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Kansas 4-H Tip Sheet

May 18, 2020

4-H Food Judges Training Workshop Now Available Online

Submitted by Crystal Futrell

4-H Food Judging Training Available Via Zoom

Like many Extension programs, the in-person 4-H Food Judging workshops presented by Karen Blakeslee have canceled due to stay-at-home orders to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, the promise of county fairs still looms on the horizon, and the need to secure trained and knowledgeable judges remains ever present. Some Extension units rely on this Food Judging workshop to teach and recruit potential judges. For this reason, a team of KSRE professionals have collaborated to transition this workshop into a virtual Zoom training series.

This series has three live-recorded Zoom sessions that is now available on Karen Blakeslee’s Rapid Response website: https://www.rrc.k-state.edu/judging/index.html. It is recommended that you view the sessions on a computer or tablet, rather than a smart phone, so you can best see the slides, pictures and videos showcasing examples of fair entries.

The topics for each session are:

Intro to 4-H Judging
Being a 4-H Foods Judge is a fun and rewarding experience, and it’s a perfect opportunity for anyone that has a passion for food and a desire to foster this passion in others, especially youth. This introductory session will cover how the 4-H Fair system works, what to expect as a judge, review suggested tools for successful judging, and how to award ribbons.

How to Judge Food: The Basics
As a foods judge, it’s important to know basic food science principles, nutrition knowledge, sensory qualities of optimum baking, and which factors achieve success and failure in cooking. This session will review these topics and demonstrate strategies for effective conferencing with youth.

How to Judge Food: Food Preservation
Food preservation is all about food science and food safety, and judging this event is often an opportunity to teach about safe food preservation methods. This session will review and explain the science behind those methods, show what is expected of food preservation entries, and offer best practices on how to judge this category.

All are encouraged to share this opportunity with County Fair Foods Superintendents, Foods Project Leaders, Past Judges and other who you know might be interested in judging foods.