Minnesota 4-H poultry participants will display their advanced poultry knowledge and industry experience during the seventh annual Poultry Prince and Princess Contest, held at the Minnesota State Fair from August 25 through August 28, 2016. The scholarship program of Minnesota 4-H and Gold’n Plump recognizes the skills, leadership and confidence of the state’s top young poultry experts by awarding two teenagers with the Poultry Prince and Princess ambassador titles and scholarships of $1,000 each.

“Year after year, we see dedicated 4-H youth return to participate in this scholarship program, eager to display their ever-growing passion for the Minnesota poultry industry,” said Brad Rugg, director of 4-H Fairs and Animal Science Programs, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. “The State Fair offers an ideal opportunity for them to engage with each other, fostering a strong statewide community all while developing their knowledge of poultry. The level of talent and enthusiasm we see continues to impress us each year.”

To qualify, contestants must first compete in the 4-H Poultry Interview, Quiz and Showmanship competition; next, they will show off their cooking skills in the 4-H Chicken BBQ contest. The six highest-scoring contestants (three male and three female) from the first two categories will be invited back to compete in the final round: Q&A Stage Presence.

WCCO-TV’s John Lauritsen resumes his role as emcee for the live event taking place at the State Fair’s Sheep and Poultry Barn at noon on August 28, 2016. Last year’s winners —Nathan Vonderharr and Katie Benson –– will be present at the coronation ceremony to hand their royal crowns and capes off to the seventh annual 2016 Poultry Prince and Princess.

The 2016 winners will begin their roles as poultry ambassadors immediately following coronation with an appearance on the Minnesota 4-H float in the Minnesota State Fair parade. Winners will also receive:

  • $1,000 academic scholarships
  • Professional portraits from State Fair artist Michael Sweere
  • Opportunities to develop networking and presentation skills through industry and media appearances

“The participants of the Poultry Prince and Princess scholarship program go on to become leaders in Minnesota’s poultry industry,” said Rory Bidinger, brand manager for GNP Company®, the company behind the Gold’n Plump brand. “It’s important for Gold’n Plump to be involved in something that recognizes and rewards 4-H youth for their passion and commitment to Minnesota agriculture.”

 According to the USDA, the U.S. poultry industry is the world's largest producer and second-largest exporter of poultry meat. In 2015, Minnesota’s production of broiler chickens, eggs and turkeys was valued at more than $1 billion, offering more than 26,000 jobs. According to the USDA, annual U.S. chicken consumption per person rose to an estimated 90.1 pounds in 2015. By comparison, beef decreased to 53.9 pounds and pork increased to 49.9 pounds.

Source: GNP Co.