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 2019. 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. Twelve Cloverleaf 4-H’ers competed at the district level, one placing fourth, two placing third, two placing second, and seven 4-H’ers placing first in their categories. Two Junior 4-H’ers competed, with one winning second place in the Outdoor Recreation category and the other placing fourth in the Sports category. Five Senior 4-H’ers competed this year, with one placing fourth in Arts and Crafts, one placing third in Food for Health and Sport, one placing second in Outdoor Recreation, and two Senior 4-H’ers winning first place in the categories of Dairy Foods and Textiles, Merchandising and Interiors. Savannah Matthews and Summer Johnson competed at State 4-H Congress, the tenth straight year the county has had a State 4-H Congress competitors. Savannah Matthews won top honors in her category and became the newest Webster County 4-H Master.
4-H’ers were active all summer in 2019. Eleven 4-H’ers attended Cloverleaf Camp at Fortson 4-H Center in Hamilton, Georgia. They learned about pond ecology, took nature hikes and competed in high ropes courses. One junior 4-H’er attended Junior Camp at the new Jekyll 4-H Center on Jekyll Island. One senior 4-H’er attended Senior Camp and Senior Extreme Camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center.
Webster County 4-H had a slate of summer activities alongside the Randolph County work group including a trip to the Jimmy Carter Museums, the Walter F. George lock and dam, Sutton’s Corner Museum, and Providence Canyon State Park. Many Webster County 4-H’ers participated in one sewing class, two cooking classes, two outdoor activity classes and a two-day summer day. Webster County 4-H had 116 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, recycling products and the scarecrow competition at the Georgia National Fair. 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 processes soil samples for farmers by grids. From October 2018 to June 2019, a total of 1,786 soil samples were collected from five-acre grids in 393 fields for 16 producers in Webster, Stewart, Sumter and Terrell counties. Prior laboratory analyses showed that only 50% 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.