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Eleven heifers awarded for 19th ‘I Love Cows’ memorial contest 

MERCER COUNTY EXTENSION
Press release 
HARRODSBURG — Over 80 people from across the state gathered April 4 at the Mercer County Extension Office for the 19th Annual Dustin Worthington “I Love Cows” Essay Contest awards ceremony. This year’s ceremony saw 11 heifers given away to students who participated in the contest. The contest is open to all Kentucky FFA and 4-H members interested in the cattle industry.
Over 83 entries from 32 counties were judged by local committee to select the winners. Again this year, the program included at-large statewide awards in each 4-H organization and FFA organization. Any youth in Kentucky could apply with the exception of counties that have a county contest. The county contests were open to the youth in the following counties: Boyle, Breckinridge, Casey, Marion, Mason, Mercer, Metcalfe and Washington.
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, 274 animals have been awarded to 4-H/FFA youth across the state.
Boyle County awarded one heifer this year, Logan Kirkland. The heifer was donated by Dustin Worthinton Memorial Fund. Breckinridge County awarded two heifers, the first was to Alex Burke and he heifer was donated by Jarboe Farm. The second heifer was awarded to Jayme Galloway and the heifer was donated by Jon and Paula Burke.
Casey County awarded one heifer this year to Justin Luttrell and the heifer was donated by Tom Estes. Marion County awarded one to Randall Mattingly donated by Paige Mattingly, 2017 winner from Marion County and Marion County Cattlemen’s Association. The Mason County winner was Abigail Wood, and the heifer was donated by Maggie Porter, 2017 winner from Mason County.
Mercer County awarded a heifer to Jorga Sanford that was donated by the Dustin Worthington Memorial Fund.
The Metcalfe County heifer was awarded to Blake Sharp, donated by Hayden Hawkins, 2017 Dustin Worthington I Love Cows winner from Metcalfe County. Washington County awarded Chassity Warner with a heifer donated by Jaxon Graves, 2016 winner from Washington County.
For the Statewide 4-H winner was Carson Schultz, Campbell County and the heifer was donated by the Dustin Worthington Memorial Fund. The Statewide FFA winner was Mallory Terrell of Nelson County, and the heifer was donated by Peyton Guernsey Farm.
Over the last 19 years, a total of 85 counties have had essays submitted. This is due to the support of 4-H extension agents, FFA advisors and volunteers.
 This program encourages but does not require youth to participate in a “chain program,” when the first-born heifer is donated back to the program. Some winners have volunteered to donate their first heifer calf back to the fund for future winners. To date, we have had 107 past winners donate animals back to the program.
This year, two 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. FFA and 4-H students or leaders interested in participating can get information calling Worthington, or by going to www.dustinworthingtonmemorial.org. Financial contributions can be mailed to P.O. Box 520, Harrodsburg, KY 40330