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:
All northwest Georgia counties have beef cattle as an agricultural commodity. Producers need educational opportunities to assist beef cattle efforts. In addition, the drought of 2016 made beef cattle management even more important. In March 2016, Gordon County hosted the Northwest Georgia Mini Hay School. The workshop concentrated on hay production basics, how to calibrate boom/boomless sprayers and included a weed and forage identification contest. The Managing from Drought to Winter event was held in September 2016 at the Gordon County Agricultural Service Center. The goal of this effort was to help producers fill in cattle’s nutritional needs when hay supplies and grazing forages are limited due to drought. The event covered topics like rations for winter feeding when dealing with limited hay and culling cows to generate funds and to result in a younger, more productive herd. Gordon County and Dennis Hancock, UGA forage specialist, also hosted the UGA Alfalfa Field Day in May 2016, which addressed alfalfa production basics. One hundred and thirty-six people attended these events. Gordon held numerous lunch-and-learn educational classes on topics such as soil sampling, dealing with nuisance wildlife and organic farming for beginners, which assisted over 80 clients. Gordon County Extension staff participated in numerous school career days and agriculture days, during which approximately 2,500 youth were served in 2016.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
With both school systems having an intense focus on career readiness, Gordon County 4-H is the foremost provider of experiental learning on life skills and positive youth development, offering a wide range of in-school and extracurricular activities to over 900 young people in 2016. In-school, standards-based lessons are delivered to fourth- through 12th-graders, encouraging exploration of career clusters and pathways. Outside of school, Gordon 4-H provides individual, project-based contests in which over 50 4-H'ers participated, teaching research and public speaking. Gordon 4-H'ers also have the opportunity to participate in leadership training and citizenship programs to lead their community and engage in community service. Additionally, Gordon County 4-H offers 13 competitive teams, developing teamwork and good sportsmanship through its four judging teams, three shooting sports teams, two quiz bowl teams and four livestock show teams.
One of those 4-H teams is LifeSmarts, a competition that prepares youth to enter the world as smart adult consumers. The program began in Gordon County as a response to a local need for personal financial skills training. Thirteen youth participated in 2016, learning about five topic areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, environment, health and safety, personal finance and technology. Youth take individual online quizzes in each of the five areas as well as a 100-question team test. When students were asked about the most important thing they learned, responses included how to stay safe as an adult, how to protect themselves from identify theft and how to write a check.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCE
SGordon County Extension offered a July 2016 "lunch and learn" event that centered on food safety and preservation. Renee Dotson, UGA FACS agent, offered pressure canner testing and gave a presentation called "Be Food Safe, Georgia."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.