Georgia 4-H'ers showcase their consumer economic skills in first virtual competition

By for CAES News

Thirty youth participated in the 2020 Georgia 4-H State Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition sponsored by the Georgia Cotton Commission on Dec. 12. In previous years, this contest was held in person at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia. This year, the contest was held in a virtual format.

The Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition is part of the Georgia 4-H Healthy Living Program. This competitive judging contest teaches 4-H’ers to make wise consumer decisions and educates participants on cotton as an agricultural commodity in Georgia. The competition offers youth the chance to build critical thinking, public speaking and life skills in consumer economics.

“Consumer Judging teaches youth how to think critically and make smart consumer decisions,” said Courtney Brown, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist. “The skills learned in preparation for this competitive event are real-life skills that youth will continue to use throughout their lives when making purchases.” 

The state contest consists of two competition areas: judging classes and advertisements. In the judging class portion of the competition, 4-H’ers are required to judge four classes of consumer items or services and rank items based on provided details, factors and scenarios, as well as provide oral reasoning for their selections. The advertisements portion requires 4-H’ers to promote cotton and its use through a presentation.

Prior to the state competition, 4-H’ers from ninth through 12th grades competed in virtual district-level contests. The first and second place senior teams at each district area contest continued on to compete at the State Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition. Although the contest was held online, all contest elements were maintained. Cotton presentations were prerecorded and judged virtually. Participants examined the classes and scenarios using a timed platform, Qualtrics, and presented their reasoning to the judges live via Zoom.

The first place Senior Team winners and High Overall Individual will receive Georgia Master 4-H’er status, be honored at Georgia State 4-H Congress in July in Atlanta, and represent Georgia in the Consumer Decision Making contest at Western National Roundup in January 2021 in Denver, Colorado. The second place team will also travel to Denver to represent Georgia 4-H in the Western National Roundup Family and Consumer Science Skill-A-Thon or Family and Consumer Sciences Knowledge Bowl.

The winners of the 2020 Georgia 4-H Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition are:

Teams
First place: Ashley Braddy, Liam Jay, Timothy Lord and Lauren Wixson – Ben Hill County
Second place: Liz Pridgon, Sydney Pridgon, Dana Wells and Amare Woods – Tift County
Third place: Sierra Arnold, Lydia Belflower, Veronica Lee and Lucy Weigert – Bleckley County

Individuals
High Overall Individual: Liam Jay – Ben Hill County
High Presentation: Liam Jay – Ben Hill County
High Placing and Reasons: Ashley Braddy – Ben Hill County

Georgia 4-H empowers youth to become true leaders by developing necessary life skills, positive relationships and community awareness. As the largest youth leadership organization in the state, 4-H reaches more than 190,000 people annually through UGA Extension offices and 4-H facilities. For more information, visit georgia4h.org or contact your local Extension office.

Cristina deRevere is the public relations coordinator for Georgia 4-H.
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