Thursday, August 14, 2008

Master 4-H Status “The Ultimate Goal!"

Georgia’s best 4-H’ers gathered in Atlanta July 22-25, 2008 among whom were four Thomas County Senior (9th-12th grade) 4-H’ers with high hopes of achieving the ultimate goal of 4-H "Master" status.

The State 4-H Congress delegates are district project achievement winners who compete for state honors and the right to represent Georgia at National 4-H Congress. District Project Achievement is a public speaking contest on a subject the 4-H’er chose. It is the reflection of a year’s work complied into a portfolio and a verbal demonstration. Portfolio’s are broken down into subject areas similar to a resume. Categories consist of an introduction page, main project work, main project sharing and helping, leadership and teen leadership, community service and citizenship activities, other activities and events, and 2 pages of supporting pictures. The youth are encouraged to memorize their 10-12 minute speeches. Typically six or eight poster and/or visual aids are also used during the presentation. University faculty members and other expert judges evaluate their work and interview them on their portfolio and presentation.

District and/or Area Project Achievement is promoted yearly and open to 9 year olds through 12th grade. District Project Achievement is an educational tool that meets many language arts Georgia Performance Standards. The key components of the project achievement teaching tool are research, organization, summary, and expression.

District and Area Project Achievement is both educational and fun. The competition is a real motivator, not necessarily motivation to win over others, but to exceed any previous accomplishments of their own. We set standards in project work and encourage 4-Hers to exceed those standards. Many State Congress delegates began competing as early as 5th grade in order to prepare for State Congress.

Blake Williams, son of Bret and Angie Williams received the honor to compete in the Power and Energy project. He graduated from Thomas County Central High school last year. Blake won first place in the state competition and achieved the prestigious title of becoming a Master 4-H’er. The donor of his project was the Georgia 4-H Foundation. His project was about how to properly install a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet. His project work included countless hours working with his family business, community service, and other 4-H activities and events. He will receive an all expense paid trip to represent Georgia at National 4-H Congress in November.

"I feel that the challenges that I have faced along with my accomplishments through out my 4-H years have given me the extra discipline and perseverance needed to succeed in life!" Blake Williams said.

J.T. Wynn, son of Henry and Cindy Wynn competed in the Horse project. He recently graduated from Thomas County Central High School. J.T. placed 3rd in the state competition. J.T presented a leather demonstration entitled: Introduction to Saddle Making: 101. J.T. owns a leather business, "Just the Thang" Leather Goods. His project donor was the Georgia 4-H Foundation. J.T. served as summer 4-H camp counselor at Rock Eagle 4-H Center, was a member of the State and District 4-H Board of Directors, 4-H Horse Club president, and he participated in countless community service projects.

Sara Parramore, daughter of Dayne and Carol Parramore competed in the Veterinary Science project and placed 4th. Sara graduated from Thomas County Central High school last year. The donor for her project was the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. Sara presented a hands on demonstration about how to properly wrap a horse’s leg to prevent injury. She was also an active member of the 4-H S.A.F.E (Shooting Awareness, Fundamentals, and Education) Team and 4-H Horse Club.

Jon Wynn, son of Henry and Cindy Wynn competed in the Dog Care and Training project. Jon is senior at Thomas County Central High School. The donor for his project was the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. Jon’s demonstrations title was: Georgia Field Ready and he talked about methods to insure that your dog is ready for hunting season. Other 4-H activities included serving as chairman the 2nd Annual Something To Bark About 4-H Dog Show.
The 4-H’ers were busy from the time they arrived. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza in Atlanta. An opening assembly honoring state 4-H scholarship winners and 4-H Volunteers for Success winners was first on the agenda. District meetings and check in followed. Dinner and competition presentations by the 4-H Performing Arts projects rounded out the evenings events.

The competitions were held on Wednesday, July 23. Demonstrations were given and 4-H portfolio interviews were held. The state winners were announced that evening at Six Flags over Georgia.

The Thomas County delegation, along with others at Congress, were entered at breakfast Thursday, July 24 by Georgia Power. 4-H’ers enjoyed 4-H donor visits and educational tours, including a visit to the State Capitol. The Georgia EMC Formal Annual banquet was held on Thursday night.

When you combine what 4-H’ers learn from project work, community service activities, leadership events, educational retreats, and the experience of working with community and university leaders the life skills gained are immeasurable. All Thomas County Youth are encouraged to participate in District or Area Project Achievement. Preparations for the next competition is underway.

For more information contact Thomas Counties, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension at (229)-225-4130.
Left to Right: J.T. Wynn, Blake Williams, Sara Parramore, & Jon Wynn.

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