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:
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
For a variety of illnesses, one of the biggest contributing factors is improper or insufficient hand-washing. To properly inform as many elementary students as possible on the importance of hand-washing, the Telfair County Family and Consumer Sciences agent and 4-H associate partnered to present “Wash Your Paws, Georgia!” to students. Students were taught the six steps of proper hand-washing. Using a black light and baby powder, children were educated on how easy it is to transfer germs from one person to the next. This activity allowed them to observe firsthand how germs jump from one person to the next. Of the 249 students that participated in the post-test evaluation, 72 percent scored above 90 on a hand-washing test and knew the six steps of proper hand-washing technique. Of these 249 students, 37 percent made a perfect score of 100! The average score on the post-test evaluation was 91. It can also be expected that, because of the knowledge gained through this lesson, the children will be better able to communicate the need for proper hand-washing to their parents and other siblings, thereby increasing the productivity, economy and overall health of the entire community.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
In 2016, Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) staff worked with producers and homeowners on various issues including row crops, fruits and vegetables, pastures and aquatic environments. The office sent numerous soil, water and feed samples to be tested. Production meetings were held for cotton, peanuts, corn, fruits and vegetables. Twenty-two watermelon producers attended the annual fruit and vegetable production meeting. In 2015, Telfair County grew 700 acres of watermelon and a little more than 130 acres of various other produce commodities. The ANR agent worked daily with many producers, scouting for insects and sending plant tissue to the lab for testing. The squash bug population was high in watermelon fields in 2016, so a spray period had to be scheduled so that the squash bugs could be controlled without harming the pollinating bees. Early identification of this problem resulted in quick resolution, benefiting all involved. Telfair County is diverse in terms of types of agriculture. Timber still remains the county’s largest industry. The Extension office strives to offer the best service, delivering unbiased, research-based information to the community.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Development opportunities for youth continue to increase with expanded participation in offered programs, including District Project Achievement for fourth- through 12th-grade students and summer camp. In an effort to expose area youth to as many opportunities as possible, Telfair County 4-H provides a variety of programming each year. Cloverleaf 4-H’ers are exposed to many different experiences, intending to spark an interest in lifelong learning. Activities offered range from fun – such as Farm Day, which involves visiting local farms and farm animals – to practical and educational, like check-writing and money management programs. Our Junior and Senior 4-H’ers are exposed to various programs, but they also get leadership experience assisting with Cloverleaf 4-H activities. Enrollment for 2016 totals 316 students. Of those 316 students, 53 participated in Project Achievement; 13 participated in BB team and 10 on shotgun team; 30 went to summer camp and 72 to summer day camps; and eight served as Teen Leaders.