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:
UGA Extension’s Cook County office extends lifelong learning to the people of Cook County through unbiased, research-based education about agriculture, the environment, communities, youth and families. This information is generated by university specialists and disseminated through the Cook County Extension office to residents of the county via informal educational meetings, newsletters, emails and newspaper articles. This county delivery system has been an effective tool for UGA Extension for 100 years.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Cook County is an agriculture-based community. In 2015, Cook County had a total farm gate value of $94,073,880. Only 49 counties in Georgia had a higher farm gate value than Cook County. Cook County is home to traditional crops like corn, cotton, peanuts and soybeans, but it’s the county’s vegetable production that is exceptional. Cook County’s vegetable production is ranked 13th in the state. The Cook County Extension office is a Cook County farmer’s go-to source for accessing the latest research-based information on agricultural production. In 2016, this information was disseminated directly to Cook County farmers from the Cook County Extension office through nine formal education sessions; 21 published newspaper articles; 37 emailed “Ag Updates,” which highlighted current crop production challenges with UGA recommendations; and on-site farm visits. Much of this research-based information was generated locally on Cook County farms through research trials investigating soil fertilizer application rates, crop fungicide effectiveness and cotton variety performance. The Cook County Extension office also demonstrated new products available to Cook County farmers. Results of one particular research project – an 11-acre trial to investigate peanut fungicides to control white mold - was highlighted at the 2016 national (Little Rock, Arkansas) and state (Tifton, Georgia) county agent conferences. When presented, the project was awarded first place at the state meeting and third place at the national meeting.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The mission of Georgia 4-H is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. This mission is accomplished through experiential learning focused on agricultural and environmental issues, agriculture awareness, leadership, communication skills, food and nutrition, health, energy conservation and citizenship. The Cook County Extension 4-H agent coordinates programming for the youth of Cook County. This vibrant 4-H program has a total of 287 enrolled Cook County 4-H’ers. Fifteen 4-H club meetings are conducted in Cook County schools each month. The Cook County 4-H program boasts active participation in 4-H District Project Achievement competition, Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging, Forestry Judging, Poultry Judging, Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) Modified Trap Team events, community service and 4-H summer camps. The Cook County 4-H staff also offers in-school and after-school lessons on topics such as bullying prevention, coping with stress on standardized tests and proper etiquette.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Although Cook County Extension does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences agent based in its office, we still strive to assist local residents with their questions. Common questions asked are in regard to food safety, food preservation and healthy meal planning.