Alex Oelke and Kristina Allen Named Minnesota Poultry Prince and Princess at 2013 State Fair

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4-H'ers Win $1,000 Academic Scholarships

2013 Poultry Prince Alex Oelke and Poultry Princess Kristina Allen

The Poultry Prince and Princess Program is a great way to educate not only those that are a part of the agriculture industry but also fairgoers looking for a unique experience at the Minnesota State Fair.

Alex Oelke, a 17 year old from Otsego representing Sherburne County, and Kristina Allen, an 18 year old from Rochester in Olmsted County, were granted a Gold’n opportunity on Sunday, August 25. The two 4-H’ers won the fourth-annual Poultry Prince and Princess Contest: A Scholarship Program of Minnesota 4-H and Gold’n Plump®. The program recognizes the knowledge, leadership and skills of Minnesota’s youth in the state’s poultry industry by awarding two teenagers with poultry ambassador titles and $1,000 academic scholarships.

The contest took place August 22 through 25, 2013, for eligible Minnesota State Fair 4-H poultry participants. Oelke and Allen stood out among the dozens of contestants, claiming the title after ranking highly in a poultry showmanship competition, chicken BBQ contest, and final Q&A/stage presence round. Sunday’s finals required the top six contestants to showcase their poultry knowledge, confidence and personality with questions like “What are basic signs of good health in chickens?” and “What two tips would you offer to someone who is starting to breed or raise chickens for the first time?” Runners up for the 2013 Poultry Prince and Princess titles included:

  •     Tyler Amick of Austin in Mower County
  •     Andrew Gathje of Stewartville for Fillmore County
  •     Mary Sarah Sauber of Motley in Cass County
  •     Mary Boyle of Otsego in Wright County

Last year’s winners, August Otto of Delano in Wright County, and Eleni Solberg, of Stewartville for Fillmore County, were in attendance to pass on the festively feathered royal garb. Along with $1,000 scholarships, the Poultry Prince and Princess will receive royal portraits created by the official State Fair artist, Marie Olofsdotter. Each winner will have the opportunity to expand their speaking, interview and presentation skills through industry and publicity appearances during their yearlong term.

“Our state shows true vitality through its poultry industry and the Poultry Prince and Princess Program is a great way to educate not only those that are a part of the agriculture industry but also fairgoers looking for a unique experience at the Minnesota State Fair,” said Rory Bidinger, brand advocacy and marketing manager for GNP Company™, the company behind the Gold’n Plump brand.

“We feel it is important to create opportunities in agriculture, like this event, that allow young adults in our communities to become leaders,” said Brad Rugg, director of 4-H Fairs and Animal Science Programs, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development.

About GNP Company™ | Dedicated to Healthy Food, Families and Farms
Founded in 1926 and based in St. Cloud, Minn., GNP Company is a family-owned provider of premium branded and custom chicken products to retail, deli and foodservice customers nationally. It distributes products under the Just BARE®, Gold’n Plump® and Sunny Roost® brand names. The company employs more than 1,600 people and partners with nearly 350 family farmers in Minnesota and Wisconsin to produce wholesome, high-quality chicken. For more information about the company and its dedication to healthy food, families and farms, visit GNPCompany.com. For more information about its consumer brands and products, and to find chicken recipes, nutrition information and general cooking and safe handling tips, visit GoldnPlump.com and JustBareChicken.com.

About Minnesota 4-H Extension Program
Minnesota 4-H is an after-school youth development program provided through the University of Minnesota Extension. The 4-H mission is to engage Minnesota youth in quality learning opportunities that enable them to shape and reach their full potential as active citizens in a global community. Last year, more than 75,000 kids throughout Minnesota participated in 4-H and learned invaluable life skills. According to a 2009 report from a Tufts University national study, 4-H youth are more than twice as likely to be civically active and make contributions to their communities, and are 47 percent less likely to have risky or problem behaviors. For more information about the program, visit extension.umn.edu/youth/mn4-H.

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

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Abra Williams