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:
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Dougherty County pecan production is ranked first in the state and has approximately 16,500 acres of pecans with a farm gate value of $42,570,000 for 2015. The UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources program places a great emphasis on making sure that producers in Dougherty County and surrounding areas, including bordering parts of Florida and Alabama, are aware of new chemicals, management practices, research projects, insects and diseases that they may face in the growing season. Specialists from UGA Tifton conduct a pecan production meeting here every March. Urban horticulture is also a focus for the county. With the aid of the Master Gardener Extension Volunteers, homeowners receive technical assistance with composting, flowers, fruit and nut production, insect identification and control, lawn and plant care, pesticide safety, shrubs and trees, soil and water testing, vegetable gardening, water conservation, and weed identification and control.The Fort Valley State University (FVSU) Cooperative Extension program provides farmers with annual and quarterly educational trainings and workshops to improve productivity while protecting the environment. The Extension agent offers advice on pesticides to help farmers and homeowners control and/or manage diseases and weeds, market products made from plants and animals and assist farmers in establishing co-ops. FVSU Extension helps farmers complete Farm Service Agency loan applications and farm plans as well as Natural Resources Conservation Service cost-share program applications.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
UGA Extension programs and publications provide chronic disease education, prevention and management programs for Georgians who are at risk for or suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and cancer. Dougherty County offers a yearly Diabetes Cooking School and Cancer Prevention Cooking School to inform county residents about how good nutrition can prevent these diseases. The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is a federal program that works with low-income families with small children and includes an eight-week nutrition program. The local office provides publications and assists residents in locating possible programs in adjoining counties. With education, clients are more likely to adopt skills regarding the prevention or management of chronic disease.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Dougherty County 4-H works collaboratively with the school system and the community to make a brighter future for its 4-H members. By offering programs and specialty clubs, such as Horse Club, Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging, Project Achievement, MilkMake and Peanutrition competitions, summer learning workshops, college tours and the recently established Youth Leadership Advisory Team, 4-H’ers learn invaluable life skills. Science, engineering and technology, along with 4-H AgriScience, programs allow youth to receive extended education through experiential activities. Monthly 4-H club meetings are held in 14 elementary schools and five middle schools. High school students and homeschooled students take advantage of our monthly after-school meetings held at the Extension office. Citizenship skills are taught through community service opportunities like volunteering at nursing homes, participating in local food drives and joining efforts like Stash the Trash and Relay for Life.