MINNEAPOLIS, Aug. 13, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Minnesota 4-H poultry participants will display their superior knowledge of America's favorite protein during the third-annual Poultry Prince and Princess Contest from August 23 through August 26, 2012 at the Minnesota State Fair. The scholarship program of Minnesota 4-H and Gold'n Plump will recognize the knowledge, leadership and skills of the state's top poultry youth by awarding two teenagers with poultry ambassador titles and $1,000 academic scholarships.
Contestants must compete in the 4-H Poultry Showmanship competition and 4-H Chicken BBQ contest for a chance at the titles. The top three female and top three male contestants from the first and second rounds will display their confidence and personality by answering four category-specific poultry questions at a final round and coronation ceremony. WCCO-TV reporter John Lauritsen will once again host the live event at the State Fair's Poultry and Sheep Barn at noon on August 26, 2012. Last year's winners – Brandon Severns and Amy Anderson – will be present to hand off their royal crowns and capes to the new poultry royalty.
The 2012 winners will begin their roles as poultry ambassadors immediately following coronation with an appearance on the Gold'n Plump float in the Minnesota State Fair parade. Winners will also receive:
- $1,000 scholarships
- Portraits painted while in royal garb by 2012 State Fair artist Joe Heffron
- Opportunities to expand speaking, interview and presentation skills through industry and publicity appearances
"With all of the fun at the Minnesota State Fair, it's important that we create opportunities to highlight the young adults who lead and learn in our local communities," said Brad Rugg, director of 4-H Fairs and Animal Science Programs, University of Minnesota Extension Center for Youth Development. "We're pleased to continue the tradition the Poultry Prince and Princess Contest brings to the State Fair."
"This program is a fantastic way to shine light on the vitality of our state's poultry industry and support local agricultural education," said Rory Bidinger, brand advocacy and marketing manager for GNP Company™, the company behind the Gold'n Plump brand. "What most people don't know is that Minnesota's poultry industry is valued at about $1 billion of total economic impact."
As well, it has been shown in University of Minnesota research that more than 26,000 jobs in Minnesota depend on the economic viability of Minnesota's $800 million poultry industry of broiler chickens, eggs and turkeys. According to the USDA's July 2012 report, annual U.S. chicken consumption per person rose to 84.2 pounds in 2011. By comparison, beef declined to 57.3 pounds and pork declined to 45.7 pounds. In addition, Minnesota is the top state for turkey production in the U.S with 250 family farmers raising approximately 49 million turkeys annually.
About GNP Company
Based in St. Cloud, Minn., GNP Company is a family-owned provider of premium chicken products to retail, deli and foodservice customers throughout the Midwest and in other parts of the country, sold under the Gold'n Plump® and Just BARE® brands. The company officially changed its name from Gold'n Plump Poultry to GNP Company in 2011 to better distinguish between the company and its brands. It employs about 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, visit gnpcompany.com; for product information 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 123,000 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 2012 Poultry Prince and Princess Contest online at http://z.umn.edu/4hpoultryprinceprincess and view photos of the 2011 contest at Gold'n Plump's Facebook page www.facebook.com/GoldnPlump.
SOURCE GNP Company