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20 heifers given for 2010 'I Love Cows' memorial contest

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By Meagan Klee

More than 160 people from across the state gathered in April at the Mercer County Extension Office for the 11th Annual Dustin Worthington “I Love Cows” Essay Contest awards ceremony.
The ceremony saw 20 beef heifers given away to students who participated in the contest.  The contest is open to all FFA & 4-H members interested in the cattle industry in the state of Kentucky. 
In 2010, more than 118 entries from 35 counties were judged by local committees across the state to select the winners. The program included at-large statewide awards. Two cows were awarded to members in each organization, 4-H and FFA.
Any youth in the state of Kentucky could apply with the exception of counties that have a county contest. The county contests were open to the youth in Casey, Anderson, Breckinridge, Boyle, Lincoln, Marion, Mason, Meade, Mercer, Pulaski, Washington, and Union counties.
The award was established in 2000 after the death of Dustin Worthington, a Mercer County teen who was involved in the cattle industry. Worthington was killed along with his friend Dale Goodpaster in an automobile accident on April 4, 2000 near the community of Mayo in Mercer County.  In 2000, two registered beef heifers were donated and given away. 
To date, 134 animals have been awarded to youth across the state.
The 2010 winners from Casey County include Kyler Hines, who received a heifer donated by Jay and Carol Price, and Ryan White,  who received a heifer donated by Donald Tarter.
This program encourages but does not require youth to participate in a “chain program.” This is when the first born heifer is donated back to the program. Some of the past winners have volunteered to donate their first heifer calf back to the fund for future winners.  To date, we have had 40 past winners donate animals back to the program.
This year three heifers were purchased by the Dustin Worthington Memorial Fund. Farms or individuals interested in donating a heifer of any beef breed can contact Dennis Worthington at 859-734-7533.
For further information about the program, please contact Meagan Klee at the Casey County Extension Office at 787-7384.