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
Walker County’s Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources program offers many services to local clientele. Soil, forage and water tests are conducted through UGA’s laboratories, and in-office and on-site consultations are provided on an extensive number of traditional agricultural topics as well as home horticulture. Educational programs are also conducted at the Walker County Ag Center throughout the year to convey research-based, unbiased information to local growers. During 2016, these programs focused on beef cattle production, pasture management during the drought, commercial and backyard poultry production, and water conservation in home gardens. A Forage Field Day event held in September helped producers going through a record drought understand the importance of feeding livestock the proper quality of hay, even with a limited hay supply. The program not only pointed out the possible devastating results of feeding poor quality forage, but also gave the attendees guidelines to produce quality hay on their own farms. The program concluded with the recognition of winners in the Tri-state Hay Contest, a regional hay contest developed by northwest Georgia Extension agents. One of the Walker County hay producers who was honored for having quality hay in this regional contest was later recognized at the Sunbelt Agricultural Expo in Moultrie, Georgia, for placing first in a division of the Southeastern Hay Contest.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Walker County 4-H began to teach classes on first impressions. Students were taught how to introduce themselves, each other and those in higher positions, as well as how to properly shake hands. Local 4-H’ers were taught how to be respectful and the importance of eye contact before going through a variety of activities to practice these skills. Those who participated demonstrated personal growth in proper introduction etiquette, including proper location of nametags and the importance of not interrupting a speaker, even when they have something important to say. Walker County 4-H also gave students the opportunity to participate in the 4-H “Where Has the Etiquette Gone?” essay contest. One hundred and two fifth-grade students wrote one- to two-page essays that included what they knew about etiquette, their perceptions of youth and etiquette today, and how a lack of etiquette in youth could be fixed or changed. Common themes included: “We need to be nice to others and be respectful. Manners are a sign of respect;” “If you show manners, you can influence others to be better people too;” and “Manners are going away because we (youth) are getting more lazy. Also, manners are going away in school. When we grow up, what do we want to be known by?” Youth participating in these programs showed increased awareness of the importance of social etiquette. FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCESAlthough Walker County Extension does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences agent based in the office, we still strive to assist local residents with their questions relating to food safety, food preservation, mildew, healthy meal planning, family budgeting and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed). These topics and more are answered through a wide variety of free UGA Extension publications that are available at the county office.