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Georgia 4-H youth test wildlife knowledge at state competition

By for CAES News

Sixty 4-H youth participated in the 2019 Georgia 4-H Wildlife Judging Contest hosted by Georgia 4-H and the Farm Credit Associations of Georgia on Oct. 26 at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the University of Georgia Whitehall Forest in Athens, Georgia.

The Georgia 4-H Wildlife Judging Contest follows guidelines established in the National 4-H Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) manual, which identifies 14 ecoregions and a set of species for each ecoregion. It also identifies two special area considerations within each ecoregion: urban and wetlands.

Based on the National 4-H WHEP Contest, the Georgia 4-H Wildlife Judging Contest covers 19 species in the Southeast Mixed and Outer Coastal Plain Forest ecoregions. The contest offers youth the chance to build critical thinking skills, strengthen science-based education and develop life skills through wildlife management.

The state contest consists of wildlife identification, general wildlife knowledge, site evaluation, management plans and an oral defense. Each county may bring up to 20 senior contestants from ninth through 12th grades and 20 junior contests from fifth through eighth grades. The youth compete individually for high individual and as a team through the combination of the top county individuals.

The first place senior team will represent Georgia at the National WHEP Contest in summer 2020, as well as receive Georgia Master 4-H’er status and be honored at Georgia State 4-H Congress in July in Atlanta, Ga.

This year’s winners of the Georgia contest are:

Senior Teams

First place team: Daphne Crawford, Samantha David, August Pearson and Davis Slate – Clarke County

Second place team: Clayton Adams, Alyssa Goldman, Tyler Guest and Danielle Wooten – Madison County

Third place team: Haylee Collins, Jacob Hayes and Elyce Wages – Spalding County

Senior High Individual: Salih El-Gayyar – Fayette County

Junior Teams

First place team: Georgia Kane, Braydon Waldroup and Brooklyn Waldroup – Madison County

Second place team: Benjamin Agnew, Rebekah Crosby, Justin Denton and Chance Hutchens – Bleckley County

Third place team: Alissa Chilton, Justin Cummings, Natty Fallin and Finn Keough – Forsyth County

Certified wildlife judging coaches, UGA Cooperative Extension agents and staff, UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources wildlife specialists, UGA Collegiate 4-H’ers and other volunteers contribute to the success of the competition.

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 UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Extension office at 1-800-ASK-UGA1.

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