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
UGA Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agents provide answers for homeowners and farmers about many topics including, but not limited to, soil fertility, safe pesticide application, water usage, home gardening, and crop and pasture management. Extension offices conduct soil, forage and water testing through the Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratory at UGA. By correctly identifying plants, insects, diseases and weeds, ANR agents help Georgians make sound pesticide-use decisions daily. These fertilization and pest management recommendations help reduce unnecessary pollution inputs into Georgia waterways. All these services are available through local UGA Cooperative Extension offices.
Farm visits are an integral important part of programming here. Local needs-based programming is the goal for UGA Extension. Beef cattle producers are an integral part of the community and their industry supports multiple feed and supply stores, as well as machinery dealers and mechanical repair shops. The area has been in a moderate drought since late spring. This turned into a severe drought in late summer and into the fall. This combined with low beef prices to create a financial hardship. Producers were able to develop drought plans that organized cattle inventory as sell groups in order of sells depending on length and severity of drought as well as method of sale for each group; established supplemental feeding plans; and built up soil fertility so maintenance would cost less and recovery would be more complete and less costly.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Georgia 4-H’s mission 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 is accomplished through hands-on learning experiences focused on agricultural and environmental issues, agriculture awareness, leadership, communication skills, foods and nutrition, health, energy conservation and citizenship. Warren County 4-H has made a tremendous impact on the lives of young people through local programming delivered in the school system, after-school and summer classes and activities, and district and statewide events and competitions. Local highlights include a partnership with the Little River Cattlemen’s Association, which provided startup funds for establishing a 4-H Tech Team; partnering with Warren County Farm Bureau to fund Ag Camp, as well as general funding for project achievement and community service activities. Warren County 4-H also partnered with Warren County FFA to win the Governor’s Chicken Coop Competition.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences provide answers for Georgians about canning, freezing, food preservation and safety each and every day. Foodborne illness can be costly to the state and community, and can even be deadly. The elderly, chronically ill, and young children are at high risk for complications of foodborne illnesses that likely require hospitalization. Preventing illnesses keeps parents from missing work and losing pay that can be spent on goods in the local economy. Improperly thawed or mishandled food can easily cause economic disaster. Just one case of foodborne illness can cost millions in medical costs. To assist our county residents, publications featuring all aspects of food preservation and food safety are available in our local office. UGA Family and Consumer Science Extension agents provide ServSafe® certification classes for individuals in the food service industry. This certification is required by all food service establishments.