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.
Floyd County Extension programs help empower citizens to make sound decisions to improve quality of life as it relates to their social and economic well-being and the environment in which we live. UGA Extension in Floyd County presented 150 educational classes in 4-H and Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) and made contact with more than 11,000 citizens. Outreach efforts led to the creation of 15 news articles or newsletters, 15 radio programs and two television programs. In 2018, Floyd County Extension processed 474 soil samples, 75 disease/insect sample on plants, 69 feed/forage samples and 23 water samples. Floyd County Extension staff received five professional awards for innovative and effective educational programming in 2018.
4-H Youth Development
Georgia 4-H hosted the 2018 Cloverleaf District Project Achievement at Georgia Highlands with more than 1,000 people in attendance. The Floyd County 4-H Club had 52 Cloverleaf 4-H’ers compete. We had 20 adult/teen volunteers assist with concessions, carnival games and serving lunch at the event. We had 14 seventh through 12th grade 4-H’ers participate in the district competition, with two of our seniors placing first and one being invited through sweepstakes to compete at State Congress. During State Congress, our three participants placed in the top three. We had one first-place winner obtain the title of Master 4-H’er in Veterinary Science, and the others finished in second place.
4-H’ers developed their own unique food product, called “Clover Cups,” in preparation for the State Food Product Development Competition, in which they placed second in the state. These 4-H’ers not only developed the food product, they also conducted market research to determine the potential sales of their product. This information was included in the written proposal that was judged by UGA’s Department of Food Science and Technology. In addition to the written proposal, 4-H’ers also orally presented their product, marketing plan, safety protocols and nutrition information.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Cover crops provide important production and environmental benefits for farmers, but adoption rates remain low, around 8 percent in Georgia. A Statewide Cover Crop Variety Trial and Planting Demonstration was established at the Northwest Georgia Research and Education Center Farm in Rome, Georgia. This project was funded through a UGA Extension Innovation Grant awarded to the Cover Crop Extension Team. The demonstration project focused on the use of cover-crop varieties used both in forage systems for livestock and row-crop production. A combined workshop and field day were hosted in 2018 at the research farm with 65 attendees. Presentations included the grazing preferences of cattle for different cover crops and how to calibrate a seed drill to ensure the correct amount of seed is being planted. The workshop included a demonstration on how cover crops improve water relations, subsoil moisture and infiltration. The demonstration project highlighted cover-crop varieties commonly used in Georgia, illustrated the effect of planting date on cover-crop biomass and the differences in biomass between no-till and conventional planting techniques. The research trial compared biomass production in a commonly used oat variety with two forage oat varieties and the standard rye variety. Survey responses indicated that 62 percent would likely save or spend money as a result of this workshop. When asked how they would save money, top responses included saving money on forage production for livestock and by using a seed drill that uses less seed.