sheep Breeders Association has been a long-time supporter of the contest. They provide premiums and ribbons to the top 10 individuals in each age group and festival t-shirts to members of the top three teams in each age group.

© 2020 Maryland Small Ruminant Page. Created with Wix.com by Susan Schoenian.

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