Making A Difference in Our County
We're working hard for the citizens we serve. Here are some examples of successful projects from the past year:
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Agriculture is a vital part of Atkinson County. The Atkinson County UGA Extension office is here to serve its constituents. UGA Extension provides unbiased, research-based education, playing a vital role in helping producers maximize profits and production. We hold production meetings specific to the crops in Atkinson County so that we can share new technologies and recommendations for the coming year. Meetings held this past year addressed peanut production, cotton production, managing forests for profit, conservation tillage, pecan updates, area tobacco updates, irrigation management, and the marketing and economic outlook. Additionally, we offered peanut maturity testing, a great tool for evaluating optimum harvest timing and other factors that may impact this crop. In 2016, a total of 96 individual tests were conducted for peanut maturity. Peanuts are a vital crop in Atkinson County, and knowing when to dig is paramount to maximizing profits. Our office also conducted trials in cotton to assist in thrips management. Another issue in Atkinson County is black shank in tobacco. We are currently conducting variety trials in tobacco so that we can develop a variety that can withstand black shank infection. All of this research is done to help farmers maximize profit. We will continue to do what it takes to help our community and farmers.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The simplest way for 4-H to serve the greatest number of students is through in-school programming. Atkinson County 4-H reached over 297 students in 2016. Members participated in 103 activities, with total enrollment for activities and competitions reaching 2,489 students. A study of 4-H’ers shows that 4-H youth excel beyond their peers. That study, Tufts Positive Youth Development Research Reports, concluded that 4-H’ers are four times more likely to contribute to their community, two times more likely to be civically active and two times more likely to make healthy choices. Atkinson County was recognized at the statewide Junior Conference held at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center for highest per capita pop tab collection benefiting the Ronald McDonald House. Atkinson County collected 203 pounds of pop tabs. The mission of Georgia 4-H is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. This mission is accomplished through hands-on learning and experiences focused on agriculture awareness, leadership, communication skills, foods, nutrition, health, energy conservation and citizenship. Members share their research-based knowledge and technology where they live and work. Atkinson County 4-H encourages and challenges youth to explore and discover so that 4-H’ers can learn to recognize their potential and build on the foundations of personal self-esteem.