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Georgia 4-H youth participate in state land judging competition

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Soil health is a critical component of agriculture and the environment, and Georgia 4-H is committed to training the next generation to be good stewards of these natural resources.

More than 25 youth participated at the 2020 Georgia 4-H state land judging contest at the Research and Education Gardens on the University of Georgia Griffin campus on Aug. 29. 

The program offers youth the chance to build critical thinking, science-based education and life skills in soil science. The youth analyze soils from north and south Georgia in pits and trays at four different stations. At each station, youth must identify soil characteristics as well as identify crop rotation and utilization for that soil.

"It was great to hold our state contest in person after so many months of separation due to the pandemic," said Craven Hudson, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist. "Coaches did their best to prepare youth with limited practice. The youth enjoyed being together again, and they did a fine job in the contest."

The contest consists of two competition brackets. The junior competition is for youth in grades four through eight, and the senior competition is for grades nine through 12. A county may bring up to 20 youth in up to three teams. The youth compete individually for the high individual spot. The top individual scores from a county represent the county team score. The first place Senior team winners will represent Georgia at the 2021 National Land Judging Contest in Oklahoma in May.

Senior Division Winners

  • First place team: Alyssa Haag, Robie Lucas, Alicia Carnes and Kalani Washington – Oconee County
  • Second place team: Emily Dick, Parker Arrington, Madison Dyar and Anthea Shelton – Coweta County
  • Third place team: Grey Cummins, Cailyn Craycraft, Ruthie Nash and Garston Townsend– Wilkes County
  • Senior High Individual: Parker Arrington – Coweta County

Junior Division Winners

  • First place team: Braden-James Hill, Eli Santamarina, Addison Hill and Cooper Duncan – Coweta County
  • Second place team: Hailey Hamblin, Maelee Hamblin and Zoey Parks – Jasper County
  • Third place team: Carrigan Bridges, Meg Mathis, Charles Fowler and Jolie Grand – Seminole County
  • Senior High Individual: Braden-James Hill – Coweta County 

The Land Judging Program is growing, as newly certified coaches led teams in many counties for the first time. This event was made possible with the help of coaches, 4-H Extension staff, UGA soil science student volunteers and community volunteers.

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 242,000 people annually through 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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