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
Taylor County 4-H’er Christian Albritton started his own community-service project at Taylor County Health Care Nursing Home in Butler, Georgia. Christian worked with the staff at the nursing home to determine where to place a raised-bed garden for the benefit of the residents and their families.
The wood, plants and soil were donated by local merchants in the county. With some help from County Extension Agent Jeff Cook and 4-H Leader Sherry Waller, the bed was constructed in time for National Nursing Home Week in May 2018. Christian continues to look after the bed and held Garden Club at the nursing home several times to include the residents. Residents give him advice on caring for certain plants and recommend what they would like to see in the bed.
This community-service project has developed a bond with the nursing home and more 4-H’ers have started volunteering at the nursing home. Other community-service projects include the annual rabies clinic, cookies for cops, holiday decorating and Christmas-tree lighting.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Peaches are a big business in middle Georgia, but cotton is our No. 1 agronomic crop. Every season, county agents and growers across south Georgia participate in on-farm cotton variety trials. These trials are a great way to show how certain cotton varieties perform under many different environmental conditions and under differing management. The varieties are some of the best that we recommend for Georgia, however there are still differences in how these varieties yield.
This season we held a 27-acre variety trial just south of Reynolds, Georgia. County agents from surrounding counties came to assist with planting in late April. The rain stopped after that, so we had to replant in mid-May. After our early season issues, we were blessed with nearly ideal growing conditions for the remainder of the season. The trial was replicated and we harvested on November 28. The estimated cotton lint yields on this dryland variety trial ranged from around 800 pounds per acre to just over 1000 pounds per acre.
The work that our specialists and county agents do is very valuable to our growers and helps keep them profitable from year to year. This work also shows that with a great farmer, great county agent and a whole lot of rain, you can make a good crop of cotton even without irrigation.
In rural communities, UGA Extension is seen as a valuable source of information and services. Whether our staff is connecting citizens to other organizations or helping them with personal matters, we serve the communities that we are a part of.
With the increase in paperwork required to obtain licenses and Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) cards with the Georgia Department of Agriculture, our staff has been crucial in ensuring that our farmers, landowners and citizens get the help they need to stay current. Many of our older farmers and landowners do not have access to a computer, nor do they really understand how to navigate the online world. Our staff goes above and beyond to help these folks both online and with the submission of needed documentation.
We stay up-to-date on what is required by the Georgia Department of Agriculture and other organizations our clients work with on a daily basis. When you can’t find the answer, call your county Extension office.