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Dawson County 4-H announces winners of annual Pumpkin Growing Contest
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Cooper Beary won first place in the 2021 Dawson County 4-H Pumpkin Growing Contest with his 120 pound pumpkin. (photo courtesy of Dawson County 4-H)

Dawson County 4-H has announced the winners of its annual Pumpkin Growing Contest for 2021. 

According to a release by the organization, each year Georgia 4-H promotes a Pumpkin Growing Contest, where students compete at the county level with the hope of moving on to the state level. The county contest is sponsored by Burt’s Pumpkin Farm owners, Johnny and Kathy Burt. 

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Charlie McCall won second place in the 2021 Dawson County 4-H Pumpkin Growing Contest with his 104 pound pumpkin. (photo courtesy of Dawson County 4-H)

This year’s first place winner was Cooper Beary, whose winning pumpkin weighed 120 pounds. He received a $75 check from Burt’s for his winning pumpkin. 

The second place winner was Charlie McCall with his 104 pound pumpkin. He recruited help from his Papa and said in the release that “When I saw that pumpkin in my Papa’s garden, it had winner written all over it”. He received a $50 prize. 

The third place winner was Tate Beary, who won first place in last year’s contest. He won a $25 prize with his 94 pound pumpkin and said in the release that “the weather was either too hot for several days and then too rainy so it made the pumpkins smaller”. 

Both Cooper and Tate Beary have moved on from simply competing in the pumpkin growing contests to selling the pumpkins they grow, the 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 harvesting comes back around,” the release said. 

4-H members who competed in the contest planted seeds, controlled weeds, applied fertilizers, watered the plant and prevented pet mayhem in or around their prize pumpkins, the release said. This year’s contest has 32 4-H members signed up to participate so far. 

“They should have their seeds in the ground and already see the fruits of their labor sprouting,” the release said. 

To see highlights of all of the pumpkins entered in the 2021 pumpkin growing contest, go to www.georgia4h.org. To learn more about 4-H in Dawson County and how to get your students involved in the group, call the Dawson County Extension office at 706-265-2442. 

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Tate Beary won third place in the 2021 Dawson County 4-H Pumpkin Growing Contest with his 94 pound pumpkin. (photo courtesy of Dawson County 4-H)