When it comes to knowledge of trees, nobody beats Tennessee youth. Tennessee placed first among 15 state teams that competed in the 33rdannual National 4-H Forestry Invitational in July. Teams from Alabama and New Yorkplaced second and third, respectively. Tennessee also took home the highest individual honor.

The invitational was held at West Virginia University Jackson’s Mill State 4-H Camp and Conference Center near Weston, W.V.  The event was sponsored by Farm Credit System, Chesapeake Energy Corporation, The Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Inc., Alpha Natural Resources, West Virginia University Extension Service and the Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals.

4-H members competed for overall team and individual awards in several categories. Events included tree identification, tree measurement, compass and pacing, insect and disease identification, topographic map use, forest evaluation, the forestry bowl and a forestry written exam.

Tennessee was represented by Amber Joy Cleveland from Germantown, Michael Crenshaw from Millington, Emma Osborn from Somerville, and Hayden Quick from Brighton.  The team was coached by Weida Ringley from Arlington and Gayle Quick from Brighton.

Michael Crenshaw of Tennessee received the first place individual award. Second place was given to Brandon Bounds of Alabama and third place to Ben Calhoun of Alabama.

4-H is a youth education program operated by the Cooperative Extension Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the state land grant universities. More than 5.5 million young people participate in 4-H, and nearly 100,000 are part of the 4-H Forestry Program.

For more information on the National 4-H Forestry Invitational, go to: http://4hforestryinvitational.org/.