On Feb. 6, 247 4-H youth, leaders, and volunteers traveled to Atlanta for the 11th Annual Leadership Day and 4-H Day at the Capitol.
Former 4-H state vice president Amanda Starling was honored with the Dean’s Award. She is currently a student at Georgia Southern University. Starling and other honorees stood while a resolution was read in the House of Representatives and Senate.
Her sister Natalie Starling, the current Effingham County vice president, was there to support her during the ceremony. The youth were chaperoned by Dr. Nathalie Starling and Crystal Starling.
Leadership Day, sponsored by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), is an opportunity for leaders from across Georgia to come together, share best practices and identify ways to improve leadership efforts in Georgia. The event, held at the Atlanta Freight Depot, recognizes the efforts of leadership programs sponsored by DCA, including Georgia 4-H, The Fanning Institute’s Community Leadership Program and the Georgia Academy for Economic Development. In all, more than 500 youth, county leadership team members, graduates of the Georgia Academy for Economic Development, and government officials attended this event.
The day included speeches from Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, Speaker of the House David Ralston, DCA Commissioner Mike Beatty, and Development Manager and Georgia 4-H alumnus Lisa Gipson. Entertainment for the day was provided by members of the Georgia 4-H Performing Arts group, Clovers & Co. including Jado Cato, Henry County; Clay McArthur, Pickens County; Gracie Rowe, Heard County; Garrett Collins, Butts County; Ansley Hutcheson, Butts County; Destan Musgrove, Crisp County; and Tifara Brown, Ben Hill County.
After Leadership Day concluded, 4-Hers visited the state Capitol to meet with their representatives, toured the capitol, and witnessed the legislative process in action. State 4-H president Dowdy Whit, from Crisp County, addressed both the House and Senate, thanking them for their support of 4-H over the past year, and pledging to continue to work together to make Georgia a great place to live. White noted that he and the other 4-H representatives at the capitol were representing the 172,000 Georgia 4-H’ers. Hosts for the day were Sen. Johnny Grant and Reps. Richard Smith and Rick Jasperse.
Abby Smith, the Effingham County agent, discussed with Rep. Jon Burns plans to bring back more Effingham County 4-Hers in the future so they can serve as pages.
"The proclamations in both the House and Senate recognized 4-H honorees from across the state," Smith said, "and we are very proud of Amanda and came to support her."
For information on getting involved in Effingham County 4-H, contact Smith at 754-8040.