From July 28 - August 1, this year's National 4-H Forestry Invitational was held at the Jackson's Mill State 4-H Conference Center in Weston, W. Va., open annually to one team representing each state.
"The purpose of the Invitational is to develop an appreciation for the importance of conserving forestland as a source of products, benefits, and services necessary for quality living. 4-Hers learn citizenship and leadership skills as well as practical forest management skills through participation," notes the competition's website.
This year, Florida 4-H was represented by your senior state champion Forest Ecology team from Polk County 4-H, with team members Alex Thomas, Michaela Mathis, Hunter Jerrigan and Makayla Taylor, along with their coach Tammy Thomas.
As a team, they were named as the winning team in the forestry quiz bowl, and as the fourth place team overall in the nation, with 13 teams and 50 individuals competing in this year's national competition.
Congratulations to this amazing team on all of their accomplishments, and best of luck to them in all of their future adventures related to forestry and beyond.
Teams from Pinellas County 4-H and Leon County 4-H were named as your state champions in junior and intermediate divisions, respectively, at the state contest back in the spring, hosted by the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources & Conservation.
The "forest ecology" contest, as it is known as in Florida, or simply, "forestry" contest as it is known nationally, tests youth's skills in tree identification and measurement, forest evaluation, orienteering, map use, insect and disease identification and performance in a forestry quiz bowl and written exam both individually and as a team. For more information and complete results, visit 4hforestryinvitational.org.