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:
EADERSHIP GROWS HERE
The U.S. Department of Agriculture Virtual University states that “Effective leadership is a constant personal challenge requiring a key set of competencies and the ability to build productive relationships and coalitions." Leadership opportunities and Teen Leader trainings were provided to youth in grades five through 12. Additional opportunities to lead were provided to youth through collaborations with local schools and instruction at civic group meetings, events and presentations. As a result of trainings and leadership opportunities, 100 percent of youth stated that they were confident about serving as Teen Leaders after training. Seventy-three percent of trained youth used the skills learned to provide leadership to others at summer events, after-school events, summer camp and as presenters at the local awards ceremony. One training program participant said, “I learned how to work with younger students and how to lead meetings.” These trained youths also coordinated and led a leadership class for fifth-grade officers. Ninety percent of the fifth-grade officers stated that they felt confident about leading a club meeting after the training. Ninety percent of participants stated that they learned their role as an officer. All of the youth who completed officers’ training were able to state qualities of a good leader and give examples of how to use these qualities to follow basic parliamentary procedures. These youth are leading others and initiating opportunities for leadership growth. One officer said, “I am excited about becoming an officer and leading my club.”
PEANUT MATURITY CLINICS AID IN HARVEST
For most runner-type peanuts grown in south Georgia, it takes between 135 and 150 days to mature. In years when the weather is extremely variable, maturity can be affected. High temperatures this past summer, coupled with dry conditions, altered the way this year’s peanuts matured. Some peanuts started maturing much earlier than normal. Some nuts went beyond optimal maturity and began deteriorating. Checking peanuts using the hull scrape method is very important for growers to use in deciding when to harvest their fields. Very rarely is a farmer able to harvest by plant date alone. The method involves removing the outer hull of the peanut and laying it out on the peanut maturity profile board. Then we crack some of the nuts open and see if the inside is as mature as the outside of the hull. The number of sound, mature kernels affects the grade and, ultimately, the money received for the crop. A second-year peanut grower commented, “The peanut clinics gave me confidence that I was digging my crop at the right time.” This year in Jeff Davis County, we held 14 peanut maturity clinics. Through these clinics, we reached the majority of peanut growers in the county and blasted 122 samples from approximately 5,000 acres grown in Jeff Davis County. Continued work is being done to relate what we see on the maturity board to the final harvested grade at the peanut mill.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Jeff Davis County does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences agent based in its office, but we still strive to assist local residents with questions. Common questions relate to food preservation, dealing with mold and mildew, and SNAP-Ed materials. These topics are answered through free UGA Extension publications and through phone conferences with Family and Consumer Science Extension agents in surrounding counties.