Curriculum Corner

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Lynne Middleton, Interim State 4-H Curriculum Specialist

It’s the week of July 4th, our nation’s Independence Day, and you know what that means! The three F’s — Freedom, Fireworks, and FOOD! Food is such a fun topic to talk about, as many of you spent the weekend at a bar-b-que or grilling food at home.

For those of you interested in slicing, dicing, chopping, grilling, and cooking just for fun, the Tennessee State Fair, along with the State 4-H Office, has an opportunity for you!  On Monday, August 20, the 4-H Chopped Challenge will be held at the Wilson County Fairgrounds, beginning at 1:00 p.m.
What is the Chopped Challenge, you ask?  It’s an opportunity for 4-H members to showcase their prepping and cooking skills with mystery ingredients to a panel of judges.

The rules for the contest are as follows:

  • The deadline for teams to apply is July 22. The application can be found at
  • Team members must be 9th-12th grade Tennessee 4-H members.
  • Teams may be comprised of no less than 2 youth and no more than 4 youth.
  • Team members must be from the same county.
  • A mystery box will be given to each team. The items inside the box must be used in the recipes.
  • An appetizer, main course, side, and dessert will be required of each team.
  • Teams will have a total of 45 minutes to prepare and plate their meal.  Then they will present their plate to a panel of judges.
  • A pantry of useful spices and ingredients will be available to all the teams.
  • Only one cooktop will be used per team.
  • Everything needed to cook will be supplied.
  • All 4-H members should be well-versed in food safety. Study materials will be sent to teams selected to compete.
  • Three teams from each region (Eastern, Central, and Western), for a total of 9 teams, will be selected to compete. 
  • Teams selected will be notified by August 1.
  • There will be two rounds during the contest.  One team from each region will be selected to advance to the Final Round. 

All 4-H members competing in the contest will receive a chef’s apron. 

The winning team of the 4-H Chopped Challenge will receive individual plaques, 4-H swag, and $1,000 towards expenses to participate in the National Food Challenge in Texas.

If you have questions about the 4-H Chopped Challenge, contact Lori Gallimore, or Lynne Middleton,