Special to the
Opelika Observer

Alabama 4-H continues its winning ways at the National 4-H Forestry Invitational. Alabama 4-H has won 19 times since the invitational began in 1980. A team of Lee County 4-H members placed first among 15 state teams at the national contest. Teams from North Carolina and Florida placed second and third, respectively.
Dr. Molly Gregg, assistant director of Alabama 4-H, commends this team’s hard work.
“We are proud of these members as they continue the tradition of winning the National 4-H Forestry Invitational,” Gregg said. “We are thankful of their hard work and the support of their coaches and volunteers that together make it happen.”
Ethan Rankins from Cusseta, Nathan Gullatt from Salem, and Rice Nichols and Carey Nichols from LaFayette represented Alabama 4-H at the national contest. Ethan Rankins also received the high-point individual award, an award Alabama 4-H has won 15 times since the first invitational.
At the invitational, 4-H members compete for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events include a forestry written exam, tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, the forestry bowl and also forest evaluation.
“We are blessed to have such talented and bright kids in this program,” said Tara Barr, Lee County coordinator for the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. “Our 4-H team is so proud of them and we cannot say enough how deserving they are of this award.”
The National 4-H Forestry Invitational was at the West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, West Virginia.