Master 4-H'ers credit Georgia 4-H for teaching them public speaking, leadership skills

Posted on
Thursday, August 4, 2016

Born with autism, 19-year-old Christopher Morgan didn’t speak until he was 4 years old. Today, Morgan is one of 47 Georgia 4-H members who earned the coveted title of “Master 4-H’er” at the annual Georgia 4-H State Congress, held July 26-28 in Atlanta.

State Congress symbolizes the end of a year of hard work and dedication by Georgia 4-H youths. Students select an area of study, give an oral presentation before judges at their respective District Project Achievement (DPA) and participate in service and leadership events in their communities. Regional first place winners compete at the state competition in a variety of categories including history, horses, performing arts, and public speaking. Each student gives a 12-minute presentation before expert judges and prepares a portfolio detailing their research, leadership and service projects.

“It's a great way to make you learn more about what you love to do in life. It also teaches you life skills you will need to use throughout your life,” said Morgan of Warner Robins, Georgia. “For me, District Project Achievement changed my life by helping me win the battle against my autism. I couldn't talk until I was 4 years old, and when I finally was able to talk, I took 12 years of speech therapy to improve my public speaking skills.”

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UGA Extension hosts beekeeping basics workshop as part of "Saturday at the Rock"

Posted on
Thursday, June 16, 2016

A burgeoning interest in the benefits of delicious, local honey and increased concern for pollinator health has led more and more Americans to start keeping their own bees.

Bees can be raised successfully across the state of Georgia due to the state's long growing season and relatively mild winters. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension has the tools to help the novice beekeeper get started.

Putnam County Extension agent and beekeeping expert Keith Fielder will host a beekeeping basics workshop on Saturday, June 18, as part of the “Saturday at the Rock” educational series at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia. The workshop will include information on how to start and maintain a bee colony, as well as provide the chance to meet other novice and experienced beekeepers.

The beekeeping basics workshop is recommended for those 14 and older, but organizers will also host a child-friendly program for the junior beekeeper. Rock Eagle’s environmental education team will lead an exploration of the inner workings of a beehive and basic bee biology. Educators will share ways in which participants can attract honeybees to their yard, as well as discuss the many benefits bees can provide to the garden.

Both programs will run from 9:30–11:30 a.m. Doors will open at 9 a.m. Guests will convene in the center’s Natural History Museum preceding the program. Advanced registration for this program is required, and the cost is $5 per person.

Georgia 4-H'ers compete to develop the next big snacking sensation

Posted on
Thursday, May 19, 2016

From crackers, to cheese snacks, to nutritionally enhanced juices, each new food that debuts on grocery store shelves starts with an idea and entrepreneurial passion.

This year more than 20 Georgia 4-H’ers showcased that same innovation and passion when they entered the nation’s only 4-H Food Product Development Contest.

“These youth are well on their way to careers in food development,” said University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Specialist Cheryl Varnadoe, who has organized the contest for more than a decade. “We hope that many of them will choose to attend UGA and study food science.”

The contest requires teams of Senior Georgia 4-H’ers to not only develop a novel food product, but to develop a full marketing plan for that product. In May, three final teams – from Spalding, Chatham and Walker counties – traveled to Athens, Georgia, to present their ideas to food industry experts at the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology.

This year’s winners, from Spalding County 4-H, are the creators of Ice Cream Dippers, Fritos corn chip-sized, sugar-cone wafers that consumers can use as an edible spoon.

Team Ice Cream Dippers envisioned that the dippers would be sold in french fry-style cartons alongside ice cream at sporting events or other places where a traditional ice cream cone might be too messy.

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Georgia 4-H getting some extra help this year, hoping to improve the lives of more children

Posted on
Friday, August 7, 2015

Georgia 4-H clubs in 32 counties across Georgia will get some extra help this year thanks to a $439,357 AmeriCorps State grant from the federal Corporation for National and Community Service and the Georgia Commission on Service and Volunteerism.

AmeriCorps, a domestic program modeled after the Peace Corps, offers individuals the chance to make a difference in communities throughout the U.S. Through Georgia 4-H, an AmeriCorps State grant provides funding for positions to help improve the lives of Georgia youth. This is the fourth year that Georgia 4-H has received grant funding for the AmeriCorps State program.

While this is the fourth year Georgia 4-H has received the AmeriCorps State grant, the increase in this year’s award amount allows for the number of AmeriCorps members to grow from 16 to 32.

AmeriCorps members support Georgia 4-H’s mission of assisting youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. This includes providing programming that is aligned with the Georgia Performance Standards, covering topics such as STEM, career awareness and public speaking, said Jennifer Cantwell, AmeriCorps State program coordinator.

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