A Brunswick County 4-H’er was among award-winners at the recent 2010 State 4-H Congress, held 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 activity. 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 20th, 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, not only was a gold winner in the presentations competition, he competed in the State Horticulture Judging Contest held Monday at Congress, and was part of the evening entertainment on Tuesday where he played the drums and was accompanied on the keyboard by his brother, Bryan. During the week, he also campaigned for the office of NC 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 NC 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.