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
The importance of agriculture in Crisp County’s economy is exemplified by its annual Farm Gate value exceeding $99 million dollars annually over the past few years. Preserving and improving the production of the diverse array of commodities grown in the county is the top priority for Crisp’s new Agricultural and Natural Resource (ANR) Agent, Joshua Grant, who started on March 1st of this year. Interim during the first few months of 2017 was Turner County’s agent who organized annual production meetings in the county for such commodities as pecan, watermelon, cotton and peanuts. Since March, the ag program has focused on addressing the needs of local producers and homeowners with pesticide application recommendations, crop production, worker safety, and sampling techniques. Grant worked in collaboration with UGA and UF specialists in the establishment of five separate research trials assessing the efficacy of various control strategies against the fungal pathogen causing Fusarium wilt in watermelon. This pest causes millions of dollars in damage annually in watermelon alone. All research was conducted and maintained at the UGA Watermelon Research Park located in Cordele, GA. An on-farm sentinel plot for corn rust was also planted here in the county. Grant led the ag program in giving six invited talks, topics ranging from soil textures to plant drought tolerances, and utilized local media to disseminate information in: monthly newspaper articles and WSST-TV interviews. Over 300 on-site consultations between Crisp County producers and residence were made in 2017. The ag program will continue to grow with the addition of more production meetings, research trials and contacts made in the upcoming years.
4-H IN CRISP COUNTY IS A COMMUNITY AFFAIR
Crisp County 4-H continues to partner with the Crisp County School System and teachers to help students build a bright future. Each year, our 4-H program strives to highlight the youth of Crisp County. This year has been awesome for Crisp County 4-H, and it couldn’t have happened without the support of our community and surrounding counties. Every year we have a donor drive to fund the 4-H program, and every year the businesses of Crisp and surrounding counties make it possible for the 4-H program to thrive. Our annual drive makes it possible for the 4-H’ers to attend Area Project Achievement, District Project Achievement, 4-H Fun Day and the awards banquet without any cost to 4-H'ers. For several years, the painting of the mini bus was not in the budget. This year the 4-H mini bus was painted the color of our 4-H emblem, white and green. Our donors and community officials have proven year after year that 4-H is a community affair in Crisp County. Crisp County Extension is grateful for our county administrator, county finance administrator, county commissioners, the public works director, the Crisp County Sheriff’s Department, Cordele Dispatch, and WSST 22 for their ongoing support of our club.
COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Rebecca Stackhouse joined Crisp County Extension as the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agent in December 2016. Starting the new year, Stackhouse is learning the community and reaching out to make local connections to help her evaluate the needs and assistance that she can offer to the residents of her county through educational classes, seminars, events and challenges. She has embraced opportunities to use the local media, which includes WSST 22 and the Cordele Dispatch newspaper, to help her present useful information to the community concerning nutrition, financial skills or other life improvement skills. In the Cordele Dispatch, she is writing the "Extension Life Checks" twice monthly, looking to collect data by presenting hashtags on social media. The Extension office continues to deliver publications full of research-based information to various organizations, which enables Stackhouse to meet even more of the community in a short time. As the FCS agent, Stackhouse will work hard to provide expertise in the areas of training, research and publications to positively affect the lives of those in the community.