AUBURN, Alabama—The Alabama 4-H Forestry Judging team placed third among 14 state teams at the 36th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational held recently. Ginny Grace Gibbs, Mollie Watkins, Lydia Abernathy and Amber Watkins from Pickens County earned the right to represent Alabama at the national contest by winning the State 4-H Forestry Contest in June.
The Invitational was held at Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia.
“We are very proud of our Alabama 4-H Forestry Team and their accomplishments at the national contest,” said Dr. Molly Gregg, Alabama Extension assistant director for 4-H. “Alabama 4-H has a long history of excellence at the event and this team from Pickens County continued that tradition.
In addition to an overall team award, there are team and individual awards in several categories. Events included tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl and a written forestry exam.
Abernathy was the sixth high overall individual in the National Forestry Invitational. The Alabama team placed second in the forestry bowl event and third in the written exam.
Teams from Tennessee and New York placed first and second, respectively. Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia were also represented at this year’s Invitational.
A number of local sponsors including the Pickens County Forestry Planning Committee, the Pickens County Farmers Federation and the Pickens County Extension office helped make the team’s participation at the national event possible.
Alabama 4-H is the youth education program arm of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. More than 130,000 young people participated or were enrolled in Alabama 4-H activities in the last year.
Pictured above (l to r) Beth Gibbs, Chaperone, Ginny Grace Gibbs, Mollie Watkins, Lydia Abernathy, Amber Watkins and Sam Wiggins, Coach.