L-R: back Journey Austinson, Abby Bennett, Brenden Mitchell, Rachel Hayes, Thomas Neal, Stacy Vulgamore
Front row L-R: Samantha Floyd, Kinsey Ward, Sybil Lee, Corbin Austin, Omarion Smart, Keenan Phillips
Decatur County 4-H’ers distinguished themselves at Rock Eagle on January 31-February 2. Twelve students from Decatur County joined with over 500 students to participate in the Southwest District Project Achievement competition in Eatonton. Junior/Senior Project Achievement is a challenging two-part competition, in which participants practice mastery in their field of interest through portfolio and presentation.
Representing Decatur County 4-H in the Junior division for 7th and 8th grade 4-H’ers were Kinsey Ward, Keenan Phillips, and Sybil Lee. Senior (9th-12th grade) participants included Journey Austinson, Thomas Neal, Corbin Austin, Omarion Smart, Stacy Vulgamore, Rachel Hayes, Samantha Floyd, Brenden Mitchell and Abby Bennett.
The 4-H Portfolio is an extensive written record that encompasses a complete calendar year of involvement, leadership, and service in a selected project area. This report includes a cover letter, a two-page information sheet highlighting their work and activities, and a two-page list of supporting material, including photos and other related information. The portfolio composes 40%-50% of the student’s total score in the competition. Also, by preparing a portfolio, young people learn the skills needed to complete college applications, scholarship applications, professional resumes and proposals.
Additionally, 4-H’ers participating in Project Achievement investigate a topic and prepare a demonstration or “illustrated talk” with posters and props. Junior demonstrations are 10 minutes, and Senior demonstrations are 12 minutes. Scores are based on memorization, fluidity, presentation skills, and knowledge of the subject when questioned by the judges. Food Lab projects are 90 minutes and 4-H’ers prepare a dish being conscious of food safety and nutrition guidelines. Performing Arts categories require students to perform before judges and an audience.
In the Junior division, Kinsey Ward placed 3rd in Performing Arts- General, Keenan Phillips was 2nd in Sports-Individual and Sybil Lee took 1st in Sports-Team. Among the Senior competitors (high school division), Corbin Austin received 1st place honors in Public Speaking, Brenden Mitchell took 1st in Engineering and Mechanics, Rachel Hayes was the 1st place winner in Sheep and Meat Goats and Journey Austinson received 1st in Performing Arts –Piano. Abby Bennet placed 2nd in the Swine project, Thomas Neal received 3rd in Outdoor Recreation and Samantha Floyd also received 3rd in Festive Foods for Health. Stacy Vulgamore received Honorable Mention in the History project and Omarion Smart received Honorable Mention in Human Development. Omarion also received 1st place for the “Best Community Service Activity Led by a 4-H’er”. Corbin Austin, Journey Austinson, Rachel Hayes and Brenden Mitchell will advance to the next level of competition at the Georgia 4-H State Congress in Atlanta this summer. Corbin Austin campaigned for and was elected by his peers to the Southwest District 4-H Senior Board of Directors.
4-H Project Achievement, an annual competition for 4th – 12th grade students, is a cornerstone in the Georgia 4-H program. From the first Boys Corn Club sharing their crop to today’s presentation and portfolios on hundreds of projects, Project Achievement serves to showcase 4-H’ers work and success. The diligence and dedication of Decatur County’s 4-H students supports the 4-H motto, “Making the Best Better”. For more information about 4-H activities please contact the UGA Decatur County Extension Office at 248-3033.