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 data from the 2018 Farm Gate Value Report states that Lincoln County agriculture is valued at approximately $10.5 million. The top commodities in Lincoln County are beef cattle (38%), forestry (12%) and hunting leases (11%), with additional revenue from forage (5%), horses (7%) and agritourism (8%). In October 2019, Lincoln County invested in a full-time Agriculture and Natural Resource agent. With a shifting demographic from full-time producers to part-time farmers, Lincoln County Extension’s focus is to provide information and expertise; soil, water, feed and forage analyses; and insect and disease diagnosis through office and farm visits. In 2019, Lincoln County had a total of 1,662 in person contacts, 1,200 emails, 600 phone calls, and more than 100 teaching hours recorded. The Extension office submitted 89 samples for testing: 22 feed/forage, 11 microbiology, 44 soil and 10 water. Test results were accompanied by free publications and specific recommendations for each producer based on their needs. Lincoln County Extension received multiple grants in 2019 totaling more than $250,000 to build an Agriculture Center on county property. The new facility will house the UGA Extension office staff and contains seven offices, a conference room, test kitchen, storage and meeting space. The Agriculture Center will also be used for meetings of the Lincoln County Cattlemen’s Association, Soil and Water Conservation District, and 4-H clubs. Phase two of the Agriculture Center includes plans for a livestock show facility in order to grow Lincoln County livestock programs including, but not limited, to horses and cattle. Lincoln County was also home to the 2019 Farmer Rancher Pollinator Conservation Award winner and the second place winner of the 2019 Southeastern Hay Contest.
4-H Youth Development
Lincoln County 4-H had many successes in 2019. In a school district with approximately 1,200 students, about 25% of students are 4-H members. In 2019, Lincoln County 4-H held a total of 36 in-school meetings for fifth through 12th grade students. Outside of school, 4-Her’s met approximately 40 times. Lincoln County had 44 students compete at District Project Achievement (DPA) in 2019 at the Cloverleaf, Junior and Senior levels. One Lincoln County Senior 4-H’er qualified to compete at State 4-H Congress. On average over the past three years, more than 56% of Lincoln County DPA competitors have placed. Lincoln County also has a Poultry Judging Team which has 12 participants from sixth through 12th grade. The Lincoln County Poultry Judging Team has qualified for State Contest and placed third for two years in a row.
The Lincoln County Annual Fund had success with donor support of more than $1,000 in sponsorships and $2,000 from fundraisers. Fundraisers are used to offset costs of sending 4-H’ers to DPA and summer camp. In 2019, Lincoln County had 25 children attend 4-H summer camps and 47 4-H’ers participate in other planned summer activities. 4-H participants also continue to work on community service projects and volunteering at the Lincoln County Senior Center, Cattlemen’s Association meetings, and the Soil and Water Conservation District Banquet.
Family and Consumer Sciences
A wide variety of free UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) publications are available at the county office.