By Kevin Tatum
STATE 4-H CONGRESS
Each year, senior 4-H members (9th – 12th graders) have the opportunity to compete in District Project Achievement (DPA) around February. This competition entails a 4-H member selecting a project, working on this project throughout the year, assembling a portfolio on their project work, leadership, citizenship, and other activities, researching their project in order to put together a demonstration on this topic. They will then present their demonstration at DPA at Rock Eagle. If a 4-H member wins first place or earns a sweepstakes trip in their project, they will advance to State 4-H Congress in July. A sweepstakes trip is awarded to the second place winner if there are 8 or more in a project. For each additional 8 in the project, another student advances to State 4-H Congress. So, State 4-H Congress is an event for the district winners from each of the four Extension districts for Senior DPA competitors. So most projects will have at least four students competing at State 4-H Congress. There are currently 50 projects for senior 4‑H members.
Coffee County 4-H has six students advancing to State 4-H Congress this year. Abby Hamilton won first place and Savannah Cothern won a sweepstakes trip to State 4-H Congress in the Dairy Foods. These two students have already completed their demonstration on June 22. The three cooking projects all do their demonstrations at Rock Eagle before State 4-H Council meeting each year due to having kitchen space.
Kyya Johnson competed in the Workforce Preparation and Career Development project and won first place. T.K. McIver competed in the Photography project and won second place and won a sweepstakes trip to State Congress. Micheal Woods competed in the Environmental Sciences project and won first place. Evie Woodward competed in the Performing Arts-Drama project and won first place. All four of these students will present their demonstration at State 4‑H Congress.
While at State Congress, all six students will go through an interview about their 4-H portfolio. Judges may ask them anything about their project work listed in their DPA portfolio.
While at State Congress, they also take an educational tour with their project group. For example, the Dairy Foods project participants will tour the Georgia Tech Food Labs, and the Workforce Prep. The project will tour the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank.
On Thursday, there will be a huge banquet where all of the state winners from all state projects and competitions will be recognized. There are usually about 200 people recognized at this banquet. This includes state winners from judging competitions, target sports events, and every other competition in Georgia 4-H.
We want to wish Savannah, Abby, Evie, Kyya, T.K., and Micheal the best of luck as they compete for state honors next week.
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.