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
The Long County Extension office eagerly assists both farmers and homeowners with a variety of agricultural and natural-resource-related questions and concerns. In 2016, the office processed 71 diagnostic soil, water, and feed and forage samples using the laboratory services provided by UGA. The Long County Extension staff assists citizens in obtaining private pesticide licenses and Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) cards, and aids in the identification of plant diseases, insects, snakes and weeds. Additionally, over 500 clients have visited the office to receive print resources to answer their questions. A large variety of research-based publications is available both online and in person at the Extension office. Many hobbyists enjoy topics like caring for small garden plots, growing pecans and raising a flock of backyard chickens, while farmers are interested in crop management, weed control and soil quality.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Programming relating to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) was conducted in Long County this year. EFNEP, a federal Extension community outreach program, directly served 10 Long County residents and reached 47 of those participants' family members this past fall. EFNEP provides participants with information in four areas: diet quality and physical activity, food resource management, food safety and food security. EFNEP educators provided 49 direct education sessions, and volunteers donated 952 dollars' worth of in-kind service hours to support the programs. Of the participants completing evaluations, 75 percent indicated that they compared food prices more often when making grocery purchases, and 50 percent indicated that they will use the Nutrition Facts label more often when shopping.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Youth involved in Georgia 4-H programming develop life skills through a variety of educational lessons and competitive events. Public-speaking skills are frequently rated among the most important skills needed in the modern workforce. To help develop this skill, the Long County 4-H Club promotes an annual competition: Project Achievement. Through the Project Achievement process, youth develop oral and written communication skills. In order to participate, a 4-H’er must select an area of interest, conduct research on that topic, organize their findings in a report, prepare visual aids and present the final project to a set of judges. Youth competing in the District Project Achievement (DPA) contest must select one of more than 50 project categories, such as animal science, safety, food, nutrition or science. In 2016, 40 local youth participated at the Cloverleaf DPA competition, with 22 youth placing first, second or third in their project categories. Skills such as decision-making, comparison, evaluation, problem-solving and teamwork are all developed through various Georgia 4-H judging events. Through participation in the Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging contest, youth gain a strong foundation for a lifetime of smart spending and a background in Georgia’s No. 1 row crop, cotton. Eight Long County 4-H’ers participated in the area competition, where the team placed fifth. The Poultry Judging contest teaches youth about production hens, ready-to-cook chicken carcasses and egg quality. Broilers and eggs are the top two agricultural commodities in Georgia, and this contest exposes youth to poultry content and potential careers in the poultry industry. Nine Long County 4-H’ers competed in the area contest last year.