UACES Facebook Welding competition to debut at 4-H-O-Rama in July
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Welding competition to debut at 4-H-O-Rama in July

By Ryan McGeeney
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts:

  • New welding event introduced
  • 14 participants signed up for inaugural event
  • Will eventually mirror national event, organizers said

 (315 words) 

LITTLE ROCK — Fourteen Arkansas youths will compete in the inaugural welding competition at this year’s 4-H-O-Rama, taking place July 21-24. 

Noah Washburn, 4-H youth development program director for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, said similar competitions have been part of 4-H in other states for years, and are typically included in the organization’s engineering competitions at the national level. 

“The national event has several of the STEM-related, hands-on competitions,” Washburn said, referring to curricula based on science, technology, engineering and math. “We’ve been talking about getting back to some of the basic, hands-on skill sets in our 4-H program.” 

Washburn said two welding learning opportunities for 4-H youth had been held in Arkansas over the preceding months, organized by county extension personnel in Crittenden and Ouachita counties. 

Fourteen contestants have signed up for the inaugural welding competition at this year's 4-H O-Rama in Fayetteville.

Cynthia Rorie, a 4-H agent for the Crittenden County Cooperative Extension Service in Marion, organized one of the events, in which Scott Bolden, owner of Victory Fabrication LLC and a certified welder, gave local participants the chance to work with materials first-hand. She said welding is a sought-after profession in her county. 

“In our area, a lot of kids go to Vo-Tech schools, or just work straight out of high school, so our high schools are lined up to prepare them for such careers,” Rorie said. 

Although competitors at national 4-H welding competitions are typically tasked with completing three welds, Washburn said, the 14 individuals competing at the State-O-Rama will be asked to complete only two welds, which will help organizers stay within time constraints. 

The contest will include a written examination, testing participants on their knowledge of safety and materials, a shielded arc metal welding skills event, and an identification test, in which participants must properly identify welding materials, tools and materials. 

The welding competition will be held at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 23, at the Agri and Bio Engineering Research Lab as part of the 4-H-O-Rama in Fayetteville. 


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. 

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. 

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Media Contact: Mary Hightower
Dir. of Communication Services
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
(501) 671-2126

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