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
Fort Valley State University’s (FVSU) Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agent provided nutrition education and materials for adults and youth through various programs and activities. As a result, consumers are more likely to make better food choices for themselves and their families. Programs included the use of grant funding to establish community and school gardens. Homeowner visits were provided for citizens at risk for or suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and/or cancer. Healthy living activities were also implemented, including walkathons, Zumba dance classes, distribution of recipe cards, vegetable giveaways and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program events. These practices will help lead to healthier youth who attend school regularly with better academic success and adults who have the ability to eat healthier and lessen the occurrence of expensive chronic diseases. By improving the overall health habits of county residents, fewer hospitalizations and medications will be required, reducing health care costs for individuals, taxpayers, small businesses and corporations. The FCS program provided research-based publications about food preservation and food safety that are available in the office and online.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The 4-H program is a product of UGA Extension and FVSU Cooperative Extension. It operates under the leadership of FVSU 4-H and is growing in numbers every year. The FVSU 4-H program’s mission empowers youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults. It provides positive youth development and experiential learning opportunities for youth in various areas: leadership, healthy living, workforce preparation, agriculture and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). It collaborates successfully with Georgia 4-H to facilitate the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s 4-H Mentoring: Youth and Families with Promise program to 4-H family participants. The FVSU 4-H agent delivered educational programs to Twiggs County public and private schools and to home-schooled children that included the installation of a tower garden at the elementary school. Our agent takes club members to judging events, the Georgia National Fair and 4-H summer camps. Youth are involved in leadership and public-speaking activities by participating in Project Achievement events on the district and state levels.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Farm and Family Day was an event composed of two components: free educational tours of three Twiggs County farms and an agriculture-themed street festival in the downtown area. Participants on the farm tour were taken to farming operations that included alpacas, llamas, fruit production, peanuts and organic vegetable production. The farm tours allowed participants to see each farm and discuss agricultural topics. The street festival featured local farm vendors who provided farm-fresh products such as canned vegetables and fruit preserves as well as farm animals that were available for petting. The festival also included food vendors, entertainment and UGA-Extension-branded giveaways. Other programming efforts included farm and homeowner site visits relating to pest management, pesticide selection, and weed identification. Laboratory services were provided to county residents, including soil and water testing. Research-based publications on agricultural topics were made available to the public.