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State winners highlight 67th State 4-H Congress

By Faith Peppers
University of Georgia

ATLANTA -- For 67 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 individuals emerged as state project competition winners.

"After many years of watching 4-H’ers compete here, I’m still amazed at the quality of the presentations, the depth of their portfolios of work and the poise they show under pressure,” said Roger C. "Bo" Ryles, state 4-H program 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.

“It is a testament to the high quality and value of 4-H programming that in today’s high-tech world, a century-old program still attracts this level of participation and commitment every year,” Ryles said. “You don’t have to look far in this state or this nation to find outstanding leaders who developed those skills through 4-H.”

A banquet July 23 honored state winners. The following are the winners, projects and donors, listed by their home counties:

BALDWIN: Ashley Sparks, textiles, merchandising and interiors, Georgia 4-H Foundation.

BARTOW: Eli Debroux, dairy foods, Agriculture Commodity Commission for Milk; Emily Pike, forestry and wood science, Bill Lott and the Georgia 4-H Foundation; and Aaron Craven, power and energy, Jackson EMC.

BEN HILL: Haley Gilleland, pork production, Georgia Pork Producers Association and Georgia 4-H Foundation.

BERRIEN: Shelby Stoneroad, target sports, Callaway Foundation and the family of Col. James “Jim” Boddie.

BLECKLEY: Ellie Baldwin, food safety and preservation, Gary and Rhonda Keve.

CAMDEN: David Myers, conservation of natural resources, Chevron and Georgia 4-H Foundation.

CANDLER: Pankti Patel, international, Equifax, Inc.

CHARLTON: Katie Thigpen, performing arts - vocal, Six Flags Over Georgia.

CRAWFORD: Jacob Gibb, safety, Georgia 4-H Foundation.

CRISP: Austin French, performing arts - general, Six Flags Over Georgia.

DOUGLAS: Morgan Long, food fast and fit, M.K. “Curly” Cook family in memory of Sandra B. Cook.

ELBERT: Sammie Williams, beef, Jim and Renee Williamson – The Homeport Farm Mart; and Anslee Webb, sheep and meat goats, Jim and Renee Williamson.

EMANUEL: Sierra Beasley, performing arts - dance, Six Flags Over Georgia.

GORDON: Emily Frazier, poultry and egg science, Perdue Farms and Georgia Poultry Foundation.

GREENE: Jaimee Yearwood, festive foods for health, Publix Supermarkets Charities.

HALL: Corey O’Quinn, communications, Georgia 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association; David French, history, Arch Smith and Georgia 4-H Foundation.

HART: Paul Rice, fruits, vegetables and nuts, Meadows-Knox Family Fund; Mark Schleier, housing equipment and environment, Bucky Cook; and Melea Baldwin, veterinary science, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.

HOUSTON: Margo Braski, public speaking, Georgia Farm Credit Associations of Georgia, Wayne Reese and Kaleb McMichen.

IRWIN: Erin O’Quinn, photography, Georgia magazine and Jim and Barbara Smith.

JONES: Leslie Peterson, horse, Georgia 4-H Foundation.

LAMAR: Phillip Henry, sports, White Water.

LOWNDES: Adrienne Parker, workforce preparation and career development, Ranstad USA and Emerson Climate Technologies.

MADISON: Kasey Roth, computers, Georgia Power Company; and Dylan Brooks, human development, GAE4-HA.

MONROE: Joshua Akins, arts and crafts, Kris Freeman.

MORGAN: Meagan Wilson, dairy and milk science, Angela Broder Nemeth, Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk.

OCONEE: Lauren Morris, outdoor recreation, White Water.

OGLETHORPE: Jonathan Moss, family resource management, Sarah L. Huff Fund.

PICKENS: Caitlin Roland, dog care and training, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association; Bob Jasperse, entomology, Georgia Pest Control Association and CAES Entomology Department; Jennifer Ingram, food fare, Georgia Development Authority; C.J. Fellows, health, Ellinore Nicholson, Mr. And Mrs. Lamar Martin and Georgia 4-H Foundation.

RANDOLPH: Casey Whitehead, flowers, shrubs and lawns, Georgia Development Authority.

ROCKDALE: Jessica Story, physical, biological and Earth sciences, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation.

SPALDING: Atreona Willis, fashion revue, Georgia Master 4-H Club; Reese Simmons, performing arts – piano, Six Flags Over Georgia; Kendra Hearn, plant and soil science, Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc.

SUMTER: Colin Steele, wildlife and marine science, Georgia Power.

TATTNALL: Stephen Deloach, performing arts – other instrumental, Six Flags Over Georgia.

TIFT: Rachel Harrison, companion animal science, Monroe Veterinary Clinic, Inc., Georgia 4-H Foundation, Bill and Edna Sell in memory of Scott Sell and the Homeport Farm Mart; Elizabeth Weeks, general recreation, Georgia Recreation and Park Association, Inc.

TREUTLEN: Jodie Boyette, environmental science, Georgia Cooperative Council, Inc.

(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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