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.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Agent Ann Centner has been busy with FACS programming in Early County. A dedicated runner with a bachelor’s degree in consumer foods, the agent’s focuses have been healthy eating and meeting the recommendations for physical activity. A county-needs assessment revealed that 29.5 percent of adults are obese and 29.1 percent are inactive. Obesity, inactivity and a poor diet can contribute to certain cancers. This year the agent focused on cancer prevention cooking schools funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for rural counties. The agent educated citizens about cancer prevention nutrition and activity recommendations, cooking skills to implement recommendations, and cancer screening guidelines. Nutrition efforts were also provided to members of the community, namely through monthly visits to Head Start and local senior centers. Childcare continuing education was also offered, with eight participants gaining the 10 annual credits required. Virtual Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) is available in Early County, and the agent encourages citizens to schedule an appointment to file their taxes.
4-H Youth Development
The Early County 4-H Club is thriving. Youth in the county have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activities and events within and outside of the county. The agent provides monthly programming in all of the schools, public and private, and to the special education class, called “Classy Clovers,” a group of students that otherwise may not have been served. Special programming is provided to lower grades, pre-K through fourth grade, throughout the year. The agent also offers a livestock program and Project SAFE (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education), which includes archery and shotgun, summer camp opportunities and summer programming. Fundraising opportunities are made available to 4-H’ers to assist with activity fees. Community service opportunities, such as the operation of the local food bank, providing services for the local chamber of commerce and other community outlets,
teach 4-H’ers the importance of giving back to our community and others. The agent collaborates with businesses and agencies to continue to bring needed services and timely programming to the youth and community of Early County.
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.
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 percent 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. On the first planting date, Apogee out-yielded the untreated check by 500 pounds per acre and had a return on investment (ROI) of $45 per acre.
Across the four trials, Apogee-treated areas had an average yield of 775 pounds per acre, more than the untreated 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 that they will use it in the upcoming year after struggling with