By: Kevin Tatum, County Extension Coordinator
Over 250 people gathered at the First Baptist Church in Douglas on Monday evening, May 8, 2017, to recognize active Coffee County 4-H members and volunteers during the Annual 4-H Honors Night Program. 4‑H members were presented awards for their participation in District Project Achievement (DPA), Poultry Judging, livestock shows, target sports, and community service projects. The evening began with Anna Grace Grantham performing some violin music accompanied by her mother, Greta Grantham, on the piano. Willie Spence also sang a song as the Grantham's provided the music.
Recipients of the Outstanding 4-H Member of the Year awards were also announced. Recipients of this coveted award included: Cloverleaf –Natalie Newell and Glenn O'Steen; Junior – Muskan Minhas, Alexandra Rivero, and Ishika Sadarangi; Senior – Micheal Woods and Evie Woodward.
Senior Board member Evie Woodward was recognized for her leadership role on the Southeast District 4-H Board of Directors during the 2016-2017 school year. New board members were also introduced included Junior Board Vice-president Alexandra Rivero, Vice-president Ishika Sadarangani, board member Amelia Crockett, and Senior Board Vice-president T.K. McIver, and Board Member Willie Spence.
Awards were presented to 115 students for participating in District Project Achievement this year, 69 Cloverleaf 4-H'ers, 20 Junior 4-H'ers, and 26 Senior 4-H'ers. Seventeen students were recognized for participating in the Area Poultry Judging Contest, with four also competing in the state contest. Livestock awards were presented to 54 students which included 22 horse awards, 13 market hog awards, 3 cattle awards, and 16 goat awards. In Target Sports, 32 awards were presented to students which included 10 BB team, 4 air rifle team, 1 air pistol, 1 .22 rifle, 3 archery, and 13 shotgun team awards.
Willie Spence was recognized for his involvement in Georgia 4-H Clovers & Co. for the past five years. Three 4-H members (Jackson Cowart, Bethany Land, and Evie Woodward) were recognized for their involvement in the Georgia 4-H Technology Team, New and experienced Certified Teen Leaders, as well as eight graduating 4-H members were also recognized. 4-H Advisory Committee members were recognized for the role they serve in 4-H program planning. Mrs. Erin Aycock and Mrs. Katrina Burch were recognized for serving as club sponsors at the Freshman Campus and Coffee High School.
In Community Service, 52 students were presented participation awards for helping with the 4-H Adopt-A-Highway workdays, 56 students were presented participation awards for helping with the 4-H Pet Therapy visitations at Shady Acres and Manor House, and 20 students were presented participation awards for helping with the Salvation Army Red Kettle Drive.
Some of the achievements recognized throughout the year were Austin Fuller earned the Master 4-H Showman Award at the State Breeding Doe show and is now a Master 4-H'er. Ashton Gillespie donated the largest donation of can tabs in Coffee County for the Ronald McDonald House Charities Program. Brooke Gilliard won first place in the State Sporter Air Rifle Match and also earned Master 4-H'er status. Brooke also received a $500 scholarship from the National Wild Turkey Federation. Brice Grantham was the high individual at the state (and national) shotgun match. The shotgun team made up of Jordan Davis, Brice Grantham, Lance Ricketson and Blake Tanner won the state (and national) shotgun match and are all Master 4-H'ers now. Abby Hamilton was the second place state winner in the Pantry Pride Contest. T.K. McIver was the third highest scorer at the Area Poultry Judging Contest. Evie Woodward was the high individual scorer in the Area Poultry Judging Contest. Evie was also the Senior 4-H district winner and Ishika Sadarangani was the Junior 4‑H district winner of the Leadership in Action Awards program. The Senior Poultry Judging team was the second place team in the Area Poultry Judging Contest in Tifton this year. T.K. McIver and Willie Spence earned trips through competing at DPA to compete at the State 4-H Congress event in Atlanta this summer for a chance at becoming a Master 4-H'er.
Many parents and volunteers were also recognized for their contributions to help make the 4-H program a success in Coffee County. Their contributions are greatly appreciated by the 4-H staff.
4-H would like to thank First Baptist Church of Douglas for allowing the organization to use the church and especially Mr. Arnie Bowers for his assistance with setting up. If you have questions about the Coffee County 4-H Club program, or questions around the farm or home, please feel free to contact the Coffee County Extension office at (912) 384-1402. Remember, we are YOUR local connection to the University of Georgia.