Bernie O’Rourke helped prep Wisconsin kids to win national animal science contest

Some kids from Wisconsin were national champions last week in competition that tests knowledge in animal sciences. A share of the credit goes to Bernie O’Rourke in the Department of Animal Sciences, who helped the Marathon County team and coaches prepare for the event. The team beat 19 others from around the country to win the National Champion 4-H Skillathon at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville. In her role as CALS Extension youth livestock specialist, O’Rourke provides training and support to the volunteer coaches and participants in these contests, which teach skills and knowledge in identification of breeds, meat and equipment, evaluation of hay and wool, and nutrition and marketing.  It was an big milestone, she says; Wisconsin teams have come in second in the past but have never won the event. Wisconsin also did well in a livestock judging competition also held in Louisville. A team from Grant County finished 3rd overall, one of the best finishes ever for a Wisconsin team.