Outstanding PA 4-H and FFA Youth Honored during 2018 Keystone International Livestock Expo

HARRISBURG – Four Pennsylvania students were named Outstanding 4-H and FFA Youth during the 62nd Annual Keystone International Livestock Expo, held in Harrisburg on Thursday, October 4, 2018. Nominated by their county Penn State Extension educators and agricultural education teachers, respectively, each honoree excels in agricultural activities and serves as a model member of their respective organizations.

Macy Walason of Alum Bank, Bedford Co. and Dylan Bomgardner of Annville, Lebanon Co. were named this year’s FFA Outstanding Youth Madison Weaver of Ephrata, Lebanon Co. and Jarred Covert of Three Springs, Huntingdon Co. received the 4-H Outstanding Youth awards.

Macy Walason is the daughter of Jeff and Angelique Walason, of Alum Bank, Bedford Co. She is a student at Chestnut Ridge Senior High School. Macy has been actively growing her family’s beef, dairy, and sheep herds over the years. An active participant in the Chestnut Ridge FFA Chapter and current president, she is also involved in several junior fair board committees and is the current Bedford County Fair Queen.  Macy plans to attend Penn State University to major in Agricultural Education. 

Dylan Bomgardner is the son of Jeffrey and Fawn Bomgardner of Annville, Lebanon Co.  He is currently a sophomore at Penn State Berks campus, majoring in Animal Science, with future aspirations to become either a crop consultant or a beef or swine herd manager. Throughout his life, Dylan has participated in Lebanon County 4-H and the Little Dutchmen FFA Chapter with beef, swine, and sheep projects. He also participated in livestock judging competitions, eventually earning him the title of 2017 National Champion 4-H Livestock Judge, by winning the contest at NAILE. 

Madison Weaver is the daughter of Fred and Tammy Weaver, of Ephrata, PA. She is an active cattle woman with both beef and dairy experience. Additionally, she helps collect and grade eggs in the family poultry breeder house. Madison is a freshman at Penn State Berks majoring in Animal Science and plans to attend graduate school to study ruminant nutrition.

Jarred Covert is the son of Roger and Barbara Covert of Three Springs, PA. He is a junior at Southern Huntingdon Area High School with plans to attend Penn State University for animal nutrition, genetics, and breeding. Jarred has been an active 4-H member with both beef and swine projects and has been awarded the Outstanding 4-Her award in his county twice. Jarred also makes time for FFA and boy scouts, earning Eagle Scout rank in 2016.

Each winner received a plaque and $500 cash award and was recognized during the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Keystone International Livestock Exposition.

The Keystone International Livestock Exposition is the largest livestock show on the East Coast, with more than 1,400 beef cattle, 1,110 horse, 1,700 sheep and wool, 225 swine, and 260 goat entries in 2018. This year, more than 900 exhibitors from 25 states are competing in livestock events. The show also includes the 11th Annual Keystone Classic Barbecue Competition, a Kansas City Barbecue Society-sanctioned event to select the state's finest culinary competitors and the first annual ranch riding competition hosted by the East Coast Ranch Riding Association.

All events are open to the public with free admission and parking. Find more information and a complete schedule of events at www.keystoneinternational.pa.gov.