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AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala. – Alabama 4-H teams from Pickens and Lee counties recently represented Alabama 4-H in national outdoor education competitions.

“We are so proud of these 4–H members and their accomplishments,” said Molly Gregg, assistant director of Alabama 4-H. “These events require youth to build personal and team capacity to compete.”

Pickens County 4-H Forestry senior team members competed in the National 4-H Forestry Invitational on August 1. Members of the team included Luke Koon, Logan Snipes, Kade Lucas and Abel Abernathy.

The team participated in the Alabama 4-H State Forestry Invitational in June at Auburn University Ag Heritage Park. After taking first place in the state competition, Pickens County teens had an opportunity to compete on a national stage in Weston, West Virginia, where they placed third.

At the event, the team used their knowledge to compete in areas such as tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, forest evaluation, and insect and disease identification.

In addition, Lee County 4-H Wildlife senior team members competed in the National WHEP Contest on July 17. Team members included Cale McCormick, Luke Cooper and Ethan Rankins.

Pictured from left are Cale McCormick, Luke Cooper and Ethan Rankins.

The team participated in the Alabama Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) Contest in June at Lake Guntersville State Park. After taking first place in the state competition, the Lee County teens also had an opportunity to compete on a national stage in Junction City, Kansas, where they placed fifth.

The event required rigorous study in plant succession, species richness and diversity, communities and ecosystems, habitat requirements and pond dynamics, among other topics.

“Teens have many options for extracurricular activities,” said Emily Nichols, Alabama 4-H Extension specialist. “It is impressive that our teens choose to spend their time in the outdoors acquiring skills that will prepare them to be protectors of the environment in science and resource management careers.”

The competitions require year-round preparation and help Alabama youth foster an appreciation for Alabama’s natural habitats.

Alabama 4-H provides youth development and education as a part of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. More than 178,800 young people participate or enroll in Alabama 4-H activities each year.

For more information about Alabama 4-H outdoor education programs and contests, visit www.alabama4h.com.

Pictured at top are Luke Koon, Logan Snipes, Kade Lucas and Abel Abernathy.

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