TIFTON – Seventy-five youth from 12 counties participated in the Southwest District Virtual Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Contest.
The Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competitions are part of the Georgia 4-H Healthy Living program, 4-H representatives said in a statement. The competitive judging contest "teaches 4-Hers about cotton as an agriculture commodity in Georgia as well as cotton promotion through commercials or advertisements," organizers said.
"The competition offers youth the chance to build critical thinking skills, public speaking skills and life skills in consumer economics."
The Georgia 4-H Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competitions are sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission.
Consumer judging teaches youth how to think critically and make smart consumer decisions. The skills learned in preparation for this competitive event are real-life skills that youth will continue using throughout their lives when making purchases, 4-H representatives said.
The district contest consists of two competition areas: judging classes; advertisements and commercials. In the judging class portion of the competition, 4-Hers are required to judge four classes of consumer items or services, ranking items based on provided details, factors and scenarios as well as provide oral reasonings for their selections.
Advertisements and commercials portion requires 4-Hers to promote cotton and its use through a presentation, costume and poster.
"This year, Tift County 4-H did an amazing job at the contest," representatives said.
The Tift County senior 4-H team placed second at the district competition. The senior team consisted of 4-Hers Liz Pridgon, Sydney Pridgon, Dana Wells, Amare Woods, Bethany Samuel and Molly Wells. Amare Woods placed first as high individual in placing and reasons.
The Tift County junior team placed third in the district contest and was made up of Philycia Hamilton, James Wise and Leila Rimes. On the junior team, James Wise placed third in high placing and reasons and Philycia Hamilton placed third high in presentation.
After placing second in the district contest, the top four individuals on the senior team, Liz Pridgon, Sydney Pridgon, Dana Wells and Amare Woods, and advanced to the State Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition in December.
Traditionally, the contest is held in person at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, but this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the competition was held virtually. At the competition, 30 youths from eight counties across Georgia competed.
At the state competition, the Tift County senior team placed second. Senior 4-Her Dana Wells placed second as the senior high individual and third in senior high individual presentation. Amare Woods placed fourth in senior placing and reasons. The senior team will be eligible to represent Georgia in the FCS Skillathon or FCS Quiz Bowl at Western National RoundUp in 2022.
The Tift County 4-H Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging teams were coached by Ashley Carroll, Tift County 4-H agent.
Georgia 4-H "empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness," representatives said. "As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 175,000 people annually through UGA extension offices and 4-H facilities."
For more information, visit tiftcounty4h.com or contact the Tift County Extension office, (229) 391-7980.