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:
CONTINUED FOREST INDUSTRY SUPPORT
Biannual forestry meetings are held in Randolph County to convey the latest research, methods, techniques and management strategies to foresters, loggers, landowners and the timber industry, and to provide continuing education and credit hours for professional association memberships and licenses. In southwest Georgia, southeast Alabama and northwest Florida, the timber industry is an integral part of the local economy and infrastructure, and provides employment opportunities in all areas of the forestry business. As research continues to be conducted by universities and industry on forestry and wildlife management, the opportunities to deliver this research to a local region are limited. UGA Extension in Randolph County, in partnership with ArborGen – Georgia SuperTree Nursery, offers spring and fall forestry meetings. Specialists and researchers from UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, UGA’s Tifton Campus, Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, and many private businesses, companies and experts help support forestry in southwest Georgia and surrounding areas by conveying the latest research, methods, techniques and management strategies for the timber industry.
In a low-income county where agriculture is the primary livelihood and income generator – the county’s farm gate value totaled $55 million in 2015 – there is a lack of knowledge about the food and fiber produced. Extension best serves the needs of youth by educating them on the importance of food and fiber to the local economy and jobs. Most school-aged youth do not live on a farm, have any experiences of life on a farm or understand careers associated with agriculture. To increase their knowledge and understanding of agriculture, 4-H offered fourth-graders monthly in-school club meetings focusing on agricultural topics, which led to a 27 percent increase in knowledge gained; an annual 4-H Agriculture Awareness Day for all fourth- and fifth-graders; summer classes focusing on conservation, fishing and forestry; a 4-H Forestry Judging Team, members of which learned about the importance of timber and tree identification; a livestock show that taught caring for show animals; and a UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences tour in Athens, Georgia, that exposed youth to different careers in agriculture and the environmental sciences. Over 315 youth received formal or informal education through hands-on learning, increasing their knowledge of agriculture in the community.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Although we do not have a Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agent based in the county Extension office, we still strive to assist local residents with their questions. We offer publications to anyone, but meet with elderly, low-income audiences in person as part of our service, and we distribute publications such as “Diabetes Life Lines” and other monthly publications that include current information. We focus on healthy meal planning, family budgeting, food safety and preservation, exercise and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) materials. This information is available at the county office or by contacting surrounding FCS agents for more answers.