August 23, 2023
Three Utah State University Extension 4-H members recently traveled to West Virginia to compete in the National 4-H Forestry Invitational.
Emma Putnam, Logan Cook, Edward Lopez, all of Salt Lake County, and coach Jonathon Tuttle represented Utah 4-H. They competed in events including tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl, and a written forestry exam.
The 4-H youth qualified for the event based on their exemplary performance at the Utah Envirothon event in April. The Utah team was the only team competing at the invitational from a state west of the Mississippi.
According to Tuttle, the competition fosters skills beyond forestry.
“When students have to ‘stand and deliver’ to a competition judge they don't know, it causes them to grow and learn in a powerful way,” Tuttle said. “I saw a lot of growth in my team members as a result of this opportunity.”
The 4-H Forestry Invitational uses a hands-on learning approach that fosters critical thinking and analytical skills, according to Dave Francis, USU Extension 4-H youth development director.
“By engaging students in these areas through real-world applications, this contest inspires youth to pursue careers in STEM fields related to environmental conservation and resource management,” he said. “This contest plays a crucial role in fostering environmental stewardship, nurturing the next generation of environmental leaders, and promoting sustainable practices for both present and future generations,” Francis said.
The event is sponsored by Farm Credit, Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., West Virginia University Extension Service, F and W Forestry, and the Society of American Foresters.
Teens and adults who want to compete or coach a contest team can contact their local USU Extension office. Further information about USU Extension 4-H programs can be found at extension.usu.edu.
Source: Utah State University Extension
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