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:
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Jefferson County 4-H starts fifth-graders with lessons about agriculture in our county, along with field trips to area farms at harvest time. Sixth-graders are taught the importance of refraining from tobacco, drugs and alcohol. Seventh-grade 4-H’ers become part of the Project WET program, where they learn the importance of having water of sufficient quality and quantity. Eighth-grade students learn about financial literacy, while our high school students do community and leadership activities to prepare them for their futures. One of our 4-H’ers, Sam Walters, president of the Southeast District board of directors, feels that 4-H’s impact on his life has been an extraordinary experience full of learning, empowerment and absolute fun. “From the time I joined in fifth grade, I knew my choice would serve me well. The organization has taught me to take wins humbly and to take my shortcomings as evidence of room to make the best better. I’ve been blessed with amazing friends, multiple accolades, recognition, opportunities and much more than I could ever ask for, and it’s all because of the club that’s now helping my community, sweeping across the country and changing the world,” he said.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Grain storage infrastructure is being increasingly erected on local farms and agribusinesses, and with this comes the increased risk for accidents and entrapment. The need for training in this area for both producers and rescue teams led Jefferson County Extension to hold a series of trainings to bring the hazardous and critical control points of unique farming operations and agribusinesses to the attention of the Jefferson County Firemen's Association. Jefferson County Extension applied for and received a grain rescue tube and training grant through a collaboration with the association, emergency management agency director and Jefferson County fire chief. Jefferson County was one of 19 counties across the U.S. that was awarded the grant, which was made possible through a partnership with Nationwide Agribusiness and the National Education Center for Agricultural Safety. Jefferson County Extension planned a two-session training: one session focused on safety education and a hands-on rescue demonstration for producers and agribusinesses; the second session focused on detailed information for rescue personnel, including hands-on training using a model grain bin and rescue tube. Representatives from surrounding county fire departments also attended, and attendedees provided a list of additional equipment needed for this type of rescue. This training was the first in a series that will continue to address agricultural safety and rescue in the coming years.