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 IMPACT IN LOCAL SCHOOLS
Through 4-H Project Achievement, students learn valuable life skills, such as organization, communication and confidence, through the selection, research, development and presentation of these illustrated talks. Miller County 4-H works in partnership with fifth-grade teachers, volunteers and Teen Leaders to facilitate and promote the participation of students in Project Achievement and to emphasize the importance of this opportunity. In 2015, nearly 50 essays were submitted as part of the countywide Cloverleaf Essay Contest. Twenty-four 4-H’ers received invitations to participate in District Project Achievement. Fifteen Miller County fifth- and sixth-grade 4-H’ers attended at least one of the workshops offered, and seven Miller County 4-H’ers participated in District Project Achievement. More than 75 percent of those 4-H’ers placed in their categories. Teachers spoke highly of the program and its help in enhancing students’ science, language arts and communication skills. The 4-H’ers who participated were given a unique opportunity to learn skills that will help them not only in school, but also in the rest of their lives.
IMPROVING COTTON PROFITABILITY
Miller County farmers plant, on average, around 30,000 acres of cotton each year. In 2015, cotton produced in Miller County had a farm gate value of nearly $19 million, ranking the county seventh in cotton production in the state. It is vitally important for cotton producers to choose the right variety, one with the highest potential for making a profit. In the last 10 years, several new varieties of cotton have been released, and each is gaining its share of the market. With the seemingly endless choices that a producer has in cotton varieties and their different trait packages, cotton growers are often left scratching their heads as to which variety to plant. The UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent in Miller County responded to this need by conducting on-farm cotton variety trials. The agent worked with local producers to initiate a randomized, replicated cotton variety trial. No fewer than 12 varieties have been evaluated for the last five years. These trials used more than 300 acres of cotton in seven variety trials. Cotton growers in the area were able to look at multiple years of local data and make a better decision on varieties with which they had no experience. By choosing higher yielding varieties, farmers have the potential to increase profit by $248 per acre at the $0.62-per-pound price, or more than $7,440,000 in countywide annual profit.