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:
SMALL COUNTY, LARGE AGRICULTURE IMPACT
Although Evans County is the 14th smallest county in Georgia, with only 186.9 square miles of land, residents take pride in being part of an agriculturally involved community. The county's top commodity is poultry. The county's second-largest commodity group is row crops across the board with cotton acreage at roughly 4,000, corn at 1,200 and peanuts at 1,800 acres. The county's third-largest commodity is beef cattle with close to 5,000 head of cattle herding in Evans County. Following beef cattle, the county's next-largest production group is timber. Evans County is ranked fifth in honeybee production in the state, and bees are also ranked fifth in the county for production. Although onions and other vegetables are not in the county's top commodities, they are vital parts of Evans County agriculture. The county is ranked 10th in Georgia for onion production and 25th in the state for other vegetables including carrots, sweet potatoes and more. As agriculture changes daily, the Extension office offers many relevant services to county producers, growers and homeowners. Some of these services include soil and water sampling; nematode detection; access to current, accurate research, technology and information; and consulting and diagnostics.
IMPROVING THE COMMUNITY ONE BOOK AT A TIME
There is a close connection between illiteracy and poverty. Low literacy rates are connected to almost every socioeconomic issue in the United States. The lack of resources, transportation and reduced public library hours contributes to the inaccessibility of reading materials for young people, especially during the summer months and holiday breaks. The 4-H agent, volunteers and 4-H officers worked to implement a communitywide freestanding library initiative to help break the socioeconomic cycle, promote the importance of literacy and encourage the love of reading. Thirteen wooden library containers were designed and built for this project. A communitywide marketing plan helped to promote the project and garner community support and sponsorship of the libraries, with plans to ensure accessibility in highly populated areas around the county. A book drive was conducted to collect books to ensure all libraries were stocked when installed. Over 500 books were collected as a result of the book drive. All libraries are sponsored by an organization or individual and are routinely monitored to ensure that a variety of books are available for youth at all times. One sponsor commented, “I love this idea to provide our young people with easy access to books. The nostalgia of visiting the library, as I did when I was a child, seems gone; however, these little library boxes bring back the thrill of picking out a book. I don’t even mind that many of the books may not be returned, as I believe the more people read, the better the world we will live in.”
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Although Evans County Extension does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences agent based in its office, Extension personnel still strive to assist local residents with their questions. A wide variety of free resources is available through UGA Extension publications, the county office and through phone conferences with Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agents in surrounding counties.