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
Schley County Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Matt Murdoch works closely with people in the county to manage their lands for forestry products and wildlife management. Working with landowners across the county to better manage their lands has allowed the county agent to see the needs of the landowners. Most landowners have ben improperly calibrating their sprayers and spreaders. This has caused problems in weed control in food plots across the county. The Wildlife Management Programs that are provided help increase yearlong nutrition and health of the wildlife population. They provide information needed to grow better food plots and to increase forage and browsing.
Soil samples are taken to give better recommendations on lime and fertilization needs. Weed control and identification is another part of the program. The county agent provides information on crops that grow well in the area, as well as demonstrating how to properly calibrate a sprayer for weed control. The county agent has worked with property owners to properly calibrate their sprayers so they can better utilize the tools they have at hand.
Properly calibrated sprayers allow the landowner to reduce the weed competition in their food plots as well as reduce the risk for herbicide resistance build of in certain weed species like redroot pigweed and yellow nutsedge. This also helps financially so producers are not putting out to much herbicide. Since meeting with the county agent, landowners are able to calibrate sprayers and better manage their property in the county. Landowners have seen increase in food plot production and a decrease in troublesome weeds.
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, 116 Schley County youth participate in monthly educational programs that cover subjects such as character building, healthy lifestyles and agricultural awareness. In 2019, Schley County received an $8,000 grant from Flint Energies, making it possible to send 23 youth to attend and participate in 4-H summer camp programs, eight to participate in District Project Achievement and other leadership building opportunities, which allows them to expand their horizons and helps to prepare them for future involvement in our community. Many of our 4-H’ers typically perform community service projects, either as requirements or enhancements to 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.
The mission of Georgia 4-H is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. This mission is accomplished through hands-on learning experiences focused on agricultural and environmental issues, agriculture awareness, leadership, communications skills, food and nutrition, health, energy conservation and citizenship. We will continue to offer opportunities to our young people so they can learn and grow in an area they are interested in.