The New Jersey 4-H and National Holstein Association Dairy Quiz Bowl programs are designed to encourage youth to increase their dairy knowledge. Members study various guides and test their knowledge using a quiz board buzzer system. A typical dairy quiz bowl team consists of 4 members (or 3 youth of similar age if necessary). In 4-H, youth participants are divided into Juniors (grades 4- 8) and Seniors (grades 9 – 13).
For Holstein Association teams, youth can be from 9 – 21 years of age with Juniors being those who have not yet passed their 16th birth date and Seniors, those who have not yet passed their 21st birth date as of January 1st. Youth practicing for and participating in dairy quiz bowl competitions gain valuable life skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, problem solving, communication, listening skills, speaking skills, and independent thinking.
Participants in these competitions on the state and national level have opportunities to meet other young people and experience the value of teamwork, character building, and goal setting. Because study material includes these topics, youth gain knowledge of dairy nutrition, milk quality, herd health, breeding and genetics, marketing, dairy foods, dairy management techniques, and dairy cattle breeds. Dairy bowl can be found at many levels, and you can start in your 4-H club with a simple competition.
Materials you will need are:
- Study materials – These can be obtained from a variety of sources. One of the resources used for the State 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl comes from Virginia.
- Questions – These can be generated by the members themselves from the study guide or from samples available on-line.
- A quiz bowl buzzer board – These typically have 4 buzzers on each side with a control panel in the middle. If you do not have a quiz board, members may simply raise their hand to be recognized and then answer the question. Points are added to the team score for correct answers and points are subtracted from each team for incorrect answers. While there may be other brands, many 4-H groups use buzzer systems from ZeeCraft.
- For information about the New Jersey 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl competition, please go to the State 4-H web site.
- Another resource from the Holstein Foundation.
- The North American International Livestock Exhibition (NAILE) in Kentucky has a National 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl competition each year in November. They have sample written tests on their website as well as information about that national 4-H contest in which our New Jersey 4-H teams may compete.
- The National 4-H Dairy Quiz Bowl is held in conjunction with the World Dairy Expo in Madison Wisconsin during October.
By: Carol K. Ward, County 4-H Agent, Rutgers Cooperative Extension and Tracy Smith, Warren County 4-H Volunteer