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Three 4-H members preparing a dish at the 4-H Food Showdown.
Oklahoma 4-H members from Grady County were selected to represent the state at the national competition at the Texas State Fair in Dallas on Oct. 3. Pictured, from left, are Katie Jones, Shane Williamson and KenLynn Chaney as they compete in the 4-H Food Showdown during State 4-H Roundup. (Photo by Mitchell Alcala, OSU Agriculture)

Oklahoma 4-H members compete in state food showdown contest at FAPC

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Media Contact: Kirsten Hollansworth | Communications Graduate Student | 405-744-0442 |

Oklahoma State University’s Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center staff hosted the Oklahoma 4-H Food Showdown on July 27 in which teams of two or three 4-H members created their own dishes using four secret key ingredients and items from the common pantry.

The 4-H Food Showdown has been a collaborative program as FAPC provides resources for the event in support of the Oklahoma 4-H Youth Development program.

Cathy Allen, Oklahoma 4-H curriculum specialist, said FAPC has been a large contributor to the success of the Oklahoma 4-H Food Showdown.

“Since the beginning of the program in 2009, FAPC has hosted the state contest,” Allen said. “This partnership has allowed many of our participants to visit the FAPC facility for the first time — sparking an interest in some of our members for careers in the food industry.”

Many 4-H’ers begin participating in food and nutrition projects in their home kitchen at an early age with a family member or caring adult.

“Over time, members increase their skills beyond food preparation to include food and kitchen safety, food science, meal planning and nutrition,” Allen said. “The 4-H Food Showdown incorporates all of those with creativity and teamwork.”

Andrea Graves, business planning and marketing specialist, said it’s imperative to provide opportunities for the next generation of the food industry workforce.

“In support of the next generation of food innovators, the contest challenges youth to be resourceful of ingredients they already have in their pantry at home,” Graves said. “This youth culinary challenge supports FAPC’s vision of adding value to the state of Oklahoma.”

The four secret ingredients were half a rotisserie chicken, one naval orange, local honey and cabbage.

Household staples such as vegetable oil and shredded cheese were items found in the common pantry. By utilizing items from the common pantry and the four secret ingredients, teams prepared a main dish within a 40-minute time limit.

The three-member team comprised of Katie Jones, Shane Williamson and KenLynn Chaney from Grady County placed first and will represent Oklahoma 4-H at the National 4-H Food Challenge at the Texas State Fair on Oct. 3. Sunflower Outlaws of Grady County placed second and Pontotoc County placed third.

FAPC, a part of OSU’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, helps to discover, develop and deliver technical and business information that will stimulate and support the growth of value-added food and agricultural products and processing in Oklahoma.

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