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:
POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT THROUGH
4-H Augusta-Richmond County 4-H serves more than 1,900 students in area schools. Fifth-graders are learning the science of food, agriculture and the environment, while middle school students are taught stress reduction and leadership skills. Fourth-graders participate in a young gardener program, and more than 550 fourth-graders in five schools learned where food comes from through hands-on lessons. Students also learn to appreciate the importance of the environmental components necessary for raising healthy plants. Local summer programs have grown from 33 participants in 2013 to more than 700 participants in 2016. This was possible through a partnership with the many public libraries, Phinizy Swamp Nature Park and community organizations. These different summer activities were offered at no cost to participants.
The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is a federally funded program that provides nutrition education and teaches families healthy eating on a budget. A series of lessons are taught to participants. Some topics covered include healthy nutrition practices, physical activity, food resource management, food safety and more. In fiscal year 2016, 83.7 percent of participants made positive changes after completing the program. The EFNEP staff strives to educate citizens with research-based, unbiased information in order to contribute to the family’s nutritional well-being.
Stable and Healthy Families
The UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program offers diverse services to the citizens of Augusta-Richmond County. The goal of the FCS educator is to improve the quality of life for individuals and families, and to help them meet new challenges in an ever-changing environment through educational programs that extend their incomes, improve their health, and strengthen their personal and family relationships. Two major FCS accomplishments for 2016 included: a partnership with Augusta Technical College’s Early Childhood Development Conference to help child-care providers reach state-mandated continuing education credits – more than 173 providers attended the conference – and a partnership with the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center to provide life-skills classes to men and women in transitional housing. More than 1,123 educational hours were provided to help them transition from being homeless to becoming a viable part of the community.
GROWERS’ CONTINUING EDUCATIONG
Green industry personnel in the Augusta metropolitan area have pesticide licenses and are International Society of Arboriculture (ISA)-certified Arborists. They need additional trainings and a venue where they can obtain credits for their respective licenses. Commercial pesticide applicators need 10 hours of recertification credit every five years, while Certified Arborists need 30 hours every three years. The Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent provides a monthly breakfast to provide credits for the respective licenses. Speakers with expertise, including Extension specialists, help teach these programs. In 2016, the average attendance for these meetings was 35 participants. Having a local breakfast helps area professionals to obtain the most current, updated information for their work. These meetings also save them time and travel, making their work more efficient. 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.