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
Jackson County continues to rank in the top 10 counties in beef production in Georgia. The Jackson County UGA Extension agent acknowledged the need for forage and nutritional programming for all of the county’s beef producers. Three programs were planned to provide producers with options for addressing the nutritional needs of Jackson County herds. In the first program, staff presented local cattle producers with fall/winter forage options and feed supplements. UGA forage and grain research was presented as it related to the cattle industry and Jackson County’s drought and feed supply situation. The second program showcased strategies to maximize the use of fall/winter forages. Rotational and limited grazing regimens were explained according to the nutritional needs of cattle in relation to the condition and stage of production. The third program offered ideas for hay replacement rations and how to locate potential alternative ingredients. The program also covered cost analysis according to stage of production and condition of the herd. The county agent coordinated the three programs with the assistance of beef cattle leadership from the county. Evaluations prior to these programs cited a need to be able to provide economical feed alternatives following a summer/fall drought and destruction from fall armyworms. Upon completion of the three programs, evaluations showed that cattlemen who attended all three programs were provided with grazing feed rations and the means to analyze the conditions unique to each of their farms.
EDUCATING CHILDREN AND THE COMMUNITY
Modern Jackson County is primarily rural, boasting an agricultural output of $838,198,864. Yet students ride by chicken houses on their bus routes every morning, never knowing where their cafeteria chicken nuggets come from. Jackson County Extension is bringing kids back to the farm. Coordinating farm days at schools and on local farms makes production agriculture available not only to local, school-aged children, but also to the Jackson County community. Jackson County Extension staff and volunteers coordinated farm days at schools and on local farms for a variety of audiences. Eight events in total, with a total attendance of 1,912 people, now have their own farm experience. Students from Maysville Elementary School, Oconee Baptist Preschool, fifth-graders enrolled in every Jackson County System school, Commerce Elementary School, 4-H campers, West Jackson Middle School special education students and an Angolan delegation were among the audiences educated. One of the tour planners said, “The event took a tremendous amount of effort to pull off, but was worth every ounce of sweat equity. When I see the smiles on the kids’ faces, the gratitude from the teachers and the twinkle of prospect in the eyes of those little future farm girls, it makes it all worthwhile.” Last year welcomed tremendous work in the 4-H specialty clubs. The Jackson County government enabled archery programming through a facility on acreage that will allow us to set roots for future growth. BB, shotgun and 22 rimfire shooting teams continue to be strong. The robotics clubs surpassed fundraising efforts of $20,000 to build a world-class, award-winning robot. Camping, leadership, livestock and public-speaking clubs all showed measurable growth. Working with community partners to create opportunities for the more than 1,200 students in Jackson County 4-H will solidify the progress of continued growth across the board.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of our impact in the county over the past year.