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 Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for UGA Cooperative Extension in Pierce County assists clientele with plant health, integrated pest management and cultural management practices by delivering university-based research that underscores environmental stewardship and capitalizes on production. Eight on-farm research trials were conducted in Pierce County in 2018 to evaluate production practices, unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) technologies, herbicide applications in pecan and blueberry, and insecticide application for blueberry pests. These projects provide an academic contribution in supporting agent and specialist recommendations working with various commodities across the state. Throughout winter 2019, the ANR agent provided programming for 228 producers. Producers were provided timely information on production and management practices to assist them with challenges and issues occurring throughout the season. Additionally, the agent hosted and presented at two Using Pesticide Wisely trainings for producers across the state. These trainings educated producers on the proper use of Auxin technologies in cotton and soybeans. One hundred and fifty-eight producers and applicators were certified through these trainings in 2019. Agriculture in Pierce County has a farm gate value of $60 million annually.
4-H Youth Development
Georgia 4-H focuses on the importance of youth acquiring knowledge, life skills and attitudes that will lead them to becoming educated, independent and contributing citizens. Pierce County 4-H focuses on these core values while implementing Agriculture and Natural Resources into their 4-H Youth Development Program. Pierce County Cloverleaf 4-H members have the opportunity to learn the importance of agriculture in their daily lives through in-class meetings. Due to the importance of hands-on learning, each Cloverleaf meeting incorporates Georgia Science Standards-based lessons and activities that encourage students to “get down and dirty” while learning agriculture. The lessons and activities allow students to be challenged while exploring and discovering the world of agriculture. This year, students had the opportunity to participate in a 4-H Farm Tour. Students in fourth, fifth and sixth grades grade traveled to farms in Pierce County to gain firsthand access to a real farmer who explained their farming operation, what they grew and how they grew it. Students identified different stages of blueberries, observed tobacco growing in a green house, peanuts being harvested, pine trees being planted, grafting of pecan trees and planting cotton seed using a cotton seed planter. Junior and Senior 4-H’ers also have the opportunity to expand their knowledge of agriculture through livestock shows, District Project Achievement, Ag in the Classroom and much more. Pierce County 4-H hosts the annual 4-H/FFA Hog Show, which allows students to exhibit responsibility, knowledge and care for their animals. New this year, Pierce County has added a Poultry Show to enhance knowledge of poultry science. Pierce County 4-H will continue to serve the community and help youth experience agriculture and gain life skills throughout the upcoming year.