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
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) has been the word in Carroll County 4-H over the past year. By increasing the volume of curriculum offered within the county program, Carroll County 4-H staff have implemented fun and innovative activities to be used during in-school programming. The goal of the 4-H program is to continue to grow in order to reach and serve as many students as possible.
By collaborating with both the county school system and the city school system, the need for additional staffing has becom evident. By adding the city school, our program gained 16 additional classrooms and 400 students. This year, the 4-H office gained a part-time AmeriCorps position to assist in reaching a steadily increasing 4-H enrollment, now at 1,800 4-H members. The AmeriCorps service member looks to provide direct service to address critical community needs. This program is funded through a federal grant in cooperation with the local government.
Education and preparation is a large focus within 4-H, and an important issue in Carroll County is community involvement and awareness. With the help of the new AmeriCorps service member, community service has been made a priority in the county program. Nearly 200 “Blessing Bags” were gathered and distributed to the local emergency shelter.
Carroll County 4-H continues to make strides in connecting with youth to help them achieve their goals and prepare for the future. From competitions and judging events to community service and college preparation, the 4-H staff and wonderful volunteers work to make the best better in their 4-H’ers.
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.