Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

March 20, 2014

Extension Office celebrates 100 years

VALDOSTA — Extension agencies have been a large part of universities, serving to inform the public about new developments in agriculture, public policy, 4-H and more. They were created by the Smith-Lever Act of 1914.

To celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the Smith-Lever act, the University of Georgia extension office hosted a presentation for U. S. Rep. Austin Scott. Prior to the presentation, 4-H students were able to meet with Scott and discuss their projects.

"We are really excited that Congressman Scott is here so we can spread who we are and help promote our program and make it better," said Hope Weisbrod, Lowndes 4-H President.

"It is important for us to know about all the programs that extension agencies are involved in. Everyone is familiar with 4-H and it is such an important program. So many of our country’s future and current leaders are going to be developed from that program. Extension agencies are so important because they carry the research from the labs to the farmer and keep the community informed," said Scott.

Jake Price, the Lowndes County UGA Extension Agent/Coordinator, outlined the importance of agriculture in Lowndes County and the services that the extension agency offers. He explained that the 2012 Farm Gate value in Lowndes County was $71,000,000 and that there are 531 active farms in Lowndes. He also shared that the extension agency has specialists in plant pathology, entomology, forestry, turf grass, pecans, weed science, tobacco, cotton/peanuts and livestock.

The next to present was Annie Barbas, a Georgia Master Gardener. She spoke about the work of the Lowndes Master Gardener class, specifically focusing on their work in the local schools.

The final presentation came from Laura Walton, the Lowndes 4-H agent. She shared information and statistics with Scott about the program, including that there are 1,117 Lowndes 4-Hers, 45 volunteers and 39 clubs. She also explained all of the activities offered to the Lowndes 4-H group and the many competitions they participate in.

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