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Extension: Forsyth County 4-H sweeps judging competitions
Wildlife Judging
4-H Wildlife Judging participants were, back row, from left, Emily Kowalczyk, Jana Hornsey, Leah Hornsey, Dusty Haney, Laura Ramsey and Wendy Taylor. Front row, from left, Justin Cummings, Nathaniel Fallin and Bethany Taylor.

To instill positive life skills in youth, 4-H offers a variety of judging teams throughout the year to teach critical thinking and decision-making skills. These teams practice weekly for six to eight weeks in preparation for their respective knowledge-based competitions. Recently Forsyth County 4-H’ers had great success in both Wildlife Judging and the Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging contests. 

Wildlife Judging is an evaluation event where 4H’ers learn all about wildlife native to Georgia including how to identify different species, what they eat, where they live and how to make land desirable for the different species. This is a great event for any 4H’er who is interested in animals and their habitats. 

The State Wildlife Judging Contest was held on Oct. 20 at Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton, and the Senior Team of Leah Hornsey, Wendy Taylor, Emily Kowalczyk and Dusty Haney placed first and will be advancing to the national contest which will be held in Kansas in July.

4-H Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging
From left, Ben Kerrisk, Tori Kimbarl, Keenen Clark, Bethany Kerrisk, Kaitlyn Bauer, Abby Stinson, Natty Fallin, Kirsten Bauer, Riley Clark and Micah Kerrisk participated in the Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging. Not pictured: Trevor Linke and Shaun Linke.
The Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Team teaches 4H’ers about cotton as an agriculture commodity. The 4H’ers gain decision-making skills related to purchasing goods and services while maximizing resources. The contest has two competition areas: judging classes and commercials. 

Members are required to judge four classes of consumer items or services. Each class contains a set of items and a situation statement. This statement describes a fictional consumer and gives their needs to consider when choosing an item. These needs may include age, gender, available money, lifestyles, school or job status, or other preferences. 

The other part of the competition requires each 4H’er to present a commercial for a cotton-based product. Forsyth County participated in the Area Contest in Gainesville on Nov. 6 and the Senior Team of Abby Stinson, Tori Kimbarl, Kirsten Bauer and Bethany Kerrisk placed first and will be advancing to the state competition on Dec. 8 at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Abby Stinson was also the top scoring individual out of the entire competition.

Forsyth County 4-H is proud of all team members who participated in our Judging Teams this year. Forsyth County 4-H also offers Poultry Judging in early spring and Forestry Judging in late summer. For more information on how to sign up for any 4H events and teams, or on how to support the local 4H Club, contact the UGA Extension office at (770) 887-2418 or You can also like and follow us on Facebook at

 In Forsyth County, 4H is supported by The University of Georgia, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, Forsyth County Board of Education, and United Way of Forsyth County.

Jack Lowery is the 4-H Extension Agent  for the UGA Extension Forsyth County.