Alamance 4-H’ers win state wildlife competition

A team of Alamance County 4-H’ers took first place in the state 4-H Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program competition in April and will move on to represent North Carolina at the National 4-H WHEP Invitational this summer.

On April 24, 44 4-H’ers descended on Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center in Johnston County for the 2013 State WHEP Contest. Nine counties entered two senior division teams and seven junior division teams.

In addition, 12 individuals and nine Cloverbud 4-H’ers participated in the contest that included wildlife identification and general wildlife knowledge, wildlife foods, aerial photo interpretation and onsite wildlife habitat recommendations.

Alamance County’s top-scoring senior division team will represent North Carolina at the National 4-H WHEP Invitational this July in Indianapolis, Ind. Members of the team are Emma Bailey, Courtney Eckmann, Nathan Troxler and Zachary Weidemann, and their coaches are Christy Bailey, Kim Eckmann and Barbara Weidemann.

“We came hoping to win this year and had already mapped out a route to the national contest. Of course, we are going!” said team member Courtney Eckmann.

Henderson County placed first in the junior division, with Alleghany and Wilson counties placing second and third respectively. Tatum Epperson from the Henderson County junior team received the state contest high score.

The nine counties that fielded teams in the state WHEP Contest are Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Catawba, Henderson, Jones, Lee, Wayne and Wilson counties.

WHEP (Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program) is a 4-H program teaching youth about wildlife and the management of their habitats. WHEP is sponsored nationally by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and International Paper. N.C. Extension Forestry, within N.C. State University’s College of Natural Resources, supports and promotes the WHEP program in North Carolina.

-R. Strnad


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