Kyle Dean, Host: And it is time for our UGA Tifton Farm Chat. We let you know what’s going on in the world of agriculture. It’s Southwest District 4-H Wednesday and joining us in studio are some Tift County 4-Hers, also their leaders Ashley Davis and Miles Drummond. Guys, good morning to you. How are you?
Group: Doing good.
Kyle Dean, Host: First off, tell us 4-H’ers who you are, where you go to school, who your parents are, all that good stuff. Anna, you want to start?
Anna Johnson, 4-H member: Sure. I am Anna Johnson. I am a Junior at Tift County High School and my parents are Carol and Jim Johnson.
Conner Dunn, 4-H member: I’m Conner Dunn, a Senior at Colquitt County High School and my parents are Jim and Patty Dunn.
Miles McDonald, 4-H member: I’m Miles McDonald and I’m a Sophomore at Tift Area Academy.
Ben Branch, 4-H member: I’m Ben Branch. I’m in the 9th grade, homeschooled and my parents are Benny and Dena Branch.
Kyle Dean, Host: So you’ve got four folks from across the gamut when it comes to schooling including Conner who goes to Moultrie. We won’t hold that against him, though. (laughter)
Alright, first question. You guys are just coming off a big consumer judging championship. Tell us first off, what is Consumer Judging? What is that?
Anna Johnson, 4-H member: Well, Consumer Judging is this 4-H competition where every year we learn about four different types of products such as this year, we learned about backpacks, mutual funds, pizzas and cotton pants. And once we gather all that information, we are then able to look a scenario and place four of those items from best to worst to fit the scenario.
Kyle Dean, Host: Awesome. And how many teams competed in this year’s competition?
Miles McDonald, 4-H member: There were 12 teams competing at the state Consumer Judging Competition this year.
Kyle Dean, Host: So, okay, you guys move from the district competition to the state competition. How does that process work?
Ben Branch, 4-H member: Well, we start practice in the fall. We have an area competition and there are four or five different area competitions in the State of Georgia. The top two teams from the area competition get to compete in Rock Eagle at the state competition.
Kyle Dean, Host: Alright Conner, so what did you learn with this experience.
Conner Dunn, 4-H member: Well, personally, participating in Cotton Bowl has helped me improve in leaps and bounds in my ability to think and speak in an extemporaneous setting and it’s taught me also how to apply objective logic to a largely or generally subjective situation.
Kyle Dean, Host: Alright, so you guys have won the 4-H deal, the state competition. What else do you guys do in 4-H? Obviously, you are probably involved in other things. There are other opportunities in 4-H. What else are you involved in?
Anna Johnson, 4-H member: Well, me and Connor, last year we won the state competition in Poultry Judging and we just got back in November from the national competition in Louisville. And we were fortunate enough to win that. I also competed in the Project Achievement competition in the Forestry and Wood Science project. But last year I also won state in that, so I am done with that competition. I think that is…I also do some work in community service with 4-H and I’m on County Council.
Kyle Dean, Host: Awesome. Conner?
Conner Dunn, 4-H member: Like Anna said, I also competed in Project Achievement. I mastered this past year or won at state in the Physical, Biological and Earth Sciences project and in addition to that, I’ve been on district and state board and am active in County Council. I’m a team leader. That’s pretty much the extent of my 4-H career.
Kyle Dean, Host: Alright. Miles?
Miles McDonald, 4-H member: This has been around my fifth year in 4-H. I’ve competed in shooting sports with the BB Team this year, the past four years. This year I’m on the Air Pistol Team. I also competed in Project Achievement in the Family Resource Management category.
Kyle Dean, Host: And Ben?
Ben Branch, 4-H member: Like Miles, I’m also on the Air Pistol Team and really active in the shooting sports since 5th grade. I’m doing DPA this year in the Communications Project area. I helped out with the lock-in that we had. I was the team leader. I did Dairy Quiz Bowl recently. We just went to that at state competition.
Kyle Dean, Host: Awesome. So, the state competition is over, nationals are coming up. What’s next? What’s on the horizon?
Miles McDonald, 4-H member: We’re going to Denver, Colorado, in 2013, in January for the national competition where we have a year to start fundraising. That’s why they give us such a long period of time between the December of the previous year and (voice faded).
Kyle Dean, Host: Awesome. What other camps are you guys attending? Let’s bring Miles Drummond in here, one of the Program Assistants at the Tift County 4-H Department. What other camps are you guys going to be attending this summer?
Miles Drummond, Tift County 4-H Program Assistant: Yes, we’re really proud of our 4-H’ers. You can see they’ve done a lot, our older kids. But it really starts in the 5th and 6th. So we have an awesome opportunity for our 5th and 6th grade 4-H’ers coming up.
This year we are going to Camp Rock Eagle. Rock Eagle 4-H Center is the largest camp, not only in the State of Georgia, but it’s the largest 4-H Center and camp in all of America and in all of the world. So it’s an amazing amazing opportunity for our 5th and 6th graders. So, if they all go to the meetings, we’ll give them all that information. They can do everything from the zip line to canoeing. They learn about snakes. They can take a lot of classes. It’s a weeklong trip. It’s just a really, really fun time with a lot of different 4-H’ers they get to meet across the state.
Kyle Dean, Host: And you have a new boss as well.
Miles Drummond, Tift County 4-H Program Assistant: I know. She’s a great boss and she’s here with me and her name is Ashley Davis, so Ashley if you want to introduce yourself?
Kyle Dean, Host: Ashley, it’s good to have you here. Tell us a little bit about your background, how you got involved. Were you in 4-H as a kid growing up and decided to get in to it or not and just found a great job to be in.
Ashley Davis, Tift County 4-H Agent: It is a great job to be in, but I, too, was a 4-H’er growing up. I grew up in Mitchell County. I was not as fortunate to win a national competition like Tift County, but I was very active in livestock and in Project Achievement. And I’m so thankful to be here in Tift County. It’s such a prestigious 4-H community. The support from the community and the support from everyone in the Southwest District, I’m just very thankful to be here and I look forward to working many years with Tift County and I’m really excited about going to camp this summer, the first time as an agent so I’m excited.
Kyle Dean, Host: Tift County, you talked about the prestigiousness of this program, there’s a lot of kids. How many kids roughly are in the program? Do you have a rough count of how many are in there or you know it’s a lot. (laughter)
Miles Drummond, Tift County 4-H Program Assistant: It’s a ton of kids because we work with 5th through 12th graders and so we go to those schools every month. I think if you talk to a lot of kids you’ll figure out that they’ve been involved in 4-H in some way, maybe it going to school meetings, or competing, but I think if you talk to a good portion of Tift County kids, they definitely know what 4-H is.
Kyle Dean, Host: Actually, Miles, I appreciate you guys leadership. Miles you were kind of the ring leader of this clan here and maybe we can bring back another national championship in one year and you guys are fundraising to try to make this trip possible.
Miles Drummond, Tift County 4-H Program Assistant: It’s a great trip. Like Miles McDonald mentioned, it’s in 2013 so we’re currently gathering money so we can go and have a really great time in Denver and hopefully bring back another national champion for Tift County.
Kyle Dean, Host: And Ashley, welcome to Tifton, welcome to the community and hope you have a long number of years and make this 4-H Program even more successful. It’s hard to say that because you’ve got some big shoes to step into, but we’re looking forward to seeing what kind of leadership you provide in the future.
Ashley Davis, Tift County 4-H Agent: Thank you.
Kyle Dean, Host: Alright guys, say one final good bye. (Group: Good bye! laughter). The Tift County 4-H Program, they’re going to be headed to Denver, Colorado in a year, that would be January 2013 and we thank them for coming by.
Back after this on WTIF.