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:
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Through their participation in 4-H, students are given opportunities to grow and learn as they develop important life skills such as leadership, responsibility, critical thinking, public speaking and citizenship. They are able to find a sense of belonging in a safe and encouraging club environment. Jasper County Extension Coordinator and 4-H Agent Kasey Hall strives to offer a variety of educational programs and events to appeal to the youth in her rural county. District Project Achievement (DPA) is a favorite among 4-H’ers. DPA is a competition in which 4-H members present illustrated talks on topics of their choosing. A total of 21 fifth- and sixth-graders competed, and each of them placed first, second or third in their respective project areas. Twelve 4-H’ers in the seventh through 12th grades participated, and two Senior 4-H’ers placed first for their projects, which allowed them to advance to State Congress in Atlanta to compete for the first time. One placed first and achieved the status of Master 4-H’er, while the other placed third at this prestigious event. Summer camp is also a highlight of the year for many youth. Jasper County had 42 4-H members attend one of three weeks of camp offered at the Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, Georgia, or the Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island, Georgia. Judging teams and quiz bowl contests allow students to demonstrate the knowledge they have learned in different subject areas. Twenty-five 4-H’ers competed in one or more of these district and state events, which included poultry judging, challenge bowl, cotton boll and consumer judging, and dairy judging. For the second consecutive year, the Jasper County team placed first in the Georgia 4-H Challenge Bowl contest and won $1,000 for the local program. One Senior 4-H’er placed first in both the 4-H Public Speaking and Cotton Boll speech contests at the Georgia National Fair.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
The UGA Cooperative Extension office in Jasper County offers many services to local clientele. Soil, forage and water tests are conducted through UGA’s laboratories, and in-office and on-site consultations are provided on an extensive number of topics, such as lawn health and maintenance, pond management, home gardening, insect control, herbicide and pesticide use, livestock herd management, land use decisions and orchard care, among others. Jasper County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Trey Gafnea collaborates with different groups to provide programs. Extension staff partnered with Piedmont Cattlemen’s Association on their May Field Day and Hay Contest. Breakout sessions at the May Field Day focused on grading feeder cattle and the benefits of using ultrasound data for selection and improving carcass traits. Jasper Extension is also involved with the Morgan County Cattlemen’s Association and their Piedmont Area Quality Hay Contest. These hay contests recognize local producers for their forage management practices and provide them with free advertising, generous cash prizes and bragging rights. In the fall, Extension staff began collaborating with the Upper Ocmulgee River Resource Conservation and Development Council to install raised bed vegetable gardens throughout the community for gardening and nutrition education The first bed was installed at the Jasper County Extension office by 4-H’ers, and three other sites are being prepared, which will include approximately 15 individual raised beds.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.