For 76 years, high school-aged Georgia 4-H’ers from across the state have gathered in the state capitol for state competition and recognition events. This year, the Georgia 4-H State Congress will be held July 23-26, at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia in Atlanta, Georgia.
State Congress allows 4-H’ers to meet with donors, elected government officials, University of Georgia administrators, National 4-H administrators and other Georgia 4-H advocates to celebrate their achievements throughout the year. The multiday event will recognize scholarship recipients and youth members who hold Georgia 4-H leadership positions. Special guests invited to meet and help recognize recipients include Rep. Matthew Wilson, Georgia House of Representatives, District 80; Jennifer Frum, University of Georgia vice president for Public Service and Outreach; Laura Perry Johnson, UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ associate dean for Extension; Christy Terrell, Georgia Power Northeast Region external affairs manager; Dennis Chastain, Georgia EMC president and CEO; Lindsay Bridges, Georgia EMC vice president and communications and member-services representative; and Gale Cutler, public relations director of Georgia EMC.
During State Congress, more than 200 youth compete at the Georgia 4-H Project Achievement state level, presenting various projects that often take a full year to prepare. Youth who participate in Project Achievement develop skills in leadership, public speaking, record keeping, creativity and other life skills. Some categories for Project Achievement include livestock, human development, performing arts, communication, engineering, and workforce preparation and career development. All Project Achievement winners receive Master 4-H’er status and some go on to compete on the national level. This year, national competitions will be held Nov. 29 through Dec. 3, 2019, in Atlanta. During State Congress, youth will attend educational tours to the newsroom of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the High Museum of Art, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and other Atlanta attractions related to Project Achievement categories.
“State Congress is a special event to reward students who put in hours of commitment towards their projects,” said Jeffrey Burke, State 4-H Events and Programs Coordinator. “It is very important that we recognize their hard work as they go on to represent the state of Georgia and compete on a national level.”
State winners will be announced during State Congress at the Crystal Pistol Music Hall at Six Flags Over Georgia on Wednesday evening. While there, Georgia 4-H’ers will enjoy the thrills of roller coasters and other theme park activities.
During the annual banquet on Thursday, Georgia EMC representatives will present the William H. Booth Award to recognize a UGA Cooperative Extension 4-H agent for their commitment and hard work. Those who actively serve and support Georgia 4-H on a statewide level will also be honored with the Green Jacket Award, one of the organization’s highest honors. Some previous Green Jacket Award honorees include Sen. Jack Hill (2018), Commissioner Gary Black (2017), Rep. Tom McCall (2016), and Paul Wood (2015).
To see live streams of the banquets, please visit georgia4h.org/streaming.
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 the UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local UGA Extension office.