UACES Facebook Arkansas 4-H forestry team claims national championship for second year

Arkansas 4-H forestry team claims national championship for second year

By Meleah Perez
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Aug. 11, 2017 

Fast Facts:

  • Hermitage team takes top honors at 38th annual forestry competition
  • Teams participated in tree identifications, forest evaluations and written exams
  • 15 other teams competed for the national title 

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WESTON, W. Va. — For the second year in a row, four Arkansans took the national title at the National 4-H Forestry Invitational. 

4-H Forestry Arkansas Team

The team beat 15 other states at the 38th annual competition, held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia. The five-day event, held July 30 to Aug. 3, had team and individual events including tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, a “forestry bowl” quiz event and a written forestry exam. 

Taylor Gwin, the team’s coach, led the four Hermitage natives, Samantha Clanton, Curtis Sellers, Carolyn Morman and Logan Williams, to victory. 

Clanton also won the high point individual award. 

“It takes a lot of dedication and training on the part of the kids and the coach,” said Tamara Walkingstick, University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture associate professor in extension forestry and the associate director for Arkansas Forest Resources Center. “It also takes perseverance and the ability to focus. There are a lot of kids attending the national contest. It would be easy to lose focus.” 

Walkingstick said Bradley County, where Hermitage is, has always had good forestry teams, even though they change every year.

“The contest does not allow national winners to compete again. To win with a new group of kids suggests that the coach knows what he's doing,” she said. 

Walkingstick said she hopes the students who win these championships think about forestry and natural resources as a possible career, especially considering the evolution of technology. 

“The use of technology has increased dramatically over the years,” she said. “Drones, global information systems, bioenergy and nanotechnology are all growing areas or fields within forestry. It's not just measuring and identifying trees.” 

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.

 

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system. 

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A System Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126
mhightower@uaex.edu

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