University of Georgia Cooperative Extension agent Sylvia Davis plays nearly every county-level role in UGA Extension. Along with serving as a county coordinator in Baker County, Georgia, Davis operates as the Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent in both Baker and Mitchell counties as well as the 4-H Youth Development agent in Baker County.
Her areas of focus are health and nutrition, as well as food safety. Davis has been teaching a nutrition program, “Building Healthy Bodies,” to pre-K, kindergarten and Head Start students for the past 13 years. “I go into the classrooms and teach lessons on the five food groups and usually read a book to them, play a fun game and sometimes I'll introduce a new snack,” Davis said.
Davis is not limited to these focus areas, nor leading programs designed only for children. Various groups, organizations and individuals call Davis throughout the year to organize programs or get information on various topics such as housing, basic life skills, family-related issues and food preservation.
“I enjoy working with all ages, but my love is working with youth,” Davis said. “They're like little sponges, they just soak up all the information. Hopefully they retain it through the years. I've had kids and parents stop me at the grocery store and tell me that they eat healthy foods now. Parents will even thank me for introducing whole wheat bread or a new snack to their kid, because they'd never tried it until I introduced it.”
UGA Extension's Andrea Scarrow, FACS Southwest District program development coordinator, says Davis has already left a lasting impact.
“Sylvia Davis helps the residents in Mitchell and Baker counties improve their quality of life in many respects. She offers several outstanding programs focused on health and nutrition, encourages active lifestyles through Walk Georgia and provides targeted chronic disease prevention programs such as the Cooking for a Lifetime Cancer Prevention Cooking School,” Scarrow said.
Aside from leading FACS programs, Davis serves as the 4-H agent in Baker County. Davis takes fifth- and sixth-graders to summer camp every year.
“Taking (kids) off to camp, seeing them have a good time and not want to leave means it was a really good experience for them,” Davis said. “It means they have memories that they'll cherish forever. I still have kids who have graduated from school who will come up to me and say, ‘I remember when I went to 4-H camp, and those were some of the best times of my life.’ It makes me feel good knowing that I have touched the hearts of these kids, reached these kids and helped them to go off and experience something that they might not have exeperienced.”
Davis enjoys knowing the impacts of her programming, whether it be children, 4-H youth or adults.
“I always leave with a good feeling after I do a program, knowing that I left some good information that folks can use and that I've impacted the lives of people of all ages,” Davis said. “It's a good feeling to know that you've left a program and you've impacted people.”
As a member of the Georgia Extension Association of FACS and the National Extension Association of FACS, Davis won numerous awards in communication, food safety and nutrition throughout her career. When she isn't serving the citizens of Mitchell and Baker counties, the mother of two loves to spend time with her family and is very involved in her children’s sports and activities in their school.
Published October 14, 2015
Sylvia V. Davis
Family and Consumer Sciences,4-H Youth
"I always leave with a good feeling after I do a program, knowing that I left some good information that folks can use and that I've impacted the lives of people of all ages."
- Sylvia Davis, Baker/Mitchell County FACS Agent