Decatur County 4-H’ers competed at 80th Annual 4-H State Congress in Atlanta

Published 6:09 pm Saturday, August 12, 2023

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Georgia 4-H celebrated excellence during the 80th Annual 4-H State Congress as top 4-H’ers from around the state gathered in Atlanta July 18-21.

State Congress includes the state-level Project Achievement and Leadership in Action contests, as well as recognition of youth development professionals, supporters, and public officials for their contributions to the success of 4-H in Georgia.

Decatur County 4-H’ers Sybil Lee and Kinsey Ward competed in Project Achievement at State Congress this year. Sybil competed in the Sports project while Kinsey contended in the Performing Arts Other Instrumental project.

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More than 48,000 youth participated in Project Achievement last year through 4-H programs at the county level. This essential Georgia 4-H program element empowers young people with leadership, creativity, public speaking, and record keeping skills that will last a lifetime. At the high school level, students choose a project of interest from a list of areas that include agriculture, human development, performing arts, communication, engineering, and workforce preparation. They subsequently research the topic, create a detailed presentation, and participate in related community service and civic engagement activities. State Congress competition also includes individual interviews with qualified professionals who engage with 4-H’ers about their project work.

Students who place first at state-level competitions in Georgia 4-H earn the title of “Master 4-H’er.” During State Congress, more than 200 delegates competed in 50 Project Achievement areas. Special event Master 4-H’ers from the 2022-23 program year were also recognized at State Congress.

Decatur County 4-H’ers Rachel Hayes and Scott Ross Hayes were honored as Special Event Master 4-H’ers at the Thursday evening 4-H Annual Banquet. Rachel earned Master 4-H status as exhibitor of the Grand Champion Market Lamb at the Georgia Junior National Market Lamb Show. Scott Ross Hayes received Master 4-H prestige by being named the Master 4-H Market Lamb Showman at the Georgia Junior National Market Lamb Show. .

Georgia 4-H recognizes stakeholders who provide guidance and support to Georgia 4-H throughout the year at State Congress. Gary Black, former Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, received the Friend of 4-H Award during the 4-H Leadership Banquet. Representative Rick Jasperse received the 4-H Green Jacket Award and Cindy Meadows, Seminole County 4-H Agent and County Extension Coordinator, received the William H. Booth Award at the 4-H Annual Banquet.

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships, and community awareness. As the premier youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than hundreds of thousands of people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities.

For more information about Georgia 4-H, contact your Decatur County Extension Office at 229-248-3033 or email