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
UGA Extension educational opportunities thrived in Meriwether County last year. The year started off with a two-day-long small ruminant program taught by a Fort Valley State University specialist, a UGA veterinarian and the Carroll County Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent. The program was attended by sheep and goat producers from 10 Georgia counties. UGA beef and weed specialists spoke at three of the Meriwether County Cattlemen’s Association monthly meetings on beef production, nutrition and pasture weed management. A UGA veterinarian taught a calving techniques class that also addressed lambing and kidding difficulties. Three evening presentations by UGA poultry specialists covered everything producers needed to know on how to raise a backyard poultry flock. The Georgia Department of Agriculture taught a class on egg candling. The UGA small fruits weed specialist gave a class on weed management for commercial strawberry production. The Meriwether County ANR agent also teamed up with staff from the Georgia Forestry Commission, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Georgia Tree Farm Program to inform timber producers of available services. Classes on lawn care, fruit trees, vegetable gardening and mosquito management were taught by the Meriwether County ANR agent. In the area of research, one Meriwether County sheep farm was selected by the Fort Valley State University small ruminant specialist to take part in a cost-share program for the DrenchRite Assay to determine if dewormer resistance was present on that farm. Herbicide research by UGA and North Carolina State University weed specialists on strawberry and peach crops was done on a local fruit farm. The UGA peach specialist made several visits to the county to meet with peach growers. The newly hired UGA peach entomologist made a visit to discuss possible research projects for 2017. The ANR agent continues to work closely with fruit and vegetable producers in the county. The acreage of these crops continues to grow. Meriwether County now has over 21 acres in strawberry production. It continues to rank fifth in Georgia for peach production. Increased local production of both warm- and cool-season vegetables ensures that Meriwether County residents have year-round access to the freshest, healthiest produce. The Meriwether County Extension ANR e-newsletter has a section that informs readers of what produce is available locally throughout the year. This publication informs readers of Extension educational classes in Meriwether and surrounding counties. It also alerts producers and gardeners to potential pest and disease issues in a timely manner. Thirty-six issues of this publication were sent to readers in at least 12 Georgia counties as well as three other Southern states. Feedback from reader Tim Mallory reflects the responses received concerning the e-newsletter: “Great newsletter, packed with info that appeals to many different areas of agriculture. I am looking forward to attending several classes. Thanks for the difference you are making in this geographical area.” The ANR agent also made 296 visits to farms or residences to identify pests, diseases and weeds; make pesticide recommendations; discuss crops and their cultural practices; and to take soil and forage samples. Over 300 phone or email requests for information were also answered.