Brunswick County Youth honored at State 4-H Congress

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 A Brunswick County 4-H’er was among award-winners at the recent 2010 State 4-H Congress, July 19-22 in Raleigh. 

Congress is the high point of the 4-H year, bringing young people from across the state to the North Carolina State University campus for four days of activities. 

At the beginning of summer, youth gather at their 4-H District Activity Day events to give presentations on topics of their choice to a panel of judges. Winners advance to the state level, where they gathered during the second day of Congress. 

On July 20, hundreds of youth gathered at Athens Drive High School to give their presentations for the state competition. 4-H youth from Brunswick County that presented included: Bryan Simmons, Justin Simmons, Lydia Lewis, Mary Ellen Lewis, Alexis Apple and Amber Yurgel. 

Justin Simmons, 18, son of Cleve and Sybil Simmons of Supply, won in contests designed to test 4-H’ers’ knowledge of a variety of subjects. 

His presentation, “Conventional Farming Versus No-Till Farming,” won the gold medal in the age 14-18 division of the Crop Production and Utilization competition, sponsored by the N.C. Corngrowers Association, N.C. Small Grain Growers Association and Syngenta. He received a $50 award. 

Justin Simmons, was a gold winner in the presentations competition and competed in the state horticulture judging contest at Congress. He was also part of evening entertainment where he played the drums and was accompanied on the keyboard by his brother, Bryan. 

During the week, Justin Simmons also campaigned for the office of N.C. 4-H President. Although he lost the vote by a small margin, Justin maintains his county position as president and serves as the Central Director for the National Junior Horticulture Association. His leadership skills will still be used as he leads his county into the statewide 4-H “Hungry to Help” initiative and serves as the county representative at the N.C. Association of County Commissioners Youth Summit in August.

More than 500 4-H’ers, volunteer leaders and North Carolina Cooperative Extension agents attended 4-H Congress.

The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 240,000 young people between the ages of 5-19 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of 21,000 adult and youth volunteers.