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:
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
In Coffee County, the second half of 2016 brought the introduction of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) and its Food Talk class. Food Talk consists of six lessons covering meal planning, sodium and its effect on blood pressure, the importance of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption, how to read a nutrition label, understanding fats and food safety. Classes are taught in a relaxed session and typically last 60 minutes. Participants hear a lesson, receive take-home items to help reinforce the lesson and sample two recipes prepared in a cooking demonstration. Food Talk recipes can be cooked in less than 25 minutes using inexpensive and readily available ingredients, demonstrating that healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. The classes are free to participants thanks to a grant provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The program has been well received in Coffee County and continues to grow.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
A Coffee County Senior 4-H member saw a need to help supply snack foods to elementary students on extended school breaks who are at risk of not getting regular meals. Acting on that need, she started a project called “Bagging Hunger.” She gathered granola bars, chips, snack cakes, juice pouches and similar products from the local food bank to ensure students would not go without during their break. She recruited older 4-H members to help fill more than 300 bags and then delivered them to the school for distribution to the students. The school principal stated, “This 4-H member approached me with the idea of providing snack bags for my students before our spring break. I thought it was a wonderful idea. The bags provided needed nourishment to over 300 students during their school break until they could get back on the school meal program.” She provided bags three more times and plans to continue the project throughout this school year. This 4-H member is making a difference in her community by “Bagging Hunger.”
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Coffee County continues to be one of Georgia’s 10 largest agricultural counties. Coffee County's 2015 farm gate value is over $257 million! Coffee County’s top agricultural commodities are poultry, $120,779,593; peanuts, $24,309,514; greenhouse, $21,348,756; cotton, $18,818,796; timber, $10,012,686; beef cattle, $10,571,544; tobacco, $6,792,500; hay, $5,250,000; blueberries, $4,930,119; and corn, $3,432,996.In 2016, the Coffee County Extension office conducted 48 agricultural educational meetings with 608 attendees. The county agent made 420 farm visits, had 423 office visits, answered 1,130 phone calls and had 3,905 written correspondences. He hosted a daily radio program on WULS in Douglas, Georgia, producing 293 radio programs reaching 2,500 contacts daily with a total of 732,500 total contacts per year. The Coffee County Extension office offered technical support through UGA laboratories by submitting 255 soil, 12 water, 18 poultry litter, 47 feed and forage, 42 plant disease, 20 pond water and 18 tissue samples. Extension agriculture specialists visited Coffee County 16 times to provide group educational programs and individual troubleshooting assistance. The Coffee Extension office conducted nine on-farm research projects to provide growers with valuable information about insect and disease control as well as variety performance.