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
Tift County is one of the most diverse counties in the state in terms of agriculture. Many vegetable crops, row and forage crops, ornamental horticulture, livestock, forestry, fruits, tree nuts, and more are grown in the county. UGA Extension provides research-based information for Tift County agriculturists through educational production meetings and on-farm research. In 2016, producers faced many challenges, including drought conditions, high temperatures and disease and insect problems. More specifically, growers faced silverleaf whitefly, a sporadic insect pest of cotton and vegetable crops that appeared early in the season and persisted through harvest. Tift County Extension completed applied research with growers, comparing cotton varieties and managing diseases and insects in cotton, peanuts and vegetables.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Young people become self-directing, productive, contributing members of society through 4-H. Tift County Extension 4-H Agent Ashley Davis works with home-schooled and local school students, delivering educational opportunities for youth in grades five through 12. Our program complements and enhances basic, grade-level curriculum by bringing UGA resources to each classroom where 4-H programs are taught. Tift County 4-H offers opportunities for youth of all ages. District Project Achievement gives 4-H’ers the opportunity to present a project from areas of their choosing. These projects can highlight any hobby or interests the 4-H’er may have. This is a great tool to build public-speaking skills and to showcase 4-H’ers’ work and success. Tift County 4-H’ers can take advantage of spending a week at one of Georgia’s five 4-H centers. They can participate in judging and team events, including poultry and consumer judging, livestock projects or our shooting sports teams. Tift County 4-H believes in giving back to the community. Members of 4-H have served at events and contributed to causes including Relay for Life, the Ronald McDonald House, the local soup kitchen and Adopt-a-Mile program. E
EDUCATING FOR A HEALTHIER TIFTON
Tift County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Roxie Price provides programming that increases the health, wellness and financial capability of individuals and families served. All first-grade children in Tift County participate in a hand-washing lesson. Good hand-washing is the No. 1 way to prevent the spread of the flu virus. Preventing the spread of germs and illness allows students more instructional time and parents fewer missed workdays. All second-grade children receive a lesson about added sugar. Creating awareness of the amount of sugar they are drinking and the negative effects of too much sugar in their bodies helps prevent childhood obesity. A food safety program provides restaurant managers with the opportunity to complete the National ServSafe® Managers Certification. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that each year roughly one in six Americans gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Providing the community with resources to help residents live a healthier lifestyle is also a top priority for Tift County’s Family and Consumer Sciences agent. Our collaborations with the YMCA, Recreation Department, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Tift Regional Medical Center, Family Connection, as well as many others, are essential to helping our community become healthier.