Thursday, August 28, 2008

Interested in growing commercial blueberries???

Then make plans to attend the Coffee County Extension's Blueberry Profitmaker Course. See photos below, just click to enlarge photo.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mosquito Control

With all the water we received in the area, mosquito's are sure to be a problem. Here are a few links to read about mosquito control.

"Stinging and Biting Pests of People" located here (with a PDF version available):

I also recommend the following three FACES articles, which have printable versions available for distribution if necessary.
"Tips to Keep Mosquitoes Away" --
"Control Mosquito Larvae in the Water" --
"Protect Yourself against Mosquito Baby Boom" --

Preparing for Floods & Flash Foods

1. How to prepare should persons be isolated for several days; i.e., canned goods and water, etc. These are FACS pubs and can be found online as well:
There's also some good info about "Preparing for Floods and Flash Floods" on our Natural Disasters "Flooding" page at the following link (a PDF is available there for printing and distribution):

2. How and what documents to secure and protect from flooding. See the "If Time Permits, Protect Your Possessions" fact sheet located here:
This information is also included in the "What To Do Before and After A Flood" PDF fact sheet.

3. How to clean flooded areas / homes. See the "What To Do Before and After A Flood" fact sheet (mentioned in #2) -- particularly the "Restoring Vital Services" portion, which has lots of information on everything from cleaning household appliances to furniture to pillows to books, etc.

Info on mold control

1. There's a good FACES article here -- -- titled "Heavy Rain, Leaky Pipes Can Create Mold-Friendly Conditions" that has some helpful information. On that page there's a link to a PDF of the article if anyone needs to print and distribute.

2. On our Natural Disasters in Georgia page under the "Flooding" section (located here: I recommend taking a close look at the topics under the "What To Do Before and After a Flood" link. There are two in particular under the "Restoring Vital Services" subhead that would be useful for learning about mold control -- one on "Flooded Walls" and another on "Floors & Carpets."

A Consumer's Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes (FSIS-USDA)

With the recent storms, I thought this might be helpful in making the decision to keep/not keep your perishable foods.

The publication is found online in HTML at:

and as a PDF booklet at:

This publication has a couple of tables dealing with "when to save and when to throw out" for both refrigerator and freezer foods. It also discusses what to do with food in containers exposed to flood waters.

We have a UGA Cooperative Extension fact sheet, "What to Do if the Freezer Stops", in both English and Spanish:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Master 4-H Status “The Ultimate Goal!"

Georgia’s best 4-H’ers gathered in Atlanta July 22-25, 2008 among whom were four Thomas County Senior (9th-12th grade) 4-H’ers with high hopes of achieving the ultimate goal of 4-H "Master" status.

The State 4-H Congress delegates are district project achievement winners who compete for state honors and the right to represent Georgia at National 4-H Congress. District Project Achievement is a public speaking contest on a subject the 4-H’er chose. It is the reflection of a year’s work complied into a portfolio and a verbal demonstration. Portfolio’s are broken down into subject areas similar to a resume. Categories consist of an introduction page, main project work, main project sharing and helping, leadership and teen leadership, community service and citizenship activities, other activities and events, and 2 pages of supporting pictures. The youth are encouraged to memorize their 10-12 minute speeches. Typically six or eight poster and/or visual aids are also used during the presentation. University faculty members and other expert judges evaluate their work and interview them on their portfolio and presentation.

District and/or Area Project Achievement is promoted yearly and open to 9 year olds through 12th grade. District Project Achievement is an educational tool that meets many language arts Georgia Performance Standards. The key components of the project achievement teaching tool are research, organization, summary, and expression.

District and Area Project Achievement is both educational and fun. The competition is a real motivator, not necessarily motivation to win over others, but to exceed any previous accomplishments of their own. We set standards in project work and encourage 4-Hers to exceed those standards. Many State Congress delegates began competing as early as 5th grade in order to prepare for State Congress.

Blake Williams, son of Bret and Angie Williams received the honor to compete in the Power and Energy project. He graduated from Thomas County Central High school last year. Blake won first place in the state competition and achieved the prestigious title of becoming a Master 4-H’er. The donor of his project was the Georgia 4-H Foundation. His project was about how to properly install a ground fault circuit interrupter outlet. His project work included countless hours working with his family business, community service, and other 4-H activities and events. He will receive an all expense paid trip to represent Georgia at National 4-H Congress in November.

"I feel that the challenges that I have faced along with my accomplishments through out my 4-H years have given me the extra discipline and perseverance needed to succeed in life!" Blake Williams said.

J.T. Wynn, son of Henry and Cindy Wynn competed in the Horse project. He recently graduated from Thomas County Central High School. J.T. placed 3rd in the state competition. J.T presented a leather demonstration entitled: Introduction to Saddle Making: 101. J.T. owns a leather business, "Just the Thang" Leather Goods. His project donor was the Georgia 4-H Foundation. J.T. served as summer 4-H camp counselor at Rock Eagle 4-H Center, was a member of the State and District 4-H Board of Directors, 4-H Horse Club president, and he participated in countless community service projects.

Sara Parramore, daughter of Dayne and Carol Parramore competed in the Veterinary Science project and placed 4th. Sara graduated from Thomas County Central High school last year. The donor for her project was the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. Sara presented a hands on demonstration about how to properly wrap a horse’s leg to prevent injury. She was also an active member of the 4-H S.A.F.E (Shooting Awareness, Fundamentals, and Education) Team and 4-H Horse Club.

Jon Wynn, son of Henry and Cindy Wynn competed in the Dog Care and Training project. Jon is senior at Thomas County Central High School. The donor for his project was the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association. Jon’s demonstrations title was: Georgia Field Ready and he talked about methods to insure that your dog is ready for hunting season. Other 4-H activities included serving as chairman the 2nd Annual Something To Bark About 4-H Dog Show.
The 4-H’ers were busy from the time they arrived. The event was held at the Crowne Plaza in Atlanta. An opening assembly honoring state 4-H scholarship winners and 4-H Volunteers for Success winners was first on the agenda. District meetings and check in followed. Dinner and competition presentations by the 4-H Performing Arts projects rounded out the evenings events.

The competitions were held on Wednesday, July 23. Demonstrations were given and 4-H portfolio interviews were held. The state winners were announced that evening at Six Flags over Georgia.

The Thomas County delegation, along with others at Congress, were entered at breakfast Thursday, July 24 by Georgia Power. 4-H’ers enjoyed 4-H donor visits and educational tours, including a visit to the State Capitol. The Georgia EMC Formal Annual banquet was held on Thursday night.

When you combine what 4-H’ers learn from project work, community service activities, leadership events, educational retreats, and the experience of working with community and university leaders the life skills gained are immeasurable. All Thomas County Youth are encouraged to participate in District or Area Project Achievement. Preparations for the next competition is underway.

For more information contact Thomas Counties, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension at (229)-225-4130.
Left to Right: J.T. Wynn, Blake Williams, Sara Parramore, & Jon Wynn.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Master Wildlifer Program in September

Are you interested in wildlife???

Master Wildlifer is a program recorded by Clemson University Extension as a short course for landowner and land managers across the Southeast who are interested in integrating wildlife considerations into their current land use. Farmers, forestland owners, and others interested in wildlife will find Master Wildlifer to be a wealth of practical information that will serve as a guide to develop an d improve wildlife habitat on their land. Special emphasis will be placed on wildlife species (game species) that currently offer landowners additional sources of income through recreational access fees.

Additionally, Master Wildlifer will include a local 3 hour class on fish pond management, plus a 3 hour field tour of a private property that is intensively managed for game.

Classes are on Tuesday evenings [6:30 to 9:30pm], September 9, 16, 23, 30, except for the field day on Friday, September 26.

Cost is $105 by September 2nd, $130 after.Spouse/Partner fee - $30Alumni fee single/partner - $20/$30

Download the brochure here and fill it out and send in.

More info???? Please contact R.J. Byrne - 229.225.4130 or

Friday, August 8, 2008

Agrosecurity Awareness Training, August 13th, Macon, Georgia

Agrosecurity Awareness training is offered by the Georgia EmergencyManagement Agency in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Agriculture and the University of Georgia for those who have a potential role in responding to an agricultural incident. This training provides information on the scope of agriculture in Georgia and impacts of terrorism or disaster, recognition of potential threats, notification procedures, and how to better prepare your community for an agriculture or food emergency. Participants include those involved in production agriculture or agribusiness, as well as first responders from local and state governments and volunteer organizations who respond to all types of emergencies. Examples include:

  • Agricultural chemical distributors and retailers
  • Agriculture Educators, Agricultural fair managers, Agriculture-related organizations and cooperatives
  • Emergency Management, Law Enforcement, and Fire Fighters, Environmental Health Officers and Health Care responders.
  • Food processing, wholesale and retail managers and employees, Farmers and commodity group leaders
  • Food & Agriculture-related Local, State and Federal agency personnel
  • Livestock and poultry industry and Green Industry representatives, Public Works, State government leaders and congressional staff., Veterinarians, technicians, assistants and animal health specialists, Other first responders

6 hours credit is offered in each of the following categories:

  • Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council (post).
  • Georgia Firefighters Standards and Training.
  • Georgia Department of Human Resources, Office of Emergency Medical services.
  • Georgia State Board of Veterinary Medicine

4.5 hours Certified Crop Advisor credits: 1.5 Pest Management; 2.0 Crop Management; 1.0 Pest Detection
Southern Chapter ISA credits: 2,25 Arborist; 1.5 BCMA Science; 2.25Municipal; 0.075 BCMA Management

Additional credits are being sought including Pesticide Applicators Recertification. Status of these credits will be sent to registrants priorto training.

Vineville Methodist Church
2045 Vineville Ave
Macon, GA 31204
(478) 745-3331

Directions: From I-75, take exit 164/Hardeman Ave. Travel toward downtown Macon. Merge onto Vineville Ave. Turn right onto Forrest Ave. Vineville Methodist Church will be on the right. Park behind the church and Enter through the double glass doors.
If you get lost, call (478) 745-3331.

The training is free, but PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED: Registrants should send their name, address/city/state/zip, day-time telephone number, occupation, e-mail address, and the date of training you wish to attend to, or fax to 706-542-7905.

There will also be another training on September 3 also in Macon. Trainings are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Wal-Mart Commits to America's Farmers as Produce Aisles Go Local

If you have not heard the news, Wal-Mart is committing to purchasing local grown foods. I am not sure if the Thomasville store is doing this, but it may be coming in the future.

BENTONVILLE, Ark., July 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Wal-Mart today
announced its commitment to source more local fruits and vegetables to keep
produce prices down and provide affordable selections that are fresh and
healthful. The retailer also reported that partnerships with local farmers
have grown by 50 percent over the past two years -- one example of the
company's efforts to support local economies, cut shipping costs and provide
fresh food offerings.
Today, hundreds of growers across the United States provide produce sold
in Wal-Mart Supercenters and Neighborhood Markets, making Wal-Mart the
nation's largest purchaser of local produce. During summer months, locally
sourced fruits and vegetables that are both grown and available for purchase
within a state's borders make up a fifth of the produce available in Wal-Mart
"Offering local produce has been a Wal-Mart priority for years, and we're
taking it to a new level with a pledge to grow our partnerships with local
farmers. We're committed to purchasing locally grown produce whenever
possible," said Pam Kohn, Wal-Mart's senior vice president and general
merchandise manager for grocery. "Increasing the amount of local produce in
our grocery aisles -- and adding clear locally grown signage -- reflects our
dedication to offer the freshest products possible at great prices."
Wal-Mart announced its locally grown commitment in a Supercenter in DeKalb County, Ga. today. The event featured an in-store farmers' market with growers
on hand to educate customers about produce. Just in time for the Fourth of
July, Georgia Wal-Mart Supercenters have many of the ingredients customers
need for a locally grown celebration: sweet Georgia-grown Vidalia onions for
their Independence Day burgers, Georgia cantaloupes and watermelons for a
fabulous fruit salad, and Georgia peaches for cobbler. A complete list of
locally grown produce available by state is at
"Georgia is proud of its family farmers who lead the production of many
important fruits and vegetables like our famous Georgia peaches and
watermelons," said Donnie Smith, Governor Sonny Perdue's Agriculture Liaison.
"Thanks to Georgia producers and companies like Wal-Mart, Georgia will
continue to be recognized as a trusted provider of high quality fruits,
vegetables and other agricultural products to feed America's families."
Georgia onion farmer Delbert Bland is one of the growers who participated
in the Decatur event. His family farm has been in operation in Glennville, Ga.
since the 1940s, and he is featured on in-store signage in the Atlanta area.
"We are proud to see our onions sold in Wal-Mart stores across Georgia and
knowing that we are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is an added
value," said Bland. "Our business would not be where it is today without the
support of Wal-Mart."

Economic Impact

Wal-Mart estimates that it purchases more than 70 percent of its produce
from U.S.-based suppliers, making the company the biggest customer of American
agriculture. This year, Wal-Mart expects to source about $400 million in
locally grown produce from farmers across the United States.
Wal-Mart's relationships with U.S. suppliers also extend beyond its
support of local agriculture. Beyond produce, Wal-Mart partnered with 61,000
U.S. suppliers in 2007 and supported millions of supplier jobs nationally.
Shortening the Distance from Farm to Fork
Beyond the benefits to consumers and economic opportunities for farmers,
Wal-Mart's commitment to locally grown produce is helping to reduce "food
miles" -- the distance food travels from farm to fork. It is estimated that in
the United States, produce travels an average of 1,500 miles from farms to the
homes of consumers. Through better logistics planning, better packing of
trucks and local sourcing, Wal-Mart expects to save millions of food miles
each year.
In addition, Wal-Mart is working with state departments of agriculture and
local farmers to develop or revitalize growing areas for products like corn in
Mississippi and cilantro in Southern Florida which had not grown there before
or which were once native crops.

New In-Store Presence

Wal-Mart now highlights locally grown produce in its stores across the
country. Customers will find it easy to recognize locally grown fruits and
vegetables with signs that include official state-grown marks, indicating
approval by their state's agriculture department.
The company is also dedicating space on its web site to locally grown
produce, including farmer profiles and recipes. For more information, visit
About Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates Wal-Mart discount stores, Supercenters,
Neighborhood Markets and Sam's Club locations in the United States. The
company operates in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador,
Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and the United
Kingdom. Wal-Mart serves more than 176 million customers weekly in 14 markets.
The company's securities are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the
symbol WMT. For more information:
SOURCE Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Deisha Galberth of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 1-800-331-0085