Published on 03/07/23

Georgia 4-H wins big at Western National Roundup

By Josie Smith, Allison Barrett
Wearing matching red jackets and black shirts, four Oconee County 4-H'ers compete at a table with buzzers at the Western National Roundup event in Denver.
Robie Lucas, Alyssa Haag, Leah Szczepanski and Lily Ann Smith of Oconee County 4-H pose with the buzzers after winning a match at the Western National Roundup in Denver.

Five Georgia counties found success at the 2023 Western National Roundup in Denver, including a first-place victory by Oconee County 4-H in the National Family and Consumer Sciences Bowl. The Western National Roundup is the highest level of competition for many 4-H livestock, horse, and family and consumer sciences events.

Oconee County team members Robie Lucas, Alyssa Haag, Leah Szczepanski and Lily Ann Smith buzzed in to win by answering questions about responsible consumer habits, popular products, healthy living and smart spending for the Family and Consumer Science bowl. Lucas also earned first place individual in the written essay portion of the competition.

Cobb County 4-H trotted into second place in the National Horse Judging Competition. Team members Savannah Bryant, Ansley Scheiblauer, Finn Johnson and Karma Kilfoyle studied equine anatomy, breeds and performance standards and used their knowledge to judge and rank classes of horses. Scheiblauer also placed first in the performance class individual portion of the contest.

Natalie Ross, a senior from Morgan County, competed individually in Horse Judging and placed fourth overall.

A second Cobb County team with team members Sandhya Rajesh, Kshitij Badve, Haya Fatmi and Stefan Saboura placed third in the National Consumer Decision Making contest. The event includes situational product-placement classes, verbal reason delivery and group decision-making activities. Consumer scenarios are presented with products and options as they relate to a hypothetical consumer and contestants rank products based on the given needs.

Madison County 4-H galloped into third place in the National Horse Quiz Bowl contest. Team members Alyssa Goldman, Georgia Kane, Elise Sparks and Clayton Adams are junior experts in equine trivia subjects, including anatomy, genetics, health and proper care.

Gordon County 4-H corralled a fourth-place win in the National Livestock Judging contest, an event similar to Horse Judging that includes cattle, swine, sheep and goats. Kylie Hurd, Hunter Petty, Rebekah McElrath and Katie Reynolds competed against 27 state teams ranging from Hawaii to Pennsylvania.  Petty placed first in the nation in the cattle portion of the contest and the team finished as Reserve Champions in cattle.

“We are so proud of these teams representing Georgia on the national stage,” said Carole Knight, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist for livestock programs. “They have been practicing their specialties for months, and sometimes years, in preparation for these moments, and their hard work paid off.”

Contests at the Western National Roundup encourage 4-H’ers to develop confidence, leadership and teamwork skills. Participating teams must qualify at their state’s top level of competition to secure an invitation to the event.

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the premier youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches hundreds of thousands of people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities.

For more information about how to get involved with Georgia 4-H, contact your local UGA Extension office or visit

Josie Smith is the public relations coordinator for Georgia 4-H.

Allison Barrett is a student intern in the Georgia 4-H state office.