Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

County students excel at Beef Expo

Contributed Photo • Chris Mackey and some of the competing students work on setting up an exhibit.

From Staff Reports

Four Unicoi County students competed at the Tennessee 4-H/FFA State Beef Expo held June 30 through July 2 at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. 

These student took a total of seven head of cattle to the Expo with all of them placing in the top three of their respective confirmation class. 

According to Unicoi County UT Extension Director Chris Mackey, to the best of his knowledge, this is the first year that any 4-H member from Unicoi County has exhibited cattle at the state show. 

Youth also have the opportunity to compete in other career development and knowledge based events including photography, Skillathon, Sales Talk and Showmanship. 

Skillathon is a test where students are tasked to identify or answer questions on a variety of beef topics: cuts of meat, breeds of cattle, reproduction, feeds, current issues, health, management, and nutrition. 

Sales Talk is a mock setting where students simulate a sales pitch in front of a panel of judges. Youth may choose to sell their own animal or a beef related product (Think of the television show “Shark Tank,” but for cattle). 

Lastly, showmanship is a contest where students are evaluated on their ability to prepare and present their animal to the judge in the show ring. Eye contact, ability to answer questions, feet placement of the animal and utilization of the ring and equipment are all things that go into the rankings. 

Once the show concluded, a Top Five premier exhibitor was announced for each age division of youth (Explorer, Junior, Junior High, Senior I, Senior II) and cattle division (market steer, registered heifer, commercial heifer). Points are accumulated from their Skillathon score, showmanship ranking and how the youths top placing of their cattle in the confirmation class. 

The Unicoi County youth brought home several awards including:

Overall Champion Dairy Beef Steer Champion 

Holsein steer exhibited by Ellie Hensley

Reserve Overall Dairy Beef Steer Reserve 

Holstein steer exhibited by Callie Carty and Champion Ayrshire steer exhibited by Katie Hensley

Photography Winners

First Overall — Tommi Joy Hensley

Fifth Overall — Ellie Hensley

Sales Talk Winners

Second Explorer — Tommi Joy Hensley

Third Junior — Callie Carty 

First Junior High — Ellie Hensley

Skillathon Winner

Fifth Junior High — Ellie Hensley

Showmanship Winner

Seventh Junior High — Ellie Hensley

Premier Exhibitors

2nd Overall Explorer Steer Exhibitor — Tommi Joy Hensley

3rd Overall Junior Steer Exhibitor — Callie Carty

1st Overall Junior High Steer Exhibitor — Ellie Hensley

4th Overall Junior Commercial Heifer Exhibitor — Callie Carty

2nd Overall Junior High Registered Heifer Exhibitor — Ellie Hensley