AUBURN UNIVERSITY, Ala.–The Lee County 4-H Wildlife senior team recently won the annual Alabama Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) Contest. The team will also represent Alabama in the upcoming National WHEP Contest in Junction City, Kansas, July 14-17.
Members of the team include Cale McCormick, Luke Cooper and Ethan Rankins. The team is coached by Nina McCormick and Gavin Rankins, Alabama 4-H volunteers.
“I am proud of our Lee County senior team. WHEP is a wonderful opportunity for students, and it teaches them to be good stewards of Alabama’s natural resources,” Nina McCormick said. “This team practiced hard and put in many study hours. It is a great honor for our team to be able to represent Lee County and Alabama on a national stage.”
Alabama youth work hard to prepare for the contest, participating as teams and as well as individually.
Events require rigorous study in plant succession, species richness and diversity, communities and ecosystems, habitat requirements and also pond dynamics, among other topics.
“We had a great turnout at this year’s state competition, including many new participants. The ability of these young people to demonstrate skills such as identifying animals through audio recordings of their sounds in nature or evaluating wildlife habitat at a site by looking at aerial photographs is truly amazing,” Alabama 4-H Extension specialist Emily Nichols said. “Alabama 4-H is very proud of the accomplishments of all WHEP members, and we’re thrilled that the Lee County Wildlife club will have their chance to shine in Kansas next month.”
Senior Team Placements
- Lee County–Cale McCormick, Luke Cooper, Ethan Rankins
- Cullman County–Hunter Hill, Justine Hill, Jeb Quick
Senior Overall Individuals
- Ethan Rankins– Lee County
- Luke Cooper– Lee County
- Jeb Quick– Cullman County
- Angela Trim– Walker County
- Hunter Watson– Cherokee County
Junior Team Placements
- Lee County–Kaylee Walton, Campbell Nichols, Sarah McCormick
- Cullman County–Jessica Ballenger, Colt Daniel, Amelia Ward
- Cullman County–Lane Hill, Lora Quick, Arianna Randall, Melissa Williams
Junior Overall Individuals
- Caleb Quick– Cullman County
- Campbell Nichols–Lee County
- Camden Davis–Walker County
- Jessica Ballenger–Cullman County
WHEP is a hands-on natural resources program that teaches wildlife and fisheries management. In addition, the state contest helps 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 178,000 young people participate or enroll in Alabama 4-H activities each year.
For more information, visit www.alabama4h.com.
Pictured from left are Campbell Nichols, Cale McCormick, Kaylee Walton, Sarah McCormick, Ethan Rankins and Luke Cooper.