Bottom row (l to r) Amelia Hooker, Sophia Scott, Dylan Lo, and Micah Newton; Top row (l to r) Molly Hooker, Ryan Johnson, Riley Davis.
By Traci Buckingham
Pickens County 4-H is on a roll once again bringing back the tradition of an award wining program. The Northeast District Virtual Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Contest was held on November 2nd. One hundred twenty-nine youth from 22 counties participated in this virtual contest. We received news that our junior county bowl/consumer judging team placed first in the district and not only did our team get 1st, but we had some of the highest individuals in all areas of the competition. This is the first time we have had a winning cotton boll team in Pickens County is the last 20 years.
First you must understand what Cotton Boll is to really understand the scope and difficulty of this contest. Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging is a competitive judging contest where 4-H’ers learn about cotton as an agriculture commodity in our state as well as to promote cotton through commercials or advertisements. 4-H’ers gain skills in making rational decisions when purchasing goods and services while maximizing resources.
The contest is made up of two competition areas: judging classes and advertisements / commercials. 4-H’ers are required to judge four classes of consumer items or services. Each class contains four similar items and has an accompanying situation statement. This statement describes a consumer and gives the needs to be considered when he/she makes a decision to purchase the item. Factors influencing these needs may include the person’s age, gender, available money, lifestyles, school or job status, preferences or other requirements that depend on the item given and the individual in the situation. This year 4-H’ers had to judge gym memberships, snacks from vending machines, pajama bottoms, and computerized watches. After judging each area and placing these individual items in proper order, during one group of items 4-H’ers had to give their reason for placing them to the judges. Molly Hooker was able to get 3rd place against all of these 4-H’ers in what is considered for many the hardest part of the competition.
The second area is a short commercial or advertisement that will catch the judges’ attention about cotton. We had people dressed as detectives, doctors, army men, engineers, and some who were ready to go to the polls in their red, white and blue and vote for cotton. Micah Newton got 1st out of the 122 4-H’ers competing with his prescription for cotton, while Dylan low got 3rd as an engineer. At the cloverleaf level, Amelia Hooker got 2nd out of the entire district with her commercial. Although they didn’t place in the top 3, Sophia Scott, Molly Hooker, Ryan Johnson and Riley Davis all had commercials that were entertaining and informative. You can go on the 4-H Facebook page and check out all the commercials. Our Facebook page is: Georgia 4-H Pickens County.
2020 has been a difficult year for us all. We were unsure of what was going to happen to 4-H in these unprecedented times with no 4-H agent/leader, but we are clearing hurdle after hurdle as our program grows and sees success in a variety of ways. If you would like to know more about what is going on, keep your eyes on the Pickens County Progress and check out our Facebook page. If you would like to sign your child up for this program, contact the 4-H office at 706-253-8840. We have many exciting opportunities coming up in the coming months. You are not going to want to miss them.