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October 18, 2006

NJHA participants capture awards

NJHA delegates
North Carolina's NJHA delegates. Top row, from left, Will Houston and Dakota Starr; middle row, Ashley Kirby and Caitlin Davis; and bottom row, Ann Margaret Dietrich, Alex Hammerberg and Mary Kathryn Hardison. (Photo courtesy of Liz Driscoll)

North Carolina's participants in the National Junior Horticultural Association's annual convention in Omaha, Nebraska, returned safely in October, bringing with them numerous honors. The contingent of 13 included seven youth from Cleveland, Harnett, Stokes and Wake county and six adults to support them. They gave brilliant demonstrations, speeches, essays and competed in the horticulture contest.

All their efforts enabled them to gain the following awards:

Demonstration, Horticulture Uses
Grand National Champion, Mary Kathryn Hardison, Harnett County
National Champion, Will Houston, Cleveland County

Extemporaneous Speech
National Champion, Alex Hammerberg, Wake County

Illustrated Talk
Grand National Champion, Caitlin Davis, Stokes County

Horticulture Essay Contest
Grand National Champion, Dakota Starr, Wake County

Horticulture Contest, 4-H Team
3rd place, Ann Margaret Dietrich, Alex Hammerberg, Dakota Starr, Wake County

4-H Individual, Horticulture Contest
9th Place, Alex Hammerberg, Wake County
11th Place, Ann Margaret Dietrich, Wake County

Open Individual, Horticulture Contest
9th Place, Caitlin Davis, Stokes County

Many of the youth participated in multiple events, beyond what they had competed in at state 4-H Congress.

"The most amazing part of the experience is the chance for the youth to connect with others that share a passion for plants and learning," said Liz Driscoll, 4-H youth Extension specialist. "They formed a marvelous, supportive, enthusiastic, laid-back group of young people that represented North Carolina tremendously."

The group visited the Arbor Day Foundation Farm, got lost in the world's largest corn maze and learned swing dancing from award winner Will Houston of Cleveland County.

Posted by Natalie at October 18, 2006 09:04 AM