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
The 4-H program provided by Miller County Cooperative Extension in conjunction with the Miller County school system provides in-classroom agricultural and general STEM science lessons that follow the Georgia Performance Standards for all fifth through eighth grade students. The 4-H program has grown and expanded during the 2019 school year, expanding to high school. In addition to agriculture- and science-based lessons, 4-H’ers have enjoyed 4-H summer camp, cooking classes, gingerbread engineering projects, Fall Forum and Project Achievement. Public speaking is encouraged in 4-Her’s through Project Achievement where students give presentations or demonstrations on a topic of their choice. Miller County 4-H had participants in both the Georgia National Fair and Southwest Georgia Regional Fair. Miller County had 36 4-H’ers present projects in our local competition. One of the highlights for 4-H’ers was summer camp, with 25 students attending Camp Fortson and middle school 4-H’ers attending Camp Jekyll. 4-H in Miller County is growing year by year
Agriculture and Natural Resources
The cotton industry in Georgia has experienced some drastic changes in recent years in variety selection and plant-growth regulator management for new cotton varieties. The Miller County Extension agent established programs to determine which cotton varieties will yield the best in the local climate and soil types. This program is part of a regional effort that encompasses variety trials in several counties in southwest Georgia. The trials help educate growers in cotton-variety decision making, as well as how to place and manage certain varieties in environments that will optimize their performance. In addition, the Miller County Extension agent has collected data in support of the UGA Cotton Team’s effort to generate data to inform growers on how to understand growth potential of new varieties as they come to the marketplace and how to properly manage growth of new cotton varieties to save cost and increase yield. Due to trade-related price reduction in 2019, improper variety selection could cost growers up to $197 per acre. Across Miller County in 2019, improper variety selection may collectively cost growers up to $5.9 million, or nearly 25% of the total cotton revenue expected to be generated in Miller County in 2019. The UGA On-Farm Cotton Variety Performance Evaluation Program is expected to drastically cut input cost, as correct variety selection is the most cost-effective strategy to a successful cotton crop. Additionally, the extensive evaluation of plant growth could reduce costs to growers and provides them with growth-management information that could prevent them from implementing unnecessary and yield-inhibiting growth-management strategies.