For 4-H members in the seventh through 12th grades, project work begins on Jan. 1 of the previous year.
They keep records of anything they learn, practice, teach or share in a given project area, as well as all leadership and service activities.
For most 4-H members, these activities include school work, community activities with churches and scout groups, as well as 4-H activities.
By the end of the year, records are compiled into a resume’s style format, with a cover letter, two pages of writing and two pages of supporting materials.
This portion of the competition makes up 40 to 50 percent of a 4-H member’s score at the competition.
Then, students select a very specific topic within their project area to prepare speech with posters and props. A few demonstrations are comprised of a musical presentation or cooking demonstration instead of a speech.
All demonstrations are presented at Rock Eagle 4-H Center one Saturday in March, and then, we wait.
For junior 4-H’ers in the seventh and eighth grades, the wait isn’t terribly long, with results announced on Saturday just before dinner.
But high school members wait all night for the unveiling of winners and to learn which 4-H’ers are headed to State 4-H Congress.
This year, we had 21 youths eagerly awaiting results.
Home school student Matthew Dibble won first in the Physical, Biological and Earth Science project with his seventh grade demonstration on rocks.
Alyssa Pierce, a seventh grader at Liberty Middle, finished fourth in the Human Development project with her speech on attention deficit disorder.
Seventh grader Anastasia Cannon of Grace Christian Academy won second in Veterinary Science with a project on Coggins testing for horses.
Liberty Middle seventh grader Mackenzie Jay won fourth in Performing Arts Vocal with her performance.
Kayla Gartner, an eighth grader at Liberty Middle, won first in the Human Development project discussing the Trevor project, a helpline for LGBTQ youths.
In the History project, home school eighth grader Jacob Dibble earned second with his demonstration on World War II.
Indian Creek Middle eighth grader Cyann Owes presented on assassin bugs to win first in the Entomology project.
TJ McCaustland, an eighth grade home school student, won third in the Science of Engineering and Mechanics project with a project on nuclear power.
Home school eighth grader Audrey Holder discussed guinea pigs to earn second in the Companion Animals project.
Freshman Chelsea Turner of Newton High and the Newton College and Career Academy earned honorable mention in the Workforce Preparation and Career Development project with a project on medical careers.
Jayla Porter, a freshman in the Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High, presented on drawing celebrity portraits to earn honorable mention in Arts and Crafts.
Home school freshman Patrick Dibble discussed color blindness for an honorable mention in the Health project.
Freshman Kacie Gartner of the Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High earned third in Physical, Biological and Earth Sciences with a demonstration on weather.
MaKenzy McCord, a home school freshman, earned honorable mention in the Communications project with a discussion of writing tips.
Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High freshman Kara Gartner presented on solar power to earn honorable mention in the Science of Engineering and Mechanics.
Newton High freshman Grace Smith placed third in Companion Animal Science with a project on her rabbits.
Mallori Johnson, a sophomore at Eastside High, earned honorable mention in General recreation with a demonstration on tap dancing.
Senior Bradford Porter of the Academy of Liberal Arts at Newton High finished third in the Public Speaking project with a speech on his 4-H career.
Eastside High senior Michelle Lewis won third in Environmental Science with a demonstration on water pollution.
Solange Lord, a senior at Eastside High, earned honorable mention in the Performing Arts Piano project with her performance.
Earning first in the largest project at the competition was home school junior Flannery Peay, whose fiddle playing earned her a trip to State 4-H Congress in Performing Arts Other Instrumental.
Peay will compete again for the chance to become a Master 4-H’er in July at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia.
Special thanks to volunteer leaders Tim Cannon, Doug Kimble and Elaine Kimble for chaperoning.
Terri Kimble Fullerton is a Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.