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
The Lamar County 4-H Program was requested by the principal at the local elementary school public elementary school to specifically support science in all eight fifth-grade classrooms. Interactive lessons aligning with Georgia Science Standards of Excellence were implemented to reinforce and heighten learning on specific science topics. A lesson covering electricity discussed currents. This lesson incorporated hands-on demonstrations on static electricity and the use of an energy stick to teach students about open and closed circuits, conductors, and insulators. The Project WET lesson on microorganisms, "Poison Pump", discussed the spread of diseases caused by bacteria. The students worked in small groups to trace the source of a cholera epidemic in London during the late 1800s. A peer-reviewed lesson regarding inherited traits called for students to work collaboratively to create an individual with pre-determined recessive and dominant traits. The game-based learning platform, Kahoot! was used to test students' knowledge, reiterate important concepts, and help students retain information regarding chemical and physical changes.
To assess the impact of the Lamar County 4-H Program supporting science in the fifth-grade classrooms at Lamar County Elementary School, an evaluation was given at the final monthly educational session. Sixty-four percent of the of the fifth-grade students enrolled in the Lamar County 4-H Program completed the evaluation. The students were asked to respond to the following questions regarding the science lessons: (1) "How helpful were the lessons taught by the 4-H Extension agent in helping you understand science topics?"; (2) "What was you favorite lesson taught by the 4-H Extension agent and why?"; (3) "What are some things that the 4-H Extension agent did in your classroom to make learning interesting?" and (4) "What were some things that the 4-H Extension agent did in your classroom to make learning fun?"
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Lamar County covers a wide range of agricultural commodities. The top four commodities include Poultry, Hay/Forages, Cattle, and Timber.
The extension office has many educational and agricultural resources for all types of commodities and other individuals in the community. We offer testing for water, soil, forage, and poultry litter. We identify insects, insect damage, different vegetation, plant diseases, plant damage, pasture and turf weeds.
In 2022 Lamar County Cooperative Extension hosted several producer-oriented workshops for the surrounding counties, allowing participants to earn credit hours for their private and commercial pesticide licenses and gain knowledge needed to identify problems and implement solutions on their farms. We also hosted monthly Lunch N Learns for adults in the community to learn about a range of different homeowner agriculture topics.
With the need to focus on technology-based learning and resources, the Lamar County Extension website gained many new resources. Under the Agriculture and Natural Resources tab, we now have many pages with educational videos, pictures, and write-ups focused on different agricultural topics. Each page is a focused resource, so the individual does not have to jump around to other places. There new pages include: Toxic Weed Identification, Pastures and Forages Educational Resources, Livestock Management Educational Resources, Local Agricultural Videos, Georgia Forages Videos, and UGA Beef Team Videos.
The subpage titled "Toxic Weed Identification" is a page where the 22 most common toxic weeds in the southeast are listed. For each weed; there is a picture, description, list of animals affected, signs of ingestions, and how and where the toxicity is.
The Subpage titled "Local Agricultural Videos" is a page with videos created by the ANR Agent. These videos may be recording of educational programs, teaching basic testing techniques, or showcasing "A Day in the Life on an ANR Agent."
As usual, the Southeastern Hay Contest was a success. More than 60 samples from Upson and Lamar counties were entered, with three producers placing top three in their respective categories. Our counties are continuing to be recognized for our pride in producing high quality forages.