Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Atkinson County’s farm gate value totals $118 million and ranks 37th in total farm gate value among all Georgia counties.
Agriculture is a vital part of Atkinson County. UGA Cooperative Extension provides unbiased, research-based education, playing a vital role in helping producers maximize profits and production. We hold production meetings specific to the crops in Atkinson County so that we can share new technologies and recommendations for the coming year. Meetings held this past year addressed pecan production, cotton production, area tobacco production and soil fertility. Our office conducted trials in cotton variety selection, peanut fungicide trials and tobacco production this past year. We analyzed the data gathered and shared this information with farmers. The traditional role of helping our clientele one-on-one is still our strongest asset. Much of the work conducted throughout the year is via phone, office and farm or site visits.
Additionally, we offered peanut maturity testing, a great tool for evaluating optimum harvest timing and other factors that may impact this crop. In 2020, a total of 126 individual tests were conducted for peanut maturity. Peanuts are a vital crop in Atkinson County, and knowing when to dig is paramount to maximizing profits. We will continue to do what it takes to help our community and farmers.
4-H Youth Development
The simplest way for 4-H to serve the greatest number of students is through in-school programming. This mission is accomplished through hands-on learning and experiences focused on agriculture awareness, leadership, communication skills, foods, nutrition, health, energy conservation and citizenship. A study of 4-H’ers shows that 4-H youth excel beyond their peers. That study, Tufts Positive Youth Development Research Reports, concluded that 4-H’ers are four times more likely to contribute to their community, two times more likely to be civically active and two times more likely to make healthy choices. Atkinson County 4-H’ers also competed in several events such as Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging, Georgia National Fair exhibits, livestock shows and many community-service events such as canned food drives and pop tab collection. Each of these programs, club meetings and community-service events helps accomplish the mission of Georgia 4-H to assist youth in acquiring knowledge and developing life skills to enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. Atkinson County 4-H encourages and challenges youth to explore and discover so that 4-H’ers can learn to recognize their potential and build on the foundations of personal self-esteem and confidence.