Star Staff Reports
Shelby County has again captured the title of 4-H Forestry Judging State Champ. The 2015 winning Forestry Judging team members include: David Crenshaw, 15 of Rosemark; Kyle Weiner, 16 of Lakeland; and Anna Holt, 16 of Bartlett. Team coach Weida Ringley of Bartlett has a stellar track record for leading previous state and national winning teams from Shelby County.
In 2012, Shelby County’s Forestry Judging Team, comprised of Hayden Quick, 16, of Rosemark; Michael Crenshaw, 18, of Rosemark; Amber Joy Cleveland, 17, of Germantown; and Emma Osborn, 16, of Somerville, swept regional and state level competition to claim the national title.
In order to even qualify at the state level, a team must first win the Regionals, according to Ringley.
Each region (East, Middle, and West) is allowed to send four teams to compete. “We have a three-person team this year and they have really worked hard to make sure they could carry the full team load.”
This year, the Regionals were held at the new Western Region Camp Sept. 16 at Lone Oaks Farm in Middleton, Tenn. Shelby County bested seven other West Tennessee counties to take first place. Hardin, McNairy, and Dyer counties placed second, third and fourth respectively.
The 4-H Tennessee state competition was held on Fall Judging Day Oct. 17, at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Twelve teams vied for the honor, but Shelby County rose to take 1st place beating Putnam (2nd place) and McNairy (3rd place) counties. David Crenshaw, following in the footsteps of older brother, Michael took highest individual scorer honors, with a 186 out of a possible 190. During the national win in 2012, Michael received the high point individual award with a 509.5 score out of a possible 550.
Team members in this year’s state event were required to compete in tree identification, insect and disease identification, wood identification, tree measurement, compassing and pacing and field evaluation. Field evaluation is a simulation of a timber cruise, which determines the value of a plot. A timber cruise is a sample measurement of a stand used to estimate the amount of standing timber that the forest contains. This test requires the team to inventory, measure and determine the total board feet and value plus make recommendations for the landowner regarding management practices after the trees are harvested.
The Shelby County state champs will advance to the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, billed as “the Super Bowl of 4-H Forestry” at Jackson Mill 4-H Camp in Weston, West Virginia, July 31-August 4, 2016, hoping to capture yet another national title.
In Shelby County alone, 1,500 4-Hers are involved in diverse fields of interest. The organization has more than 6.5 million members in the United States, from ages 5 to 21, in approximately 90,000 clubs, according to Wikipedia.org. Tennessee’s Shelby County 4-H Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries group consists of about 20 young people, ages 10 to 17. 4-H in the United States is a youth organization administered by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), with the mission of “engaging youth to reach their fullest potential while advancing the field of youth development.” The name represents four personal development areas of focus for the organization: head, heart, hands, and health. For more on Shelby County 4-H, visit the new Tennessee Web site at 4h.tennessee.edu/Pages/default.aspx or follow them on Facebook, https://facebookwww..com/Shelby-County-TN-4-H-Forestry-Wildlife-1558657854390667/.