Georgia 4-H youth participate in state land-judging competition

By for CAES News
Georgia 4-H youth participate in the State Land Judging Competition at the C.W. Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camila, Georgia.
Georgia 4-H youth participate in the State Land Judging Competition at the C.W. Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camila, Georgia.

More than 25 Georgia 4-H youth participated in the 2021 State Land Judging contest at the University of Georgia’s C.M. Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camila, Georgia. Four counties from across the state brought teams to compete.

The Georgia 4-H Land Judging Program offers youth the chance to build critical thinking, science-based education and life skills in soil science. The youth analyze soils from north and south Georgia in pits and trays at four different stations. At each station, youth must identify soil characteristics and identify the crop rotation and utilization for that soil.

"Land judging participants see firsthand how what they have learned about soil and its management for crops, forests and pastures comes together when we hold the contest on one of our research farms,” said Craven Hudson, state 4-H specialist for University of Georgia Cooperative Extension. "We appreciate all that the Stripling staff did in preparation for the contest."

The State Land Judging Contest consists of two competition brackets. The Junior Competition is for youth in grades four through eight, and the Senior Competition is for grades nine through 12. A county may bring up to 20 youth in up to three teams. The youth compete individually for high individual. The top individual scores from a county represent the county team score. The first-place senior team winners will represent Georgia at the 2022 National Land Judging Contest in May 2022 in Oklahoma.

UGA Soil Scientist and judge Glen Harris congratulates the Coweta County Senior 4-H land-judging championship team, including (left to right) Parker Arrington, Madison Dyar, Aaron Boyd and Gillian Ramponi, with Stripling Research Park Superintendent Calvin Perry.
UGA soil scientist and judge Glen Harris congratulates the Coweta County Senior 4-H Land-Judging Championship Team, including (left to right) Parker Arrington, Madison Dyar, Aaron Boyd and Gillian Ramponi, with Stripling Research Park Superintendent Calvin Perry.

Senior Division winners

  • First place team: Coweta County — Parker Arrington, Madison Dyar, Aaron Boyd, Gillian Ramponi
  • Second place team: Worth County — Dakota Farmer, Mark Hancock, Annika Blech, Khristopher Still
  • Third place team: Seminole County — Kynia Blake, Hannah Snider, Ethan Ausley
  • Senior High Individual: Parker Arrington – Coweta County

Junior Division winners

  • First place team: Worth County — Adam Blech, Eric Mullis, Charlie Pate, Browning Watts
  • Second place team: Seminole County — Ty Weir, Emma Godby, Zhion Williams, Coltin Alday
  • Junior High Individual: Charlie Pate — Worth County 

The Land Judging Program is growing, as newly certified coaches led teams in many counties for the first time in 2021. This event was made possible with the help of coaches, 4-H Extension staff, UGA crop and soil sciences staff and community volunteers.

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 242,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local UGA Extension office.

Craven Hudson is a state 4-H specialist within UGA Extension.