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
The largest county by size in Georgia, Ware County has a very diverse agricultural community able to successfully cultivate many agricultural commodities. Agriculture in Ware County plays a vital role in the economy, as is evidenced by the UGA farm gate report. Ware County has a farm gate value of more than $72 million. Blueberries and forest products are the county’s two largest commodities, with a combined value of more than $25 million. Row crop production consists of more than 13,000 acres, with the majority of the acreage in cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans and silage. Ware County’s Agriculture and Natural Resources agent helps to provide unbiased, research-based information to producers and homeowners on a wide variety of topics. With the help of UGA specialists, Ware County Extension provides local producers with current information on production practices, weed control, pathology, entomology, new technologies and agronomics through local production meetings specific to Ware County commodities. The Ware County Extension office provides soil, water, forage, animal waste and plant disease testing through the Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories at UGA.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Ware County 4-H provides an environment that enables participants to develop skills through the essential elements of independence, generosity, belonging and mastery. Youth in 4-H develop skills that are valuable not only to the community, but also to the youth as they grow into successful adults. There are approximately 850 students in grades four through 12 enrolled in Ware County 4-H. Through a partnership with the Board of Education and the Ware County School District, UGA Extension conducts approximately 40 monthly in-school educational programs to encourage fourth- through sixth-grade students to develop leadership, communication skills and self-confidence. In addition to in-school educational programming, Ware County 4-H hosts two specialty clubs: a precision air rifle team and a horse club that compete in various 4-H competitions. Ware County has an active livestock membership, with 4-H’ers showing goats, poultry, hogs and beef. The organization partners with Ware County FFA to host the annual Ware County Market Hog Show and Ware County Broiler Show. Ware County 4-H is represented at Cloverleaf District Project Achievement, Junior/Senior Project Achievement, Poultry Judging, and Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging competitions, and summer camp. Ware County 4-H hosts a summer garden project club that promotes farm-to-fork practices.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Ware County Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension serves a wide variety of audiences by providing research-based information in the areas of food and nutrition, food safety, food preservation, financial management, housing, positive development and healthy relationships. Programming reached senior centers, civic organizations, food service workers, parent groups and healthcare facilities. The agent maintains a community presence through regular newspaper articles in the Waycross Journal-Herald on timely topics. Ware County FCS partners with the Exchange Club of Waycross to facilitate the homemakers exhibit at the Okefenokee Area Agricultural Fair to showcase local talent to the community. In all aspects of programming, the goal of Ware County FCS Extension is to work as a unified force to equip Ware County citizens with the tools they need to make the best decisions for today’s and future generations.