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:
WHAT ARE YOU PUTTING IN YOUR MOUTH?
In 2016, the Butts County 4-H staff worked alongside community leaders to help Butts County youth understand what they were eating. Butts County 4-H staff taught a weeklong day camp about the different parts of a healthy diet. Adventure One was all about how to read a label to understand what is healthy and what should be avoided. Adventure Two was all about fruits, including how to plant and grow them and how to buy them. Adventure Three was all about eggs and meats, our proteins, and Adventure Four was all about vegetables. Adventure Five was a step back in time to study a history of farming by visiting the Georgia Agrirama in Tifton, Georgia. Each class started with a simple pretest to see where the students were in their understanding of agriculture. The test showed that they had some understanding but lacked the ability to put it all together and use their knowledge to their benefit. After each day, the students did some type of journaling about what they had learned that day. All students told stories of what they had learned about cheaper, healthier substitutions for what they had been eating. After the program, one mom said, “I was buying groceries yesterday and he (her son) was picking up everything I put in the basket, reading the label and saying could we try this brand or use this instead. ‘It’s cheaper, Mom, and better for us.’” She said she wasn’t going to take him to the grocery store for the next two weeks. Hopefully, she did not live up to that promise and allowed him to help her make wiser choices. Our impact was felt in Butts County. After completing the day camp, each student showed an 83 percent gain in knowledge, according to the post-test. Hopefully, this is a start to a better Butts County when it comes to eating healthier. HELPING
HOMEOWNERS AND FARMERS
The UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Butts County is only a part-time employee, but still works many hours. He continues to help Butts County residents with homeowner questions, in addition to assisting the few farmers that remain. Butts County has a few pick-your-own operations and greenhouses, and the agent provides information for any difficulties those operations may be having. As needed, he goes into the community and does site visits and teaches workshops. He also assists Butts County 4-H with the 4-H Livestock Program.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Although Butts County does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent, the staff still provides services in this program area to residents through statewide Extension resources. The Extension staff also refers questions to Family and Consumer Science agents in neighboring county Extension offices. The Extension coordinator for Butts County teaches canning and food classes to youth with the assistance of a consumer economics teacher from the local high school.