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Georgia 4-H's best compete at 2014 State Congress By Sharon Dowdy

Forty-eight Georgia 4-H’ers earned the coveted title of Master 4-H’er last week at the 72nd annual 4-H State Congress held July 22-25 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta.

The students previously competed in and won first place in regional competitions to earn the right to travel to Atlanta for the state competition. There, Georgia 4-H’ers competed in a variety of categories ranging from history to horses and performing arts to public speaking. Each student gave a 12-minute presentation before expert judges and prepared portfolios detailing their research, leadership and service projects.

“State 4-H Congress is an opportunity for Georgia 4-H to honor winners in project work and special events during the program’s 110th year,” said Arch Smith, Georgia 4-H state leader and a former Warren County 4-H’er.“4-H continues to prepare tomorrow’s workforce by assisting young people in developing self-confidence and gaining leadership skills that will enable them to be tomorrow’s leaders.”

When asked, the majority of this year’s winners said 4-H helps them develop more out-going personalities, grow their leadership skills, become better public speakers and make lifelong friends.

“I have become a great public speaker. 4-H has taught me what it takes to be a better leader and how to create and accomplish my own personal goals. I used to be a shy, quiet girl and 4-H pulled me out of my shell and remodeled my personality into a fun, friendly, ambitious leader,” said Anna Sullivan of Ray City.

Devin DiMizio of Gainesville has 4-H to thank for some of his closest friendships. “4-H introduced me to some of my best friends. I'm so thankful to have been able to build friendships that I know will last a lifetime,” he said.

Students also learn to appreciate agriculture through Georgia 4-H. Faith Jones of Jesup says, “I now know where my food comes from and understand how hard it is to get it to my table.”

Because of his involvement in Georgia 4-H, Ezra Hall of Cartersville wants to become a county agent. “Before joining 4-H I was very shy and soft-spoken but through 4-H I was able to overcome being timid. I have become a great public speaker. Also, I plan on one day working in Extension as a 4-H agent and I dream of one day being the state 4-H leader. So 4-H has given me my career choice,” he said.

Georgia 4-H state competitors also said 4-H taught them life skills. “4-H has taught me very many important skills that I will need throughout my life. Being a member of 4-H has showed me how to be a better leader and how to take more pride in what I do, be more respectful, and to be responsible,” said Dustin Counts of Jesup.

“As a competitor at district project achievement and State 4-H Congress, I have not only grown to be comfortable speaking in front of a group of people, I have also grown to thoroughly enjoy it. I aspire to become a lawyer and a legislator in the Georgia General Assembly,” said Madison Rivers of Stockbridge.

This year's Georgia 4-H winners, projects and donors, listed by their home counties are:

BALDWIN

Elizabeth Savage of Eatonton won the public speaking category, which was sponsored by Kaleb McMichen, The Daniel Ashley and Irene Houston Jewell Memorial Foundation and Cydor USA, Inc. She is the daughter of Marvin and Rachel Noles.

BARTOW

Matthew Pryor of Euharlee won the communications category, which was sponsored by The Honorable Judge John Myers and the Georgia Volunteer Leaders Association. He is the son of Alan and Beth Pryor.

Kaitlyn Drexler of Rydal won the general recreation category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Recreation and Park Association, Inc. She is the daughter of Scott and Joann Drexler.

BEN HILL

Jonathan Tomberlin of Fitzgerald won the photography category, which was sponsored by GEORGIA Magazine. He is the son of John Tomberlin and Emma Tomberlin.

BERRIEN

Phillip Harris of Nashville won the science of engineering and mechanics category, which was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Mike Garrett. He is the son of Orlene Harris.

BLECKLEY

Hannah Moseley of Cochran won the veterinary science category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. She is the daughter of Terry and Laural Moseley.

COLUMBIA

Kate Phillips of Appling won the entomology category, which was sponsored by the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Department of Entomology and the Georgia Pest Control Association. She is the daughter of Charles and Carol Phillips.

CRISP

Lexie Joiner of Cordele won the food for fitness category, which was sponsored by the M.K. “Curly” Cook family in memory of Sandra B. Cook. She is the daughter of Joe and Tricia Joiner.

Caroline Harpe of Cordele won the performance arts – general category, which was sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation. She is the daughter of Cliff and Melanie Harpe.

Hannah French of Cordele won the performance arts – vocal category, which was sponsored by Dr. Frank Carter. She is the daughter of Dwayne French and Kim French.

Shelby Sangster of Pineview won the plant and soil science category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc. She is the daughter of Wayne and Cathy Sangster.

DOUGLAS

Rose Livingston of Lithia Springs won the flowers, shrubs and lawns category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Development Authority.

Claire Livingston of Lithia Springs won the textiles, merchandising and interiors category, which was sponsored by the Daniel Ashley and Irene Houston Jewell Memorial Foundation.

Rose and Claire are the daughters of Kevin and Debra Livingston.

EFFINGHAM

Sophie Usher of Clyo won the companion animals category, which was sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. William Sell and Mr. and Mrs. Terry England. She is the daughter of Tim and Holly Usher.

FORSYTH

Hannah Stalleberg of Cumming won the fashion revue category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Master 4-H Club. She is the daughter of Ralf and Barbie Stalleberg.

Aisvarya Panakam of Cumming won the health category, which was sponsored by Dr. Greg Jones. She is the daughter of Mohan and Preethy Panakam.

Noah Daugherty of Cumming won the forestry and wood science category, which was sponsored by Bill Lott, Paulding Timber Products, Inc. and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. He is the son of Charles and Pam Daugherty.

GORDON

Will McDaniel of Alpharetta won the beef category, which was sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Jim Williamson. He is the son of Dr. and Mrs. Burton McDaniel.

GWINNETT

Marissa Martin of Lawrenceville won the safety category, which was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Greg Gaines and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. 002B She is the daughter of Ty and Jean Martin. 1CC2

HARRIS

Hannah Morgan of West Point won the sheep and meat goats category, which was sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Jim Williamson. She is the daughter of Steve and Melanee Morgan.

HART

Anna Holcombe of Canon won the human development category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Association of Extension 4-H Agents. She is the daughter of Billy and Christy Holcombe.

Abby Harrison of Royston won the physical, biological and earth sciences category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Electric Membership Corporation. She is the daughter of Robert and Anna Marie Harrison.

Will Maxwell of Hartwell won the wildlife and marine science category, which was sponsored by Sara Godwin. He is the son of Brent and Holly Maxwell.

HOUSTON

Amelia Day won the arts and crafts category, which was sponsored by Marian Fisher and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. She is the daughter of Kenneth and Kellie Day.

IRWIN

Guy Hancock of Ocilla won the fruits, vegetables and nuts category, which was sponsored by the Meadows-Knox Family Fund. He is the son of John and Lori Hancock.

JENKINS

Tyler Wagner of Millen won the performance arts – other category, which was sponsored by Six Flags Over Georgia.

Austin Wagner of Millen won the sports category, which was sponsored by the Clover Glove Race Series.

Tyler and Austin are the sons of John and Dale Wagner.

JOHNSON

Kara Jordan of Wrightsville won the performance arts – dance category, which was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Burley Page. She is the daughter of Gregg and Lori Jordan.

Carley Stapleton of Wrightsville won the pork production category, which was sponsored by Arch Smith, April Baggs, Jeffrey Burke, Jared Crapps, Reese Simmons and the Georgia Pork Producers Association, Inc. She is the daughter of Stoney Stapleton and Heather Hightower.

LOWNDES

Michaela Fontaine of Lake Park won the family resource management category, which was sponsored by the Sarah L. Huff Fund. She is the daughter of Ed and Vickie Lubbers.

MORGAN

Jay Moon of Buckhead won the dairy and milk science category, which was sponsored by Angela Broder Nemeth, Mr. and Dr. Henry Hibbs and Frances McKissick. He is the son of Jim and Sylva Moon.

OCONEE

Nanki Udhwani of Athens won the housing equipment and environment category, which was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Bucky Cook. She is the daughter of Ishwarsingh Udhwani and Satinder Kaur Udhwani.

Hunter Jordan of Bogart won the outdoor recreation category, which was sponsored by Athens Six. He is the son of Gavin and Jenny Jordan.

OGLETHORPE

Emily Kate Bridges of Lexington won the dairy foods category, which was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Earl Barrs, Mr. and Mrs. Bob Reid and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. She is the daughter of Mark and Nancy Bridges.

PAULDING

Hannah Rull of Hiram won the festive foods for health category, which was sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities, Inc. She is the daughter of Eric and Tina Rull.

PICKENS

Andrew Haygood of Jasper won the horse category, which was sponsored by the Daniel Ashley and Irene Houston Jewell Memorial Foundation. He is the son of Jennifer Haygood.

PULASKI

Jannah Brown of Unadilla won the conservation of natural resources category, which was sponsored by Sara Godwin and the Daniel Ashley and Irene Houston Jewell Memorial Foundation. She is the daughter of Jeff and Joy Brown.

SEMINOLE

Aaron Rognstad of Donalsonville won the food fare category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Development Authority. He is the son of Steve and Reed Rognstad.

SPALDING

Turner Jordan of Griffin won the computer information technology category, which was sponsored by April Baggs, Jeffrey Burke, Jared Crapps and Reese Simmons. He is the son of Jeff and Laura Jordan.

Francisco Javier Zepeda of Griffin won the environmental science category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Cooperative Council, April Baggs, Jeffrey Burke, Jared Crapps and Reese Simmons. He is the son of Luis and Maria Zepeda.

Carrianna Simmons of Griffin won the performance arts – piano category, which was sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation. She is the daughter of Darwin Simmons and Wendy Sauley-Simmons.

TATTNALL

Anthony Catanzariti of Glennville won the history category, which was sponsored by Beth Scott-Brown and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. He is the son of James and Annie Teague.

THOMAS

Hope Nelson of Pavo won the dog care and training category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. She is the daughter of Floyd and Robin Nelson.

TIFT

Justin Harper of Chula won the poultry and egg science category, which was sponsored by the Georgia Poultry Federation. He is the son of Tim and Julie Harper.

UNION

Phillipe Jennings of Blairsville won the international category, which was sponsored by Eleanor Smith and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. He is the son of Timothy and Jamila Jennings.

Kolbe Nix of Blairsville won the target sports category, which was sponsored by the Family of Col. James “Jim” Boddie and the Callaway Foundation. He is the son of Brain and Kim Nix.

Madeline Walker of Blairsville won the food safety and preservation category, which was sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Gary Keve, April Baggs, Jeffrey Burke, Jared Crapps and Reese Simmons. She is the daughter of Russ Walker and Sherry Walker.

WALTON

Daniel Queen of Loganville won the workforce preparation and career development category, which was sponsored by Emerson Climate Technologies. He is the son of Johnny and Gwen Queen.

In addition to honoring state 4-H winners, Georgia 4-H recognized outstanding 4-H student-led service projects, professionals, friends, private donors and public officials for their contributions to the success of 4-H in Georgia.

Newly appointed Georgia 4-H Associate State Leader Craven Hudson experienced his first Georgia 4-H State Congress just days after coming to Georgia.

“Georgia 4-H State Congress has to be experienced in person to begin to understand the cumulative impact 4-H has in the lives of our 4-H'ers. These articulate, well-rounded young people are a testament to the sustained caring and guidance of parents, volunteer leaders and University of Georgia Extension professionals. Spend a week with these youth and your confidence in our nation’s future will rise,” Hudson said.

To learn more about Georgia 4-H, visit www.georgia4h.org.

(Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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