Mobile unit used to teach farmers, gardeners recordkeeping

Published By: Russell Boone March 15, 2018

Stephan Price (left), Fort Valley State University Bulloch County Extension agent and Charlie Grace (right), FVSU Dougherty County Extension agent, pose with local farmer Ruby Davis during a break at the Simplified Recordkeeping Training Class in Albany March 13.

Farmers, gardeners and homeowners from southwest Georgia concerned about their finances flocked to a free workshop sponsored by Fort Valley State University’s Cooperative Extension Program March 13.

More than 20 participants attended the Simplified Record Keeping Training Class at the Dougherty County Extension Office in Albany. From 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., attendees performed exercises using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and computers in FVSU’s Mobile Information Technology Center (MITC) while receiving instructions from FVSU Extension agents Stephan Price and Charlie Grace. This is the first in a series of training classes on resource record keeping.

Grace, FVSU Extension agent for Dougherty County, said the workshop is needed to expose clients in his area to the importance of accurate record keeping. He stated this is important because it is one of the requirements needed for participation in U.S. Department of Agriculture programs.

“We wanted to give clients a hands-on experience with record keeping using Microsoft Excel and computers housed in FVSU’s mobile unit,” Grace said. The FVSU Extension agent added that the computer programs implemented during the training are simple to use and convenient for farmers.

Ruby Davis, 78, is a retired nurse from Arlington who grows produce on four acres of her farm. She said she attended the workshop to improve her record-keeping methods. “You can’t borrow money, and you can’t know how you’re doing if you don’t know what you are spending, and if you don’t have a record of it you are at a disadvantage,” Davis said.

The retired health professional said she plans on using the information she learned right away. Davis plans to use computer spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel that allows her to plug in information and compile up-to-date records at the end of the month.   

Grace said the program will end Nov. 9 with the graduation of the first Simplified Record Keeping Training Class of 2018. Each farmer will receive a certificate recognizing successful completion of the class with 16 credit hours earned.

For more information about future record keeping workshops, contact grace at (229) 436-7216 or e-mail