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
In 2016, 4-H’ers in Bleckley County logged approximately 1,020 hours of community service and citizenship through club activities alone. Service hours include projects and activities with the Adopt-a-Citizen program, Children’s Blind Ministry, Buckets of Hope, Macon Food Bank, Hephzibah Children’s Home Ronald McDonald House, Buddy Farm, Buddy Ball, Operation Christmas Child and Lights On Afterschool. Other initiatives include drives for school supplies and food for local families, home fire projects, world mission projects, activities at the local nursing home and veterans hospital, teacher and volunteer appreciation programs, making “blessing bags” for the homeless, sending cards to Ugandans, visits and gifts to the children’s hospital, donating books for orphans, EMS appreciation projects and school garden support. Civic engagement and serving one’s community promotes higher academic achievement, organizing and planning. It also helps young people to form an identity, learn how to think critically about the world around them and develop compassion, empathy, teamwork and leadership. Bleckley 4-H’ers receive many notes of thanks and words of appreciation for giving so much time to others. Sheila Brantley of the Bleckley County Communities in Schools program said, “Thank you so much for your students helping us with our 21st Century Lights on Afterschool event. They were a huge hit and made our day a success. Everyone loved the face painting and the cake walk.” Teens who have an understanding of service before self will benefit greatly as they grow into caring, productive citizens of our society.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Putting emphasis on research and revitalization, Bleckley Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) cooperated with UGA specialists, other county Extension agents and local farmers to conduct research on several issues related to cotton production. Results of these studies were presented at the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents meeting at Lake Blackshear, and Bleckley ANR was a co-author on research presented at the Beltwide Cotton Conference in Dallas, Texas. Research conducted by Bleckley ANR focuses on current issues and practices that our growers face every season, and results and data collected from research go toward solutions to our local growers as well as growers across the state and Southern region. Bleckley ANR also focused on revitalizing the community garden at the Extension office. Bleckley ANR and 4-H worked together in the restoration, and the kids learned about garden preparation and maintenance. The garden is meant to serve the public by providing raised box beds that the community can use for free. Bleckley ANR is available to provide information and instruction on growing vegetables and ornamentals, as well as proper site preparation, fertilization, pruning and water requirements. 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.