Decatur County 4-H Delegates Compete at State 4-H Congress

L-R is Corbin Austin, Branch Austinson and Journey Austinson.

During the week of July 24-27, 2018, several Decatur County 4-H’ers traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to participate in the prestigious 76th Annual State 4-H Congress. Competing for state honors in 4-H Project Achievement were Journey Austinson (Food Safety and Preservation), Corbin Austin (Engineering and Mechanics) and Branch Austinson (Outdoor Recreation). These students selected an area of study, participated in service and leadership events, shared knowledge of their project area, prepared a five page record of their work and gave an oral presentation before judges at their respective District Project Achievement (DPA). Over 350 district first place winners from 95 counties in Georgia contended to receive Master 4-H honors at the state competition.

Georgia 4-H Congress is the premiere competitive and recognition event for high school age Georgia 4-H’ers. It symbolizes the end of a year of hard work and dedication by Georgia 4-H youth. Coordinated by the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Cooperative Extension Georgia 4-H program, the 4-H Congress is financially supported by donors and contributors to the Georgia 4-H Foundation.

The event began with the Opening Assembly on Tuesday afternoon during which Miller Hayes was recognized for being awarded the Loyd Poitevint Scholarship. Project competitions took place on Wednesday, July 25th. Corbin, Journey and Branch each delivered twelve-minute speech presentations on their respective projects and answered the questions of expert judges. The 4-H’ers also met with interviewers to discuss their year-long portfolios detailing their project work, leadership and service activities. Categories in this competition range from Environmental Sciences to Performing Arts Vocal from Wildlife and Marine Sciences to Family Resource Management. The announcement of winners was held in an energetic program at Six Flags over Georgia on Wednesday evening. Branch Austinson received 2nd place honors. Corbin Austin placed 4th in the state and Journey Austinson received 1st place qualifying her as a “Master 4-H’er.”

The Annual Banquet on Thursday, July 26th began with the Parade of Winners. Forty-eight project winners and more than 80 special events (evaluation and other competitive events) winners entered the banquet room filled with over 800 youth, donors and administrators present for the banquet. During the meal, Special Events winners who had placed first in state competitions during the 2017-18 year were recognized for their work. Special events are 4-H competitive events that include evaluation or judging programs, horse and livestock shows, shooting sports competition, quiz bowl contests and other programs. In addition, several special awards were presented including the Green Jacket Award, the GAE4HA Friend of 4-H Award and the William H. Booth Award.

Other Congress activities included educational tours within the Atlanta area, interaction with 4-H donors and UGA administrators, a reception for high school seniors and opportunities for youth to interact with 4-H’ers from all over the state. These Congress delegates come from all corners of Georgia, and the opportunity to meet and spend time in Georgia’s capital is a unique experience for many competitors.

For more information about this or any 4-H activity, contact Lindsey B. Hayes or Teresa Adkins at the Decatur County Extension Office 248-3033 or email linsbell@uga.edu.

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