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:
GREEN INDUSTRY TRAINING BRINGS VALUE TO GEORGIA BUSINESSES
The expertise of green industry professionals can set them apart from their competitors. Under the law, landscape professionals must acquire a commercial pesticide applicator's license to apply pesticides. Upon completion, applicators must complete a set number of continuing education units (CEUs) within a five-year period to maintain their licenses. Extension offices in Bibb and Houston counties collaborated to present Green-Up 2016 last March. This program not only offered cutting-edge tips from Extension specialists and industry professionals, it also offered commercial pesticide CEUs. Forty-seven participants from 11 counties attended; 36 landscapers each received six hours of recertification credit. Researchers estimate a value of $566 per credit hour of pesticide recertification earned. This equates to an increase in profit/cost reduction of $122,256 for the professionals in attendance.
EDUCATING CHILDCARE PROVIDERS TO BETTER PROTECT OUR YOUTH
Most Bibb County children spend at least 40 hours a week in child care centers, family child care homes or other forms of non-parental care. Research indicates that quality of child care is the most important determining factor in young children's readiness for school. Bright from the Start mandates that child care providers receive at least 10 hours of training per calendar year. In 2016, Bibb County Extension trained 233 child care providers on topics including infectious diseases, asthma and food allergies, and using technology in a child care facility. Grant funds were secured to offer classes free of charge to child care providers. After attending, one participant commented, “Now I know the importance of reading labels and keeping my purse and cleaners out of the reach of children.”
MOBILE PET VACCINATION CLINIC REDUCES RISK OF RABIES IN BIBB
Georgia law requires that all household dogs and cats receive rabies vaccinations by a licensed veterinarian. However, for many people, the cost of the vaccine and office visit is a limiting factor. Macon-Bibb County 4-H provided a mobile rabies clinic in September 2016. The project was supported by the Macon-Bibb County Board of Education, Macon-Bibb Animal Welfare, Dr. Felix Smith and 21 4-H’ers and volunteers. The mobile clinic, which offered $10 vaccinations, included stops at Skyview and Sonny Carter elementary schools, Hutchings Career Center and Rutland ACE Hardware. A total of 148 pets were vaccinated during the one-day clinic. At each stop, customers thanked the Extension staff and volunteers for the convenient and affordable service. One happy customer said, “There is no way I could have vaccinated my three cats without the 4-H rabies clinic.” The event raised $755 for educational 4-H programs and events.
NUTRITION EDUCATION KEY TO HEALTHIER LIFESTYLES AND WALLETS
Free nutrition education is offered weekly to Macon-Bibb County parents with limited resources. The UGA Extension Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) provided seven to eight weeks of nutrition education using the Food Talk curriculum to 236 EFNEP participants, also reaching over 882 indirect family members. Staff provided a total of 1,340 direct educational contact hours, teaching parents how to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, improve diet quality and prepare nutritious recipes on budget. Clients who completed the Food Talk educational series reported measurable improvements. Sixty-three percent reported that they used nutrition labels more often when shopping, and 40 percent reported comparing food prices more often when making purchases at the grocery store.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.