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.
4-H Youth Development
Our 4-H Youth Development programs help young people and adult volunteers find a supportive environment where they learn together and are challenged to reach their full potential. In a cooperative effort with Marion County Schools, youth in grades 4-12 participate in monthly educational programs that cover subjects such as environmental science, healthy lifestyles and agricultural awareness. In 2022, Marion County 4-H held many special interest clubs such as a Cooking Club, Mad Scientists STEM Club and our various community service activities! Additionally, we had 17 4-H'ers to participate in District Project Achievements and other leadership building opportunities which allow them to expand their horizons and help to prepare them for future involvement in our community. We also were able to meet our summer camping goals and took 18 4-H'ers to various 4-H Summer Camps in 2022. Many of our 4-H’ers typically perform community service projects, either as requirements or enhancements to their other project work. In turn the community gains a generation of young people who care about where they live and are willing to make a commitment to improvement. Marion County 4-H has continued to grow over the last several years, notably 491 4-H'ers enrolled in 2022, up from 155 in 2018.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Marion County Extension ANR assisted producers with making timely harvest decisions on their corn, cotton, and peanut crops. With over 1,200 acres of corn amassing a $1.3 million FarmGate value, determinations for nitrogen requirements and irrigation termination were of the utmost importance this year, as input costs have risen dramatically. There were almost 1,800 acres of cotton in Marion County with a FarmGate Value of $1.7 million, and the assistance provided to growers on timely defoliation and harvest of that cotton crop were critical, particularly with the early frosts that were experienced this year. Lastly, there were just over 1,000 acres of peanuts in Marion County, and this commodity acquired a $1.1 million FarmGate value. Determining peanut maturity via the hull scrape method (on farm) on every acre of peanuts produced in Marion County allowed those producers to maximize their yield potential and profits. With the absence of any private crop consultants in the county, Marion County Extension was responsible for making recommendations on over 4,000 acres of row crops with a $4 million FarmGate Value to help growers minimize their inputs and maximize their yield and profits.