University of Georgia
Two hundred forty-five Georgia 4-H’ers gathered July 22-25 at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta to compete in the 66th annual Georgia 4-H Congress. At the end of the week, 48 returned home with first place honors.
“These students represent the best of the best of Georgia 4-H,” said Roger “Bo” Ryles, director of the Georgia 4-H program. “Only those students who are the most prepared and dedicated to hard work advance from district competition to state competition.”
In order to compete on the state level, a 4-H’er must first exceed at district competition.
At state congress, the 4-H members gave 12-minute demonstrations and prepared portfolios of their research and service in 49 project areas such as public speaking, history, wildlife and human development. Expert judges evaluated their work and interviewed them on their presentations and portfolios.
Those who earned first place honors will go on to compete against 4-H’ers from across the nation this November in Atlanta.
This year's winners, projects and donors, listed by their home counties, are:
BEN HILL — Jenna Gilleland, 15, daughter of Jeri and Frank Gilleland of Fitzgerald, won in communications, sponsored by Sandra Spradley and the Georgia 4-H Volunteer Leaders Association.
BLECKLEY — Christin Taylor won in family resource management, sponsored by Katrina Bowers and the Sarah L. Huff Fund.
CARROLL — Katie Comer won in human development, sponsored by Jeff Christie and Georgia GAE4-HA.
CHARLTON — Hillary Thornton, 17, daughter of John and Elaine Thornton of Folkston, won in public speaking, sponsored by Mary Kiley of the Farm Credit Association of Georgia.
Andy Smith, 18, son of Teresa and Rickey Smith of Folkston, won in history, sponsored by Arch Smith, Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
CHATTOOGA — Matt Hicks, 18, son of Mike and Gaylee Hicks of Summerville, won in housing, equipment and environment, sponsored by Bucky Cook.
COWETA — Allison Gordy, 16, daughter of Donna and Randall Gordy of Sharpsburg, won in forest resources and wood science, sponsored by Bill Lott, Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Emilee Brinton won in veterinary science, sponsored by Janice Hayes and the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.
EFFINGHAM — Matthew Rahn, 16, son of Parker and Linda Rahn of Rincon, won in safety, sponsored by Kirby Thompson, the Georgia 4-H Foundation, Lindsey Thomas and AGL Resources Inc.
EMANUEL — Hannah Bowen, 15, daughter of Sam and Jennifer Bowen of Garfield, won in flowers, shrubs and lawns, sponsored by David Skinner and Georgia Development.
Whitney Bush, 18, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Bush of Swainsboro, won in performing arts-vocal, sponsored by Melinda Ashcraft and Six Flags White Water.
Kat Thompson, 15, daughter of Kathy and Herman Thompson of Swainsboro, won in companion animals, sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Bill Sell, Dr. Henry Wall, Monroe Veterinary Clinic Inc., Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
EVANS — Taylor Smith, 17, son of Lamar and Edie Smith of Reidsville, won in wildlife and marine science, sponsored by Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
FORSYTH — Mary Singleton, 16, daughter of Frank and Phyllis Singleton of Cumming, won in festive foods for health, sponsored by Carol Barnett and Publix Super Markets Charities.
GRADY — Justin Womble, 16, son of Gene and Jenifer Womble of Cairo, won in health, sponsored by Ellinore Nicholson, Mr. and Mrs. Lamar Martin, Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
GREENE — Tristan Dunn, 17, son of Victor and Tracy Dunn of Greensboro, won in food fare, sponsored by David Skinner and Georgia Development.
GWINNETT — Jayla Freeman, 17, daughter of Darla Freeman of Lawrenceville, won in sports, sponsored by Melinda Ashcraft of Six Flags White Water.
Grace McCurry, daughter of Sharon and Kurt Hansen of Loganville, won in dog care and training, sponsored by Janice Hayes and the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association.
HARRIS — Kevin Roberts, 20, son of Tracee and Don Roberts of Pine Mountain, won in computers, sponsored by Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Katelyn Pawlowki, 15, daughter of Lisa and Brian Pawlowski of Midland, won in performing arts-dance, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Burley Page.
HENRY — Josh Payne, 18, son of Sue Payne of Stockbridge, won in dairy foods, sponsored by Marcia Crowley and the Agricultural Commodity Commission for Milk.
Franklin Duke, 16, son of Karan Duke of Stockbridge, won in performing arts-general, sponsored by Melinda Ashcraft of Six Flags White Water.
IRWIN — Justin Sutton, 18, son of Jenny Sutton of Chula, won in conservation of natural resources, sponsored by Brian Skeens of the Georgia Water Wise Council.
LOWNDES — Ashleigh Stevens, 17, daughter of Terri and Dan Stevens of Valdosta, won in arts and crafts, sponsored by Marian S. Fisher, Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
LUMPKIN — David Morris won in physical, biological and earth sciences, sponsored by Paul Wood and Georgia EMC.
MORGAN — Sarah Wibell, 16, daughter of Peter and Karen Wibell of Madison, won in target sports, sponsored by Speer Burdette of the Callaway Foundation and Catherine Boddie Linz.
OCONEE — Drew Bowers, 17, son of Katrina and Andy Bowers of Watkinsville, won in outdoor recreation, sponsored by Melinda Ashcraft and Six Flags White Water.
Josh Daniel, 16, son of Mike and Elyse Daniel of Bogart, won in pork production, sponsored by Charles Griffin of the Georgia Pork Producers Association.
Abby Anderson, 18, daughter of Chris Anderson of Watkinsville, won in general recreation, sponsored by Jimmy Gisi and the Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Inc.
PICKENS — Rachel Wiggington, 16, daughter of Earlene and Edwin Wigginton of Jasper, won in fruits, vegetables and nuts, sponsored by Dot Knox and Meadows-Knox Family Fund.
P.J. Wilkie, 18, son of Phil and Leslie Wilkie of Jasper, won in food safety and preservation, sponsored by Rhonda and Gary Keve.
POLK — Jasmine Williams, 18, daughter of Dora and Lee Williams of Aragon, won in fashion revue, sponsored by Sherrie Carlson of the Georgia Master 4-H Club.
PUTNAM — Kari Crandall, 17, daughter of Joan Parker, won in dairy and milk sciences, sponsored by Angela Broder Nemeth and Marcia Crowley of the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
ROCKDALE — Jordan Alexander won in plant and soil science, sponsored by Jimmy Champion and the Georgia Plant Food Educational Society Inc.
SEMINOLE — Zenobia Williams, 18, daughter of Audrey Williams of Donalsonville, won in photography, sponsored by Ann Orowski of Georgia Magazine and Jim and Barbara Smith.
SPALDING — Morgan Kelley, 18, daughter of John and Lisa Kelley of Griffin, won in poultry and egg science, sponsored by Richard Jamison and Richard Rateau of Perdue Farms and Abit Massey of the Georgia Poultry Foundation.
TAYLOR — Brent Hamilton, 17, son of Judy Hamilton of Byron, won in entomology, sponsored by Valera Jessee of the Georgia Pest Control Association and Keith Delaplane of the University of Georgia’s entomology department.
Stephen Payne, 16, son of Nancy Payne of Butler, won in performing arts-other instrumental, sponsored by Melinda Ashcraft of Six Flags White Water.
THOMAS — Blake Williams, son of Brett and Angie Williams of Thomasville, won in power and energy, sponsored by Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
TIFT — Jack Branch, 16, son of Tim and Judy Branch of Tifton, won in environmental science, sponsored by Dick Shermerhorn and the Georgia Cooperative Council Inc.
Michael Luo, 17, son of Meng Luo and Longmei Li of Tifton, won in international, sponsored by Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Tiffany Suggs, 15, daughter of Timothy and Margaret Suggs of Tifton, won in textiles, merchandising and interiors, sponsored by Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
TURNER — Hunter Brock, 17, son of Brinson and Ginger Brock of Ashburn, won in workforce preparation and career development, sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
UNION — Sara Bottinelli, 16, daughter of Susan and Michael Bottinelli of Blairsville, won in horse, sponsored by Kirby Thompson and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.
Melissa Lance, 17, daughter of Janice and Bobby Lance of Blairsville, won in beef, sponsored by Dr. Jim and Renee Williamson and Terry England of the Homeport Farm Mart.
WALTON — Chasmine Harris, 18, daughter of Cherisa Ballard of Monroe, won in food fast and healthy, sponsored by M.K. “Curly” Cook.
WARE — Haley Thigpen, 17, daughter of Cindy and Steve Parker of Waycross, won in sheep and meat goats, sponsored by Dr. Jim and Renee Williamson.
WILKES — Christina Albertson, 16, daughter of Steven and Daphne Albertson of Washington, won in performing arts-piano, sponsored by Melinda Ashcraft and Six Flags White Water.
(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)