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
This year, the White County 4-H Club began having regular meetings with the student-led 4-H County Council. These 4-H’ers have been an enormous help with ideas and planning for community-service activities, fundraisers and programs. Our membership consists of seven students: three high-school students and four middle-school students. They have volunteered to serve at the Farm City Week Breakfast, helped with Agri-fest and Country Market, recorded 4-H public service announcements at WRWH Radio, showcased their projects during the Tractor Supply Paper Clover Campaign, competed at the 4-H Tri-County Trivia Contest, and served lunches and sang Christmas carols at the White County Senior Center. They are very enthusiastic, have been extremely busy and are a great asset to the White County 4-H program. We look forward to sharing more successful programming in 2019.
Another successful program was our Summer Outdoor Adventure and Education Program. This program was conceived with a dual purpose, to get kids outdoors and active during the summer and to teach them practical life lessons about spending time outside. In our technology-driven society, many kids are forgoing spending time outside in order to spend time engaged in more sedentary activities like browsing social media or playing video games. In a wonderful show of community spirit, local experts from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the White County Certified Emergency Response Team (CERT), Truett-McConnell University and Habersham and White County Extension all worked together to provide interesting and educational information and demonstrations for the group.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
UGA Extension in White County continues to provide reasonably priced environmental testing for soil, water, animal waste (poultry litter), and feed and forage for livestock. All samples are sent to UGA labs in Athens, Georgia, for processing, and 189 samples were submitted in 2018. White County submitted more animal waste samples in 2018 than any other county in Georgia!
The White County Extension office offered three opportunities for pesticide license holders to obtain continuing-education credit hours. We also work to support local events such as the White County Kids’ Fun and Farm Day, Farm City Breakfast, White County Farmers Market, Rotary Club fundraisers, and United Way fundraisers each year.
White County Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Agent Nathan Eason has continued to offer programming in four areas of need in the county. For cattle and hay producers, Eason worked with the Cattlemen’s Association in monthly meetings and annual program planning. He also collaborated with Hardman Farm State Historic Site to plant annual forage gardens to promote planting forages for grazing and cover-crop demonstration workshops.
Eason worked with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources fisheries and wildlife staff to track the population and genetics of shoal bass on the Chattahoochee River in order to help direct future management and stocking protocol decisions for protection of the species. He continued assisting UGA viticulture specialists to research vinifera grapes in Georgia by working with vineyards in White and surrounding counties. We are already seeing huge economic impacts coming from the work that has been done in just two years.
Eason continued to provide workshops pertaining to sheep and goats, fruit trees, and gardening for small landowners. A grant obtained through a partnership with the Chestatee-Chattahoochee Resource Conservation and Development Council secured $10,000 in small farm equipment that will be available to the public in 2019.