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
Chatham County 4-H had 1,354 students enrolled among 59 4-H clubs in 2016. Programs were conducted in 27 schools, both private and public. Members participated in 4-H State Congress, State 4-H Council, District Project Achievement competition, summer camp and monthly club meetings. A total of seven new community clubs were established in partnership with community centers. These clubs reach out to youth who are at risk or who have limited resources within the city. County competition teams included forestry, wildlife, shooting sports and poultry judging. Chatham County 4-H also works on the Wildlife Enhancement Project, which provides educational activities for youth to learn vital research skills by investigating facts about local and invasive species. Students use the skills they learn to complete projects to increase biodiversity in partnership with the Audubon Society and the Superior Landfill. One of our Chatham 4-H'ers was selected to represent the state of Georgia at the 4-H National Conference. This selection process is very competitive and is one of 4-H’s highest honors.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
UGA Extension in Chatham County delivered free nutrition education through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). Federal, state and local resources are merged to reach families with children and youth. EFNEP provides a series of educational nutrition programs that allow participants the opportunity to develop skills, increase knowledge, influence changes in behavior and impact their daily lives. Food demonstrations and taste testing encourage clients to sample and prepare new foods. In 2016, EFNEP directly reached 609 individuals in Chatham County, representing households of 2,514 individuals. Eighty-five percent of participants were caregivers for children under the age of 19. Community collaborators volunteered 977 hours of their time, valued at $23,253 of in-kind services. A total of 363 participants attended all sessions of the Food Talk or Hablemos de Comida curricula. UGA Extension assisted 4,845 Chatham County residents through Family and Consumer Sciences resources and programs, covering topics such as chronic disease prevention through nutrition and physical activity, personal finances, homebuyer education, healthy homes, food safety and preservation, and parenting. Chatham County Extension also provides low-cost, quality educational programs to increase the knowledge and skills of child care providers. Extension offered quarterly trainings and 5,124 educational contact hours to 854 child care professionals. Of those attending, 85 percent of child care providers stated that their skills were significantly improved as a result of the trainings.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Chatham County Extension assisted 1,320 urban consumers in finding answers to their agriculture-related questions. Residential and commercial soil and water analyses were processed for 1,071 clients. Chatham County Extension supports the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer program, with 126 active Master Gardeners. In July of 2016, Dr. Tim Davis joined the Chatham County Extension office as the Agriculture and Natural Resources agent. Dr. Davis’ program will focus on consumer and commercial landscape horticulture as well as urban integrated pest management (IPM).