Georgia 4-H Youth, Alumni, Volunteers and Leaders Honored at State Council
More than 500 Georgia 4-H 8th-12th grade youth members gathered for the annual State 4-H Council Meeting at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia. This year’s “Rooted in the Classics” theme focused on the original purpose of State Council and civic engagement. During this constitutional meeting, 4-H youth vote on proposed amendments to the 4-H constitution, elect Georgia 4-H state officers, participate in competitions and enjoy fun and games.
Serving as a Georgia 4-H state officer is one of the highest offices a 4-H youth member can hold. The delegates vote for five statewide representatives, with the top two vote-getters serving as president and vice president. After the top five are determined, the delegates vote again for representatives for their districts. The 2019-2020 state board representatives are:
Arham Shah, Emanuel County, President
Deontavious Kitchens, Stewart County, Vice President
Taylor Wells, Clinch County, State Representative
Kimberly Rios, Emanuel County, State Representative
Madison Clemente, Paulding County, State Representative
Sarah Isaac, Stephens County, Northeast District Representative
Hope Steward, Spalding County, Northwest District Representative
Ty Poole, Washington County, Southeast District Representative
Douglas Hopkins, Thomas County, Southwest District Representative
No amendments were brought forward or voted on this year. Youth participated in a variety of workshops on preparedness, democracy and high learning. Youth prepared for the hurricane season by creating emergency plans and starting their home preparedness kits under the supervision of MyPI Georgia instructors and AmeriCorps Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) summer associates. On Saturday, 13 adult leaders graduated as certified forestry judging coaches.
The State Council meeting includes a citizenship ceremony, during which all 4-H’ers who are turning 18 take the pledge remain engaged voters throughout their lives. Randy Nuckolls led the ceremony this year.
State 4-H Leader and Director of 4-H Arch Smith honored his pledge to get “slimed” after all 159 Georgia counties participated in $4 for 4-H giving day, raising more than $35,000. Chattooga County had the most donors and Fulton County raised the most money for their county.
All 4-H’ers participated in the Iron Clover Competition. The Iron Clover Award is given to the district that excels in basketball, softball, volleyball and musical chairs tournaments and other activities. This year, new competitions were introduced including giant Jenga, extreme tic-tac-toe and the Great Canoe Race. The Northeast District won the 2019 Iron Clover for the second year in a row, excelling in ultimate Frisbee, basketball, volleyball, watermelon eating and the Great Canoe Race.
At this year’s Master Club Banquet, Smith was proud to announce that African American 4-H’ers who won state honors in project work during segregation will now be recognized as Master 4-H’ers and the Master 4-H Club has extended membership to those individuals. Several former Newton County 4-H members who won state honors at Dublin 4-H Center from 1951-1964 were recognized. Lottie Johnson, who began her career as an Extension Agent in 1955 during segregation, was named an Honorary Master 4-H Member for her service to 4-H youth from 1955 until her retirement in 1986. The University of Georgia 4-H program plans to recognize the work of the Black Extension 4-H Program during segregation with historical plaques at the site of the Dublin 4-H Center, which was closed in 1968. The banquet also recognized youth that Mastered in the past year as well.
The State and District Board of Directors and Clovers & Co. Alumni Reception, hosted by the Georgia 4-H Foundation on Saturday afternoon, honored 4-H’ers who currently serve or once served on the state or district boards as well as Clovers & Company alumni. Saturday morning, AmeriCorps VISTAs were honored at the volunteer breakfast.
Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 175,000 people annually through the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Extension office.