4-H Horticulture State Contest
The Florida 4-H State Horticulture Identification and Judging Contest took place in June at the Alachua County Extension Office in Newberry. This contest provided an opportunity for youth to demonstrate their skill and knowledge in identifying and judging a wide variety of fruits and nuts, vegetables, flowers/foliage, and ornamental plants. Fourteen youth from four counties from across the state competed in this event that challenged their plant science knowledge with over 140 plant specimens to identify and judge. The Marion County 4-H team, coached by Jeremy Rhoden and Jenni Cassidy, consisting of Caroline Cassidy, Kylie Hurst, Lydia Sharp, and Timothy Sinsay earned the first-place senior team and will represent Florida at the National Junior Horticultural Association Annual Convention in October in Towson Maryland.
Wendy Wilber, Statewide Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator, and Emily Eubanks, Assistant Director, and the plant specialist team of Dr. Jeff Williamson, Tom Wichman, and Marc Frank organized and executed this top-notch educational event. The Florida 4-H Horticulture Contest is supported by the UF IFAS Plant Science Department, the Florida 4-H Foundation, and the 4-H Plant Science Action Team.
4-H Horticulture Team Coaches Needed
The 4-H Horticulture Identification and Judging Contest is open to all 4-H youth across the state, however this year only four counties took part in this event. Needless to say, there is a vital need for Master Gardeners, 4-H Volunteers, and Extension Agents who have a passion for plants to share their time and knowledge with local youth. Caring adults from across the state are encouraged to contact your local 4-H Extension Agent about the opportunity to work with youth interested in plants. The time commitment to serve as a 4-H horticulture team coach is flexible and there are numerous resources available from the University of Florida/IFAS Extension. In addition to preparing youth with skills and knowledge to successfully compete at 4-H horticulture contests at county fairs and the state contest, adults can have a positive influence on youth engagement in the field of plant science and related careers.
To learn more about the 4-H Horticulture Contest and the available resources for preparing youth, go to: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/4H004
To contact your local 4-H Extension Agent to learn more about youth engagement opportunities in your area, go to: https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/find-your-local-office