Four Oktibbeha County high school students recently placed third in the 4H National Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program (WHEP) Contest, held in Zwolle, LA.
WHEP is a 4-H youth natural resource program dedicated to teaching wildlife and fisheries habitat management to junior and senior level (ages 8-19) youth in the United States. Participants in WHEP learn the habitat requirements of select wildlife species and how to judge the quality of wildlife habitat, recommend wildlife habitat management practices, and develop wildlife management plans.
After winning the State WHEP contest held during the Mississippi 4H Club Congress in May, the team advanced to compete with teams from 15 other states in the national contest in Louisiana.
In addition to the overall third place, the Mississippi team also placed first in the Written Wildlife Management Plan Competition.
Justin Burger, Hannah Miller, and Ethan Willers, took first, second, and thrid places, respectively, in the individual management plan oral defense competition. Hannah Miller won the Essay Contest with her essay entitled "Five and a half things I learned on Oakhill Farm."
The team was coached by Dr. Wes Burger, professor in the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, MSU and Leslie Burger, Extension Associate, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.