Catasauqua Press

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
CONTRIBUTED PHOTOSophia Vargas, second from left, is a member of a 4-H potato-grading team, which came in third place in a state competition at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. With her are, from left, team members Jonas Geiger, Alaina Muller and Marisa Berger. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOSophia Vargas, second from left, is a member of a 4-H potato-grading team, which came in third place in a state competition at the Pennsylvania Farm Show. With her are, from left, team members Jonas Geiger, Alaina Muller and Marisa Berger.

Catasauqua girl competes on 4-H potato-judging team

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 by CONTRIBUTED ARTICLE in Local News

The 2017 4-H Potato Grading and Identification Contest was held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Jan. 11.

Sixteen teams with 73 4-H members from Bradford, Dauphin, Indiana, Lehigh, Montgomery, Northampton and Union counties participated.

Catasauqua resident Sophia Vargas was among the 4-H members who participated in the contest for the first time.

Competing with her on the third-place Lehigh County basic “A” team were Jonas Geiger, of Schnecksville; Marisa Berger, of Kutztown; and Alaina Muller, of Orefield.

The contest is comprised of two divisions; basic and honors. Those who compete in the honors division are winners from previous years.

The competitors in the basic division test their skills at three stations.

The first is a potato-grading station where competitors compete to grade 100 potatoes in the shortest time.

At the second station, competitors identify 20 different defects on 40 potatoes.

The third station is a plate-grading station, with five potatoes on each of four plates. Each plate must be evaluated on uniformity of size and shape and lack of defects, and the plates must then be ranked in order.

Those in honors must complete three stations in addition to the basic stations.

The fourth station is comprised of two more plate classes.

The fifth station is estimating the weights of two large potatoes.

At the sixth station, the contestants must pick a premium pack. This means that out of 30 potatoes, the 10 most uniform and defect-free potatoes must be chosen.

This contest teaches and enhances life skills such as decision-making, defending your answer, quickness and observation.

Contact Kelly Weisner at kmb26@psu.edu for information about forming a 4-H potato judging team.

“Even if the 4-H members only ever learn a little bit about potatoes, they are developing important life skills and having a great time!” Weisner said.