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
Spalding County Extension provides resources, expertise and leadership to sustain robust equine programming. The Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent worked with a local service club to secure a horse arena. This beautiful arena was built by the hard work of volunteers with generously donated funds. The arena includes a spacious barn complete with classroom and ample space for equipment storage. Cooperation between the ANR and 4-H agents, staff and volunteers has led the Spalding County 4-H Horse Club to be one of the most active 4-H horse clubs in the state of Georgia. Annual equine-based programs include Horse Quiz Bowl, Horse Judging and Hippology, the State 4-H Horse Show, Horse School and 4-H Southern Regionals. Adult horse owners and the regional equine industry are served through ANR programming covering horse health, forage establishment, management and improvement. The ANR agent worked closely with horse owners, stables, feed stores and farms, especially during the 2016 drought. Needs assessments indicate that, in order to impact the entire equine audience, we must build and maintain an active, engaged 4-H horse club that reaches both youth and adults. The ANR agent was recognized with the Georgia Association of County Agricultural Agents 2016 Equine Programming Award.
4-H FARM TO FORK / MASTER 4-H’ERS
A Farm-to-Fork program was presented to all fifth-graders to teach the importance of agriculture as an industry and food source. Using the Friends "Farm to Fork" publication, 4-H members were taught about Georgia agriculture. They learned about the different soil provinces in Georgia, the crops grown in each province, commodities and what commodities are most prevalent in Georgia. After participating in the Farm-to-Fork lesson, 100 percent of students correctly identified broilers as Georgia’s No. 1 commodity; identified agriculture as the largest industry in the U.S.; identified that Georgia produces almost half of the nation’s peanuts; identified Georgia’s top vegetable commodities; named the physiographic province where they live and the commodities grown in it; and understood how food goes from farms to their tables. One teacher commented, “This is a great program to reinforce the lessons we recently had. It helps having another way to present the information.”Spalding County had 15 state 4-H winners, including Hannah Rutledge for Food Safety and Preservation; Carrianna Simmons for the Dean's Award for Communication and the Arts; Dani Gibson for Master Horseman; Dani Gibson (High Point), Tyler Gibson, Martha Hicks and Carly Nash for Hippology; Ben Davis (High Point), Jennings Curd, Amanda Mayo and Dalton Stoves for Precision Air Rifle; Carrianna Simmons, Hannah Rutledge, Isabel Rutledge, Turner Jordan, Nathaniel Haulk and Francisco Zepeda for Food Product Development; and Taylor Orr for Ranch Horse Champion.
FOCUSED ON FCS
Spalding County welcomed a Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agent in 2016. FCS programming focuses on assisting individuals and families with health, nutrition, safety, food preparation and family economics. The FCS agent provides resources and expertise in the areas of nutrition and healthy meal preparation through the Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP); health, wellness and chronic disease (e.g., diabetes, hypertension) management; parenting and relationship classes; healthy homes; food preservation classes; food safety programs for consumers; and ServSafe® trainings for food service professionals.