Virginia was one of 14 state teams that competed in the 36th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from July 26 – 30, 2015. Teams from Tennessee, New York, and Alabama placed first, second, and third respectively. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, and West Virginia were also represented at this year’s Invitational.
The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The event is sponsored by Farm Credit System, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., Society of American Foresters, West Virginia University Extension Service, USDA Forest Service State and Private Southern Region, Southern Region Extension Forestry, American Forest Foundation, and Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.
While at the Invitational 4-H members competed for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events included tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl and a written forestry exam.
Virginia was represented by W. Austin Brinegar and Damien Prater both from Spencer, Hunter DeShazo from Ridgeway, and Jacob Winn from Martinsville. The team was coached by R. Darryl Holland from Ridgeway.
Julia Palacios from Tennessee received the high point individual award. Second place high individual award was given to Rosanne Mow from New York and third place high individual award was given to Tim Caswell from Florida.
The Joe Yeager “Spirit of the Invitational” award was given to Devin Hipp from South Carolina. This award recognizes an outstanding 4-H contestant at the Invitational. It is presented to the individual who takes initiative, is enthusiastic, and is eager to lead academic and social situations.
4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the state land grant universities. More than six million youth, 540,000 volunteers, and 3,500 professionals participate in 4-H nationwide, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.
For more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, go to: http://4hforestryinvitational.org/.