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#07-72 March 12, 2007

Wildlife food plot contest entry deadline is April 2

The 4-H wildlife habitat enhancement project called 4-H FACE for Wildlife is now accepting entries for 2007, and interested youths ages 5-19 are encouraged to contact their county Clemson Extension Service 4-H coordinator by Monday, April 2.

The FACE (Food and Cover Establishment) for Wildlife program works through 4-H clubs to educate youngsters in wildlife habitat needs and encourages the planting of wildlife food plots. Sponsored jointly by Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, S.C. Quail Unlimited and S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the program is beginning its 27th year.

Information on the program can be obtained by calling (864) 656-3090 in Clemson or e-mail rwlly@clemson.edu.

All food plots must be planted by June 15, so interested youths should contact their local county 4-H coordinators by Monday, April 2 to find out how they can enter the 2007 4-H FACE for Wildlife contest. Junior (9-13 years of age) and senior (14-19 years of age) contestants must complete a record book in order to compete for scholarships and cash awards. Cloverbuds (5-8 years of age) only have to complete a short record sheet to receive a recognition certificate and ribbon.

Seed packets containing an annual seed mixture are furnished to participating 4-H members by the DNR. Clemson Extension 4-H coordinators are responsible for conducting sign-ups of interested youth and offering help and guidance to participants. S.C. Quail Unlimited and local Quail Unlimited chapters provide cash awards and trophies for junior and senior age division winners. In addition, the South Carolina 4-H Program awards a $500 academic scholarship for the senior state winner.

“This is an excellent opportunity for youths to participate in hands-on wildlife management, learn more about wildlife, and benefit wildlife populations all at the same time,” said Jay Butfiloski, DNR wildlife biologist and statewide 4-H FACE coordinator.

Each contestant is encouraged to keep detailed records on site preparation, fertilization, wildlife sightings and other observations.

“The contest is designed so 4-H members may enter no matter where they live,” Butfiloski said. “Participants don’t have to live on a farm or even in a rural area. Food plots can be planted on the farm of a relative or a friend, in a vacant lot or wherever landowner permission can be obtained.” Assistance is available in finding places to plant food plots by contacting the local Clemson Extension Service office or the DNR Small Game Project. Individual food plots need only be one-quarter to one-eighth of an acre in size.

Youths who are not currently members of 4-H and are interested in the FACE program will automatically become 4-H members through their participation in 4-H FACE.
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