Over the October 11 weekend, Wakulla County 4-H youth Alexis Green represented Florida 4-H at the 85th Annual National Junior Horticulture Association (NJHA) competition in Lincoln, Nebraska. Green, the daughter of Samantha and Ronnie Isaacs of Sopchoppy, is a sixth grade student at Wakulla Middle School.
According to Wakulla 4-H Youth Development Program Director Rachel Pienta, “Horticulture Identification is the identification of plants, vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, and trees by their seeds, leaves, bulbs, and flowers.”
On Saturday, Green competed in the Identification and judging competitions. She finished in 7th place against youth from 13 states – identifying over 100 plants in a multi-hour session.
From Wakulla to Nebraska: Alexis’ Journey to National Competition
To qualify for the national competition, Green progressed through regional and state contests. At the 2018 North Florida Fair, Green competed in Horticulture Identification. She won 1st place for the 2nd year in a row. This win qualified her to compete at the state level in Ocala. A third place finish at the state level qualified her to then compete at the next level – the national event in Nebraska in October.
After qualifying, Green received scholarships from the Florida 4-H Foundation and Wakulla 4-H as well as generous community donations to travel to the competition.
Action Packed Weekend of Hands-On Learning
While in Nebraska, youth participating in the competition enjoyed opportunities for extended hands-on learning. Green then toured the Lincoln Capitol building. During her tour, she met with the aide to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry.
Later that day, Green visited Grow with the Flow, an aquaponics farm. At the farm, she learned alternative ways of growing produce. Next, youth visited the Haymarket Park to learn about Turf Management with the park manager.
Finally, youth toured the Greenhouse Innovation Center. Green attended lectures and workshops on Floral Arrangements, Plant Identification, Agronomy, and Agriculture.
For more information about how to participate in Horticulture or other 4-H competitions, please contact Wakulla 4-H at 850-926-3931 or visit http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/wakulla/4-h/. To enter this year’s North Florida Fair Horticulture competition, please visit the North Florida fair website http://northfloridafair.com/4-h-club-day-department-240/ for information and entry forms. The entry deadline for Horticulture has been extended until October 25, 2019.