The best of Georgia 4-H shined in Atlanta Aug. 12-14 as 50 state project winners emerged from the competition of State 4-H Congress.
The state winners will represent Georgia at the 1996 National 4-H Congress Nov. 28-Dec. 4 in Memphis, Tenn.
"State Congress is our opportunity to showcase some of the most outstanding young people participating in the 4-H program," said Roger C. "Bo" Ryles, state director of 4-H for the University of Georgia Extension Service. "It's the crown jewel for 4-H."
The 257 4-H'ers in the 54th annual State Congress each won earlier county and district competitions. They prepared illustrated talks on what they learned in their project areas. They also submitted portfolios of project work and were interviewed about their activities.
"It's incredible that, given all a teenager has going on these days, these young people still come and go through all that to compete in 4- H," Ryles said.
Starting in 1904 as a 150-member boys' corn club, 4-H now has 186,000 members in Georgia and 5.5 million nationwide. They compete in projects ranging from poultry to photography, electronics and environmental science.
The 1996 state winners, listed by counties with their project areas and sponsors:
Barrow: Adam Boldin, wood science, Georgia Development Authority.
Bulloch: Ben Lee, agriculture, Georgia Agribusiness Council.
Butts: William Fletcher III, citizenship, Community Bankers Association.
Calhoun: Yvonne Bradley, food preservation and safety, Savannah Foods and Industries.
Clayton: Erica Wilson, arts and crafts, Georgia Recreation and Parks Association.
Coffee: Christopher Phillips, performing arts (instrumental), Six Flags Over Georgia.
Colquitt: Toby Palmer, entomology, Georgia Pest Control Association.
Cook: Amanda Newbern, clothing and textiles, Apparel Education Foundation.
Crawford: David Barbee, environmental science, Transco Energy.
Crisp: Jim Phillips, performing arts (general), Six Flags Over Georgia.
Effingham: Bradley Rahn, shooting sports, Georgia 4-H Foundation; and Ginger Smith, consumer education, Atlanta Gas Light.
Elbert: Jennifer Poon, sports, White Water.
Evans: Sarah Elizabeth Aliffi, bread, White Lily Foods; and Darci Marie Daniel, health, Egleston Children's Hospital.
Floyd: Angie Gooch, dairy foods, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Forsyth: Megan Ditmore, achievement, Community Bankers Association.
Gordon: Amelia Munro, flowers, shrubs and lawns, Georgia Development Authority.
Gwinnett: Dan Eberhart, resource management, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Hall: Holli Briggs, outdoor recreation project, White Water; and Mitzi Pepper, veterinary science, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.
Harris: Lori Starling, safety, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Houston: Bryant Bledsoe, plant and soil science, Georgia Plant Food Education Society.
Jackson: Carol Spruill, horse, Gold Kist.
Johnson: Caleb Pool, swine, Georgia Pork Producers.
Lee: Sommer Statham, food and nutrition, General Mills.
Lowndes: Brett Bailey, general recreation, Georgia Recreation and Parks Association; Michael Black, computer, Georgia Power; and Kevin Howell, food fare, Savannah Foods and Industries.
Madison: Joseph Brubaker, dog care and training, Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.
Marion: Melissa McGlaun, food for fitness, Savannah Foods and Industries.
Monroe: Katherine Doster, beef, Winn-Dixie and Georgia Cattlemen's Association.
Morgan: Adam Verner, poultry, Georgia Poultry Federation.
Newton: Olivia Lott, performing arts (vocal), Six Flags Over Georgia; and Terri Kimble, communications, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Oconee: Julie Mills, leadership, Community Bankers Association.
Pickens: Cory DeBord, conservation of natural resources, Georgia Water Wise Council; Matthew Pittman, wildlife, Georgia Power; Joe Young, forestry, Union Camp Corporation.
Pulaski: Karen Coffey, public speaking, Georgia Farm Credit Associations.
Rockdale: Kim Johnson, human development, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Stephens: Cristi Hare, fashion revue, Georgia 4-H Foundation; Tim Stephens, electric/electronics, Georgia Electric Membership Corporation.
Tift: Beth Bland, housing and home furnishings, Georgia Manufactured Housing Association.
Treutlen: Jamey Toler, photography, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Union: Andrea Brown, sheep, Georgia State Fair and Georgia Department of Agriculture.
Upson: Yukubu Carriker, food funds, Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Walton: Scott Stephens, petroleum power, Chevron USA.
Wheeler: John Clark, fruits, vegetables and nuts, Griffin Corporation.
Wilkes: Frank Jackson III, sheep and dairy, Georgia State Fair and Georgia Department of Agriculture.
(Faith Peppers is the director of public affairs with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)