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:
LAMAR COUNTY FARMERS PARTICIPATE IN MID-GEORGIA FORAGE SCHOOL
The Lamar and Upson County Extension offices hosted the Mid-Georgia Forage School. Participants from Upson, Lamar, Pike, Spalding and surrounding counties attended this three-night program. Specialists from UGA covered topics including correct forage establishment, soil fertility, weed control and poisonous plants. U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service representatives also spoke about the requirements of shade and water for livestock. Lamar County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Wes Smith did a lesson on rotational grazing. A pasture walk concluded the program. This gave the participants an opportunity to see lessons taught in practice. Those that needed private pesticide credits were awarded a one-hour credit for recertification. A follow-up survey sent five months after the class showed that the participants’ knowledge of forages and forage management improved, and many participants used the knowledge gained at the class to implement forage management practices on their own farms.
GARDENING WITH SPECIAL-NEEDS STUDENTS
A garden setting presents the perfect opportunity for children with special needs to learn, play and strengthen both their bodies and their minds. To that end, the Junior Master Gardener (JMG) program, “an international youth gardening program of the university cooperative Extension network,” was implemented in a special-needs classroom at Lamar County Elementary School in spring 2016. Approximately 11 students with varying cognitive abilities participated in six JMG programs that integrated hands-on group and individual learning experiences that helped to teach basic planting, cultivation and harvesting skills; to promote a love of gardening; and to develop an appreciation for the environment and nutrition. At the conclusion of the program, the students celebrated their participation in the program with a Salad Celebration using vegetables that were planted in the school’s raised-bed gardens.