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Posted: July 15, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Students compete for natural resources scholarships

Submitted photo/

Resourceful students: (L-R) Aitbek Amatov, Brandi Hyder, Alannah Whitby and Jordan Alexander traveled to Tifton last weekend to compete for college scholarships at the 48th annual National Resources Conservation Workshop.

The 48th annual Natural Resources Conservation Workshop was held June 7-11 at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tifton. The workshop has graduated approximately 11,519 participants over the years and this year hosted 109 Georgia high school students including 10 students from the U.S. Virgin Islands along with two chaperones.

Students came from throughout Georgia and attended the week’s activities of field trips and classroom functions with opportunities to earn college scholarships at the end of the week.

Workshop Director, Dennis Brooks said, "This is an excellent opportunity for high school students interested in our environment and natural resources. Students learn the importance of conserving our natural resources and the vital role these resources play in our daily life and for generations to come.

Many students make decisions toward a career or area of study in college because of their involvement in this Workshop." Instruction and hands-on activities were led by professionals from Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Georgia Mining Association.

Twelve different core subjects were covered: Wildlife Law Enforcement, Wildlife Management, Soil Conservation, Backyard Conservation, Georgia Coastal Resources, Fisheries Management, Conservation Engineering, Understanding Soils, Rediscovering Georgia’s Water Resources, Forest Protection, Forest Management and Mining/Conservation.

The tuition of most students was provided locally by businesses and organizations through the local Soil and Water Conservation Districts. Jordan Alexander, Aitbek Amatov, Brandi Hyder and Alannah Whitby attended this year’s Workshop and were sponsored by USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service through the Upper Ocmulgee Soil and Water Conservation District. Local Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors in Jasper County are District Chairmen Phil Standard, David Hayes and Larry McSwain.

On the last day of the workshop, quizzes were given that covered the core subjects. Thirteen college scholarships worth $18,200 along with $425 cash and plaques were given to students with the highest scores.

Scholarships were provided by the Georgia Association of Conservation District Supervisors, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College Foundation, Natural Resources Conservation Workshop Scholarship Funds, The University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, Hearth of Georgia Technical College, Fort Valley State University, Georgia Chapter American Public Works Association (2), Georgia Mining Association, the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, Piedmont Conservation Products, the Pope-Dunaway and the Blue Ridge SWCD/Young Harris College (newly added this year).

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