The Barbour County 4-H Soils Judging Team, coached by West Virginia University Extension Service , returned to West Virginia recently with two more national honors for its collection of awards.
After competing in the 58th National Land and Range Judging Contest in Oklahoma City, the four-member team was named national champions in both the homesite and land judging categories.
In addition to winning the two national championships, two of the 4-Hers also earned honors in individual categories. Kelby Fetter was the Reserve Champion in the 4-H land judging category. Nichole Biddle, registering a perfect score, won the Reserve Champion for the 4-H homesite competition. The other team membersNeil Pitzer and Dereck Pricealso placed among the top scorers.
This years team was the 15thto be coached by Roger Nestor, WVU Extension Services associate professor in Barbor County.
Under his leadership, the Barbour County 4-H Soils Judging Team has won five of the last seven national homesite judging championships, bringing the total winnings for Barbour County to five national land judging, five national homesite and four national reserve championships. Nestors teams also have earned three third-place finishes and one fourth-place finish.
This years team put in nearly 400 hours of practice, Nestor said.
While it is a great accomplishment to add more wins to Barbour Countys impressive achievement list, Nestor said it is about more than winning.It is good to bring two more national championships back to West Virginia. But more importantly it is good to see how well our youths respond when given some time, training and an opportunity,he said.
The Clay Countys 4-H Soils Judging Team also won at this years national contest, receiving the honor of reserve champion in the homesite category. The team memberscoached by Clay Countys WVU Extension instructor Michael Shamblin and volunteer Robert Morrisare Glenn Boatwright, Shannon Ferrebee, Holly Walker and Thomas Mullins.
The National Land and Range Judging Contest was started by three Oklahoma conservationists in 1952. The contest measures skills in judging the adaptability of land for farming, range management and homesite construction.
The 4-H Youth Development Program is available to youths in each of West Virginias 55 counties through local WVU Extension Service offices. 4-Hs primary focus areas are science, engineering and technology, healthy living, and citizenship. For details about local opportunities, locate county offices by checking the WVU Extension Service Web site ( www.ext.wvu.edu ).