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
UGA Worth County Extension provides research-based information for Worth County citizens and producers through educational production meetings, on-farm research, farm and site visits, and individual consultations. In 2022, the educational production meetings held for growers included the latest UGA information on corn, soybeans, wheat, melons, peanut, and cotton production, and on row crop disease and weed management. The county agent conducted on-farm applied research with local growers in a cotton variety trial and in 2 peanut trials. Vegetable acreage and production in Worth County has increased in recent years. The Tri-County (Colquitt, Tift, and Worth) Vegetable Agent leads educational sessions, assists growers in the county in vegetable production, and conducts multiple on-farm trials in vegetables. Agents disseminate information through the social media outlets of Worth County Ag blog site, Twitter, and Facebook. Along with assisting growers and residents of Worth County, agents also educate youth audiences. In the fall of 2022, the agents were able to teach students in 1st Grade at Worth County Primary School about the importance of agriculture in Worth County and about how plants grow.
4-H Youth Development
Worth County 4-H provides an environment that enables participants to develop skills through the essential elements of independence, generosity, belonging, and mastery. Youth in 4-H develop skills that are valuable to themselves and the community, helping them grow into successful adults. In 2022, Worth County 4-H had an enrollment of 257 youth and a total of 24 clubs. Monthly 4-H Club Meetings were held for Worth County fifth-grade, homeschool, middle school, and high school students. Fifteen members participated in Cloverleaf District Project Achievement, while seven 4-H members were contestants in Junior/Senior District Project Achievement. One senior 4-H’er went on to place 4th at State 4-H Congress in the Financial Planning and Consumer Economics project area. Campers in 2022 included Cloverleaf at Burton 4-H Center on Tybee Island, Junior at Camp Jekyll, and Senior 4-H’ers at Rock Eagle. Worth County 4-H’ers attended multiple state events. Worth County had entries in the Beef Cattle and Swine livestock shows. The Georgia 4-H Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) had members from Worth County 4-H compete at district and state shotgun matches. Our Land Judging Team placed 1st in the Junior competition, had the state highest junior individual, and placed 1st in the Senior competition. The 4 students on the state winning senior team qualified to compete at Nationals in May of 2023 in Oklahoma. In addition, many Worth County 4-H members participated in fundraisers, such as the Vidalia Onion, Sweet Potato, and Coca-Cola sales. Funds were used to support 4-H projects like camp and District Project Achievement. A total of 14 certified adult volunteers assisted 4-H with various projects. Worth County 4-H’ers continue to “make the best better” in our community, state, and world.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Worth County Extension, with the help of Tift County Family and Consumer Science Agent Roxie Price, collaborated with the Sylvester-Worth County Chamber of Commerce to host a Life Is A Maze(ing) event for all 8th grade students at Worth County Middle School. This event divided students into families based on education levels (high school diploma, bachelor’s, master’s degrees, etc.) and they had to create a budget and pay their bills for a month. Students learned the importance of further education on their future life of paying bills with a given salary. Also, all Worth County second-grade students received a lesson about added sugar. This lesson created the awareness of the amount of sugar they are drinking in sodas, sports drinks, and juice. The lesson also pointed out the negative effects of too much sugar in their bodies, such as childhood obesity.