"State 4-H Congress brings together the best of the best," he said. "The young people here have already distinguished themselves as leaders and winners. 4-H Congress provides us a showcase for their accomplishments as well as a chance to thank the people who make 4-H successful through their donations of time and resources."
On June 5, the 4-H'ers toured metro Atlanta, meeting with donors, state legislators and corporate leaders. A banquet that evening honored the state winners.
The night before the competition, the family of the late Sen. Herman Talmadge was presented the 2002 Friend of 4-H award for their long-standing commitment and contribution to the Georgia 4-H program.
Georgia 4-H is the youth education component of the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
State congress is the culmination of a year's work in a 4-H project. 4-H'ers prepare portfolios of their project work, participate in interviews about their portfolios and give oral presentations for this statewide competition.
This Year's Winners
This year's state winners, projects and project donors, listed by their home counties:
Appling: Blake Tippett, wildlife and marine science, Georgia Power.
Banks: Clark Williams, veterinary science, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.
Bleckley: Jed Evans, public speaking, Georgia Farm Credit Association; Ashley Pettis, housing, furnishings and design, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association; Kristen Davis, food safety and preservation, Heavenly Ham.
Bulloch: Justin Tyson, forestry resources and wood science, International Paper Company.
Butts: Stephanie Rivers, arts and crafts, Marian S. Fisher.
Carroll: Kayla Thompson, performing arts (general), Six Flags Over Georgia; Cheyanne Coggins, beef, Winn-Dixie Stores and Georgia Cattleman's Association.
Clarke: Erica Harrison, sports, White Water; Casey Mull, general recreation, Georgia Recreation and Parks Association.
Colquitt: Michael Chafin, plant and soil science, Georgia Plant Food Educational Society.
Columbia: Jennifer O'Neal, fruits, vegetables and nuts, Griffin Corporation.
Crisp: Jessica Calhoun, Fashion Revue, Georgia Master 4-H Club.
Dade: Travis Randolph, pork production, Georgia Pork Producers Association; Tyler Randolph, power and energy, Chevron Corporation.
Effingham: James Herrin, outdoor recreation, White Water; Brittany Dasher, bread, White Lily Foods Company.
Elbert: Stephanie Greenway, horse, Georgia Horse Council.
Evans: Anna Lewis, dog care and training, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association; Bessy Lewis, performing arts (piano), Six Flags Over Georgia.
Fayette: Mike Brennison, physical, biological and earth science, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation.
Forsyth: Emily Teatro, dairy foods, Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk; Morgan Rappatta, performing arts - other instrumental, Six Flags Over Georgia.
Jones: Leann Rowland, safety, Georgia 4-H Foundation; Courtney Brock, communications, Georgia 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association.
Madison: Summer Adams, environmental science, AGL Resources; Kristi Smith, target sports, Callaway Foundation and family of Col. James Boddie; Ashley Loudermilk, clothing and textiles, Southern Polytechnic State University; Lisa Roach, photography, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Monroe: Katie Benson, poultry and egg science, Georgia Poultry Federation.
Oconee: Heather Mispagel, health, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta; Heather Savelle, dairy and milk science, Georgia Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk.
Pickens: Elizabeth Jasperse, entomology, Georgia Pest Control Association and UGA Extension Service entomology department.
Rockdale: Cort Webb, conservation of natural resources, Georgia Water Wise Council.
Sumter: Ashley Goodman, food funds, Publix Supermarket Charities.
Tift: Russ Vann, resource management, Georgia Cooperative Council; Ashley Chesnut, international, Equifax; Miles Drummond, food for fitness, Georgia 4-H Foundation; Ivy Young, human development, Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents.
Toombs: Missy Stanford, flowers, shrubs and lawns, Georgia Development Authority.
Walton: Ali Nelson, work force preparation and career development, Randstad North America; Laurie Murrah, sheep, Georgia 4-H Foundation; Rachel McCarthy, computers, Georgia Power Company.
Wilcox: Kelly Henderson, performing arts (vocal), Six Flags Over Georgia; Demetrius Penn, food fare, Georgia Development Authority.
Wilkes: Jennifer Hardy, consumer education, April and Brian Crow.
(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)