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 on the county over the past year.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
As a result of increased food safety concerns related to COVID-19 and also, an increased interest in local sources of meats, more landowners in Harris County are fencing in the pastures and buying, cows, sheep, and goats to stock the pastures with. Limited pasture management skills make it difficult to provide an adequate amount of quality forage for their animals. This low-quality forage cannot move through the digestive system. This causes the animal to become impacted and die. After losing $10,000 worth of cattle, the producer contacted the Harris County Extension Office. The first order of business was to determine what caused the impaction. Harris County Extension Agent ran a forage test on the hay. It was determined that hay was very low-quality. This poor-quality forage in addition to inadequate energy levels used for digestion in the cows from being thin was identified as the reason for impaction. While working with the individual producer to improve forage quality, the county agent developed county-wide programming to educate producers on the importance of quality forage production. In a collaborative effort between Extension Beef Cattle Specialist and NRCS, the county agent offered Harris producers the Pasture Condition Score Sheet. To improve forage quality, producers were encouraged to implement soil and forage testing practices. The goals of the project are to:
• Identify livestock concentration and sacrifice areas
• Identify and reduce soil erosion and soil compaction areas
• Improve ground cover to 85% of pasture area
• Improve soil fertility and (pH) for 85% of producers who submit soil samples
as determined by the soil sample
• Improve forage quality for 85% of producers who submit forage samples as
determined by forage sampling
Talbot County 4-H Extension Programs Impact on Community.
Last year several programs were developed in response to the needs, and some wants that were identified through Talbot County 4-H students and other local program development processes.
During this process, students, volunteers, and local citizens were involved in setting program priorities and designing programs that meet their needs. From this coalition, a Summer Fitter Me program was created. Community service projects, fun summer camp fundraisers, various STEM activities, arts and crafts programs, and language art projects are other outcomes of the coalition. The collective coalition and Talbot County 4-H raised over four thousand dollars. The funds went towards special office programs, and taking students to District Project Achievement, as well as sending nine students to Cloverleaf Camp, three students to Jekyll Island Junior Camp, and two students to Rock Eagle Senior Camp.
At camp, our students got to meet other 4-H’ers from across Georgia and develop personal relationships through camping experiences. They also participated in activities that provided learning experiences in all of Georgia 4-H’s focus areas Healthy Living, Agriculture and STEM, and Civic Engagement, all the while promoting the development of leadership skills, and encouraging community service, all in a fun and active camping environment.
Talbot County 4-H will continue to grow and positively influence youth, who represent our future.