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Bibb County is blessed with an abundance of natural resources, including public and private forests, rolling pastures and the Cahaba River watershed. Most county residents depend on these resources for their livelihoods as well as recreation. The importance of using these resources wisely and conserving them is critical.
Regional Agent Andrew Baril works with Bibb County Extension staff to address individual client requests concerning ponds, wildlife plots, forests and other issues.
Programs include invasive plant and animal species education, wildlife and forestry education through school-based programs such as Bibb County Earth Day/Forestry Awareness Week Now (FAWN), and a workshop series developed with the Bibb County Natural Resources Planning Committee.
Home and Garden programs in Bibb County are diverse, informative and relevant to clients who produce, manage and enjoy their own food supply, outdoor spaces and interior environments.
Most home and garden programs in Bibb County are delivered by Alabama Extension Regional Agents Nelson Wynn and Gary Gray, sometimes in conjunction with Extension specialists or other regional agents.
Presentation topics range from fruit and vegetable production to backyard chicken production to termite control and many others, and many individual client calls are handled by the Bibb County Office.
Shown delivering a vegetable production program in Centreville are Regional Agents Sallie Lee and Nelson Wynn.
Bibb County-based programs in Community and Economic Development focus strongly on preparing youth and adults for careers. Doing so is very important, because great opportunities exist at the nearby Mercedes-Benz, Inc. automobile production plant in Vance, as well as with Mercedes’ numerous private sector production suppliers.
Agents Sharlean Briggs and Cynthia Whittaker (shown in photo delivering Career Countdown at West Blocton Middle School) have helped the county Extension team provide workforce education for hundreds of youth and adults in Bibb County. These programs include ‘Get Ready For The Workforce’ for pre-release inmates at Bibb Correctional Facility, the Bibb County Career Fair for adults in Woodstock, Promoting Readiness for Employment Possibilities (PREP) for high school students and adults, a Job Fair in Centreville for a Mercedes supplier, and Career Countdown for 7th graders at West Blocton Middle School and Centreville Middle School.
The number of Bibb County youth involved in 4-H and Youth Development programs has increased significantly in 2015, thanks to the efforts of the Bibb County 4-H Team, state Extension colleagues, local 4-H Volunteers, the Bibb County 4-H Youth and Adult Advisory Councils, Bibb County Schools, local governments, and local businesses and individuals to offer in-school programs, special interest 4-H animal clubs, Bibb County Youth Leadership for high school juniors, and summer camp opportunities.
These efforts have resulted in numerous 4-H clubs and activities, including the 2015 Bibb County Youth Leadership program that enabled club members from West Blocton High School and Bibb County High School to learn about the Cahaba River watershed from Alabama Water Watch at Living River on the Bibb-Shelby county line.
Alabama Extension offers row crop and livestock producers information on production and risk management through regional educational programs and field visits to Bibb County clients. Pesticide training by Extension Agents is available in Bibb County and surrounding areas to agricultural producers, landowners and homeowners who need a private applicator permit, as required by state law, to reduce or eliminate plant or animal pests.
Agents Jonathan Gladney, Rudy Yates (pictured) and Andrew Baril are ready and willing to serve Bibb County’s needs in those and many other areas. These agents are also available by phone, email and in person to assist producers with questions concerning production practices and pest management.
Bibb County programs in family and health cover a lot of ground. Agents providing programs in these areas include Janice Hall (shown leading ServSafe certification training in Centreville) in Food Safety, Sallie Hooker in Family/Child Development and Sharlean Briggs in Consumer Sciences/Personal Financial Management.
In food safety and preparation, programs have included Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification training for Farmers Market producers, canning workshops, ServSafe certification training and ‘Learn To Earn’ Cake Decorating.
Family and Child Development programs have included bullying education in elementary schools, parenting education and cancer screening education for adults.
Personal Financial Management programs have included estate planning workshops and Reality Check financial education for youth.
The deadly April 27, 2011 tornados that ripped through Alabama adversely impacted the Woodstock, Eoline and Piper communities in Bibb County.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, the Bibb County Extension Office was approached by the Leadership Bibb County 2011 participants to help with the ‘Project Now’ relief effort that benefitted tornado victims in Bibb and Tuscaloosa counties.
Bibb County Extension also assisted the Bibb County Chamber of Commerce with American Red Cross relief efforts to distribute clothes and Extension disaster recovery publications to those in need. The county office stands ready to assist should disaster strike Bibb County again.