South Carolina 4-H Wildlife Food Plot Project
The Wildlife Food Plot Project is a hands-on environmental education program and an independent-study project that allows youth (ages 5-18) an opportunity to establish, maintain, and observe a wildlife food plot. Youth learn concepts of wildlife conservation, plant identification, and habitat management and have the opportunity to put that knowledge into practice. We thank our sponsors, Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) and Wannamaker Wildlife, for their support of this project! If you would like to register for this project at your local Extension office, complete the 2020 Wildlife Food Plot Project Contract (PDF 0.1MB) and return it with payment to your local Extension office. For questions, please contact Mrs. Lauren Hood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Set goals and plan activities and strategies to achieve those outcomes, even in the face of challenges.
Reflect on their yearly work by documenting their skill development and learning experiences.
Give back to their communities through educational and service activities.
Learn valuable skills in record keeping, financial management, and communication.
Become good stewards of the environment and gain technical expertise that can promote beneficial practices.
Age Divisions: Each youth will receive a copy of an age-appropriate project record book, as well as seed to plant a food plot. Ages for each age division (described below) are calculated as of January 1, 2021. For example, a youth that turns 5 years old on January 1, 2021, is eligible to participate as a Cloverbud; whereas a youth that turns 19 years old on January 1, 2021, is too old to compete as a Senior.
Cloverbud*, 5-8 years of age
Junior, 9-13 years of age
Senior, 14-18 years of age
*Cloverbuds are a non-competitive division. The purpose is to provide a fun and educational experience that helps children to learn life skills, explore their interests, learn subject matter skills, build self-confidence through healthy experiences, prepare for competitive events, and have fun!
- Guidelines (PDF 0.1MB)
- All participants must be current South Carolina 4-H members for the 2020-2021 club year. (4-H enrollment information and payment can be made after project registration, but should be completed before picking up plot seed.)
- Youth must prepare, plant, maintain, and observe a wildlife food plot using the project seed provided.
- To be eligible for awards, youth must:
- complete 4-H enrollment with their local 4-H Agent,
- submit their project record book including the project evaluation code (All survey responses will remain anonymous and youth may indicate that they choose not to participate in the survey if desired.),
- and not have been a state winner in the same age division in the 2019-2020 project year.
Project (runs September 2020 - January 2021)
Friday, August 7th: Your registration and payment must be received by 4-H.
Project materials should be available for pick up at your local Extension office by September 30, 2020.
- Friday, November 1st: Your seed should be planted in your food plot site.
- Food plot site judging should be conducted in January 2021, coordinated by your local Extension office.
- Friday, January 22nd: Your record book is due to your local Extension office.
- Look for winners to be announced:
- County - mid-February
- Region - late February - early March
- State - no later than mid-March 2021
2020-2021 Project Record Books
Youth will receive access to an online 4-H Wildlife Food Plot Project digital record book from the project coordinators. Make sure a valid email address is used in the registration for effective communication. Youth will be instructed on how to gain access to and complete an age-appropriate record book. Agents will also have access to view progress and assist in record book submission as needed. Only ONE record book can be submitted for each participant at the end of the project.
Basic Components of an SC 4-H Record Book (PDF 0.1MB)
For the 4-H Wildlife Food Plot Project Record Book, youth be asked to document their efforts in the following areas:
- Preparing, Planting, and Observing the wildlife food plot,
- Learning and outreach activities,
- and Financial management.
To learn more about what content is expected in a 4-H Wildlife Food Plot Project Record Book, check out our judging criteria (PDF 0.1MB) document.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What does this project involve?
Youth will be supplied with a record book, food plot seed (for about 1/8 of an acre) provided by Wannamaker Wildlife, a membership to QDMA Rack Pack, and newsletter that will help them with the project. Youth will be responsible for preparing, planting, maintaining, and observing a wildlife food plot and documenting their efforts in their record book. Record books have been specifically designed for each age division. At the end of the project, youth will submit their record book for judging at the county level. County-winning record books in the Junior and Senior age divisions will advance to the regional- and state-level for judging.
- Do 4-H'ers have to own the land where the food plot is planted to participate in this project?
No, youth do not have to own the land where the food plot is located or any associated tool or equipment used to participate in this project. They will need permission and access to those resources (not supplied by the project). Youth need to be responsible for managing a food plot and recording their efforts (setting goals, making decisions, learning, etc.).
- What does a 4-H'er need to participate in this project?
Youth need access to an area to plant a wildlife food plot, a method to complete a 4-H record book (hand-written entries are encouraged), and a willingness to grow and learn. There are many additional items, such as a rain gauge, exclosure cage, and a digital camera for documenting wildlife sign, that are recommended, but not required. Contact your local County Extension Office if you need assistance accessing resources.
- What if we don't know anything about food plots, can we still enroll in this project?
YES!!! This project is designed to be a learning experience and provides flexible opportunities to engage in connecting to nature and managing a wildlife food plot. Wildlife Food Plantings by Clemson Professor Dr. Greg Yarrow is a great overview of planting food plots. Your County Extension Office should also serve as a good resource for you.
Previous Project Award Winners
- 2019-2020 Project
State winners: Gabe Bobo, Lancaster County (Senior) and Asa Beaty Oconee County (Junior) Regional winners: Arizona Bowers, Anderson County - UPSTATE (Senior); Sierra Tinsley, Greenville County - UPSTATE (Junior); Eliana Smith, Lexington County - MIDLANDS (Senior); Wyatt Frazier, Lee County - PEE DEE (Junior); Allyson Wright, Hampton County - SAVANNAH VALLEY (Senior); Taylor Wright, Hampton County - SAVANNAH VALLEY (Junior); Sneed Squire Squad, Florence County - Group; and Brooklyn New, Laurens County - Game Camera Photo Winner;
- 2018-2019 Project
State winners: Morgan Marlett, Greenville County (Senior) and Tyler West, Orangeburg County (Junior) Regional winners: Gage Stewart, Oconee County - UPSTATE (Junior); Gabe Bobo, Lancaster County - MIDLANDS (Senior); Wilson Oxner - Lexington County - MIDLANDS (Junior); Seth Pennington, Chesterfield County - PEE DEE (Senior); and Emma Andrews, Chesterfield County - PEE DEE (Junior).
- 2017-2018 Project
State winners: Wyatt Hallman, Lexington County (Senior) and Dianna Moore, Newberry County (Junior) Regional winners: Kensey Wilson, Oconee County - UPSTATE (Senior); Baylor Caldwell, Abbeville County - UPSTATE (Junior); Barnes McConnell, Clarendon County - PEE DEE (Junior); and Tyler West, Orangeburg County - SAVANNAH VALLEY (Junior).
- 2016-2017 Project
State winners: Chase Land, Oconee County (Senior) and Wilson Oxner, Lexington County (Junior) Regional winners: Gabe Bobo, Lancaster County - MIDLANDS (Senior); Brylee Drennan, McCormick County - UPSTATE (Junior); Billy Godwin, Williamsburg County - PEE DEE (Junior); and Tyler West, Orangeburg County - SAVANNAH VALLEY (Junior).
- 2015-2016 Project
State winners: Myles Hutton, Pickens County (Senior) and Nicholas Stalford, York County (Junior) Regional winners: Carson Wilson, Abbeville County - UPSTATE (Junior); Nathan Stalford, York County - MIDLANDS (Senior); Dylan Elmore, Lee County - PEE DEE (Junior); and Reed Gunter, Orangeburg County - SAVANNAH VALLEY (Junior).
- 2019-2020 Project