Bartow County’s 4-H members snagged 17 first-place awards in two recent district public speaking competitions.
A total of 49 4-H’ers in two age groups – Cloverleaf (fourth- through sixth-graders) and junior/senior (seventh- through 12th graders) – participated in the annual Project Achievement competition and won a combined 17 blue ribbon medallions, 13 red ribbon medallions and six white ribbon medallions at the two district-level events.
“This year, our 4-H’ers shined in their project areas, especially our high school students,” 4-H agent Allison Perkins said. “They put in a lot of hard work against tough competition. While they all didn’t come home with a medal, they each had a great time and learned a lot. They made Bartow 4-H proud.”
At the junior/senior competition, held Feb. 28 to March 1 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, 15 of Bartow’s 22-member delegation placed in the Top 3 in their categories – nine first places, three second places and three third places – out of hundreds of participants from 37 counties.
For the competition, 4-H'ers select a topic of interest from more than 50 project areas – everything from Human Development, Fashion Revue and Swine to Entomology, Veterinary Science and Beef – and prepare a demonstration that’s a maximum of 12 minutes for seniors and 10 minutes for juniors and includes visual aids to present to the judges.
For winning first place in the History category, senior 4-H’er Jaylee Kilgo will compete at State Congress in Atlanta in July. There is no state-level competition for junior 4-H’ers.
“There, she will again present her public speaking demonstration in hopes of become No. 1 in the state in her project area,” Perkins said, noting state winners receive a trip to National 4-H Congress in Atlanta during Thanksgiving break.
Perkins was immensely proud of Jaylee’s medal-worthy performance at district.
“History is a very competitive project area,” she said. “Jaylee did a wonderful job presenting on an area of history that most people don’t think of often, the royal corgis.”
Jaylee, 16, said she was “extremely honored to have won first place” in history, which has “always been” her favorite subject in school.
“History was one of the most popular categories this year so I was very pleased to have won out of such a strong field of 4-H’ers,” she said. “I have always loved history, and I will always find it so interesting. Each time I travel to new places with my family, we always try to visit points of historical interest.”
The Woodland High sophomore said she knew when she entered the category that she “wanted to present an unfamiliar subject to the judges” so she chose the history of the royal corgis for her project.
“I told the life, history and influence that the corgis had on Queen Elizbeth II and the royal family,” she said. “While presenting my project, I used posters, and I created a 10-minute speech to inform the judges of the history of the royal corgis. I even dressed up as the queen and used a stuffed corgi to present my project.”
One “fun fact” she found during her research is the queen has owned “over 30 corgis since receiving her first corgi in 1933,” she said.
Jaylee’s interest in the royal pooches stemmed from the “influence that my own corgi, Phoebe, has had on my life,” she said.
The daughter of Mike and Lori Kilgo said she’s “very excited to compete at the state level” this summer.
“I get to meet 4-H’ers from across the state, and I have the opportunity to attend many formal dinners and fun events,” she said.
Other first-place winners were Aurora Senecal from Adairsville Middle, Arts; Jake Hall from Cartersville Middle, General Recreation; Brendon Frankland from Woodland Middle, History; and home-schoolers Olivia Capes, Cat Care; Josh Drexler, Outdoor Recreation; Ellie Randolph, Health; Brent Lee, General Recreation; and Ellie Capes, Performing Arts-Piano.
Taking home second-place medals were Christian Cothran from WMS, Physical, Biological and Earth Science; and home-schoolers Sydney Cook, Target Sports; and Luca Federico, General Recreation.
Third-place finishers were Kelsey Sisk, Cass Middle, General Recreation; and home-schoolers Gabriel Craven, Computer Information Technology; and Gus Federico, Physical, Biological and Earth Science.
Other junior and senior 4-H’ers who competed were Nadia Dick from Cass High, General Recreation, fourth place; Sasha Morgan from Excel Christian Academy, Performing Arts-Other Instrumental, fifth place; Gabe Wade from WHS, Festive Food for Health, sixth place; and home-schoolers Luci Paige, Housing Equipment and Environment, fourth place; Audrey Paige, Festive Food for Health, fourth place; Emma Faye Howard, Performing Arts-Vocal, fourth place; Bethany Craven, Arts and Crafts, fifth place; Johnathan Capes, Physical, Biological and Earth Science, fifth place; Brianna Lee, General Recreation, fifth place; and Wesley Hughes, Computer Information Technology, ninth place.
Two Bartow 4-H’ers were elected to district leadership positions out of more than 50 middle and high school students from 39 counties.
“During seventh- through 12th-grade Project Achievement, we had 4-H’ers campaigning for one of the eight positions on Northwest District junior and senior boards out of 39 counties,” Perkins said. “Christian Cothran was elected for the junior board, and Gabriel Craven was elected to senior board for next year.”
For their Project Achievement presentations, Cloverleaf 4-H’ers select a topic of interest from more than 60 project areas – such as Bicycles, Rabbits, Interior Design, Archaeology, Outdoor Survival and Paleontology – and prepare a six-minute demonstration, including visuals like posters, to present at the competition.
Bartow’s 27 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders were among more than 400 4-H’ers from 13 counties who competed Jan. 25 at Georgia Highlands College’s Rome campus, and when the judging was done, 21 of them went home with a medal – eight first places, 10 second places and three third places.
There also is no state competition for the Cloverleaf age group.
Representing Bartow County at the district level were:
Allatoona Elementary – Miles Engele, Wildlife, ninth place.
Cartersville Elementary – Mckenzie Spurgeon, Horse, second place; and Maggie Sheffield, Engineering and Mechanics, fourth place.
Cass Middle – Emma Brown, Rabbits, first place; Lorilye Austin, General Recreation, second place; and Nola Brown, Historic People, third place.
Euharlee Elementary – Jayda Cothran, Sports-Team, second place.
Excel Christian – Charis Weldon, Arts, second place; and Jacqueline Weldon, Cat Care, fifth place.
Hamilton Crossing Elementary – Mammie Farmer, Marine and Coastal Ecology, first place; Brandon Crawford, Robotics, first place; Malakai Keita, Engineering and Mechanics, second place; Heidi Waits, Performing Arts-Vocal, third place; and Audrey Carter, Marine and Coastal Ecology, eighth place.
Home-schools – Katie Hughes, Dog Care and Training, second place; and William Capes, Performing Arts-Instrumental, second place.
Taylorsville Elementary – Francesca Fitzgerald, Food Safety and Preservation, first place; Venus Pineada, Veterinary Science, first place; Madelynne Hardin, Horse, seventh place; and Rylee Brockwell, Marine and Coastal Ecology, ninth place.
White Elementary – Grace Delauder, Photography and Videography, first place; Tianna Musco, Between-Meal Snacks, second place; Makenna Martin, General Recreation, second place; and Jamia Musco, Between-Meal Snacks, third place.
Woodland Middle – Hylan Davis-Westberry, Historic Places, first place; Albert Davis-Westberry, Outdoor Survival Skills, first place; and Ella Hardin, Rabbits, second place.