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 SUMMER CAMP
For the past four years, Oglethorpe County 4-H has seen an explosion in the number of youth participating in 4-H summer camping programs. Every summer, Oglethorpe County 4-H takes approximately 50 fifth- and sixth-graders to Cloverleaf Camp, 10 to Junior Camp (seventh- and eighth-graders) and two to three 4-H’ers to Senior Camp (ninth through 12th-graders). Oglethorpe County 4-H prides itself on providing every child who wants to attend camp with the ability to do so. In 2016, community members and businesses came together and donated enough funds to award 10 youths full or partial summer camp scholarships! Why the recent success? Oglethorpe 4-H'ersknow that summer camp is fun, but it is also educational. Additionally, parents are learning the importance of summer camping experiences for their children, for both the entertaining and educational aspects of camp. Youth learn and foster many life skills during their week of camp, like independence, respect for others, self-confidence, cleanliness, teamwork and resiliency. The success of the Oglethorpe County 4-H summer camping program helps youth to become more well-rounded individuals and improves the 4-H program as a whole.
With a diabetes rate of 14 percent, heart disease rate above 8 percent and obesity rate at almost 30 percent, Oglethorpe County is currently slightly more unhealthy than the state of Georgia. Advances in medical practices have increased life expectancy for many seniors today, but knowledge of prevention and control of health issues that occur over time – heart disease, diabetes and bone loss – is essential for being healthy and happy during the later years. The Oglethorpe County Family and Consumer Sciences Extension provides monthly education programs on chronic disease prevention and control, senior wellness and nutrition at the Oglethorpe County Senior Center. Seniors participate in an hourlong program in which they are presented new information and resources on healthy living, followed by an educational activity related to the program topic. In 2016, 25 to 30 Oglethorpe County senior adults were educated on reducing the risks of foodborne illnesses, how to make healthy snacks at home, the benefits of physical activity and how to protect their hearts from the damaging effects of diabetes.
FORAGE FIELD DAY
Forage Field Day was held on Nov. 16, 2016, as an educational opportunity for Georgia cattlemen to learn and observe a pasture system that has been in place for over 40 years. Oglethorpe County Extension and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) sponsored the program. The program began with the NRCS Rainfall Simulator, a demonstration of how practices such as no-till farming, cover crops and prescribed grazing benefit soil health and improve the water cycle on cropland, pastures and hayfields. The demonstration included discussion of topics such as infiltration, aggregate stability, soil structure and the relationship of these properties to runoff, erosion and water quality. Extension specialists were on hand to discuss feeding strategies in a drought. There were also presentations on establishing white clover and weed control. As we toured the farm, NRCS personnel presented options on fencing and water stations. The 58 participants were able to see all of these practices firsthand as Chantilly Farm has utilized all of these conservation practices for over 40 years. 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.