WESTON, W.Va. — Myles Hutton of Easley was sixth highest-scoring individual in the 2017 National 4-H Forestry Invitational held July 30 through Aug. 3 at West Virginia University’s Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center.
Ethan Altman of Saluda and Ashton Hallman of Ward joined Hutton on the South Carolina team, which took ninth place nationally.
4-H members from across the country vie both for team and individual awards at the annual gathering. Events include tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map reading, forest evaluation, a forestry quiz bowl and a written forestry exam.
Less academic — but no less competitive — events included traditional woodsman skills such as the pulpwood toss, log-rolling and two-man crosscut sawing.
The team was coached by Clemson Extension forestry and natural resources agents Tom Brant and Jaime Pohlman of McCormick County, Jeff Fellers of Union County and Stephen Pohlman of Edgefield County.
“It’s always gratifying to have students compete in the national 4-H forestry competition because of the knowledge they gain about forestry and how to maintain our forests sustainably,” said Jaime Pohlman, Clemson University Extension agent from McCormick County and coach of the South Carolina team. “Our team spent a lot of time and effort to prepare for the event and they came away with a ninth-place finish. We’re very happy for them.”
4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and state land-grant universities. More than six million youth, 540,000 volunteers and 3,500 professionals participate in 4-H nationwide, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.
Participation in South Carolina 4-H has posted double-digit increases in each of the past two years. More than 100,000 young people in kindergarten through 12th grades participate in 4-H programming in the Palmetto State annually, assisted by the support of nearly 4,000 volunteers.
Employing a learn-by-doing approach to education, 4-H clubs are an outgrowth of corn clubs for boys and canning clubs for girls that organized in the early 1900’s by teachers who wanted to broaden the knowledge and experience of their students.
“The National 4-H Forestry Invitational is a tremendous learning experience that blends knowledge with the ability to apply it under intense competition,” Jaime Pohlman said. “But it’s also a great deal of fun. I’m especially pleased that they were able to compete so well. It’s a mark of their determination to succeed and their commitment to bettering themselves.”
National 4-H Forestry Invitational
The National 4-H Forestry Invitational is sponsored by Farm Credit System, Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc., USDA Forest Service State and Private Southern Region, West Virginia University Extension Service, American Forest Foundation, Southern Regional Extension Forestry, Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals, National Woodland Owners Association and Black Diamond Resource Conservation and Development Council.