Thirty-four youth and eight adult volunteers representing the Pontotoc County 4-H Club attended the 2019 4-H State Club Congress.  The event took place May 29th – May 31st at Mississippi State University.  

4-H Club Congress is an annual event hosted by the Mississippi State University Extension Service.  It allows Mississippi 4-H members from all over the state to compete in career preparatory competitions, participate in workshops, attend performances, and participate in the election of 4-H State Council Officers.  The theme for the 2019 4-H Club Congress was “4-H Inspires Youth to Think.”  This theme exemplifies the role that 4-H plays in developing youth into confident and effective adults.

Pontotoc County 4-H members participated in sixteen competitions which included Child Development, Citizenship Bowl, Consumer Judging, Computer Technology, Dairy Quiz Bowl, Dairy Products Judging, Electric Judging, Entomology/Insect I.D., Horticulture Judging, Livestock Quiz Bowl, Modeling Squad Showdown, Public Speaking, Seed I.D. and Quality, Share-the Fun Talent Event, Welding, and Wildlife Judging.

I will discuss the accomplishments of the Pontotoc County 4-H teams and individuals that won their contests.   All first place teams and individuals that are described below earned the right to participate in the 4-H Cooperative Leadership Conference hosted by Mississippi State University.  Three of the teams also earned to the right to travel to national events to compete.  

Citizenship Bowl

In the Citizenship Bowl competition, 4-H members learn about the democratic system of government.  Participants from various counties compete head to head by answering questions relating to local, state, and national governments.  The first-place team from Pontotoc County included Johnathen Hall, Gabe Henry, Andrew Rodgers, and Noah Wortham.  Andrew Rogers earned the high individual score for the event.

Computer Technology

Computer Technology is an individual contest that provides participants valuable experience in working with computers.  The contest includes a written exam, creation of a computer application, and a visual presentation about the computer application.  Lathe Ward was the first-place winner.

Dairy Quiz Bowl 

Dairy Quiz Bowl is a contest where teams compete head to head by answering questions relating to the dairy industry.  The topics areas include animal feeds, milk quality, herd health, udder health, breeding, genetics, marketing, dairy foods, calf-raising, and other areas. The first-place team from Pontotoc County included Cayden Bell, Chase Foster, Drake Merritt, Chloe Pina and Macy Ruth. The team qualified for the National Dairy Quiz Bowl which will be held in Louisville, Kentucky. Chloe Pina earned the high individual score in the event.

Electric Judging

In the Electric Judging contest, participants exhibit skills relating to the fundamentals of safe and efficient use of electricity.  The event includes a written test, identification of electrical parts and equipment, and a visual presentation. Carson Long was the contest winner.

Entomology/Insect ID

Entomology/Insect ID is an individual contest that provides 4-H members the opportunity to learn about insects and their role in the environment.  The contest requires participants to identify approximately thirty specimens and complete a written exam.  Chase Montgomery was the first-place winner.

Horticulture Judging 

Horticulture Judging is a team event where participants learn about the production of ornamental plants, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and turf grasses.  Participants take a written test, judge vegetables and flowers, and identify 25 plant specimens.  The winning team included Laura Lee Brown, Chelle’ Corder, Amy Priest, and Anne Taylor.  The team qualified to compete at the National Junior Horticulture Association Convention in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Modeling Squad Showdown

The Modeling Squad Showdown is a team event where participants design and participate in a fashion show routine.  The Pontotoc County team’s routine was based on a Kentucky Derby theme. The first-place team from Pontotoc County included Shyloh Biffle, Nicole Brewer, Mabry Chamblee, J.D. Chism, Elizabeth Nichols, Will Reeves, Macy Ruth, Anna Sauerwein, and Drake Merritt who served as the narrator.

Seed I.D. and Quality

The Seed I.D. and Quality contest provides 4-H members practical experience in row crop and forage production.  The event includes a written test, seed identification, and seed judging.  The winning 4-H team included Laura Lee Brown, Chelle’ Corder, Amy Priest, and Anne Taylor.

Wildlife Judging

In the Wildlife Judging event contestants learn about the science of managing wildlife populations and habitats.  The contest includes a written test, wildlife identification, recommendations of management practices, a habitat management plan, and oral defense of the management plan.  The winning team included Mabry Chamblee, Coledon Montgomery, Elizabeth Nichols, and Will Reeves.  The high individual in the contest was Coledon Montgomery.  The Pontotoc group will compete at the Wildlife Habitat Education Program later this summer in Junction City, Kansas.

Share-the Fun

Pontotoc County 4-H members also had the opportunity to exhibit their musical and artistic talents.  Andrew Rogers, Lathe Ward, and Mabry Chamblee were chosen to perform at the talent show on Thursday night.  They all did an awesome job and had the audience on their feet.

The Pontotoc County 4-H Club did an outstanding job representing our community by excelling in the various 4-H contests and by being eager to participate in leadership roles.  Mabry Chamblee was elected to the position of State 4-H Council Parliamentarian.  It is a huge honor to be elected to a State 4-H Council position.  

Mabry and the other 4-H Officers and Ambassadors will represent Mississippi 4-H at various events across the state including the Mississippi State Fair, State 4-H Congress, Legislative Day, the Cooperative Leadership Conference, regional Project Achievement Days, and regional livestock shows.

Lathe Ward and Drake Merritt were also awarded scholarships relating to their leadership service to the Mississippi 4-H Council.  The Mississippi Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers program awarded them both with a $1,000 college scholarship.  

The 2018 Club Congress was a great success.  Members of the Pontotoc County 4-H Club experienced the 4-H slogan, which is “Learning by Doing”.  

If you know a young person between the ages of five and eighteen that could benefit from participation in 4-H, call 662-489-3910 or drop by the Pontotoc County Extension Service Office at 402 C.J. Hardin, Jr. Drive.

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