Minnesota 4-H poultry participants will have the opportunity to put their knowledge and industry experience to the test during the ninth annual Poultry Prince and Princess Contest, held at the Minnesota State Fair from August 23 through August 26. The scholarship program, put on by Minnesota 4-H and Gold’n Plump, a Pilgrim’s brand, recognizes the skills, leadership and confidence of the state’s top young poultry experts by awarding two participants with the Poultry Prince and Princess ambassador titles and scholarships of $1,000 each.

“The Poultry Prince and Princess Scholarship Competition is now in its ninth year and continues to honor the passion and leadership of Minnesota 4-H youth in the poultry industry,” said Sharon Davis, Extension Educator and Science of Animals Director, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. “Their hard work and knowledge of the poultry industry deserves to be recognized, and we look forward to crowning this year’s top poultry experts as the Poultry Prince and Princess as they compete in interviews, quizzes and showmanship.”

Winners are crowned based on their performance in three different events. Contestants must first compete in the 4-H Poultry Interview, Quiz and Showmanship competition. Then, on the following day, participants will show off their cooking skills in the 4-H Chicken BBQ contest.

The six highest-scoring contestants from the first two competitions will be invited back to compete in the final round: Q&A Stage Presence. WCCO-TV’s John Lauritsen continues his role as emcee for the live event taking place at the State Fair’s Sheep and Poultry Barn at 10:30 a.m. on August 26.

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The 2018 winners will begin their roles as poultry ambassadors immediately following coronation with an appearance in the Minnesota State Fair parade. Winners will also receive:

  • $1,000 academic scholarships
  • Professional portraits by State Fair artist Kristi Abbott
  • Opportunities to develop networking and presentation skills through industry and media appearances

“The participants of the Poultry Prince and Princess scholarship program learn valuable skills that prepare them to become leaders in the poultry industry,” said Kelsie McEndaffer, PR & communications manager for Pilgrim’s, the company behind the Gold’n Plump brand. “Gold’n Plump is proud to continue this scholarship program to help support and reward 4-H youth for their passion and commitment to agriculture.”

According to the USDA, the U.S. poultry industry is the world's largest producer and second-largest exporter of poultry meat. In 2017, 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 92.2 pounds in 2017. By comparison, beef increased to 56.9 pounds and pork held steady at 50.1 pounds.

Learn more about the 2018 Poultry Prince and Princess Contest online at http://z.umn.edu/4hpoultryprinceprincess and view photos of last year’s contest and portraits at Gold’n Plump’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/GoldnPlump.