Rebecca Hardeman, PHR, SHRM-CP
Office: (770) 473-3945
Fax: (770) 473-5438
Agriculture & Natural Resources
Clayton County Extension Service Agriculture programming is directed toward two separate entities: Home Horticulture and the Commercial Green Industry. The two are uniquely different but in many ways are interdependent.
Home and community gardens, residential landscape design, lawn care and management, social insect control, community beautification, to name a few, are all concerns and issues expressed by local residents. The Extension Service responds to these needs through office and site consultations, telephone contacts and formal educational programs such as seminars and workshops. The Clayton County Master Gardeners play an important role in addressing some of these issues. Educational program offerings in these areas included the following:
The Home Horticulture Program serves a clientele which in most cases is less horticulturally aware and possesses an insatiable need for horticulture information.
- The Extension Service also offers diagnostic laboratory services in the areas of plant tissue sampling, insect and plant identification, plant disease identification, soil testing, hay and forage testing, and domestic water analysis and problem solving.
The Green Industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the state. Green Industry consists of commercial landscape contractors, municipal landscape maintenance personnel, recreational fields and golf courses, as well as nurseries, sod farms and all related sales and products. Most raw materials are produced in the lower half of the state, with manufactured goods and final utilization occurring in the metro counties.
Clayton County contributes significantly to the revenues generated by this industry. On an aggregate revenue generated by all the local garden centers and plant nurseries in the county is substantial. The commercial green industry in Clayton County, generates over $40 million dollars annually. The State Farmers’ Market is home to some of the most lucrative agribusiness’s in the state.
Increase in demand for products and services, and the subsequent use of these inputs have created a heightened awareness of environmental issues associated to the industry. Consumers (end-product users) have become more aware of the environmental impact of agricultural inputs that go into producing edible products, or used in establishing and maintaining a very well cared for landscape.
This awareness is putting pressure on landscapers and suppliers of fresh produce to become more familiar with these issues and to take a more responsible proactive approach to best management practices in delivering their products and services.
Clayton County Extension Service planned, designed, and implemented Ornamental Integrated Pest Management Scout Training Programs specifically designed to teach landscapers the importance of environmental stewardship.
The following training opportunities are offered to the commercial industry:
- Training for the mandatory pesticide certification license. This certification is required for all landscapers who apply any form of pesticide.
- Advanced subject matter training in several horticultural topics.
- Plant disease and soil analysis diagnostic service.
- Timely workshops and seminars in commercial horticulture.
Several local organizations and municipalities benefit from the agricultural expertise of the Extension Service including the following:
The UGA Cooperative Extension Service offers educational programs, assistance and materials to all people without regard to race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability status