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 Terrell County, 2018 will be remembered for extreme weather that negatively impacted agriculture. In October, the eye of Hurricane Michael passed through Terrell County as a Category 2 storm. As a result, our farmers are dealing with huge losses, including a 60-percent loss of cotton crops and 90-percent loss of pecan crops and trees. In the three months after the hurricane, Terrell County received 28.36 inches of rain compared to 7 inches for the same time frame from the previous year. This volume of rainfall pushed cotton and peanut harvests into 2019, resulting in lower yields and quality.
On a positive note, Terrell County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) programming is doing well. For the second year, Terrell County Extension participated in the Agricultural Water Efficiency Team (AgWET) project, placing moisture sensors in two cotton fields within the county. This project is helping growers increase irrigation efficiency and boost yields in cotton. Seth McAllister, the Terrell County Extension ANR agent, has cultivated a positive reputation for successfully using a drone in his programming. The use of this technology helped farmers and the local county government to identify and document damage from the hurricane for more accurate insurance claims.
4-H Youth Development
The Terrell County 4-H Club has celebrated many successes in 2018. 4-H youth enrollment for Terrell County more than doubled when school club meetings were added for all middle-school students. As a result, all students in fourth through eighth grades in Terrell County receive STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) enrichment programming based on grade-appropriate science educational standards on a monthly basis. The Terrell County 4-H archery program completed its 12th year and currently has the highest-ranking high-school female for 4-H outdoor archery. Archery Coach Todd Cliett was honored as a state finalist for 4-H volunteer of the year. A team of six high-school-aged Terrell County 4-H’ers competed for the first time in the 4-H Food Product Development competition and placed third in state. Terrell County 4-H was recognized for increased participation in District Project Achievement, state council and summer camp. The Terrell County 4-H Cooking Club received second place at the district level for most outstanding service project. Without a doubt, the achievement we are most proud of in our 4-H program is the successful application for a $30,000 grant that was used to purchase a new passenger van.
Family and Consumer Sciences
The Terrell County Family and Consumer Sciences program has introduced adult nutrition classes through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). These eight-week classes teach participants how to shop for and prepare healthier food. These classes are now being offered to a group of Terrell County 4-H teens as a way of encouraging healthier eating habits.