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
Livestock production is one of the main agricultural commodities in both Jones County and the state of Georgia. Covid-19 caused changes to how UGA Extension operates, but also put a considerable stress on the livestock industry. Upon the realization of the need to educational programming and professional certification credits, Jones, Hart, Putnam, and Stephens County Extension offices collaborated to host a virtual 4-week Summer Pasture Management Series. The series was well received with an average of 48 participants per session, and provided 62 hours of certified crop advisor continuing education credits and 105 hours of pesticide recertification credits. Growing interest in the Jones County community has been centered around wildlife management. Jones County Extension instituted a series of programs and presentations related to a diverse range of environmental areas of interest to residents in the county. These targeted areas included wildlife management, pond management, and forestry production practices. All of the programs related to wildlife management were very well received and great feedback was provided.
4-H Youth Development
As a result of COVID-19, Georgia 4-H state horse contests were shifted to either a virtual format or outright canceled in 2020. In an effort to provide youth and adults a fun and free opportunity to compete on a state and national level, the Jones County 4-H Agent collaborated with several other UGA Extension Agents to offer the Virtual Invitational Equine Skill-a-thon, the Northeast District 4-H Horse Show, and the Virtual Invitation Horse Quiz Bowl. Both contests were administered through Qualtrics. The Skill-a-thon had 100 participants from 13 different states, the Northeast District 4-H Horse show offered 63 classes and had 92 entries, and the Quiz Bowl had 66 participants from 15 different states. Research over the past decade conducted by the Royal Conservatory has indicated that music education enables students to achieve their full potential intellectually, socially and creatively. Therefore, Jones County 4-H instituted programming to engage students in music education to promote cognitive growth. The programming consisted of an eight-week Guitar Club focusing on the basics of playing guitar that included parts identification, tuning, learning chords, notes, keys and strumming/picking patterns. Sixteen students participated in the program with 100% of the students indicating minimal to no knowledge of playing guitar before beginning the club. Additionally, 100% of students learned to identify open notes and note progression. Each student was given a list of 10 chords to learn, with a minimum expectation of learning seven chords, and 50% of students mastered the minimum expectation. Furthermore, 25% of students mastered the full list of 10 chords and additional chords not on the list. Future plans include offering a more advanced club for students who completed the introductory level.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Although Jones 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. Our office can provide that information.