Making A Difference in Our County
We're working hard for the citizens we serve. Here are some examples of successful projects from the past year:
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Baker County 4-H celebrated many accomplishments in 2016. District Project Achievement (DPA) was offered to 4-H’ers in grades five through 12. This competition is designed to teach 4-H’ers important life skills such as self-confidence, public speaking, time management, organization and sportsmanship. Members of 4-H in fifth and sixth grades spent a week at summer camp at the Fortson 4-H Center in Hampton, Georgia. Campers were able to work on their social skills through teamwork activities and friendly competitions with other 4-H’ers from around the state. They were also able to experience the city of Atlanta’s offerings, such as Stone Mountain Park and Six Flags White Water. DPA and summer camp are offered free of charge or at a lower cost due to successful fundraisers and generous funding from local sources in Baker County. The Georgia 4-H Communication and Technology Team gave away computers to deserving 4-H’ers through the Need-A-Computer project. Two Baker County 4-H’ers completed and submitted the application with the help of the county’s new program assistant, Georgia Snipes, and were selected to receive a free computer. These computers will help these 4-H’ers as they further their education.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Baker County is historically among the high-yielding peanut counties in Georgia. This elite group of counties in southwest Georgia produces the highest quality and highest yield per acre of peanuts anywhere in the world. The increased peanut production is credited to the UGA's peanut research and the local Extension office distributing the research to the farms. In 2015, Baker County harvested over 17,000 acres of peanuts with an average yield of 4,500 pounds per acre. The state of Georgia harvested more than 783,000 acres with an average yield of 4,534 pounds per acre. Baker County produced a total of 100,136,400 pounds of peanuts in 2015. The average price received per pound was 19 cents per pound, giving Baker County a total peanut sale of almost $15 million. The state of Georgia produced 57 percent of the United States’ peanuts in 2015. The peanut industry contributes more than 50,000 jobs in Georgia.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Lack of physical exercise can lead to health-related problems. Sixty-six percent of adults and 33 percent of youth ages 10 to 17 in Georgia are overweight or obese. Baker County Family and Consumer Sciences Agent Sylvia Davis introduced Walk Georgia in Baker County. Participants were encouraged to log their minutes of physical activity on the Walk Georgia website either as individuals or as teams. Twenty-nine citizens signed up for the program and recorded 303 miles of exercise. Baker County school nutrition employees participated in Move More Live More at the school nutrition conference in Mitchell County. This program taught them how to be physically active and how best to reduce the risk of obesity and chronic disease. Knowledge gained in this program was valuable to these employees and the children in their schools and communities. As a result of this program, participants stated that they would like to create goals to incorporate physical activity into their daily activities and would use physical activity to reduce stress. Davis also targeted specific audiences, including youth, adults and seniors citizens with programs and information on housing, nutrition, food safety and preservation.University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of our impact in the county over the past year.