ATLANTA -- For 65 years, Georgia's best 4-H'ers have gathered here once a year to champion their program during the annual State 4-H Congress. The competition this week was no exception, as 49 teenagers emerged as state project competition winners.
"This week, 251 young people showcased their outstanding efforts in 49 areas in the ultimate project competition of Georgia 4-H," said Roger C. "Bo" Ryles, state 4-H leader with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.
The 4-H members give 12-minute demonstrations and prepare portfolios of their research and service in 49 project areas such as public speaking, history, wildlife and human development. Expert judges evaluate their work and interview them on their presentations and portfolios.
"What was relevant to their young lives in the early 20th century has changed over the years," Ryles said, "and 4-H has changed, too, to remain relevant."
A banquet July 26 honored state winners.
This year's winners, projects and donors, listed by their home counties:
Bartow: Abbey Hufstetler, public speaking, Farm Credit Associations of Georgia.
Bleckley: Chelsea Sawyer, sports, White Water.
Bulloch: Ashlin Reid, entomology, Georgia Pest Control Association and the UGA entomology department.
Charlton: Richard Capps II, health, Ellinore Nicholson, Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Martin and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Chattooga: April Blackwell, fruits, vegetables and nuts, Meadows-Knox Family Fund and Alice Griffin Howard.
Clarke: Joseph Stunzi, physical, biological and earth science, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation.
Clayton: Kenneth Evans, photography, GEMC Georgia Magazine.
Columbia: Valeria Nwabiani, bread, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Coweta: Michelle Landrein, communications, Georgia 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association; Katy Kirbow, horse, Georgia 4-H Foundation; Ethan Robertson, plant and soil science, Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc.
Crisp: Lauren Edalgo, performing arts - vocal, Six Flags Over Georgia.
Dade: Amy Tamburello, textiles, merchandising and interiors, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Douglas: Emily Dunnell, food fast and healthy, M.K. "Curly" Cook Family in memory of Sandra B. Cook.
Elbert: Nicholas Wiles, performing arts - other instrumental, Six Flags Over Georgia.
Evans: Leah Waters, dog care and training, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.
Forsyth: Mary Bottoms, forest resources and wood science, Bill Lott and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Gordon: Matthew Darby, safety, AGL Resources, Inc.; Chelsea Jackson, workforce preparation and career development, Randstad North America.
Greene: Katy Burden, poultry and egg science, Perdue Farms and the Georgia Poultry Federation.
Glynn: Harvest Hale, computers, Georgia Power.
Hall: Jason Hilley, arts and crafts, Marian Fisher and Brandie Rucks Park.
Haralson: Bain Griffith, general recreation, Georgia Recreation and Park Association, Inc.
Henry: Austin Crown, conservation of natural resources, Georgia Water Wise Council; Emily Duke, performing arts - general, Six Flags Over Georgia.
Jeff Davis: Stacia Bennett, beef, Georgia Cattlemen's Association, Jim and Renee Williamson, the Homeport Farm Mart and Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Jenkins: Becca Rich, housing equipment and environment, sponsored by Bucky Cook.
Lee: Bridget Howard, fashion review, Georgia Master 4-H Club.
Lowndes: Zach Hall, environmental science, Georgia 4-H Foundation; Emily Backes, wildlife and marine science, Georgia Power.
Madison: John Scott, history, Arch Smith and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Mitchell: Marie Harper, performing arts - dance, Mr. and Mrs. Burley Page.
Morgan: Wesley Glosson, dairy and milk science, Angela Broder Nemeth and the Georgia Commodity Commission for Milk; Mary Helen Trulock, festive foods for health, Publix Super Markets Charities.
Oconee: Morgan White, companion animal science, Bill and Edna Sell in memory of Scott Sell; Camille Odom, family resource management, Sarah L. Huff Fund and the Georgia Cooperative Council, Inc.; Christine Odom, food safety and preservation, Rhonda and Gary Keve; Jacob Daniel, pork production, Georgia Pork Producers Association; Sally Stewart, sheep and meat goats, Jim and Renee Williamson.
Oglethorpe: Audrey Hall, shrubs and lawns, Georgia Development Authority.
Paulding: Hanna Gaz, dairy foods, Georgia Commodity Commission for Milk.
Peach: Anna Usry, human development, Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents; Ashleigh Day, veterinary science, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.
Putnam: Brent Parker, power and energy, Chevron.
Thomas: Amanda Rayburn, food fare, Georgia Development Authority.
Tift: Sally Smith, international, Equifax, Inc.; Jason Ni, performing arts - piano, Six Flags Over Georgia; Brooke Justice, target sports, Callaway Foundation and the family of Col. Jim Boddie.
Union: Danielle Schroter, outdoor recreation, White Water and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
(Faith Peppers is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)