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
Early County is growing 4-H’ers. Through continuous marketing of the 4-H program at various events within the county and by providing programming in all the schools, private and public, for pre-K through 12th grade. The program is thriving and continues to grow in all the schools. The 4-H agent conducts monthly club meetings, offers a livestock program and S.A.F.E. shooting sports programs including archery and shotgun. The 4-H agent participates in local 4-H events to build relationships with 4-H’ers, parents and volunteers. The 4-H agent also has generated a volunteer base with continuous efforts to increase the volunteer pool. The 4-H agent works to provide summer programming and fundraising projects to offset cost for 4-H’ers who wish to attend camp. Continuous efforts are made to market the program and provide educational programming to continue growth of Early County 4-H in the community.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Producers have longed for a growth regulator in peanuts. Many have tried traditional growth regulators only to come away disappointed when they did not work. Then Apogee came as a possible growth regulator.In a trial in Early County, Apogee was applied to 18 rows by the length of the field and replicated four times. The rate used was 5.5 ounces per acre. Apogee was applied when 50% of the lateral branches were touching and the second application two weeks later. This trial was done four more times across a wide variety of planting dates.Across all planting dates the Apogee worked at controlling vine growth, but it cost $50 per acre. Would it prove worth it? On the first planting date, Apogee out-yielded the untreated check by 500 pounds per acre and had an ROI of $45 per acre. Across the four trials Apogee had an average yield of 775 pounds per acre more than the untreated check and an average ROI of $87.25 per acre. This work has led to an additional 6,000 to 7000 acres treated in Early and surrounding counties. This is an increase in potential profit of $567,125 combined for those growers. Many more have expressed they will use it in the upcoming year after struggling with vine growth.
Family and Consumer Sciences
When beginning the new role as Family and Consumer Sciences agent, it is important to identify key issues and problems to address within the community. With nearly 30% of adults considered obese and inactive in Early County, the agent will focus education on healthy eating and the need for physical activity. Increasing rates of obesity and inactivity are accompanied by increased rates of chronic disease, which will also serve as another area of focus for the agent. By providing educational programs on chronic disease prevention, the agent can educate in an effort to reduce rates of diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, asthma and COPD, illnesses that affect many people within the community. These educational opportunities will be made available to all citizens of the community through the senior center, local chamber of commerce, and Headstart.