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
As the No. 1 dairy producer in the state, Macon County continues to lead the way. An estimated 15,000 head of cattle help keep the county’s dairy production in the top spot, with a total dairy value of more than $46.4 million. Turfgrass production also brings Macon County another first-place position, with a total value of $23.2 million. Fodder grown to support the dairies place Macon County at No. 1 in silage production, with a $22.1 million value. Peach production places Macon County at the top, with a total value of $8.4 million. Macon County also places in the top 10 for total fruit and nut production, with a $28 million value, which is primarily comprised of peaches and pecans. Individually, pecan production is also in the top five with $18.5 million in total value. Row crops are an integral part of Macon County’s bountiful agricultural production. Macon County is among the most diverse counties in crop production, with cotton, corn, soybean and other row crops accounting for a combined $46.3 million value. Poultry production is key in Macon County and is valued at more than $107 million. Programming efforts over the past year have focused on water-use efficiency and dairy production, along with crop production meetings, pesticide license assistance and on-site visits to all clientele. UGA Extension in Macon County strives to provide analyses of soil, water, feed, forage and nutrients to benefit the residents of
4-H Youth Development
Acquiring strong life skills is essential for today’s youth. The Macon County 4-H program serves an integral role in this education process. Through curriculum-based, in-school programs, Macon County youth in fifth through 12th grades receive education on healthy living, communication skills, proper etiquette and building healthy relationships with others. At the local level, various interest-based clubs are highly popular and engaging for youth. Clubs include cooking, drumming, gardening and sewing. These clubs allow youth to gain skills, interact with others and learn to make positive choices. Macon County 4-H’ers learned about healthy relationships through a Relationships Smarts course this year, helping to establish boundaries in healthy relationships for teenagers in the county. The Macon County 4-H Club often collaborates with other local 4-H programs to enhance the opportunities to interact with youth from other areas. These collaborating Extension programs include Peach, Taylor, Marion and Schley counties. Macon County 4-H’ers are able to participate in Project Achievement, a public-speaking competition where youth must research, write about and verbally communicate the skills they have learned about in their project areas. Georgia 4-H offers weeklong summer camping programs at five centers across the state. Through their participation in Macon County 4-H, youth have the opportunity to travel to these centers, learn about environmental education and build relationships with other youths from across the state.