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4-H Promotion Compendium: Texas Boys go to England

A National Compendium of 4-H Promotion and Visibility over the Past Century

Texas Boys go to England

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In 1920, perhaps a little earlier, livestock judging was not only becoming popular, but serious. Teams would travel to multiple states judging livestock at the state colleges of agriculture and other locations. After several months of hard work, the lucky Texas team of boys won the International judging honors at the Southeastern Fair in Atlanta, Georgia in 1920.

The team, comprised of Gilbert Wieting from Falls County, Jack Turner of Hill County, and Alva Debnam, Dawson County, Texas won first place. Their prize – eight weeks of touring England in the summer of 1921 – including participating in the Royal Livestock Show against their British counterparts. The boys were sent off with appropriate fanfare, stopping in Washington, D.C. on their way to England where they met their Texas Senators and Congressmen and were greeted by both Secretary of Agriculture Henry A. Wallace and President Warren G. Harding.

The prize for the competition was a Gold Challenge Cup offered by Lord Northcliffe, publisher of the "London Daily Mail." The Texas team captured the cup by defeating the British team. A team from Maryland won the following year, and again defeated their English competitors. With a few missed years, this event continued up to 1939, when the impending war called a halt on international club judging.

Texas livestock judging team receives congratulations from President Warren G. Harding enroute to England in 1921.

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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