Local 4-H’ers attend State Congress meeting in Atlanta

Published 5:00 pm Friday, August 11, 2017

During the week of July 25-28, 2017, six Decatur County 4-H’ers traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the prestigious 75th Annual State 4-H Congress.

Competing for state honors in 4-H Project Achievement were Journey Austinson (Food Safety and Preservation), Savannah Padgett (Fashion Revue), Miller Hayes (Sheep & Meat Goats), Katelyn Ward (Plant and Soil Science) and Blake Daughtry (Outdoor Recreation). These students selected an area of study, participated in service and leadership events, shared knowledge of their project area, prepared a five page record of their work and gave an oral presentation before judges at their respective District Project Achievement (DPA). Over 350 district first place winners from 95 counties in Georgia contended to receive Master 4-H honors at the state competition. Taylor Barber was recognized for her Master 4-H status as the Georgia Junior National Market Barrow Champion and as a Market Hog Master Showman.

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Georgia 4-H Congress is the premiere competitive and recognition event for high school age Georgia 4-H’ers.  It symbolizes the end of a year of hard work and dedication by Georgia 4-H youth. Coordinated by the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension Georgia 4-H program, the 4-H Congress is financially supported by donors and contributors to the Georgia 4-H Foundation.

The event began with the Opening Assembly on Tuesday afternoon during which Savannah Padgett was recognized for being awarded the Louise Hill ABAC Scholarship. Following the Tuesday evening Leadership Banquet, Savannah competed in her Fashion Revue project by modeling a three-piece ensemble that she sewed.  Other project competitions took place on Wednesday, July 26th. Miller, Journey, Katelyn and Blake each delivered twelve-minute speech presentations on their respective projects and answered the questions of expert judges. The 4-H’ers also met with interviewers to discuss their year-long portfolios detailing their project work, leadership and service activities. Categories in this competition range from Environmental Sciences to Performing Arts Vocal from Wildlife and Marine Sciences to Family Resource Management. The announcement of winners was held in an energetic program at Six Flags over Georgia on Wednesday evening. Journey Austinson received 3rd place honors. Miller Hayes and Savannah Padgett each placed 1st qualifying them as “Master 4-H’ers.”

The Annual Banquet on Thursday, July 27th began with the Parade of Winners.  Forty-eight project winners and more than 80 special events (evaluation and other competitive events) winners entered the banquet room filled with over 800 youth, donors and administrators present for the banquet.  During the meal, Special Events winners who had placed first in state competitions during the 2016-17 year were recognized for their work. Special events are 4-H competitive events that include evaluation or judging programs, horse and livestock shows, shooting sports competition, quiz bowl contests and other programs.  Decatur County 4-H’er, Taylor Barber, was honored for earning two Masters; one in Georgia Junior National Champion Market Barrow and the other as Master Showman for Market Hogs. In addition, several special awards were presented including the Green Jacket Award, the GAE4HA Friend of 4-H Award and the William H. Booth Award.

Other Congress activities included educational tours within the Atlanta area, interaction with 4-H donors and UGA administrators, a reception for high school seniors and opportunities for youth to interact with 4-H’ers from all over the state.  These Congress delegates come from all corners of Georgia, and the opportunity to meet and spend time in Georgia’s capital is a unique experience for many competitors.

For more information about this or any 4-H activity, contact Lindsey B. Hayes or Teresa Adkins at the Decatur County Extension Office 248-3033 or email linsbell@uga.edu.