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
The Giving Garden is a community service project that Junior and Senior 4-H’ers began back in 2013. With constant changes in the economy, more and more people are struggling to get nutritious food to their families, so many families and children go hungry around the state each and every night. Our University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent has steadily assisted the youth in soil preparation and garden care throughout the experience. By teaching youth the importance of farming now, we are educating our future farmers. Raised beds at our 4-H facility may not feed armies, but the good, wholesome foods that are grown in our fall, winter and spring gardens play a part in our local community. 4-H members maintain the garden from preparation and planting to upkeep and harvesting for our local food bank and soup kitchen. Our garden is full of nutrient-rich foods, from broccoli to kale. The garden also contains various herbs and vegetables that can be used to enhance flavors. Each vegetable or herb is specifically chosen for its taste and use in multiple dishes by the 4-H kids and staff. The Giving Garden is inspiring our youth to educate our community on healthy living and eating.
Cotton Variety Trials
Cotton variety trials have saved local producers millions of dollars through timely, unbiased, research-based information. The trials tested which varieties of cotton held up best in various growing environments throughout the state of Georgia. Because producers do not have the time or resources to plant several types to determine which variety adapts and produces better results, these trials have helped and allowed ANR agents to utilize better cotton varieties for Wayne County farmers. Data is gathered on the yield amount, bloom and maturity dates, test weights and a collection of other individualized variables in order to help agents and farmers find the specific cotton needed to receive maximum return. The trials provide high turnover and harvest rates for producers, thus helping farmers to establish the maximum at harvest. The agent in Wayne County has conducted eight UGA cotton variety trials over the last six years, with an average of 11 new cotton varieties a year. All data from the cotton variety trials in Wayne County have been used in the UGA Uniform Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program to help develop the UGA Cotton Variety Performance Calculator.
Farm to Pizza
Research shows that 72 percent of Americans say they know nothing or very little about agriculture and think very little about where their food comes from. Educating youth about where food comes from can lead to a greater appreciation for their food, healthier meal options, the education and skills needed to grow their own food, and a better awareness of the need to make wise and healthy food choices. ANR, Family and Consumer Sciences and 4-H agents from Wayne and nearby counties planned and implemented a Farm to Pizza hands-on educational exhibit to increase agricultural awareness.