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
Agriculture can have a significant impact on the local economy and Jones County is no different with its diversity of agriculture. During the last year, the Jones County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent instituted a series of programs related to the diversity of agriculture in the county, including small ruminants, forestry, forages and wildlife management. The Jones County Extension agent collaborated with Crawford, Monroe and Upson County Extension to host a small business development/planning day and a small ruminant production short course. Some of the topics included nutrition, predator control, lambing and kidding, FAMACHA and more. Jones County Extension collaborated with several universities and government agencies to hold the first Georgia Learn and Burn Event. During the event, participants were educated on safe fire practices and provided with hands-on fire training at the site. The Jones County Extension agent, in collaboration with Elbert, Jasper, Stephens, and Wilkes County Extension, hosted the Northeast District Forestry and Wildlife Management Field Day. The purpose was to provide forestry and wildlife professionals and landowners with hands on research-based information that could be utilized to improve forestry and wildlife management practices and sustainability across the state. More than 80 people from 34 counties were represented at the field day. Jones County Extension collaborated with Lamar, Monroe, and Upson County Extension to hold a Baleage and Silage Short Course in central Georgia. This two-day program was in collaboration with UGA forage specialists and immersed participants in the making and managing baleage and silage from their operations. Each of these programs were well-received by participants and will help ensure that agriculture production in Jones County will continue to be sustainable for years to come.
4-H Youth Development
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.