UGA Extension Office

Our Impact

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.

ANR Impact: 

As aging farmer’s transition their ownership to the newest generations of growers, Extension serves as an essential partner in helping the younger generation to succeed. The support of this new generation of growers is essential if we are going to achieve food security, healthy communities, and protect our natural resources well into the future. Producers are the backbone of why and what we as Extension do. The relationships with producers within our community helps to expand our reach to ensure all farmers, ranchers and forest landowners have access to available programs and information.  Extension agent helps young producers to stay up to date on specialized, unbiased, scientific -based research information and technical assistance. First and foremost, the young farmers of today are more open to utilizing technology, apps and other “new age” growing processes. Working alongside new farmers helps to build and sustain agriculture growth and agricultural awareness. Experts deliver information through production meetings, workshops, field days, phone calls or in-person consultations and publications through blogs, newsletters, mass media and print/online publications. Through phone calls and onsite visits, the agent helps them assess their needs and give recommendations on treating problems or pests that may affect yields or their overall production. Some of the most significant work being variety evaluation through test plots, soil, water, and plant analysis testing made available through the University of Georgia. Providing these types of analysis helps to ensure that farmers can achieve their goals in both growth and yields from small to large scale commodity production. The agent also provides recommendations in the areas of soil fertility, pest control, timber production, livestock, vegetables, and water conservation to aide growers.   By integrating the use of technology, app trackers and numerous workshops or field days and one on one contact with the Extension Agent allows this new age of farming to stay up to date with most current information on farming and agriculture commodities. Each one of the seven newer farm managers in Wayne County have increased their acreage and commodity scale growths over the past several years after collaborating with agent Mark Frye. This group of first-generation farmers begin with zero acres, little equipment, and just a small amount of land to farm. But with a fervent desire to farm for a living, and the willingness to learn, they have all become successful. This group that started with so little, now farms over 3,000 acres of cotton, peanuts, corn, livestock, and vegetables. One of the young farmers in this group has even place first in the National Corn Growers Association, State Corn Contest in 2021 and second place in 2022 for the State of Georgia. Through open communication, support, and unbiased research the agent can keep them informed of innovative technologies, seed advancements and pests management plans. Farmers and ranchers are the first stewards of the land; they would not be operating and passing farms and ranches to future generations if they did not treat them as such. As fewer and fewer people have ties to agriculture, it is important to understand its value. Seeing these young men take on and build their own farming legacy is already having an impact on the local community and will be something to remember.

4-H Impact: Building up Youth with District Project Achievement

Wayne County 4-H educated youth with valued communication skills and built their confidence with opportunities to demonstrate learned skills. Students were taught leadership skills through officers’ positions and they learned how to write informative speeches. Students were shown how to develop these speeches as well as how to properly give them orally during in-school club meetings as well as district project achievement. . Students can participate at elementary, middle, and high school levels. DPA participants develop research, writing, and presentation skills that help them perform better in school related tasks and tests, become self-directed learners and contributing members of society and produces work ready young adults. Through DPA, students explore an area of interest, gain knowledge and skills in that area, and prepare presentations and evidence of learning. 4-Hers develop leadership, creativity, public speaking, independent thinking, and recording keeping skills. Elementary and middle school levels compete locally and then move onto district level competition. High schoolers compete at the district level and advance to state and national levels. Wayne County 4-H conducts 4-H Programming all 5th and 6th graders in the classroom (39 meetings) and 7th-12th graders once a month at the Extension office. Seeing public speaking as an issue 4-H took the challenge to try and combat some of these fears. In school club meetings were used as a tool as well as District Project Achievement. In all 5th and 6th grade classrooms officers were selected. These officers were in charge of leading the monthly meetings and in doing so they gained skills in leadership and public speaking. Those not serving as officers had opportunities to present demonstrations to their peers. They were coached on how to write a speech through a writing contest, and taught how to utilize visual aids using the Georgia 4-H Friends “Finding your way to Project Achievement” curriculum. These students then had the opportunity to present their finished product to students in their classrooms and go further with it to compete at district project achievement. Once students signed up for district project achievement they had practice days after school to perfect their demonstrations. Practice days were conducted during the school day in collaboration with the classroom teachers and school administrators in an after-school setting. Junior and Senior 4-H’ers that previously had instruction through the Georgia 4-H curriculum participated in portfolio workshops, demonstration work days, and dress rehearsals to prepare for competition. These students received feedback from Extension staff. In February 2023, six Junior and Senior 4-H’ers (7-12th graders) competed at Southeast District Project Achievement at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. All six of these individuals placed in the top 3 in their categories. After participating in District Project Achievement, these 4-H’ers reported the following:
-100% of students said they had more confidence in public speaking because of their participation in Project Achievement.
-100% of students indicated they were better prepared to fill out resumes for jobs after building a portfolio.
In March 2023, ten Cloverleaf 4-H’ers (4-6th graders) presented their Project Achievement speeches at Bacon County Cloverleaf District Project Achievement. Seven of the ten competitors placed in the top 3 in their categories. After participating in District Project Achievement, these 4-H’ers reported the following: 100% of students said they felt more comfortable speaking in public after their participation in Project Achievement. 90% of students identified at least 2 of 3 parts of a presentation (introduction, body, and conclusion).


FACS Impact: Food Safety in Southeast Georgia

Foodborne illness is a common and costly, yet preventable public health problem.  Food Safety Education is being taught in Wayne County to address the risk of foodborne illness.  Extension is the only source for residents of Wayne County for foodservice workers to receive ServSafe Manager Certification.  The Wayne County FACS agent, in collaboration with other Family and Consumer Sciences agents, offers ServSafe training in Wayne and surrounding counties several times per year.  Additionally, since 2015 there have been over 100 newspaper articles that have addressed food safety and/or food preservation for local readers.  The agent attends four food-safety trainings per year with state specialists to incorporate the most up-to-date information on food safety for public clientele.


Download Our Annual Report (pdf)