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Three 4-H’ers earn spot in State 4-H Congress

Grady County 4-H’ers who competed in Jr./Sr. Project Achievement were: (l-r): Owen Cassels, Charles Michael Smith, Tanner Norton, Lily Norton, Lizzy Thompson, Jae Long, John Sodrel and Asher Childs; not pictured: Jodi Lopez.

By Lisa Pollock, Grady Co. 4-H Agent and
Deron Rehberg, Grady County CEC/4-H & Ag Agent
During the weekend of Feb. 8, nine Grady County 4-H’ers attended Junior/ Senior Project Achievement at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. For those of you unfamiliar with Project Achievement, this is 4-H’s public speaking competition and, in our opinion, 4-H’s most valuable program for a young person to participate in. The “life skills” 4-H’ers will learn by participating in project achievement will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
Once a 4-H’er decides to compete in project achievement, they start by selecting a project area that interest them, by researching their topic and then putting together an eight to twelve-minute presentation. Supporting materials are then created and finally they learn how to correctly present their presentation to the judges. Project areas can range from dairy foods to animal projects to performing arts.
Presenting a demonstration is only part of what 4-H’ers have to do to compete in project achievement; they also have to complete a portfolio of their 4-H activities. The portfolio is like their resume of all the 4-H activities they participated in and project work they have done for the past year. For Juniors’ final score, the demonstration counts 60% and the portfolio counts 40%. For Seniors, it is a 50/50 split. So, as you can see, it is very important for the participants to be as active as possible the entire year.
In the junior competition of 7th & 8th graders, we had five competitors. They were Owen Cassels, Jae Long, Jodi Lopez, Tanner Norton and Charles Michael Smith. Jae placed 1st in the Food for Health & Sport project, Jodi placed 1st in Health, Tanner Norton placed 2nd in Veterinary Science, and Charles Michael placed 2nd in the Safety project.
The senior level competition of 9th-12th graders is a lot stiffer as the 4-H’ers are competing for a trip to State 4-H Congress and a chance at becoming a “Master” 4-H’er. This year, we had four seniors who competed in Senior Project Achievement. They were Asher Childs, Lily Norton, John Sodrel and Lizzy Thompson. Asher placed 1st in the Pork Production project, Lily placed 1st in Sheep & Meat Goats, John placed 2nd in Plant & Soil Science, and Lizzy placed 1st in Festive Foods for Health. By placing first for their project, Asher, Lily and Lizzy were declared winners and earned a trip to State 4-H Congress. They will travel to Atlanta later in July to compete on the State level for a trip to National Congress.
Congratulations goes out to each of the 4-H’ers who competed. It takes a lot of courage and self-discipline to get up in front of a group of people and present a speech. Each of you did an outstanding job and the Grady County 4-H staff are certainly proud to have you representing the Grady County 4-H Program.
The Grady County 4-H staff would also like to say a special “Thank You” to Mrs. Yvonne Childs and Mrs. Jenifer Womble for all the hard work they do to help our 4-H’ers prepare for DPA. We would also like to thank Mrs. Lynda Sodrel and Mrs. Bebe Thompson for volunteering to attend DPA and assisting with the weekend’s activities.
If you would like more information on 4-H’s Public Speaking Program, please feel free to give me a call at 377-1312 or stop by the 4-H Office in the Agri-Center.

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