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
The Webster County 4-H Club had a wonderful year of competition, learning and fun in 2018. Members attended both Cloverleaf and Junior/Senior District Project Achievement events, where they learned research, writing and public speaking skills along with the confidence to stand up in front of a group and deliver a presentation. Seven Cloverleaf 4-H’ers competed at the district level, and the majority placed in the top three. Five Junior 4-H’ers competed, with two winning first place in the Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors and Pizza categories and three placing second in the Cat Care, Flowers, Shrubs and Lawns and Arts categories. One Senior 4-H’er placed second in Performing Arts Dance and one Senior 4-H’er won first place in the Food for Health and Sport projects. AnnMarie Marchbanks competed at State 4-H Congress, the ninth straight year the county has had a State 4-H Congress competitor. Also in the spring, 11 4-H’ers participated on the Webster County Poultry Judging Team, identifying chicken parts, determining which chickens were the best layers and grading eggs.
4-H’ers were active all summer in 2018. Ten 4-H’ers attended Cloverleaf Camp at Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island. They learned about ocean ecology, took marsh ecology and learned about ocean life and environment. Two junior 4-H’ers attended Junior Camp at the new Fortson 4-H Center in Atlanta. One senior 4-H’er attended Senior Camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center.
Webster County 4-H had a slate of history-themed summer activities including two sewing classes, two cooking classes, two outdoor activity classes and a two-day summer day. The Webster County 4-H’ers also went on a history-based field trip to visit Andersonville National Historic Site and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site. Webster County 4-H had 98 total participants during the summer.
The start of school did not slow down Webster County 4-H’ers. Five 4-H’ers prepared mini-booths for the Georgia National Fair and Albany Exchange Club Fair. Other activities included decorating agricultural products, recycled products and the scarecrow competition at the Georgia National Fair. Six 4-H’ers participated on the Webster County Cotton Boll Consumer Judging team in the fall. They created commercials and advertisements about cotton, and determined the best product for a consumer to buy depending on their needs.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Webster County is known for its traditional farming and is home to diverse row crops, forages and livestock. Farmers in Webster County also stayed on the cutting edge of technology. Most currently use grid sampling when obtaining soil samples and spread lime and fertilizer at variable rates, with some areas receiving Extension-recommended application rates of lime and fertilizer and other areas receiving none. The UGA Extension coordinator worked with an area crop consultant who soil samples for farmers by grids. From October 2017 to June 2018, a total of 1,836 soil samples were collected from five-acre grids from 393 fields for 16 producers in Webster, Stewart, Sumter and Terrell counties. Prior laboratory analyses showed that only 50 percent of the acres required lime, which was put out only on the grids that required lime. This reduction in lime resulted in tremendous savings to these producers.