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
Cherokee County 4-H offers many learning experiences for youth to acquire knowledge about agriculture and environmental sciences in the community. In 2016, in-school 4-H curricula covered plant classification, water quality, zoonotic diseases, plant genetics and the rock cycle. Each lesson was presented to 496 students and included hands-on learning experiences in the classroom. Teachers gave positive feedback, reporting that the lessons reinforced their current fifth-grade science curriculum. Additional learning opportunities were presented after school through specialty clubs and judging teams, including Horse Club, Wildlife Judging, and Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging. A summer farm-to-fork day camp was offered at a local farm. Youth in attendance experienced a day on a working farm, where they learned about water quality, pests and diseases, crop management and making their own food. Youth took their new knowledge on where and how food is grown into the kitchen to make strawberry preserves. The class taught students about agriculture, enabling them to share their knowledge with their families. At the end of the class, 90 percent of the youth who attended understood the process that food takes from farm to fork, and they stated that they could go home and tell their parents more about how food is grown. Cherokee County 4-H also works closely with the Cherokee County Farm Bureau to advertise, promote and assist with their countywide first-grade coloring contest. Over 3,000 students participated in the agriculture coloring contest from all 24 elementary schools. Cherokee County Extension also cosponsored an agriculture expo with the Cherokee County Farm Bureau that drew over 300 attendees and vendors from the community. Attendees were exposed to various aspects of agribusiness, including beekeeping, the nursery industry, fruit and vegetable production, grit grinding, food production and commercial preservation, homemade soaps and egg production.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
To proactively address the interest in home food production, Cherokee County Extension implemented the Backyard Agriculture series in 2016. The series followed the seasonal calendar of growing fruits and vegetables, and seven free courses were taught in the county. The program started in February with garden planning and seed starting, and it was followed by programs on composting, tool maintenance, pesticide safety, plant disease, insect identification, saving seeds and herbs, and fall gardening. The series finished in late October with lessons on tree and blueberry planting.An average of 25 participants attended each class, with a total participation of 148 in the entire series. Participants self-evaluated their knowledge and understanding of key topics before and after each course. According to evaluations, the courses saw a 45 percent increase in knowledge.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.