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Decatur County youth awarded

DECATUR COUNTY WINNERS of 4-H Southwest District Project Achievement are, from the left, Josiah Austinson, Anders Austinson, Stennes Austinson and Levi Adkins.

Eatonton, Ga.—Four Decatur County 4-H’ers traveled to Rock Eagle on Jan. 28-30 for the 2011 4-H Southwest District Junior/Senior Project Achievement.

The weekend is designed to challenge seventh- through 12th-graders with a fun competition that builds public speaking, researching and record-keeping skills.

All Decatur County youth placed first at the annual competition.

“I am so proud of 4-H’ers for their extraordinary work at District Project Achievement,” said Lindsey Hayes, Decatur County 4-H agent with the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences. “Project Achievement is a challenging competition, which requires dedication and commitment throughout the entire year.”

Participants choose among one of more than 60 topic areas to research, prepare a presentation and complete a portfolio. Topics range from wildlife to muffins to performing arts. Portfolios require the 4-H’ers to participate in activities throughout the year relating to their project areas, keep meticulous records on that participation, and compile a three- to five-page portfolio to demonstrate 4-H and project involvement.

Portfolios must also demonstrate participation in community service and leadership activities in their community and state.

Participants present their portfolios and presentations, while also having the opportunity to enjoy a dance, entertainment and games throughout the weekend.

Nearly 400 youth were in attendance at this year’s Southwest District Junior/Senior Project Achievement.

Decatur County youth participating in this year’s Junior/Senior Project Achievement were as follows: Levi Akins, who placed first in Senior Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts Project; Stennes Austinson, who placed first in Senior Plant and Soil Science Project; Anders Austinson, who placed first in Junior Forestry and Wood Science Project; and, Josiah Austinson, who placed first in Junior Wildlife Project.

Teresa Adkins, Decatur County Program Assistant, also attended the trip with the youth.

Project Achievement first-place winners in ninth through 12th grade receive the opportunity to attend 4-H State Congress in Atlanta.

Adkins and Austinson, both homeschoolers, will be representing Decatur County as 2011 State Congress delegates.  The trip includes a fun day at Six Flags over Georgia, in addition to the state Project Achievement competition. State winners return to Atlanta for a national reward trip, where they meet youth from across the country. Once a 4-H’er wins first place at State Congress, that student receives the elite honor of being named a Master 4-H’er.

Cloverleaf District Project Achievement for fifth- and sixth-graders will be held at Sumter County Middle School in Americus on Saturday, March 19.

Please contact Lindsey Hayes at 248-3033 or linsbell@uga.edu for more information on Project Achievement or other 4-H events.