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.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Wilcox County Cooperative Extension serves a very diverse county with farmers growing a wide variety of crops. On average, Wilcox County has an annual farm gate value of $128 million dollars with cotton, peanuts, watermelons, and corn being the top commodities planted in 2020. A major activity for cooperative extension is winter production meetings which provides the University of Georgia specialists an opportunity to update local county farmers with the latest research in their respective field. For 2020, Wilcox County Extension hosted production meetings for cotton, peanut, and watermelons prior to the impact of COVID-19 which mandated office closure.
A staple for the success of Wilcox County Extension is the persistence to provide the traditional role of assisting our community through personal contacts made via phone, office visits, site visits, and farm visits. Our stakeholders’ immediate concerns related to any residential, agricultural, or environmental issues require specific decisions to assist in providing a probable solution.
In April of 2020, Wilcox County welcomed a new Agriculture and Natural Recourses agent that has worked diligently through the pandemic to build vital relationships with Wilcox County Stakeholders. The agent’s plan for the future of Wilcox County is to orient extension programming’s focus to fit the needs of county stakeholders and implement relevant on-farm research that will provide the producers unbiased data for future production and management decisions.
4-H Youth Development
4-H has made quite a difference in many children’s lives over the years. We have had success story after success story from youth that participated in Wilcox County 4-H as our young people have grown into productive adulthood. However, March 20, 2020 also made a huge impact on the lives of not only the youth of Wilcox County, but ALL of us world-wide. Covid-19 became a household word. Fortunately for us in the 4-H world, we were able to attend Junior/Senior District Project Achievement just before Covid-19 struck! After that, went began the world as we know it now, “Virtual and Zoom”. Georgia 4-H went right to work preparing videos for viewing; virtual “firsts” were coming out every day! We did not hesitate to meet the needs of our youth. We participated in virtual Cloverleaf Project Achievement, virtual Poultry Judging, virtual State Congress, and virtual Weekend in the Classic City, and many more “virtuals”. While “virtual anything” is not quite as good as face to face, we are managing to keep our programming going strong. After all, the essential elements of 4-H are: Mastery, Generosity, Belonging, and Independence. I would say we are continuing to cover all four elements as best as we can, and we will continue to be Georgia 4-H!