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
Crisp County is uniquely positioned in the agribusiness sector being represented by a vast array of grown commodities and industries centered around agriculture. Over the past decade Crisp County has had a farm gate values averaging around $90 million dollars. Grown on more than 60,000 acres, commodities contributing to these monetary outputs include pecans, peanuts, cotton, watermelons, small grains, and soybeans. In addition to these food and fiber products, the county includes beef and dairy operations of more than 1,000 head, two gins, multiple chemical companies (Agri-AFC, Helena, Meherrin), and hundreds of irrigation systems.
Information dissemination to meet the needs of growers and business representatives in the above-mentioned fields is the main focus of Joshua Grant and the ANR program through the Extension. Grant organized Fusarium wilt research in watermelon for the third year, which produced published data shared to growers through the Georgia Watermelon Association and county production meetings. In 2019, Crisp County hosted six production meetings, reaching more than 200 producers. Site consultations with producers represents the bulk of communications, other than phone messages, which – when combined with homeowner consults – reached more than 300 consults in 2019.
4-H has produced many leaders across Georgia. The success of 4-H is based on effectively equipping youth with the tools necessary to succeed. 4-H is a place where youth can become productive citizens and learn lifelong skills. Essential Elements are the working components that fuel 4-H. According to research, 4-H gives youth a sense of belonging through an organization that provides a safe and positive environment. To build independence, 4-H creates and provides experiences to develop skills and build confidence by giving the youth ownership of their ideas through leadership and other opportunities. When youth feel that they are a part of a group, it gives them a sense of meaning and purpose. Generosity helps youth to become responsible, productive and contributing citizens through community service. Involvement in 4-H projects, programs and activities allows youth to acquire skills needed to make career and life choices. 4-H provides research-based content that offers youth the opportunity to gain mastery in any desired area. Crisp County 4-H is Making the Best Better.
Becca Stackhouse has developed community-wide collaborative partners that she works with for programming. Stackhouse offers healthy relationship education for teens, financial education for youth and adults, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, certification in CPR/AED/First Aid and lifeguarding,and ServSafe training and continuing education for food services workers. She works with Crisp County FACS teachers to deliver programming to middle school students. She has worked in collaboration with the Crisp County ANR and 4-H agents and collaborative partners on a pre-k raised bed garden and programming. She works with Crisp Regional Hospital to deliver lunch-and-learn programs to employees of the hospital. She uses local media for a bi-weekly column and midday show with WSST. She delivers publications full of research-based information to organizations like child care centers, senior care homes and the hospital. As the family and consumer science agent, Stackhouse works hard to provide expertise through training, research and publications that positively affect community members.