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
The UGA Cooperative Extension office in Lee County conducted meetings on pecans, corn, cotton, peanuts, weeds, irrigation and crop diseases. Businesses supported county production meetings led by Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Doug Collins. He taught the Soil Fertility and Soil Testing class in the Backyard Gardening Series at the Sunbelt Ag Expo. He taught 907 third graders about Agricultural Water Use at the Water Festival. Technical assistance totaled 669 site visits, 838 face-to-face interactions, 2,489 in-office visits and 981 phone contacts. Collins wrote 51 weekly newspaper columns that were published with accompanying photographs in The Lee County Ledger. Topics of the column related to homeowner issues like gardening and landscaping. Collins co-authored statewide pecan budgets. He was invited to present a pecan budget he previously co-authored at the National Association of County Agricultural Agent Professional Improvement Conference. Lee County Administrative Assistant Courtney Wingfield handles soil, water and diagnostic samples.
4-H Youth Development
Lee County 4-H members, led by 4-H Agent Mallory Wise and4-H Educator Anne Spelts, were involved in a wide variety of activities in 2019. They learned a wide range of skills, from marksmanship and teamwork to reasoning and public speaking. The S.A.F.E. shotgun team has five certified coaches and 25 team members. Lee County was represented at the Area Poultry Judging Competition and at the Area Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging Competition. We had eight middle school and high school participants at District Project Achievement at Rock Eagle and there were 28 fourth through sixth graders who competed at Project Achievement in Houston County, with 80% of those students placing in the top three in their respective projects. Also, at District Project Achievement at Rock Eagle 4-H Center, two Lee County 4-H’ers fulfilled their elected duties and served as the Southwest District Junior Board Members representing Lee County and thier area of the state.
This past summer 54 4-H’ers and five adults attended summer camp at various locations. Youth also had the opportunity to attend a variety of summer events including trips to Lake Blackshear and Urban Air Trampoline Park, paint classes, and tours of local horse barns. In effort to raise funds for camp and shooting sports, Lee County 4-H’ers sold more than 5,000 pounds of Vidalia onions. Other opportunities inlcuded a new club called Fit In!, animal club, our after-school club for middle and high schoolers, and numerous community service events.