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
Taylor County 4-H serves 350 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students and 50 middle school students through in-school club meetings. School enrichment classes are offered to 183 Career, Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) students in high school. Every year Taylor County 4-H sends approximately 40 youths to camp at one of the state’s five 4-H centers. Six students competed at Junior/Senior District Project Achievement (DPA), and five students made it to Cloverleaf DPA. The Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) Shotgun Team has 22 members and three certified coaches; the livestock team has eight members, and Zane Kendrick is again serving on the youth advisory board for the Georgia Junior Swine Board. The newly formed Poultry Judging Team, with 15 members, competed in Tifton, Georgia, in April 2016. Junior member Keelie Albritton won fourth overall highest score, and the Junior team of Keelie and Kelsey Albritton, Ashlyn Logue and Jessica Withrow won first place in the team division. They will all return to be our Senior team members in 2017.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Georgia peach production totaled approximately 72,000,000 pounds on an estimated 11,693 acres, with a value of $44.5 million dollars. Peaches require a certain amount of chill or cold weather during winter to be able to break dormancy. Over the last couple of winters, we have had historically warm weather, resulting in inadequate chill. The Extension office used this time to bring in specialists to discuss production changes in low-chill years with growers. Between shade-tree meetings and one-on-one discussions, the Extension office spent many hours discussing what should be done to produce a 2016 peach crop. Research and demonstration trials were set up to look at the use of hydrogen cyanamide to improve yield through more uniform bloom. The Extension office studied bloom stage for critical timing of spray applications and conducted an extensive trial to compare rates and timing. Results from 2016 were mixed, but they shed some light on techniques and practices for low chill. Luckily for us, but not so much for the peach industry, this winter has been warmer than the last. This means that we will be able to get two years of data. This will help us to become more confident in our recommendations of these products.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
UGA Extension places unbiased, research-based information on topics including food safety, nutrition, preservation, child development, parenting, personal financial management, housing and healthy living habits at the public's fingertips. Clients have participated in the Walk Georgia programs, which addresses a healthy lifestyle. Periodic Extension newsletters are mailed to clients and distributed at the senior center, neighborhood service center and doctors’ offices. The growing season has become extremely busy for the Extension office as more people become health-conscious. More and more people have gone back to growing and preserving their own food in order to have fewer preservatives, for freshness and to save money. Extension has the answers to their questions. As a matter of fact, a record amount of Extension’s “So Easy to Preserve” book was sold last year. The UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences program has a wealth of valuable information available to all Taylor County clients.