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
Through participation in 4-H, students are given opportunities to grow and learn as they develop important life skills such as leadership, responsibility, critical thinking, public speaking and citizenship. Jasper County Extension Coordinator and 4-H Agent Kasey Hall strives to offer a variety of educational programs and activities to appeal to the youth in her rural county. Many 4-H’ers enjoy competing in judging and quiz bowl events. Not only did a record number of 43 Jasper County students participate in these competitions in 2018, they also excelled at the area and state contests in all three events. There were 21 members who competed in Poultry Judging, an increase of 13 from 2017. In the area contest, the junior team placed fourth, one 4-H’er placed fourth overall as an individual in the junior division, while a senior 4-H’er placed third as an individual. For the fourth consecutive year, a team from Jasper County placed first in the state 4-H Challenge Bowl contest, and one team placed third for the first time. Together these two teams earned $1,250 in prize money. At the area Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging contest, two Jasper County 4-H’ers placed first with the highest individual scores in both the junior and senior divisions, and the junior team placed first overall. District Project Achievement (DPA) is a favorite competition for many 4-H’ers, where they present illustrated talks on topics of their choosing. A total of 33 competed in the Cloverleaf, junior and senior divisions, and one seventh-grader was elected to the Northeast District Junior Board of Directors. A senior 4-H’er placed first at district and then advanced to state, where she placed third in her project.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
UGA Extension in Jasper County offers many services to local clientele. Soil, forage and water tests are conducted through UGA’s laboratories, and in-office and on-site consultations are provided on an extensive number of topics, such as lawn health and maintenance, pond management, home gardening, insect control, herbicide and pesticide use, livestock herd management, land use decisions and orchard care, among others. Jasper County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Charlie Todd went on more than 300 on-site consultations in his first year of service in the county, mainly focusing on the production of timber, hay and cattle. While not in the field, Todd often attended meetings where he represented the county’s agricultural interests with groups such as the Upper Ocmulgee River Resource Conservation and Development Council, Piedmont Cattlemen’s Association, Morgan County Cattlemen’s Association and area dairy-production meetings. Todd has also become more involved with youth programming with his recent certification as a 4-H shotgun team coach. He was responsible for leading 4-H’ers in maintaining the raised garden beds at the local office and he partnered with Jasper County Primary School, where he spoke to more than 200 students on the importance of agricultural sustainability.