Friday, July 31, 2009

Eric Hall Memorial Fund/ 4-H Schlorship

Amanda K. Carter

A $500 scholarship has been awarded to a Thomas County 4-H S.A.F.E. (Shooting, Awareness, Fun, and Education) member.

Gordon MacQuirter, received the Eric Hall Memorial Fund/4-H scholarship. MacQuiter, is a recent Thomas County Central High School graduate and a Thomas County 4-H S.A.F.E. member. He is the son of Danny and Kathy MacQuirter.

“4-H and shooting sports activities has helped me to be able to focus on other people’s achievements, and not just on my own. It has given me better sportsmanship so that I can cheer on my fellow shooters and one day I would like to either coach or instruct younger people shooting either in 4-H or in private lessons or hopefully in both. I would like to do that as my second job or after I retire” MacQuiter said.

MacQuirter is enrolled to attend Valdosta State University in the fall and has aspirations of becoming a dentist.

Thomas County 4-H would like to extend a sincere “Thank You” to The Eric Hall Memorial Fund. Without your dedication to the youth of Thomasville/Thomas County this scholarship would not have been possible.

For more information about 4-H, how to get involved, or to volunteer contact The University of Georgia/Thomas County Cooperative Extension office at 229-225-4130.

Eric Hall Memorial Shoot

The Eric Hall Memorial Foundation is sponsoring a Sporting Clays tournament on Saturday, October 3, 2009. Please see the attached donation registration form for more information. The Eric Hall Foundation supports The Thomas County S.A.F.E. Team. Last year they generously donated a $500.00 college scholarship to a Senior 4-H S.A.F.E. participate and purchased a new thrower for The Thomas County 4-H S.A.F.E. team.

In addition to the tournament The Eric Hall Memorial Foundation is holding a drawing/raffle on a chance to win a Beretta 391 (12 gauge) shotgun. Tickets are $5.00 each or 5 for $20.00. The Thomas County S.A.F.E. team is participating by assisting in selling tickets and $1.00 for every ticket sold will directly benefit The Thomas County S.A.F.E. team.

Will you please consider entering the tournament or purchasing one or more tickets? Due to the rising cost of ammo, insurance and targets it is imperative that The 4-H S.A.F.E. team have successful fund-raisers. The young people would greatly appreciate your support and you could possibly win a new gun!!

Tickets maybe purchased at The University of Georgia/Thomas County Extension Office which is located at 227 West Jefferson Street Thomasville, GA (Behind Ponder's Office Supply and beside the Public Library) or by contacting a 4-H S.A.F.E. member, or you may contact The Eric Hall Memorial Foundation.

Thanks in advance.

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Thomas County 4-H S.A.F.E. Team Blasts to 2nd State Championship!

The Thomas County 4-H S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) team members recently traveled to the beautiful Tom Lowe shooting range in Atlanta, Georgia to compete in the State 4-H Trap and Skeet competition.
4-H’ers statewide competed for individual and team awards at the annual event.

Five Thomas County junior division shooters and 49 other shooters from around the state displayed their shooting skills by competing on a total of 150 targets. By the end of any exciting day of competition, Thomas County Jr. S.A.F.E. team “smoked” the second place team from Fayette County by 35 targets and walked away with its second consecutive State Championship title. Members of the four man junior team included Brice Evans, Conner Gibbs, Jared Gibbs, and Trey Lanier.

Nine Thomas County senior division team members and 101 other senior division shooters competed on a total of 200 targets. Senior team members representing Thomas County included Brandon Barnes, Gordon MacQuirter, Nick Murphy, Ryan Setliff, Josh Smith, Brittany Vinson, Chelsea Vinson, Zach Walters, and Jon Wynn.

In the Senior division, Gordon MacQuirter (TCCHS) placed 7th in Trap and 4th in Skeet to give him a second place win overall in the State.

Junior shooter Trey Lanier (Brookwood) placed 1st in both Trap and Skeet which brought him to winning the coveted Overall State Title. Other junior awards included the following: Conner Gibbs (TCMS) – 3rd place Trap, 8th place Skeet, 3rd place Overall; Chandler Barnes (Brookwood) – 5th place Trap, 5th place Overall; Brice Evans (TCMS) – 4th place Skeet, 6th place Overall.

During the State competition awards ceremony, honors for the 4-H Trap and Skeet Postal League were also presented. Thomas County 4-Hers recognized were as follows: Brice Evans – Junior Trap & Junior Skeet; Jared Gibbs - Junior Skeet; and Gordon MacQuirter – Senior Skeet.

If anyone in grades 7-12 is interested in being a part of next year’s 4-H S.A.F.E. program, please contact Cindy Wynn or Amanda Carter at the Thomas County 4-H office (225-4130).

Thomas County 4H Shooters Aim High

Thomas County 4H Shooters Aim High
(WCTV6 Interview. "Click the above link to view")

One of the best 4H Shooting programs in the state resides in Thomas County, where year in and year out, the ultimate goal is within shooting distance.
"We're two time National Champions," Don Clark says, "We've won State several times. We've won high individuals, placed as individuals and as teams. Thomas County SAFE Program has had a lot of success. We're real proud of what our young people have done."

7th through 12th grade, boy and girl, it's a program that anyone can succeed at, if they put in the work. Jon Wynn says, "You've got to have concentration skills, you've got to be patient. You've got to handle pressure."

Chelsea Vinson adds, "You just have to come out here and practice. You can be just as good as the guys. It took a while for me to get up with them but once you get up with them it's fun."
And, according to Clark, safe as well.

Clark says, "We've never had an accident in Georgia in any of our county programs across the state. We teach these young people how to handle guns safely and we're teaching them a sport they can carry throughout their life."

That's a goal they all are shooting for.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

4-H'ers attend Camp Rock Eagle

Amanda K. Carter

Twenty-six Thomas Co. Cloverleaf (4th-6th grade) 4-H'ers attended Rock Eagle 4- H Center for a memorable week of summer camp on June 29 through July 3, 2009. R.J. Byrne (Thomas County Ag Agent), Cindy M. Wynn (Thomas County 4-H Agent) and Amanda Carter (Thomas County 4-H CEPAIV) chaperoned the 4-H’ers.

The theme for the week of summer camp was Indian lore. Over 900 4-H'ers from counties all over the state were divided into three tribes Shawnee, Cherokee and Muskogee.

Thomas Co. 4-H'ers was a part of the Muscogee tribe. The Muskogee tribe is the land of the flaming arrows led by tribal mico’s and camp counselors. Campers had the opportunity to compete against other tribes in games, tribal meetings, cabin and area clean-up, class attendance, behavior, sportsmanship, cheers and a pageant throughout the week for an opportunity to win the tribal shield.

In addition, 4-Hers enjoyed many educational activities such as Herpetology, Natural History Exploration; Health’s Our Pledge, Wildlife, Forestry, Lake Ecology, and Entomology, just to name a few. Other activities included swimming, canoeing, sailing, archery, putt-putt, zip line, and a variety show put on by the camp counselors.

In keeping with tradition the story of the Rock Eagle Mound and how Rock Eagle got its legendary name was told at a pageant performed by campfire on Thursday night at the Pageant Grounds.

Thomas Co. 4-H'ers and adults enjoyed their exciting week at camp and they look forward to next year's summer camp adventure.

The Georgia 4-H summer camping program is ranked among the top in the nation. If you are interested in learning more about the 4-H camping programs or other 4-H opportunities and events please call The University of Georgia/Thomas County Extension Office at 229-225-4130.

Pulling for 4-H

2008-2009 4-H S.A.F.E. State Modified Trap Team!!

Jon W. 2nd place high individual state winner.

Senior 4-H S.A.F.E. 5th Place Modified Trap Team.Junior 2nd Place State Modified Winning Team (not pictured Dustin D.)

Amanda K. Carter

Hold on: isn’t 4-H about kids raising cows and planting crops? Isn’t it about entering the county fair, attending camp, public speaking or sewing? You can shoot in 4-H? The 4-H program has something for everyone, including shooting sports. Shooting sports participants are expected to participate in at least 2 approved activities. These activities may include entering items into the Deep South Fair, attending leadership workshops, public speaking contest, and community service activities, etc. A main component of the 4-H shooting sports program is education. We want all participants to have a great time, get a little practice in and learn something. Ultimately the main emphasis is on helping young people grow into the best adults they can be, by developing qualities like responsibility, decision making, team work, citizenship and building youth adult partnerships.

The S.A.F.E. (Shooting, Awareness, Fun, & Education) Shooting Sports Program would not be possible without the countless hours certified coaches and volunteers devote to the program and the generous support of the community.

This year, 24 4-H’ers participated in Modified Trap and 15 participated in the Trap & Skeet Program. Modified Trap practices were held on Tuesdays and Trap and Skeet practice were held on Thursday’s beginning in February.

In order for 4-H S.A.F.E. participants to advance to state competition, they are required to successfully qualify at the District Competition held on Saturday, April 18th at The Thomas County 4-H range. Six counties from across GA participated in the Thomas County Qualifying Match. Twenty two Thomas county members earned the privilege to advance to the state modified competition, but all participants shot remarkably. Brittany Vinson, a Sr. 4-H’er, won the 1st place Sr. high individual award. 2nd place Sr. individual award presented to Coffee County’s Russ Roberson and 3rd place went to Ryan Setliff of Thomas County. 1st place Jr. Individual was presented to Coffee County’s Dillion Smith, 2nd place Jr. was Thomas Counties Brice Evans, and 3rd place honors went to Conner Gibbs of Thomas County.

On Saturday, May 9th 22 4-H’ers from Thomas County participated in the State Modified Trap Competition at Rock Eagle 4-H Center in Eatonton, GA. Sixty-six Senior Teams and 47 Junior Teams entered the event with over 860 youth participating. Thomas County Junior (7th and 8th Graders) A-Team came through with flying colors in the competition, sweeping in 2nd place in the state. The team members were Dustin Dolan (TCMS), Jared Gibbs (TCMS), Ian Carnahan (TCMS), Kipp Carter (TCMS), Brice Evans (TCMS), Conner Gibbs (TCMS), & Trey Lanier (TCMS).

Thomas County Junior B-Team also did an outstanding job. Team members consisted of Carter Reed (Brookwood), Chandler Barnes (Brookwood), Justin Myrick (TCMS), Michaela Smith (TCMS), and Jordan Hurst (TCMS).

The Thomas County Senior (9th-12th Graders) 4-H A-Team placed 5th in the State Competition. Team members included Brandon Barnes (TCCHS), Ryan Setliff (TCCHS), Jordon Odom (TCCHS), Gordon MacQuirter (TCCHS), and Chelsea Vinson (Brookwood).
Our senior 4-H B-Team members consisting of Brittany Vinson (Brookwood), Jon Wynn (TCCHS), Zach Walters (TCCHS), Nick Murphy (TCCHS), and Josh Smith (TCCHS) also shot exceptional.

Jon Wynn a 12th grader at TCCHS and Thomas County 4-H S.A.F.E. (Shooting, Awareness, Fun & Education) Club President finished with a bang! He shot 25 out of 25 targets and 10 doubles. His overall placing was 3rd individual in the State.

The Thomas County Trap & Skeet team is currently preparing for State Competition which is scheduled for May 30th at Tom Lowe in Atlanta, Ga.

In addition to the district and state competition 21 4-H’ers and adults participated in the Georgia 4-H Sporting clays competition held in Macon, GA at the Meadows Gun Club. Brice Evans was awarded 5th place junior honors.

Thomas County also hosted a fund-raiser Tournament at Quail Pointe Sporting Clays on May 2, 2009. Forty two 4-H’ers and adults entered the tournament and individual scores based on The Lewis Class System were awarded. Gordon MacQuirter won 1st place A-Team, 2nd place A-Team Trey Lanier, 3rd place A-Team Conner Gibbs, 4th place A-Team Mr. Tony Aycock from Lee County. B-Team 1st place went to Mr. Jack Zeigler, 2nd place B-Team Ryan Setliff, 3rd place B-Team winner Brice Evans, and B-Team 4th place honors Lyle Dollar. Mr. Doug Barton won C-Team 1st place, 2nd place C-Team Mr. JR. Reams, 3rd place C-Team Jeremy Brown, and 4th place C-Team award went to Kipp Carter.

4-H members were encouraged to enter the State 4-H Postal League Competition. Official scores were submitted from weekly practices and mailed to the state 4-H office. Accumulative winners were awarded to postal league winners preceding the State Modified Trap competition. Ryan Setliff, Trey Lanier, and Brice Evans received awards.

The success of our 4-H S.A.F.E. shooting sports program would not be possible without the dedication of certified coaches, parents, and volunteers. A special thanks to Mike and Rhonda Barnes, Derek and Kim Evans, Al and Dina Lanier, Michael Odom, Henry Wynn, Kirk Murphy, Danny MacQuirter, Mike Tonkin, Todd Gibbs, Dean Smith, Charlotte Boles, Mark Cain, and Tony and Sherri Odom.

Thomas County 4-H would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Thomas County Board of Commissioners, The Eric Hall Memorial Foundation, Officer Steve Jones and local donors. Without you all this program would not be possible.

A final congratulation goes out to all the 4-H S.A.F.E. members and their coaches for a successful 2009-2010 season. If you would like to learn more about our shooting sports program or 4-H, please give The University of Georgia/Thomas County Extension office a call at 225-4130 and ask for Amanda K. Carter or Cindy Wynn.

4-H'ers learn value of water

The Albany Herald
Thursday, June 4, 2008
Ethan Fowler
4-H'ers learn value of water ALBANY - Dougherty County 4-H member Keana Jones' thorough answer impressed Department of Natural Resources' Adam Kaeser.

Kaeser asked the assembled students at his presentation titled "Fish Ecology of the Flint River" what three things do fish need to survive in the river.

Jones responded: "Water, food and shelter."Jones and about 50 other 4-H members from Dougherty, Mitchell, Worth, Thomas, Baker and Decatur counties participated in the 4-H20 Camp at the Flint RiverQuarium Wednesday. The three-day camp concludes today in Dothan, Ala.

The camp covers everything about water, from conservation, the water cycle, careers involving water resources and the biology of watersheds. 4-H members, who range in age from 9-18, paid $25 to participate in the event.

This was the first year Southwest Georgia 4-H clubs came together for the camp. Mitchell County 4-H did the camp by itself last year.

Dougherty County Extension Agent Rad Yager is hoping that every Southwest Georgia county participates in the camp next year.

"Typically a (three-day) program like this costs $60 per child, but we're only charging $25 and a grant is supplementing the rest through Mr. (Charles) Stripling," said Melissa Martin, education manager at the RiverQuarium. "We're paying for lunch all three days, T-shirts and little mementos. I think it's kind of neat the kids took three days out of their summer to come to this camp and (I'm) really appreciative of the counties' 4-H leaders for providing transportation."

Georgia Youth Science and Technology Centers' Steve Rainey presented a program titled "Water Detectives." The 4-H members went down to the Flint River and sampled the water, as well as handled a crawfish that Rainey caught in a ditch to use as an example.

He said crawfish were the "mice of the river because everybody eats them."

"I've learned how the crawfish lives, how it grows back its body parts and how to sample the river's water," Worth County student member Mary Beth Amrowski said. "I appreciate that the adults come out and take time to tell us about the river.

"Eight-year Thomas County 4-H Program Assistant Amanda Carter participated in 4-H as child for four years."I hope that the kids learn about the importance of water quality and how important it is in our everyday lives," Carter said. "(4-H) is a learn by doing organization. Both of my kids are involved in 4-H and they enjoy every minute of it, whether it's shooting sports, public speaking contests, community service opportunities and 4-H camps."

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cogongrass: Invasive grass found in Thomasville and Thomas County

This is a notice to all to be on the look out for Cogongrass on your property. Cogongrass is a very invasive grass that spreads by rhizomes and forms dense, typically circular areas that excludes all other vegetation.
It is very difficult to remove and mowing and burning helps simulate growth of the cogongrass. If you believe you have this weed, please contact your County Extension Agent or your local Forestry Commission Office.

From :

Cogongrass is a perennial, colony-forming grass which can grow up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) tall. Leaves have an off-center, whitish midrib and finely serrated margins. Leaves are up to 6 ft. (1.8 m) long, 0.5-0.75 in. (1.3-1.9 cm) wide, stiff, and have a sharp, pointed apex. Rhizomes are whitish, branched, scaly and sharp at the tips. Cogongrass is best identified in the spring by the large fuzzy panicle of flowers and seeds, giving the plant a cottony or silky look. Flower heads are 2-8 in. (5.1-20.3 cm) long, silvery-white and cylindrical. Cogongrass is an extremely aggressive invader with the capability of invading a range of sites. It forms dense, usually circular infestations that exclude all other vegetation. Cogongrass is native to Southeast Asia and was accidently introduced into the southeast United States in packing material in the early 1900s. It was also intentionally introduced for erosion control and livestock forage.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Landscaper Lunch N Learn Update Series

· July 21 - Dr. Clint Waltz - Cultural Practices for Turfgrasses -Thomasville, GA
· July 28 - Dr. Patrick McCullough - Turf Weed and Herbicide Update -Valdosta, GA
· August 4 - Dr. Will Hudson - Insects of Turf and Ornamentals - Thomasville, GA
· August 11 - Dr. Alfredo Martinez - Diseases of Turf and Ornamentals- Valdosta, GA

Cost: $15 per session, Register by Monday Morning Prior to the Update.Open to all interested.
Time: Noon to 2pm
Includes: Lunch, pesticide credits have been applied for each meeting- Cat 24, 27, Private

Register at the Thomas County Extension Office - 229.225.4130 - or the Lowndes County Extension Office - 229.333.5185 by Monday Morning Prior to the Update.
Open to all interested.

Download flyer here.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Thomas County Extension Prison Garden Project makes UGA's Homepage

UGA Thomas County Extension Agent R.J. Byrne makes the homepage of with the news of the prison garden project at the Thomas County Prison.

The full story is online at Thanks to the help of the Thomas County Master Gardeners this project has been a success. The story is archived under the UGA's Competing in a Global Economy -