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 Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent in Lumpkin County, Clark MacAllister, assists farmers and homeowners with many topics, including soil fertility, safe pesticide usage, private pesticide license testing, water usage, home gardening, small farm start-ups, and crop and pasture management. UGA Extension in Lumpkin County also provides soil, water, forage and plant pathogen testing through the Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories at UGA.
The Lumpkin County ANR agent was instrumental in setting up applied research in wine grapes all over north Georgia. The agent helped secure several grants to fund research testing the efficacy of different leaf-pruning and trellising techniques in north Georgia vineyards. Research trials were evaluated for the disease control and development of fruit quality. Many local producers will use this research data to modify canopy-management techniques and reduce disease levels.
4-H Youth Development
Many Lumpkin County students are unable to attend 4-H summer camp due to lack of expendable family income. Fifty-four percent of students are on free or reduced lunch. Many Lumpkin County youth have never been to the ocean or coastline. Lumpkin County 4-H chose to attend 4-H camp at Camp Jekyll. The 4-H camping program assists youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. There was a 30 percent increase in the cost of attending 4-H camp due to the registration and transportation costs.
The Lumpkin County 4-H Club conducted fundraisers to offer scholarships for youth to offset the increase in camp registration by asking individuals and businesses to donate money. A total of $4,200 was raised. Students were required to write a letter stating why they wanted to attend and why they were deserving of a scholarship. Out of 43 scholarship letters, the Lumpkin County 4-H Program Development Team selected 12 students to receive full or partial scholarships. A total of 93 students and volunteers attended the camp. Student testimonial examples included:
“If I did not get a partial scholarship, I would have never gotten to see the beach for the first time.”
“I have never ridden a bike before camp. We never have had the money to buy one.”
“It was nice to know I would be getting to eat good food at breakfast, lunch and dinner and not worry if there was enough food for me and my family.”
Family and Consumer Sciences
Although Lumpkin County does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent based in the county Extension office, local Extension personnel strive to assist local residents with their questions. Common questions cover food safety, food preservation, dealing with mold and mildew, health meal planning, nutrition, family budgeting, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) resources and more. These and other issues are answered through a wide variety of free UGA Extension publications available at the county office and through phone conferences with FACS agents from surrounding counties. Neighboring FACS agents often conduct programming that Lumpkin County residents are welcome to attend. The Lumpkin County Extension office provides information about programming in surrounding counties.