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State 4-H wildlife judging contest

DECATUR COUNTY 4-H Junior Wildlife Judging Team members compete in the State 4-H Wildlife Judging Competition held at Rock Eagle. Team members are, from the left, Jacob Christie, Branch Austinson, Anders Austinson and Josiah Austinson.

Decatur County’s 4-H Wildlife Judging Team recently competed at the state 4-H Wildlife Judging Contest held at Rock Eagle 4-H Center.

The Junior Team captured second-place honors. Seventh- and eighth-grade (or under) 4-H’ers are eligible to participate in the junior contest.

Junior Team members were Josiah Austinson (eighth grade), Anders Austinson (seventh grade), Branch Austinson (fifth grade) and Jacob Christie (sixth grade).

Josiah Austinson placed fourth-highest individual in the competition, Anders Austinson was sixth highest individual, Branch Austinson placed eighth highest individual, and Christie was 10th highest individual in the junior competition.

4-Her’s have been diligently practicing and preparing for the competition with practices held weekly for the past few months. 4-H Program Assistant Teresa Adkins serves as the team coach.

At the competition, the contestants judged classes of wildlife foods, wildlife habitat and wildlife management practices.

They also presented oral reasons for observations made through interpreting wildlife habitat from aerial photographs. As a part of the 4-H Wildlife Judging Team, members gain life skills of communication, teamwork, critical thinking and decision making, as well as targeting many other life skills.

Lindsey B. Hayes is the 4-H coordinator with the Decatur County Extension Service. She can be reached by calling 248-3033 or e-mailing her at uge4087@uga.edu.