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
In an effort to establish leadership skills among local youth and to nurture their existing skills, Jones County 4-H instituted a series of programs in county programming to enable students to learn leadership and to pragmatically engage in leadership. Programs included leadership lessons, Certified Teen Leader training and 4-H project clubs. A total of 103 middle school students participated in a four-session leadership program. Some 76 percent of students indicated gaining a sense of what defines a leader and the characteristics of an effective leader, while several showed significant behavioral changes. Eight 4-H’ers were certified to serve as Teen Leaders, and three students were selected to serve as project club leaders in Jones County 4-H. Once the programming concluded, the county Extension agent evaluated each middle school student who participated in the leadership curriculum as well as the certified Teen Leaders who conducted their own project club. Of the 103 students who participated in the leadership curriculum, 81 percent reported that they had no prior knowledge of leadership. Students who were selected to establish a project club met with a total of 207 students. The evaluation documented a change in attitudes where, after leading their project club, each club leader indicated more confidence in their leadership ability.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Diverse agricultural programming was offered to local clientele to meet Jones County’s agricultural needs, promote agriculture, and build relationships between agricultural producers and homeowners in the community. Topic areas included agronomy, beef production, fisheries, forages, gardening, forestry, water quality and wildlife. Soil, forage and water tests are conducted through the UGA Agriculture and Environmental Services Laboratories. In addition, a number of in-office and on-site consultations were provided on a variety of topics such as insect and plant identification, plant disease diagnosis, pond management, pesticide recommendations and planting recommendations. The Sportfish Pond Management Program was a collaboration between the Jones County and Habersham County Extension offices. Aeration, feeding, fish combinations, fertilization, liming, pond renovation, population structures, spawning area enhancement, undesirable species, weed control and identification, and watering ramps were discussed. The program concluded with a site visit to a well-managed pond in Jones County. At the conclusion of the program, 12 of the 13 attendees (92 percent) indicated some form of knowledge gained.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Although Jones 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. Food safety, food preservation, dealing with mold and mildew, healthy meal planning, family budgeting and SNAP-Ed materials are the topics of the most common questions asked. These topics and more are answered through a variety of free UGA Extension publications.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.