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
Lincoln County is a rural county that has agriculture as its base. Beef cattle, forestry, hay, horses, quail, wildlife and home gardens account for much of the major agricultural production in the county. These producers range from full-time cattle producers to forestry landowners to small family farms, and the need for educational support is very important. Since July 2017, Lincoln County has a county-funded an Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent based in the county office. He currently assists farmers, landowners and local homeowners with questions and concerns ranging from cattle and forage issues to ponds, lawns and home-garden questions. The ANR agent also serves as a resource for 4-H livestock projects, the Lincoln County Cattlemen’s Association and the local Georgia Soil and Water Commission. Since July, he has worked closely with Lincoln County beef-cattle producers to plan excellent educational programs. UGA Extension offers soil, water and forage testing, which can be handled through the Lincoln County Extension office. The office also provides residents with a wide variety of free publications related to an array of agricultural topics. Some of these cover lawn care, the care of home orchards, insect control, herbicide and pesticide use, and beekeeping. The ANR agent also writes a weekly column in the local newspaper.
4-H Youth Development
In 2017-18, the Lincoln County 4-H Club had great success. In District Project Achievement, Lincoln County had 44 students participate at the Cloverleaf, junior and senior levels. One Lincoln County senior 4-H’er qualified and earned the right to compete at State 4-H Congress. In addition, Lincoln County had 10 4-H’ers compete in poultry judging, and the senior team qualified for state and captured third place honors in the state contest. Lincoln County had two 4-H’ers actively involved in 4-H beef projects.
The Lincoln County Annual Fund had great success with a 50 percent increase in donor support. Additional fundraising efforts have helped with camp attendance. In 2018, Lincoln County had 20 children attending 4-H summer camp. Fifty 4-H’ers participated in planned summer 4-H activities and events. Our community service efforts also increased, with 45 4-H’ers participating in various activities. Lincoln County 4-H has volunteered at the local food pantry and at Operation Backpack. Lincoln County seventh- through 12th-grade 4-H’ers helped organize and run a coat drive and a 4-H bake sale booth where all the proceeds went toward Troop Christmas Care packages for soldiers.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Although Lincoln County does not have a full-time Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent based in the county Extension office, the agent in a neighboring county is willing to assist local residents with their questions. The agent has provided programming and education for youth participating in District Project Achievement food projects. A one-day 4-H Food Project Day Camp was offered for junior and senior 4-H’ers allowing potential food-project competitors to learn MyPlate recommendations. All of the junior and senior 4-H’ers also successfully completed the ServSafe® food handler training and began working on their portfolios. A half-day class was offered to Cloverleaf 4-H’ers covering a condensed version. One of Lincoln County’s senior 4-H’ers who competed in the dairy foods project area at Junior-Senior DPA qualified to compete at State 4-H Congress.