• Statesboro Pediatrics now located at 404 Savannah Avenue is moving to their new location at 1570 Brampton Avenue in mid-November. In addition to the move, Statesboro Pediatrics will add family medicine in January.
All existing physicians and staff will move to the new location. Statesboro Pediatrics and Family Healthcare is owned by East Georgia Healthcare Center, a nonprofit community based healthcare organization. The federally subsidized clinic offers healthcare services on a "sliding scale" medical fee plan based upon income. At the time of your visit, bring proof of one month's income and expenses.
Many patients, who qualify under this program, pay a very small co-payment for office visits and services. Those who qualify also may receive their medications at no cost or at a discount.
• Vaden Nissan of Statesboro, 686 Brannen Street, will host Business After Hours for Chamber members on Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
• "Grillin in the Grove" at Ogeechee Technical College is Saturday from noon to 6 p.m. In addition to the ribeye steak grilling competition, there will be live entertainment and activities throughout the day. Steak dinners will be available from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for $15 each. All proceeds go to the American Diabetes Association. Contact Matthew Gainous at (912) 486-7400 for more information.
• Farmers Market Vendor of the Week: Fish Heads Hydroponic Lettuces
There are few smells more wonderful than freshly tilled peanuts waiting in the fields to be harvested. If you have driven around Bulloch County over the past week, you have enjoyed that smell.
You probably also have noticed the incredible "southern snow" as cotton crops get ready for picking. Cotton and peanuts are the county's largest two crops grown by local farmers. Currently there are 48,549 acres of peanuts and 19,844 acres of cotton farmed in the county. Agriculture ads $13.2 billion statewide and nearly $190 million annually to Bulloch County's economy. In fact, Bulloch continues to rank in the top ten, in agriculture economic impact, out of 159 counties in Georgia.
With commodity prices low and a new farm bill in place, keeping yield high and managing production cost has never been more important. Understanding the huge economic impact agriculture plays, Georgia has created partnerships with the agriculture producers through the University of Georgia's County Extension services. For years, this effort has been led by County Agent and County Extension Coordinator Wes Harris. Harris retired earlier this year creating an opportunity for Bulloch County native and Effingham County Extension Coordinator Bill Tyson to come back home.
Bill is the son of legendary Bulloch County banker, a past president of Farmers and Merchants Bank, Billy Tyson. Bill grew up in Brooklet and graduated from Southeast Bulloch before heading off to ABAC for his associates degree in science then to UGA for his bachelors in science and master's in education.
After college, Bill began his career with the extension service in Bulloch County working under Harris as an agent in training. A few years later, Bill accepted the county coordinator positon in neighboring Effingham County, a position he has held for the past 15 years.
"Bulloch County is home, in addition to being one of the plum assignments in the state for this position," he said. "To continue to rank in the top 10 producers statewide in agriculture says a lot about the quality, talent and commitment of our local farmers. I already know many of the farmers and the ones I don't know yet, I am working to meet now."
I asked Bill what are the greatest changes to agriculture since he began in this field of work nearly two decades ago.
"Technology is increasing in every aspect of farming," he said. The equipment now is heavily computerized and creates many more options for farm management. In addition, seed development continues to improve every year.
"The advancements in technology strengthen the need for our partnership," he said. "The key role we play is in helping to keep the farmers educated with the latest in techniques and technology. Along with the better technology comes higher production cost. Sustaining profitability is a responsibility we take very seriously." said Tyson.
Tyson and his team of agents are available to help any of the citizens in Bulloch County with agricultural or horticultural needs. They are located inside the Bulloch County Center for Agriculture on Langston Chapel Road. Joining Bill in leading the local extension service is LeeAnna Deal who is the county agent responsible for the 4H youth development programs and Carol Knight who is the county agent who focuses on residential and horticultural needs.