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
4-H is the only youth program geared to develop social and academic skills needed for a successful transition to college, career and adulthood. 4-H is a great catalyst for activities that build essential life skills. It provides opportunities for youth to learn these skills as both participants and leaders in valued community activities.
Wheeler County 4-H is proud to have contributed to the success of many young leaders of tomorrow. One fine example of leadership in our community is Trinity Miller. A member of the Wheeler County High School class of 2020, Trinity started her 4-H career in the fifth grade. She has participated in Project Achievement, shooting sports and summer camp, as well as various trips and activities. Trinity has been an active member and captain of the Shotgun Team for the last four years. She is a certified Teen Leader and has judged Cloverleaf Project Achievement and served as a Teen Leader at Cloverleaf camps, as well as several local events and activities. Trinity has also had the opportunity to serve as a delegate to represent Wheeler County at 4-H Day at the Capitol, as well as attend several college tours.
It has been proven that engaging youth at the county, district and state levels in competition yields amazing results in terms of leadership. We are proud to see Trinity use the leadership and public speaking skills she has learned to take her to the next level. She has been accepted to Valdosta State University where she plans to major in elementary education
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Since 2013, the Wheeler County agriculture and natural resources agent has collaborated on six multi-county forestry production meetings and area forestry field days in Wheeler County. Collaborations included Extension specialists with the Warnell School of Forestry, Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Ohoopee Soil and Water Conservation District.
The programs provided credits including Continuing Forester Education (CFE), Continuing Logger Education (CLE) and commercial and private pesticide license credits. The field days had sponsored lunches and on-site components to bring a hands-on approach to presentations and demonstrations. The topics of the programs included thinning, secondary pests, longleaf establishment, markets, bark beetles, straw production, site prep, basal area, genetics, invasive species control, storm damage, longleaf production, loblolly production, slash production, herbaceous weed control, tax credits, cost-share programs, and the services and resources available through UGA Extension, GFC and NRCS.
The six programs had 220 participants and provided 19 hours of instruction. The forestry field days have had increased participation since 2013. The survey from the 2019 Forestry Field Day gave the agent a better understanding of the audience and their needs. Attendees represented 22 counties in Georgia and covered three states including Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Respondents also gave suggestions for future programs, requested more programs and praised the 2019 collaborative program. The survey also resulted in future sponsors who are interested in working with the Wheeler ANR agent on future programs. The agent plans to edit future surveys to reach other audiences that may not have been reached previously, to add suggested topics to programs, and to provide more programs each year to serve forestry-related clientele. The agent is also going to reach out to secure more sponsors to ensure the programs continue to grow.