Dawson County 4-H has announced the winners of its 2021 annual pumpkin growing contest.
Each year, Georgia 4-H sponsors a pumpkin-growing contest in which county-level students compete in hopes of advancing to the state level, according to a release from the organization. The district competition is sponsored by Burt’s Pumpkin Farm owners, Johnny and Kathy Burt.
This year’s first place winner was Cooper Beary, whose winning pumpkin weighed 120 pounds. He received a check for $75 from Burt’s for his winning pumpkin.
The second place winner was Charlie McCall with his 104 pound pumpkin. Recruiting help from his dad, he said in the press release, “When I saw this pumpkin in dad’s garden, it said a winner everywhere.” He received an award of $50.
The third place winner was Tate Beary, who took first place last year. He won a $25 prize with his 94-pound pumpkin and said in the press release that “the weather was either too hot for several days and then too rainy, so the pumpkins got smaller.”
Both Cooper and Tate Beary have gone from simply entering pumpkin-growing contests to selling the pumpkins they grow, the press release said.
“The Beary brothers have taken their pumpkin growing hobby to another level and you can find them selling their pumpkins at the Amicalola Regional Farmers Market here in town once the harvest is back,” the release reads .
4-H members who entered the competition planted seeds, controlled weeds, applied fertilizers, watered the plant and prevented animal chaos in or around their prize pumpkins, the press release said. So far, 32 4-H members have registered to participate in this year’s competition.
“They should have their seeds in the ground and see the fruits of their labor already sprout,” the press release said.
To see highlights of all pumpkins submitted to the 2021 Pumpkin Growing Contest, go to www.georgia4h.org. To learn more about 4-H in Dawson County and how to include your students in the group, call the Dawson County Extension Office at 706-265-2442.