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
Franklin County has one of the highest farm gate values in the state. A great deal of that can be contributed to the poultry industry. Franklin County also ranks high in beef cattle and forage production. Many of the programs offered through UGA Cooperative Extension in Franklin County address issues that arise within the cattle industry, including beef quality assurance certification for local and regional producers. Additional programs offered through the Extension office include corn and soybean production meeting, and beef production meetings. Issues-based programming is a main focus for UGA Extension, working with farmers to provide programming that meets the need of local production. The ANR agent works with university specialists to make an impact in the local community.
Utilizing university resources, the Extension office is able to provide answers for homeowners and farmers on many topics including, but not limited to, soil fertility, safe pesticide application, water usage, home gardening and crop and pasture management. Extension offices provide soil, forage and water testing through the Agricultural and Environmental Service Laboratory at UGA. Agents can also identify plants, insects, diseases and weeds, and give fertilization and pest management recommendations.
Nutrient management planning is a major part of the services offered to poultry producers. Farmers that took advantage of the program were able to apply forfederal cost-sharing grants callid EQIP. EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits such as improved water and air quality, conserved ground and surface water, increased soil health and reduced soil erosion and sedimentation, improved or created wildlife habitat and mitigation against increasing weather volatility. By working with the Local NRCS office and teh Extension office, farmers in Franklin County were able to get $2,636,417.11 in federal grants to construct stack houses with composters.
4-H Youth Development
Franklin County 4-H offers a plethora of educational opportunities which aim to connect information learned in school, such as math, science, writing and social studies, to real-world applications. Students in fifth grade participate in monthly in-school club meetings which align directly with the state educational standards and focus on presenting information in a fun, hands-on way. Middle and high school students have the opportunity to participate in 4-H at the school during monthly club days. A homeschool program is also offered in the county and the current focus of this program has been on Project Achievement, youth development, community service and STEM.
Franklin County 4-H youth have opportunity to participate in a wide range of activities including livestock exhibition, livestock judging, archery, Project Achievement and various community service projects. Additional specialty clubs are expected to start within the next program year such as poultry judging or cotton boll and consumer judging. In addition to this, camp opportunities are offered at all formal Georgia 4-H centers and through day camps and farm days. A variety of camps are offered for students in 4th-12th grade.
In 2022, Franklin County 4-Hers continue to succeed in whatever they put their minds to. Our livestock team members placed second at the state contest and our archery team was also awarded second place in the novice division at the state outdoor match. We also had a recent record number of members attend summer camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Student involvement continues to grow as more participants try new ways to explore what 4-H has to offer.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Although Franklin County does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent based in the county Extension office, we strive to assist local residents with their questions. Common questions cover food safety, food preservation, dealing with mold and mildew, healthy meal planning, nutrition, family budgeting, SNAP-Ed resources and more. These issues and others are answered through a wide variety of free UGA Extension publications available at the county office and phone conferences with Family and Consumer Sciences agents from surrounding counties. Often neighboring FACS agents are conducting programming that our county residents are welcome to attend.