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Miss America appearing at Georgia 4-H events
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One of the highlights of National 4-H Congress is the chance to see Miss America, Olympians, national elected officials, and other nationally known personalities.

Only about 50 Georgia 4-H’ers earn the chance to attend National 4-H Congress each year, joining 4-H’ers from across the nation and Puerto Rico in Atlanta as they celebrate one of the highest achievements possible in 4-H.

Newton County’s Flannery Peay earned the trip after mastering at State 4-H Congress in the performing arts instrumental project.

Mastering is no small feat in Georgia 4-H. To master, or win at the state level, Peay first had to complete a portfolio similar to a job resume. She then competed in one of the largest project areas in the district and state with her own arrangement of several fiddle pieces.

Most demonstrations are speeches with posters and props.

However, this year, Georgia high school 4-H’ers attending Fall Forum at Rock Eagle will also get to meet Miss America, because she’s one of our own!

If you know a high school student who’d like to be at Rock Eagle with Miss America Betty Cantrell, be sure to come by the office to register for Fall Forum which will be held Dec. 12 and 13. The cost is $79.

If you’d like to compete for a chance to attend National 4-H Congress next year, call or email about staring a portfolio.
A portfolio includes a cover letter, two pages of accomplishments, and two pages of supporting materials such as photos, articles and certificates.

Accomplishments cover everything a 4-H’er does in in his chosen project area to both learn and practice as well as to share and teach. This section also includes all other community service activities, leadership experiences, and citizenship undertakings.

In seventh grade, project work may include school work and reading articles. In order to have the state winning portfolio in performing arts, Peay’s work included performing with the statewide 4-H performing arts group, dancing 6 days a week, practicing multiple instruments, and serving as an intern with the Newton County Arts Association.

Project areas include everything from the traditional agricultural or nutrition topics to technology, performing arts and science.

These portfolios are not only used in competition, but can easily help a 4-H member to apply to colleges and scholarships in the future, with accurate numbers of their work over a six-year period.

Portfolios cover one calendar year of work, and it’s not too late to start one. If you have a seventh through twelfth grader, call us at 770-784-2010 to make an appointment to get started!

If you have a rough draft by Monday, Nov. 23, you are eligible for a reward trip to the Mall of Georgia. Youths must pre-register with the 4-H office.

Portfolios should be complete by Dec. 21, with any final tweaks finished by Jan. 5.

Once portfolios are complete, we then turn our focus to demonstrations.

Fourth through sixth grade students do not need a portfolio, and will compete at County Project Achievement on Jan. 12. District competition is being hosted here in Newton County on Jan. 30.

Cloverleaf demonstrations last 5-6 minutes and can be on nearly any topic except junk food or things that break school rules.

The most popular topics are usually history, sports and wildlife.

Nearly 800 fourth and fifth grade 4-H’ers throughout the county have been working on projects the last few months, and many will elect to compete at county in January.

If you would like to get guidance on demonstrations, call the office to make an appointment and we’d love to help your child start on a project.

Seventh through 12th grade students have longer demonstrations with more detail, and will spend a free 3-day weekend at Rock Eagle on March 4-6 for competition.

During the weekend, they can also run for district 4-H officer positions.

Want to know if 4-H projects are worthwhile? Drop by our office to take a peek at the long list of Masters from our county including Buncie Lanners at the Newton County Arts Association or Judge Horace Johnson, then drop by to ask one of them how 4-H shaped their futures.

Terri Fullerton is a Newton County 4-H Agent through UGA Cooperative Extension. She can be reached at