Published on 07/28/11

Master 4-H'ers named at Georgia State 4-H Congress

By Sharon Dowdy

Some 175 Georgia 4-H’ers met in Atlanta July 19-22 to vie for 48 coveted Master 4-H’er titles, the youth organization’s highest honor.

Students across the state competed in a variety of categories from photography to public speaking and communications to companion animal science. They gave 12-minute demonstrations and prepared portfolios of their research and service project areas. Expert judges evaluated their work and interviewed them.

“We had a wonderful week with young people competing for master 4-H status. We've been entertained by 4-H'ers, inspired by 4-H'ers, and we know the future is bright with 4-H,” said Arch Smith, Georgia state 4-H leader. “For all these children, it's been a between five- to eight-year journey. They've been looking forward to state competition for a while. And now some have won, and some didn't win. But for all of them, they now have a set of life skills that will be with them for years to come.”

When polled, the majority of this year’s winners credited 4-H for building their public speaking, confidence and leadership skills.

“I can take the leadership skills that I gain in 4-H and use them in non-4-H related events,” said newly named Master 4-H’er Matthew Pace. “I can use my public speaking skills to communicate with others, and I believe 4-H has shaped and molded me into the person I am today.”

This year's winners, projects and donors, listed by their home counties are:


Mary-Clayton Gilbert, daughter of Dr. Tom and Regina Gilbert of Cartersville, won in performing arts – vocal, sponsored by Six Flags/White Water.


Charity Greene, daughter of Carl and Sophie Greene of Statesboro, won in target sports, sponsored by Mr. Speer Burdette (Callaway Foundation) and Ms. Catherine Boddie Linz.


Sarah Hicks, daughter of Ty and Laura Hicks of Jackson, won in history, sponsored by Mr. Arch Smith and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.

Morgan Hutcheson, daughter of Randy and Alison Hutcheson of Jackson, won in performing arts – general, sponsored by Six Flags/White Water.


Marlena Collins, daughter of Marty and Diana Collins of Edison, won in performing arts – dance, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Burley Page.


Brittany Spaid, daughter of David and Pat Spaid of Metter, won in sheep and meat goats, sponsored by Dr. Jim and Renee Williamson.

Marcie Franklin, daughter of Brad and Angie Franklin of Metter, won in sports, sponsored by White Water.


Kevin Morris, son of Mark and Martha Morris of Savannah, won in conservation of natural resources, sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation.


Matthew Pace, son of Wayne and Kari Pace of Lyerly, won in beef, sponsored by Dr. Jim and Renee Williamson.


Samantha Price, daughter of Billy Ray and Maureen Price of Moultrie, won in food safety and preservation, sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Gary Keve.


Steven Waldrop, son of Michele Waldrop of Newnan, won in arts and crafts, sponsored by Mr. Marian S. Fisher and the Georgia 4-H Foundation. Jesse Robertson, daughter of Tony and Martha Robertson of Newnan, won in poultry and egg science, sponsored by Perdue Farms and the Georgia Poultry Federation.


Danielle Paulk, daughter of Schel and Terri Paulk of Guyton, won in performing arts – piano, sponsored by Six Flags/White Water.


Shoya Collins, daughter of Jessie and Sandra Collins of Claxton, won in computers, sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation.


Morgan Smith, son of Donn and Marcia Smith of Silver Creek, won in dairy foods, sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation.


Kelli Mitchell, daughter of Lorraine and Randy Mitchell of Cumming, won in environmental science, sponsored by Mrs. Gale Cutler (Georgia Cooperative Council, Inc.).

Laura Turner, daughter of Paul and Lisa Turner of Cumming, won in fashion revue, sponsored by the Georgia Master 4-H Club.


Sterling Hendon, son of Deno and Debra Hendon of Lilburn, won in housing and environment, sponsored by Mr. Bucky Cook.


Sydney Roach, daughter of Kim Reignier of Flowery Branch, won in international, sponsored by Equifax.


Eve Dennis, daughter of Mitch and Tina Dennis of Buchanan, won in festive foods for health, sponsored by Publix Super Market Charities.


Rachel Rice, daughter of Charles Rice of Hartwell, won in plant and soil science, sponsored by the Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc.

Wilson Pierce, son of Mike and Linda Pierce of Hartwell, won in pork production, sponsored by the Georgia Pork Producers Association and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.


Hannah Brown, son of Marcus Brown and Tracy Guage of McDonough, won in entomology, sponsored by Georgia Pest Control Association and the University of Georgia Entomology Department.

Danny Dorminy, son of John and Ann Dorminy of McDonough, won in power and energy, sponsored by Mr. Mike and Ms. Karen Garrett.


Ella Sims, daughter of Bill and Catherine Sims of Commerce, won in companion animal science, sponsored by Dr. and Mrs. Bill Sell, Mr. and Mrs. Terry England (The Homeport Farm Mart) and Mr. and Mrs. Greg Price.


Lavonte Lovette, son of Burman and LaSwan Spells of Millen, won in food fast and fit, sponsored by Dr. M. K. Cook.


Zach Allen, son of Jody and Christie Allen of Valdosta, won in communications, sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Volunteer Leader Association.


Melody Harper, daughter of Tom and Lynnette Harper of Pelham, won in photography, sponsored by Georgia Magazine and Mr. Jim and Ms. Barbara Smith.


Tess Hammock, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Randall Hammock of Forsyth, won in public speaking, sponsored by Farm Credit Associations of Georgia and Mr. Kaleb McMichen.


Victoria Cagle, daughter of Jim and Shannon Cagle of Newborn, won in dairy and milk science, sponsored by the Georgia 4-H Foundation.


Allison Barnes, daughter of Chuck and Lindsey Barnes of Watkinsville, won in family resource management sponsored by Ms. Katrina Bowers (Sarah L. Huff Fund). Savannah Lockman, daughter of Joe Lockman and Nanci Nix of Watkinsville, won in health, sponsored by Ms. Ellinore Nicholson.

Bennett Guthrie, son of Larry and Rae Guthrie of Athens, won in outdoor recreation, sponsored by Six Flags/White Water.

Kayla Bannister, daughter of Laura Bannister of Watkinsville, won in safety, sponsored by Mr. Kirby Thompson (Georgia 4-H Foundation).

Heidi Schroeder, daughter of Robert and Anna Marie Harrison of Watkinsville, won in textiles, merchandising and interiors, sponsored by Mr. Kirby Thompson (Georgia 4-H Foundation).


Justin Fellenbaum, son of Jenny Fellenbaum of Ball Ground, won in fruits, vegetables and nuts, sponsored by Ms. Dot Knox (Meadows-Knox Family Fund). Crystal Buckingham, daughter of Rodney and Traci Buckingham of Jasper, won in human development, sponsored by Mr. Al Parker (GAE4-HA).


Chris Kimbrell, son of Casey and Tammy Kimbrell of Mershon, won in veterinary science, sponsored by Ms. Clare B. Reagan (Georgia Veterinary Medical Association) and Ms. Brenda Bullard (Georgia Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary).


Morgan Bowen, daughter of Eric and April Bowen of Americus, won in general recreation, sponsored by Mr. Jimmy Gisi (Georgia Recreation and Parks Association, Inc.).

Matthew Bowen, son of Eric and April Bowen of Americus, won in wildlife and marine science, sponsored by Mr. Kirby Thompson (Georgia 4-H Foundation).


Will Jones, son of Joni Jones of Butler, won in performing arts – other, sponsored by Six Flags/White Water.


Anna Johnson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Johnson of Tifton, won in forestry/wood science, sponsored by Mr. Bill Lott, Paulding Timber Products, Inc. and the Georgia 4-H Foundation.

Conor Dunn, son of Jim and Patty Dunn of Omega, won in physical, biological and earth sciences, sponsored by Mr. Jimmy Champion, Georgia Plant Food Educational Society, Inc.


Sunnie Wynn, daughter of Henry and Carol Wynn of Pavo, won in horse, sponsored by Mr. Kirby Thompson (Georgia 4-H Foundation).


Jessica Bell, daughter of Tim and Linda Bell of Sycamore, won in flowers shrubs and lawns, sponsored by Mr. David Skinner (Georgia Development Authority).


Kristin Phillips, daughter of Neal and Robin Phillips of Loganville, won in dog care and training, sponsored by Ms. Clare B. Reagan (Georgia Veterinary Medical Association).

Maggie Polson, daughter of Mark Polson and Leanne Davis of Monroe, won in food fare, sponsored by Mr. David Skinner (Georgia Development Authority).


Amanda Wood, daughter of Brian and Joy Wood of Washington, won in workforce preparation and career development, sponsored by Mr. Bob Anderson (Emerson Climate Technologies).

To learn more about Georgia 4-H, visit

Sharon Dowdy is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

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