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
Forage crops are important to the state of Georgia. There are approximately 4 million acres of pasture, hay and silage in Georgia (10% of the state). This includes 3.4 million acres of pastureland and approximately 600,000 acres of hay land. The total of all other field crops is less than 3 million acres. The associated forage-based livestock systems have a farm gate value of more than $1.4 billion.
Forage producers are continually seeking new information they can use to improve forage yield, reduce costs and maintain profitability. With this in mind, the Forage Extension Team programs to advance knowledge related to forage and hay production and meet producer request for forage-based information.
The UGA Forage Extension Program was assessed through an online survey during February and early March 2017. The survey was sent to 349 valid emails of participants in UGA major forage extension programs. The 88 responses that were received reflected a 25.2% response rate, which is considered high based on accepted survey response norms. Participants self-reported that their participation in UGA Forage Extension programs were directly responsible for increasing their net farm incomes by an average of 16.1% (+/- 2.3) and net agribusiness income by 17.1% (+/- 2.3). Since 2015, the UGA Forage Extension Team has made 3,012 face-to-face contacts using previously identified outreach methods. Finally, through the quarterly newsletter, team members are making a regional impact by providing educational information to more than 7,200 forage producers and agribusiness professionals.
HARRIS COUNTY 4-H TEACHES YOUTH LIFE SKILL
Harris County 4-H offered a diverse array of activities to teach youth life skills. Harris County 4-H has both staff and volunteers working together to reach youth through varying interests. The basic 4-H program is offered during school hours as well as when competition season arrives.
The program goes beyond the basic to teach more life skills and provide positive adult/youth relationships. Almost 800 students were taught financial skills such as how to write a check, how to keep a check/debit spending register and how to pay bills. They found out how their decisions affect the future. Another skill is learning independence. During the summer, 235 young people learned independence through our camps and summer programs. They were also engaged in an outdoor classroom full of nature and science.
Another focus was judging teams and 4-H Project Achievement. We had 20 youth on the Poultry Judging Teams. At the regional competition, Poultry Teams won first and fourth places, as well as three High Individual Score winners. Project Achievement focused on teaching resume writing, speech writing and presentation, and public speaking. The 4-H staff worked with students in and out of school to build confidence in these skills.
Family and Consumer Sciences
We do not have a Family and Consumer Sciences program in Harris County. We call on Muscogee County Extension for assistance.