Upcoming Events

2018/2019 Jefferson County Awards

4-H Awards and Scholarships applications are open.

See links below  to download application packets.

Each award includes individuals guidelines and details.

Please return completed application to:

Jefferson County Extension Office
2121 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd.
Suite 1700
Birmingham, AL 35203

Packets need to be submitted to the office no later than 4:30 pm on March 1, 2019 to be considered. * If you would like the applications in different format please contact our office.


4-H’er of the Year Award

Community Service Award- Club

Community Service Award- Individual

Marguerite Holmes 4-H Scholarship

Most Outstanding 4-H Club



4-H Awards and Scholarships

4-H Awards and Scholarships applications are open.

See links below  to download application packets.

Each award includes individuals guidelines and details.

Please return completed application to:

Jefferson County Extension Office
2121 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd.
Suite 1700
Birmingham, AL 35203

Packets need to be submitted to the office no later than 4:30 pm on March 30,2018 to be considered.


4-H’er of the Year Award

Community Service Award- Club

Community Service Award- Individual

Marguerite Holmes 4-H Scholarship

Most Outstanding 4-H Club

4-H Summer Camp 2018

Looking for summer plans? Join us for 4-H Summer Camp!

                                 When:  June 6-8, 2018 (Registration closes February 28th)

                                 Where: Alabama 4-H Center in Columbiana, AL

                                  Cost: $106    A $40 deposit is due by February 28th and the remaining $66 is due April 23, 2018.

Camp Brochure Click Here


For more information call the Jefferson County Extension Office at:


Check out the 4-H Center website: http://www.aces.edu/4-H-youth/4H-Center/camp/index.php





Healthy Eating From Head To Toe – Live Well Alabama

For kids, getting the right nutrients is important for healthy growth. Helping your child eat a variety of foods from all food groups is the best way to make sure your child gets all the nutrients needed for growth and development. Here are a just few examples of foods that are packed with nutrients to help kids grow healthy and strong.

Foods for Growth and Development

Brain: salmon, leafy greens, beans and nuts.

Eyes: carrots, spinach, cantaloupe and sweet potatoes

Hair: milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, lean meat, poultry, beans and grains

Teeth: milk, yogurt, cheese, nuts, broccoli and spinach

Heart: banana, avocado, spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, whole-grain bread and rice, salmon, milk and yogurt

Digestive System: corn, carrots, apples, plain popcorn, nuts and yogurt

Skin: oranges, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi,  grapefruit, sweet potato, nuts, beans and water

Muscles: lean meat, poultry, nuts, beans, potatoes, bananas, salmon, milk, cheese, yogurt and eggs

Bones: milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, spinach and nuts

infographic for healthy eating



























For more research-based nutrition and physical activity education articles, visit our site at livewellalabama.com.

Source: Healthy Eating From Head To Toe – Live Well Alabama

How to Make Your Lawn the Envy of the Neighborhood – Extension Daily

Auburn, Alabama – With temperatures continuing to rise and summer only a few weeks away, people are beginning to break out the work gloves to start the process of lawn management.

As nice as it is to have a lawn with beautiful green grass, the job of maintaining such a landscape can be difficult and require a considerable amount of work. To avoid spending countless hours mowing, weed-eating, and edging in vain, it is important to take the proper steps to ensure the grass you’re dedicating so much of your time to is healthy and full of potential.

To make sure your lawn looks the best it possibly can, Dr. David Han, an Alabama Extension turf specialist, shares his expertise.


One thing Han made clear is that if you plan on fertilizing your lawn, now is the time to do so.

Han said, “Now is a great time to fertilize if you haven’t already. You want to be sure to use a rate of one pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet of lawn.

“If you find a fertilizer that’s marketed as a turf fertilizer, they will always list the recommended area the product covers in square feet on the bag.  I would always follow those guidelines.” Han added.

Another important thing to know when preparing to fertilize your grass is the size of your lawn.

Han said, “One thing people should consider is finding out how big their yards are if they don’t know already. It’s tough to know how much fertilizer to buy and spread if you don’t know how much surface you need to be covering.”

Not only is the amount of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet of lawn important to keep in mind, but so is the type of grass in the lawn, because some grass needs more fertilizer than others.

“The amount of fertilizer you should use during the summer depends on what type of grass you have. If you have Bermuda grass I would fertilize three or four times. Zoysia grass should be fertilized two to three times and if you have centipede grass, now is the only time to fertilize it. It won’t need to be fertilized again until next year,” added Han.


One of the most important parts of growing a pristine green lawn is making sure your grass has adequate water. However, your grass doesn’t require as much water as some might think.

“You really don’t need to water your lawn as much as a lot of people think you do. This week, for example, we got right about an inch of rain, so that’s probably going to last for a whole week. So even if we don’t have another drop of rain you probably won’t need to water the  lawn until the weekend.”

Obviously as spring turns into summer, the weather will get hotter and grass will need more water to thrive. But even then, the rate of watering your lawn shouldn’t be too dramatic.

Han said, “In the middle of the summer when grass is growing its fastest, and it’s 95 degrees outside, water two, maybe three times a week. I would water deeply and infrequently as opposed to a little bit every day.”


One thing everyone with a lawn has in common is a healthy disdain for native weeds. But according to Han, if you haven’t initiated a pre-emergence weed plan yet, you may have to get comfortable with a few unwelcome weeds growing in your yard.

Han said, “Unfortunately, right now it’s a little late to pre-emerge for weeds because they’ve probably  started coming up. Now you’ll have to handle them with a post-emergence weed killer. There are lot of them on the market, and they generally work pretty well on common weeds.”

The key to preventing weeds is to stop them before they start growing. It may be too late to stop a lot of the weed growth this summer, but it’s never too late to look ahead to future seasons.

Han said, “Next fall — September or October — will be the time to put out a pre-emergence to kill winter weeds.”

Now is the time to start the process of fertilization and weed prevention to ensure optimal lawn health. Summer in Alabama can be long and hot, and can cause great strain on lawns. For  best results, it is important that you follow these steps to make your lawn as healthy.

Source: How to Make Your Lawn the Envy of the Neighborhood – Extension Daily

Extension Launches New Nutrition Website – Extension Daily


AUBURN, Ala. – The Alabama Cooperative Extension System recently launched a new website in conjunction with its Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – Education (SNAP-Ed) social media initiative, Live Well Alabama. The social media initiative launched in early 2017 to better reach residents across the state with research-based nutrition and physical activity education.

Live Well Alabama Initiative

“The Live Well Alabama initiative has been a goal of Alabama SNAP-Ed for a long time,” said Dr. Barbara Struempler, director of Alabama Extension nutrition programs. “The new website showcases our program’s uniqueness to provide opportunities to reach and educate Alabamians across the state.”

The new website includes articles about nutrition efforts in schools, featuring the Alabama SNAP-Ed Body Quest: Food of the Warrior program; community outreach efforts in emergency food assistance; healthier retail; farmers markets and gardens; and additional health publications and educational resources by Alabama Extension.

“Live Well Alabama is an initiative that assists communities improve personal health, reduce public and personal health costs, increase low impact exercise opportunities and improve quality of life,” said Dr. Gary Lemme, director of Alabama Extension.


SNAP-Ed targets food assistance participants and others with limited resources in all Alabama counties. Improving dietary and physical activity behaviors of individuals and families, and building partnerships to improve the health of communities are among key Live Well Alabama efforts.

Visit the Live Well Alabama website at livewell.aces.edu. To follow the social media initiative, visit facebook.com/livewellalabama, twitter.com/livewellalabama and pinterest.com/livewellalabama.Featured image by iStock

Source: Extension Launches New Nutrition Website – Extension Daily

What is a Master Gardener and How Do I Join?

AUBURN, Ala. – Do you wish you had a garden that looks like a feature in Southern Living Magazine, but you just don’t have the “green thumb” like your great-grandmother? The good news is that there are qualified people who are able to answer your questions if you reach out – they are called Master Gardeners.

The Master Gardener program was founded in 1972 by the Washington State University Cooperative Extension. The goal of the program is to train volunteers who will give gardening advice to those who seek it. There are organized programs in all 50 states and eight Canadian provinces.

Master Gardener Program in 30 Alabama Counties

Kerry Smith, State MG Program Coordinator

According to State Master Gardener Program Coordinator Kerry Smith, Alabama has Master Gardener programs in about 30 counties. The County Extension offices host the educational MG training classes.

Each Master Gardener group has their own projects. From demonstration gardens to tree plantings, Ask a Master Gardener at various outlets to County Fair booths, Earth Day activities to a Lunch and Learn, their passion is inspiring.

The Lee County MG’s have three demonstration gardens, all intended to teach anyone interested in gardening. The MG garden at Kiesel Park,  in Auburn, is tended most Tuesday mornings during the growing season.

Lee County Master Gardeners of Alabama

Kiesel Park – Photo by Charlot Ritenbaugh


Smith develops the class content and works with local Extension agents who coordinate the county-based programs. “Basically, we cram two years of undergraduate horticulture instruction into 13 classes. It’s quite a commitment,” Smith said. To become a certified Master Gardener, you must complete the classwork and 50 hours of volunteer service in a community project. Many projects, such as a community food garden in Marshall County, are active in each location.

Whether volunteers are teaching gardening techniques or donating 11,000 pounds of produce to local charities, the program is made to serve others. Smith said, “The Master Gardeners help reinforce the land grant mission of Auburn University and validate that Extension is valuable to the state and community.”

Although most MG volunteers are retirees, they welcome community partners to get active and find their place alongside them no matter how much time you have to spend. Gardening is also a way for high school and college students to get active in service opportunities. Partnerships are available through local Master Gardener associations. All of them promote community service and education.

Ways to get involved

To get involved, call your County Extension office, or visit http://www.aces.edu/directory/. From there, you are linked to the proper contacts of a Master Gardener program nearby.

Reach a local Master Gardener with your gardening questions by calling the MG Helpline, 877-252-4769 (877-ALAGROW)

Source: What is a Master Gardener and How Do I Join?

Birmingham’s Plant Diagnostic Laboratory


The function of the Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab is to identify disease causing pathogens of plants and recommend appropriate treatments for their control. In the human medical field, this is the same function that a diagnostic lab would perform for a medical doctor. The ultimate goal of the diagnostic lab is to reduce the misuse and the overuse of pesticides in our landscape settings. Accurate disease diagnosis is the first step in reaching this goal. Diagnostic techniques include visual as well as microscopic examination, culture isolation, serology, bioassays, and other biotic tests. Soil testing includes pH levels and total soluble salts. Complete soil testing will be referred to the ACES/AAES Soil, Forage, & Water Testing Lab at Auburn University.

The Plant Diagnostic Lab is located at the C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture & Environmental Center. This state-of-the-art facility is staffed with a plant pathologist/diagnostician and offers a place where homeowners and commercial representatives can bring their plants to be diagnosed for a minimal fee. Services include:

  • Visual examination for disease as well as for insect, nutritional, cultural, and herbicide problems
  • Microscopic evaluation to determine a disease-causing agent
  • Tissue culture isolation for various fungal or bacterial identification
  • A variety of specific diagnostic tests as needed
  • Soil pH testing (Regular soil testing will be conducted at Auburn University.)
  • Collaboration with the ACES/AAES Soil, Forage, & Water Testing Lab at Auburn University, entomologists, weed scientists, horticulturists, and pathologists

James Jacobi – Plant Pathologist/Lab Supervisor
Address: 2612 Lane Park Rd., Birmingham, AL 35223-1802
Phone: (205) 879-6964 ext. 19
FAX: (205) 414-3906

C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture & Environmental Center


The Hanna Center is housed at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens (directions). The center serves as a horticulture and environmental resource for the Birmingham Metropolitan Region.  Services are directed toward the unique challenges of managing the urban ecosystem.

A large part of the Hannah Center‘s mission is to work with and train volunteers to help carry out ACES broader mission.  One such volunteer group is the Jefferson County Master Gardeners who operate the Gary Gerlach Plant Information Center (GPIC) located on the first floor of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens just below the Hanna Center.  Locally, you can reach a Master Gardener by phone at (205) 879-6964 x15 or come by and visit whenever they are on duty. You may also try our toll free number to speak with a Master Gardener locally and in other areas across Alabama by dialing: 1-877-252-GROW (4769).

C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture & Environmental Center
2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham, Al. 35223
Phone (205) 879-6964  Fax(205) 414-3906