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
Over the past five years, the farm-gate value of the many agricultural commodities grown and produced in Crisp County averaged more than $99 million per year. Agriculture is the backbone of Georgia’s overall economy, and in Crisp its importance and sustainability are at the forefront of Agricultural and Natural Resources (ANR) Agent Josh Grant’s program in Cordele.
Watermelon is the namesake of Crisp, and for the second year in a row, Grant has collaborated in Fusarium wilt research with UGA specialists at Cordele’s very own 5-acre Watermelon Research Park. In 2018, the ANR program continued its annual production meetings covering various commodities such as cotton, peanuts, corn, soybeans, watermelon and pecans. On-site consultations were up, with Grant answering growers’ and homeowners’ questions in-person during more than 350 visits. Cross-programming with 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) led to multiple educational outreach programs. Grant grew the educational outreach portion by being invited to give more than 10 presentations on various topics including agricultural production, forest maintenance, basic entomology, landscaping and hurricane recovery. This past year brought challenges including reduced county livestock show attendance, commodity tariffs and storm damage, and Grant adapted and continues to address issues that will be long-lasting but conquerable.
4-H Youth Development
Community service is one of the activities that allows Crisp County 4-H’ers to become better citizens. Outreach is always a goal for 4-H because the 4-H Slogan is to “Learn by Doing.” Each year, the 4-H leaders try to focus on ways to make our local 4-H and community better, so our 2018 focus was on community service. Amanda S. is one 4-H’er who has served her community by getting involved with the Crisp County Animal Control Department. Amanda not only volunteered her time helping, but she raised $560 and donated heat lamps to the department. She made a big difference in the lives of animals and her community. Jordan L. is another 4-H’er who went above and beyond the call of duty to impact her community by putting smiles on senior citizens’ faces. It started with painting flower pots and planting flowers at three assisted living facilities in Crisp. Jordan didn’t stop there, making several visits to play bingo and sing songs with the seniors and she always brought treats. She also got the Beta Club involved, making the impact more effective. As you can see, community service was a primary goal for both Amanda and Jordan and they made an impact in their community.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Extension FACS Agent Rebecca Stackhouse has made communitywide collaborative partners she works with for programming. Stackhouse offers healthy relationship education for teens, financial education, Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), certification in CPR/AED/first aid and lifeguarding, ServSafe®, childcare provider education, and continuing education for food service workers. She works with Crisp County FACS teachers to deliver programming to middle school students. She has worked in collaboration with the ANR and 4-H agents and community partners on a pre-K raised bed garden and programming. As the FACS agent, Stackhouse works hard to provide expertise through training, research and publications to positively affect community members.