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.
4-H Youth Development
After acquiring a Walmart Foundation Healthy Habits grant, Carroll County 4-H has implemented the Healthy Living curriculum and made it an integral part of our school club meetings. We have implemented Health Rocks and Yoga for Kids programming for a few years and we are very excited to use the Healthy Habits grant to add a new component to our program. Students are learning about nutrition through using MyPlate, learning how to read nutrition labels, and making healthier food choices. These programs are reaching 300 to 400 students monthly in our county and city school systems
4-H judging teams are an important teaching tool for 4-H’ers. In 2019, a dairy tour was planned with Gordon County 4-H to expose 4-H’ers to live animals in order to build their judging skills. 4-H’ers visited three dairy farms across the state. Students were able to practice judging dairy cattle as well as get an inside look at the dairy industry from the collegiate, family and corporate levels. Ten Carroll County 4-H’ers attended the dairy tour and the team placed second at the State Dairy Judging contest.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Walk-a-Weigh is an award-winning weight control program emphasizing the importance of physical activity and healthy eating. The eight-week Walk-a-Weigh program focuses on physical activity, healthy eating and chronic disease control and prevention. The program is being taught to individuals who are interested in making lifestyle changes. During the first program, 18 participated in Walk-a-Weigh and lost more than 75 pounds as a group.
Family and Consumer Science program area reached more than 800 people, providing information about healthy eating, chronic disease prevention and food safety in 2019. Along with the Walk-a-Weigh program, we offered a variety of programs such as Walk Georgia, Rite Bite Diabetes Cooking School and Cancer Prevention Cooking School. Health and disease prevention education is an important topic and the Family and Consumer Science program area has been able to share this information to get people healthy and active.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimated production losses in excess of $38 million for livestock operations due to imported fire ants. At $16 per acre, the expense of treating heavily infested pastures is relatively cheap when considering livestock production losses associated with imported fire ants. Fire ant mounds can also result in costly damage to mowing and hay-baling equipment.
Producers needed reliable information on proper control measures to help combat imported fire ants in pastures and hayfields. To demonstrate the relative ease and effectiveness of using bait products to manage fire ant populations, demonstrations have been conducted on a Carroll County farm. Using a Herd GT-77 seeder calibrated to spread 1.5 pounds of bait per acre, Amdro® Pro Fire Ant Bait was applied to a 10-acre pasture. A second untreated pasture was used for comparison. Three sampling plots were established within each of the treated and untreated areas. At the time of application, the treated and untreated areas had an average of 64 and 82 mounds per acre, respectively. Eight weeks after the application, an evaluation of the project revealed an overall 98-percent reduction of fire ant mounds in the treatment area while the untreated area had a decrease of 45 percent.
The Carroll County Extension office purchased a Herd GT-77 seeder for farmers to rent in order to encourage more farmers to treat their pastures for imported fire ants. After two years, a total of 300 acres have been treated using the Herd GT-77 spreader. Two hundred producers have attended six presentations to learn about managing fire ants in their pastures and hayfields. Fire-ant bait products marketed for fire-ant management can be used to safely and effectively control fire ant populations to reduce their negative impact on livestock operations.