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A sweet time for 4-H'ers at DPA
0308 4H
Effingham County 4-Hers who took part in the District Project Achievement competition are, front row, left to right: Becca Velasquez, Sophie Usher, Natalie Starling and 4-H agent Abby Smith; back row, Alex Parrish, Cole Pierce, Hannah Weitman, Sara Hampton and Rylee Kirk. Not pictured are Logan and Noah McDonald. - photo by Photo provided

The Southeast District Project Achievement Competition was held Feb. 8-10 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton. The theme this year was “4-H: How Sweet It Is!” with the auditorium for the awards ceremony reflecting every kind of candy imaginable.

To compete, seventh-12th grade 4-H’ers pick a project area of interest to them. Not only does the 4-H’er have to prepare a 10-12-minute presentation for the competition, they also have to keep a record of project work completed throughout the year and submit a portfolio for judging. Through DPA, 4-H’ers learn public speaking skills, interview skills and record-keeping skills.

This year Effingham County had 10 students representing multiple project areas within the competition. They were: Becca Velasquez, placing first in sports; Cole Pierce, placing first in photography; Noah McDonald placing first in performing arts instrumental; Natalie Starling, placing second in performing arts in general; Sophie Usher, placing second in companion animal; and Rylee Kirk, placing third in human development; Natalie Starling and Rylee Kirk will be advancing to state congress on a sweepstakes win. The state congress will be held at the Crowne Plaza Ravina in Atlanta in late July. Others competing were Logan McDonald in vet science, Alex Parrish in outdoor recreation, Hannah Weitman in festive foods, and Sara Hampton in general recreation.

District Project Achievement is an extremely valuable tool for fulfilling the Georgia 4-H mission of “assisting youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills, and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive, and contributing citizens,” said 4-H Agent Abby Smith of the Effingham County Extension office in Springfield.

For more information about Effingham County 4-H programs, call 754-8040.