Pennsylvania was one of 12 state teams that competed in the 35th annual National 4-H Forestry Invitational from Sunday, July 27, through Thursday, July 31. Teams from Alabama, New York, and Georgia placed first, second, and third respectively. Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia were also represented at this year’s Invitational.
The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The event was sponsored by Farm Credit System, Plum Creek, The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., The Society of American Foresters, West Virginia University Extension Service, The American Forest Foundation, and the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals. In Pennsylvania, the 4-H Forestry Program is sponsored by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative of Pennsylvania.
While at the Invitational 4-H members competed for overall 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.
Pennsylvania was represented by Serena Nicoll from Pittsburgh, Kelsey McLaughlin and Dalton Stewart both from New Bethlehem. The team was coached by Bill Stewart from New Bethlehem and Gayle Nicoll from Pittsburgh.
Lisa Barron from Alabama received the high point individual award. Second place high individual award was given to Daryl Blough from New York and third place high individual award was given to Seth Rankins from Alabama.
The Joe Yeager “Spirit of the Invitational” award was given to Nathaniel Erwin of Kentucky. This award recognizes an outstanding 4-H contestant at the Invitational. It is presented to the individual who takes initiative, is enthusiastic, and is eager to lead academic and social situations.
4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the state
land grant universities. More than six million youth, 540,000 volunteers, and 3,500 professionals participate in 4-H nationwide, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.
For more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, click here.