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
Superior research and education are the driving forces of innovation, and no one knows this better than UGA Cooperative Extension. Wilcox County does not currently have an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent. Filling this vacancy is a must as Agriculture and Natural Resources is an ever-changing field. In order for producers to maintain a high level of progression, delivering unbiased education is essential. In addition, decreases in commodity prices have only helped to increase the importance of Extension programming, which is critical in aiding farmers with day-to-day decisions. The new Agricultural and Natural Resources agent will address these issues and as well as pasture management, cotton, peanuts, corn, organics and livestock. A large focus will also be on forestry and wildlife plus youth agriculture-related judging events.
4-H Youth Development
Georgia 4-H has made quite an impact on firearms safety with the introduction of Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) in the early1980s. The first and foremost rule in Project S.A.F.E. Shooting Sports is safety. There are five shooting sports disciplines in 4-H — shotgun, .22 rimfire, BB, air pistol/rifle and archery — and Wilcox County 4-H has active clubs in three of the five disciplines. Parents and other volunteers are screened and trained and must pass a background check before serving as a volunteer. We have exceptional volunteers in our community.
Project S.A.F.E. is an active program, attractive to youth and adult audiences. The program is curriculum-based and designed to assist young people in personal development, establish a personal environmental ethic and explore lifelong vocational and avocational activities. The program uses experiential learning and positive interactions with youth and adult role models to help young people develop self-concept, self-assurance and a positive self-image. The program promotes responsibility, decision-making and identifying realistic personal goals. Participants have shown high achievement in the field, shop or classroom and on the target range, but personal development for young people and leaders is the real objective. The program strives to “make the best better.”