Making A Difference in Our County
We're working hard for the citizens we serve. Here are some examples of successful projects from the past year:
Preparing 4-H’ers for Livestock Showmanship
Recently in Colquitt County, younger and less experienced youth have shown an increased interest in lamb showmanship projects. Through the efforts of the Colquitt County 4-H livestock program assistant and the 4-H agent, showmanship skill clinics were provided to those in the lamb and goat showing programs. Livestock exhibitors and their animals attended showmanship clinics on a weekly basis. Youth were encouraged to ask questions or for extra help on a certain skill. The skills learned were then exhibited in the show ring, leading to better placings in the showmanship class. Of the 16 4-H’ers who competed in recent shows, 12 were selected to compete in showmanship classes. Seven of that group made the top five, and one Colquitt County 4-H’er won her showmanship class. Youth who had never participated in showmanship or placed in the top five have been successful in doing so since participating in the showmanship clinics.
Colquitt County ServSafe® Programs
Colquitt County’s University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent, Kathryn Holland, has been hosting ServSafe® programs since her employment began in April of 2015. She coordinates the programs with Andrea Scarrow, the Southwest District program development coordinator, and brings in other FACS agents who are certified to teach the programs. She strives to build a reputation for food safety education for organizations in the county and surrounding areas. Individuals who are currently unemployed can take the course and become more marketable for employment. In 2015, the ServSafe® Manager Certification was completed by 25 participants from four different counties. The participants who passed this class now have a better chance of receiving or maintaining employment and being a contributing member of the community. Food handler education can also save the community money. Prevention of just one case of foodborne illness can save costs of medical expenses and lost productivity.
Managing Nematodes in Colquitt County
Colquitt County cotton producers have struggled with managing root-knot nematodes since the chemical aldicarb was taken off the market. Southern root-knot nematode infests more than 70 percent of Georgia cotton acreage each year. The Colquitt County Extension agent helped implement a multiyear study that evaluated cotton varieties with variable levels of resistance to root-knot nematodes and how the varieties responded to different at-plant treatments. The at-plant treatments used were with or without Telone, and seed treatments were also evaluated.The results from the first year showed that cotton yield increased (between 60 and 160-plus pounds per acre) when the fumigant was applied. Growers could increase profit in the range of $35 to $100 per acre with the right combination of cotton variety and fumigant application. At the end of the second year, nematode levels were very low and there was very little yield response to any treatments. The results from the second year showed that when growers used a combination of crop rotation and resistant cotton varieties, Southern root-knot nematodes were reduced on their farm.