The girls decided to take on a new challenge this year and participate in Consumer Decision Making. This is a super-cool 4-H competition where the kids judge consumer products for quality, value and overall desirability and rank 4 items in a class from best item that fits the given consumer case scenario to least. They go in front of a judge and give reasons as to why they ranked one or two of the classes the way they did, much like they do with their horse judging.
They have been attending practices for a few months, learning the techniques and rules of the competition. Being familiar with judging and giving reasons was very helpful, but the competition is a bit different than horse judging.
Last weekend they participated in their first Consumer Decision Making competition which was the District 12 competition held at the JWC Fairgrounds in Alice. I’ll have to say one of their favorite parts of CDM was having our Extension Agent Barbie as a coach.
They really enjoy working with and having fun with her, as well as making her proud of her kiddos :). It was pretty neat to have the District Extension Program Specialist Luis Saldana at our JWC Fairgrounds in Alice!!
We arrived at the fairgrounds after church and eating a bite on Sunday afternoon all ready to see what this was all about.
There were six classes of items. Watches, bottled water, televisions, cleaning products, nutritious snacks and blue jeans. They had seven minutes per table to read the scenario and rank four products in order of how they fit what the consumer in the scenario is looking for.
I had the privilege of monitoring the bottled water table for talking, troubleshooting and collecting and turning in the judging cards after each class.
I was so amazed as I watched 7 to 8 kids per table ages 8 to 17 concentrate and judge these classes. It’s just amazing to see kids using their brains and skills to participate in these competitions which increase their confidence and decision making, not to mention public speaking skills. Just amazing!
Here’s the group Morgan and Kaitlyn were judging with at table six, the blue jeans class that they all gave reasons on:
The kids had 7 minutes at each table, turning in their judging card for each class at the end of the allotted time for that class. After all the groups moved through each class, they sat in chairs to prepare their reasons for the class or classes they were told they would be giving reasons on. In horse judging the kids don’t know prior to the competition which classes they will be giving reasons on so they have to pay close attention and take good notes for all of the performance and halter classes, so it was really nice that they were told before they judged the classes which ones they would be giving reasons on.
The intermediates gave reasons on the blue jeans class and the seniors gave reason on the blue jeans and then the bottled water classes.
The girls really enjoyed the competition, but I don’t think it was as “easy” as they thought it was going to be!! Morgan was a bit stressed out as she messed up her judging cards by accidentally marking class 1 on her first card when she actually started with class 4. They found their experience with horse judging definitely helped, but they will have to get used to the CDM competition in itself. They are both really good at ranking consumer products as we have always looked at labels and compared consumer products from household items to groceries to big ticket items from the time they were little. My mom was a good teacher and I passed along my frugal tips and tendencies to them, so CDM seems second nature in that respect.
At the end of the day Morgan’s senior team of four ended up with the first place team award plaques and one of the members, Brianna, was awarded high point senior.
Taylor and Kaitlyn’s intermediate team of four received second place intermediate team and one of their team mates received second place high point intermediate.
Pretty good for their first competition. They did have team mates that were seasoned CDM judgers, which definitely boosted the team placings.
4-H is such a worthwhile investment of time for young people. They have learned so much and had such amazing opportunities for growth and friendships, as well as leadership and community service. This is a fabulous bunch of young people, representing Jim Wells County like no others!!
There is scholarship money available to win at San Antonio Stock show competition, so we are going to work hard and keep on practicing!
San Antonio competition is coming up very soon, so stay tuned and say some prayers for us. Next week we will be traveling to Fort Worth for Horse Judging, then the week of Valentines we will be Horse Judging in San Antonio (we will actually be judging on Valentine’s day!) then CDM judging two days later (on my birthday!).
Good Luck to all of the JWC 4-Hers who will be exhibiting livestock and judging in the next couple of weeks. This is a busy, exciting month!