Published on 08/01/20

Elements of State 4-H Congress continued online, new Master 4-H'ers announced

By Cristina Luisa deRevere

Georgia 4-H hosted a virtual series to announce and honor youth winners in replacement of its annual State 4-H Congress, normally a weeklong competition and celebration in Atlanta. The online series allowed Georgia 4-H to announce all the winners live, similar to the in-person festivities which have been held annually since 1942.

During the 2019 State Congress, more than 250 youth competed at the state level of Georgia 4-H’s Project Achievement contest. The event also honored state special event winners, scholarship winners and donors. The purpose of this event is to celebrate the Georgia 4-H youth for their project work, leadership and service.

“Our top priority for the culmination of this year’s Project Achievement program was to find a way for the youth to compete for the state title of ‘Master 4-H’er’ while observing safety precautions,” said Keri Hobbs, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist. “Pivoting the statewide competition to a virtual format was necessary for youth to continue to sharpen their skills and for us to name state project winners. Key alterations were that presentations were recorded for judges to evaluate through videos and portfolio, and interview judges joined youth online for virtual interviews.”

This year, all the essential components from State 4-H Council and Congress were combined into the Georgia 4-H 2020 State Achievement Series. The five-day series included the campaigns and election of new state officers, state-level competitions and announcements of winners in Leadership in Action and Project Achievement.

The Leadership in Action program is designed to recognize the work of 4-H’ers as leaders in their communities. These 4-H’ers have identified issues or needs in their community and have developed and implemented ways to make a difference. Eight finalists were selected to compete on the state level. The 2020-21 4-H Leadership in Action winners who received Master 4-H’er status are Amelia Sale from Oconee County, for her project focused on connecting youth with special needs and 4-H, and Nicholas McKinley of Paulding County, for his project focused on STEM and its human connection.

Nearly 250 youth competing in the state-level Senior Project Achievement were permitted to submit 10- to 12-minute presentations in their various project areas online. Participants also conducted a video interview with judges to discuss their yearlong project. Overall, one winner in each of the 50 project categories was selected as the winner and received Master 4-H’er status during the announcement of winners on July 24.

The 2020-21 4-H Project Achievement winners are:

Arts and Crafts - Juliette McKinley, Paulding County
Beef - Tyler Hunter, Bulloch County
Communications - Andy Martin, Emanuel County
Companion and Specialty Animals - Savannah Hockenberry, Richmond County
Computer Information Technology - Kennedy Deveaux, Cobb County
Dairy - Morgan Patterson, Jasper County
Dog Care and Training - Sara Reed, Coweta County
Engineering and Mechanics - Elyce Wages, Spalding County
Entomology - Kelly Lachowsky, Liberty County
Environmental Science - Jordan Daniels, Tift County
Fashion Revue - Minnes Smith, Polk County
Financial Planning and Consumer Economics - Aquemini Trotter, Ben Hill County
Flowers, Shrubs, and Lawns - Annie Stephenson, Oconee County
Food for Fitness - Zoe Jane Powell, Stephens County
Food for Health and Sport - Shazia Alam, Sumter County
Foods Lab: Dairy Foods - Laura Harriss, Cobb County
Foods Lab: Festive Foods for Health - Delaney Millerick, Newton County
Foods Lab: Food Fare - Rebekah Ibbetson, Haralson County
Food Safety and Preservation - Brecklyn Brown, Chattooga County
Forest Resources and Wood Sciences - James Turpin, Hart County
Fruits, Vegetables and Nuts - Breana Manning, Gordon County
General Recreation - Dabirichi Chukwuezi, Cobb County
Health - Rachel Thigpen, Montgomery County
History - Samantha Kuhbander, Ware County
Horse - Alexa Hillebrand, Coweta County
Housing - Lora Coxwell, Worth County
Human Development - James Poppell, Toombs County
International - Jhaycee Barnes, Spalding County
Outdoor Recreation - Madison Clevenger, Paulding County
Performing Arts - Dance - Maggie DeMaria, Clarke County
Performing Arts - Drama - Lydia Norman, Wilkes County
Performing Arts - General - Parker Varnadoe, Madison County
Performing Arts - Other Instrumental - Chandler Stevenson, Cherokee County
Performing Arts - Piano - Journey Austinson, Decatur County
Performing Arts - Vocal - Tripp Carter, Burke County
Photography and Videography - Bell Scdoris, Crisp County
Physical, Biological and Earth Sciences - Quadriyah Williams, Cobb County
Plant and Soil Sciences - Jessie Holbrook, Union County
Poultry - Whitley Gatch, Bulloch County
Public Speaking - Madison Clemente, Paulding County
Robotics - Hannah Fletcher, Worth County
Safety - Paige Phillips, Stephens County
Sheep and Meat Goats - Gracie Grimes, Candler County
Sports - Emma Harris, Peach County
Swine - Hannah McElrath, Gordon County
Target Sports - Jennifer Brinton, Coweta County
Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors - Arham Shah, Emanuel County
Veterinary Science - Gabrielle Ralston, Gordon County
Wildlife and Marine Science - Neely McCommons, Oconee County
Workforce Preparation and Career Development - Emma Wurst, Columbia County

Annually, more than 77,000 youth participate in Georgia 4-H Project Achievement and develop skills in leadership, public speaking, record keeping, creativity and other life skills.

The success of these events is a result of efforts that have been invested and skills that have been sharpened in 4-H youth for years. The growth of these young people is the direct result of positive mentorships with local Extension faculty, staff and volunteers and the support of the local community, parents, teachers and mentors.

To view the full online series, visit

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 242,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit or contact your local Extension office.

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

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