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
In 2020, ANR department worked with producers and homeowners on various issues including row crops, fruit and vegetables, pastures, ornamentals, and aquatic environments. We have sent numerous soil, water, and feed samples to be tested. Production meetings were held for Cotton, Peanuts, Corn, and also Fruit and Vegetables. In 2020, Telfair County grew over 1400 acres of watermelons and a little more than 150 acres of various other produce commodities. The ANR agent worked daily with many of the producers scouting for insects and also sending plant tissue to the lab for testing. Telfair County is diverse in agriculture. Timber still remains as our largest industry in the county. Agent collaborated with agents in surrounding counties to implement a Forestry Field Day series which began in Telfair County in May, 2019. This program is an ongoing project through 2024. Throughout the series thus far, there were 76 participants. Through completed surveys we gathered that there are over 17 thousand acres of idle property that can be converted into some form of forestry production in the Ocmulgee and Oconee river region. #0 participants were interviewed to assess their involvement in Sustainable forestry practices. All respondents indicated that they had engaged in best forestry practices since the last event. The objective of this program is “to Reduce Idle Acreage” We strive to offer the best service delivering unbiased scientific based information to our community.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Family and Consumer Science (FACS) programming offers a wealth of resources to consumers throughout the state. Programming and resources from money, home, health, food, family, and even textiles can be found in counties with a FACS Agent. Telfair County FACS Agent held 58 Standard Programs during 2020 reaching over 2,367 citizens. In addition, the FACS Agent also held five presentations, which reached over 119 local citizens. In-Service Trainings held by FACS Agent resulted in 43 hours of contact for 40 individuals. With over 3,000 office contacts for the year, it is easy to see FACS programming, resources, and information in Telfair County has never been more relevant. Working with community partners, the FACS Agent also provided seven Educational Events throughout 2020 through the Farmers to Families Food Box Initiative resulting in 4,053 families being reached with 7,048 boxes of free food valued at $254,000.00! In addition, this 7-week educational event provided nutritional information through ten videos produced by the FACS Agent reaching over 6,000 people. Add in newspaper articles, authored and non-authored newsletters, curricula, exhibit displays, virtual and other creative works, and the FACS Agent has reached 97,701 individuals throughout the county, state, and even nation.
4-H Youth Development
Development opportunities for youth continue to increase with expanded participation in offered programs, including District Project Achievement 4th-12th grades and Summer Camp. Seeking to expose area youth to as many opportunities as possible, Telfair County 4-H provides a variety of programming each year. Cloverleaf 4-H’ers are exposed to many different experiences, hopefully sparking an interest in lifelong learning. Activities offered range from fun, such as farm day –visiting local farms and farm animals, to practical and educational, like check writing and money management. Our Junior and Senior 4-H’ers are exposed to various programs, but they also get leadership experience by helping to lead and assist in Cloverleaf 4-H activities.
4-H Enrollment for 2020 reports 397 students. With the limited amount of face-to-face opportunities available for 4-H’ers, our 4-H’ers participated in a variety of online opportunities including summer day camp activities as well as other virtual opportunities.