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Gin Show features 4-H Chopped food competition

The 4-H food challenge features 4-Hers from surrounding states and highlights their cooking skills, as well as building awareness of food security issues.

2 Min Read
4-H Food Challenge
In the 4-H food challenge at the farm and gin show each team receives a mystery box of food items and has a limited amount of time to create their recipe before presenting their creation to the panel of local food judges. Teams are judged on the recipe, taste, and the final presentation. Brent Murphree

4-H teams from five states will participate in the 4-H Chopped Food Competition March 2, 2024, in conjunction with the 72nd annual Mid-South Farm & Gin Show, March 1 & 2, at the Renasant Convention Center, Memphis, Tenn.

The competition evaluates their knowledge and skills related to preparing nutritious foods using items commonly found in rural retail outlets such as Dollar General or Walgreen’s. The contest will emphasize limiting food waste, food efficiency, and healthiness of a meal.

“We live in a land of abundance. We can get almost any item of food when we want it. Yet, the U.S. discards more food than any other country –millions of pounds of food each year ends up in the garbage,” says Tim Price, show manager and executive vice president of Southern Cotton Ginners Association. Yet, Price says, we must not forget there are many families across the U.S. who don’t have enough food, leading to food insecurity/insufficiency.

“As farmers and ranchers producing an abundance of food products, we want to make sure there is enough nutritious food for everyone. At the same time, we want to make the most of food at our disposal,” he says.

Preparing for competition

Before the competition begins each team sets up their station, which comes equipped with a heat source – hot plate or electric skillet – as well as cooking utensils, and pantry staples. Each team receives a “mystery box” of food items and has a limited amount of time to create their recipe before presenting their creation.

A panel of judges, with diverse backgrounds, will provide insight into the teams’ dishes, based on a scoring rubric and guidelines. Teams will be judged both on the recipe, taste, and the final presentation.

“This is a high-energy competition with impacts on many parts of society,” Price says. “4-H has been a leader in developing this program that is at the heart of 4-H – teaching life skills that help others.”

Price encourages people to register for the Mid-south Farm & Gin Show March 1 & 2, 2024, at the Renasant Convention Center as soon as possible. Visit www.farmandginshowcom, click on “Attendee Registration,” and provide your information.

Then take your confirmation to the registration desk to get your name tags and enter the show.

“Registering now will make entry into the show easy and convenient,” Price says.  “Save time by registering today.”

Hours for the Mid-South Farm & Gin Show are Friday, March 1, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information is available at www.farmandginshow.com

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