Georgia 4-H youth test their forestry knowledge at state field day

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Twenty-eight Georgia 4-H youth participated in the 2019 State Forestry Field Day held on Sept. 28, 2019, at Flinchum’s Phoenix, located in the University of Georgia Whitehall Forest in Athens, Georgia.

The Georgia 4-H Forestry program teaches youth to identify up to 70 Georgia tree species as well as common pests and diseases that impact those trees. The forest field day competition allows youth to test their science-based knowledge, critical thinking skills and skills with specialized forestry tools. Participants can be a part of a county team or compete individually in area and state forestry judging contests.

“Our volunteer coaches and county personnel who send teams to the state contest are really creative in teaching these skills in a way that is fun,” said Craven Hudson, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist. “While they all want to win, it is rewarding to see the camaraderie and sportsmanship displayed during the contest.”

The state contest consists of five stations: insect and disease identification, volume estimation, compass and pacing, tree identification and site evaluation. All county teams prepared for the state contest by competing in one of four Area Forestry Field Days held earlier in September. During the awards ceremony, the participants also received information from student ambassadors on opportunities with the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

Each county may bring up to 20 senior contestants, grades 9-12. The youth compete individually for high individual and as a team through the combination of the top county individuals. The first place Senior team winners will represent Georgia at the National 4-H Forestry Invitational in August 2020 at the Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Conference Center in Weston, West Virginia.

This year’s winners at the State Forestry Field Day are:

First place team: Coweta County - Jennifer Brinton, Bella Fisk, Alexa Hillebrand and Michael Whitlock

Second place team: Oconee County - Kalani Washington, Neely McCommons, Alicia Carnes and Alyssa Haag

Third place team: Bartow County - Bethany Craven, Gabriel Craven, Gus Federico and Sasha Morgan

Senior High Individual:  Oconee County - Kalani  Washington

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 175,000 people annually through the UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Extension office.

Cristina deRevere is the public relations coordinator for Georgia 4-H.
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