Recently, TL Wasson (ATA Member) volunteered to help out the VIRGINIA 4-H WILDLIFE TEAM in preparations for their participation in the annual Wildlife Habitat Education Program National Invitational competition held in here in Arkansas this year. Following is a email received from Jenny Mercer, 4-H Extension Agent, from Virginia and coach for the 4H Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) team.
UPDATE.. from Virginia Team on the contest results:
Thanks so much for your help with the VA 4H Wildlife Team.
In case you didn’t hear us screaming, we won the whole thing!
I am attaching info on the results.
Thanks again for all of your help.
And just FYI – the Arkansas Trappers Association was listed on the back of our team t-shirts as a sponsor…
apparently they done good!
July 31, 2011: For Immediate Release
VIRGINIA 4-H WILDLIFE TEAM: NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!
The Virginia 4-H Wildlife Habitat Education Program (WHEP) Team brought home National Championship honors after competing in the 2011 National WHEP Invitational held at the Arkansas 4-H Center just west of Little Rock, AR on July 26, 2011. The team consisted of four youth, Katie Fenneran, Mark Persinger, Meredith Persinger, and Trube Short, all from Augusta County and members of the Augusta County 4-H WHEP Team coached by Jennifer Mercer, former county 4-H Extension Agent.
The team won the VA contest in April and the right to represent the state at the National Invitational. The four team members, Jennifer, and assistant coach, Doug Harpole, 4-H Extension Agent in Fauquier County, traveled to Conway, Arkansas on July 20th. The team met with several natural resources professionals who took the team to a variety of wetland habitats from rice fields to cypress swamps and discussed practiced frequently used to manage wetlands for wildlife. The team also practiced writing management plans and identifying wildlife.
On July 24th the team moved on to the 4H Center where 16 4-H teams and one FFA team, representing 16 states converged to kick off the 2011 National 4-H WHEP Invitational with a share fair exchanging items representing their states. The contest was on the 26th and consisted of four parts. Three parts were done as individual competitions and one as a team. The day started with all the competitors being taken to a wetland site.
Each participant was given a chart that they had to complete based on the management practices they felt were appropriate for that site for the wetland species given. Then they worked as a team to write a management plan based on a scenario provided. They had two hours to write a two-page plan that met the objectives stated in the scenario and adhered to federal laws on wetland management, considered water quality, and followed best management practices for any forestry practices implemented.
Despite 100+ degree temperatures, amazing humidity, and an invasion of seed ticks, the team was able to put together a plan that scored 128 out of 140 earning them the high scoring written plan in the contest! The rest of the day was spent on the wildlife identification and general knowledge quiz.
Only six participants out of 68 contestants got a perfect score on the ID quiz and three of them were on the VA team, giving them the high team total for that part of the contest as well. The team also had the highest team total for the general knowledge quiz. Then…. they still had to complete the oral defense part of the contest.
Each participant goes into a room with two judges who asks them questions relative to the written plan scenario. The contestants do not know these questions in advance so it is imperative that each team member have an active role in writing the plan. Trube Short tied for the high individual in the contest for the best score on her oral defense, 18.3 out of 20! After the contest everyone was treated to a pig roast and local music and entertainment.
Submitted by Jennifer Mercer
Additional scores /results are below.
Individual Placing Overall – There was a spread of only 8.65 points between the top 20 individuals out of 80 total points possible for each individual! The first place high individual scored 74.78.
Mark Persinger 3rd
Katie Fenneran 4th
Meredith Persinger 7th
Trube Short 18th
High Team Overall Virginia 393.45 (out of 440 possible)
2nd High Team Alabama 369.39
3rd High Team Texas 363.61
High Score on Written Management Plan (out of 140 possible points)
1st Virginia 128
2nd Alabama 118.5
3rd Texas 105.5
CONGRATS TO ALL
THANKS TO TL WASSON FOR YOUR TIME AND EFFORT