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
Walton County has a wide array of agriculture. The combined agriculture within the county has a farm gate value estimated to be more than $34 million dollars. The industry has a huge impact on the county. The UGA Cooperative Extension office in Walton County has collaborated with other organizations in the community to deliver quality educational programs to citizens of the county. Programs ranged from food safety courses for farmer’s market vendors, to Master Gardener classes and pesticide recertification classes. Extension also plays a key role in assisting other organizations with meetings and programming, including Walton County Cattlemen’s Association, Monroe Farmers Market Committee, Master Gardeners, Walton County Bee Association and various local garden clubs. The Extension office also offered diagnostic services, such as water testing for homeowners, forage tests, soil tests and plant disease identification. Nearly 600 samples were processed through the Walton County Extension office for the year 2016. The Extension office serves as a hub of resources and information for producers and homeowners in Walton County.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Walton County 4-H programs and events are offered for youth to learn and excel in leadership, citizenship, public speaking and critical-thinking skills. Fifty youth participated in 4-H Project Achievement, 1,038 competed in the county educational poster contest and more than 120 attended camp at one of the five 4-H centers throughout the state. Most Walton County 4-H clubs teach teamwork, character and good sportsmanship skills. In 2016, more than 200 Walton County youth participated in clubs and judging teams, such as hippology, home-school club, horse club, horse quiz bowl, poultry judging, Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) and wildlife judging. These teams and clubs traveled throughout the state and nation for numerous events and competitions.
Project F.R.E.E. (Fostering Relationship and Economic Enrichment) is a campus-community partnership that helps parents develop the skills needed to strengthen the quality of their couple and/or coparenting relationships. We also support parents in building their capacity to build and manage financial resources. The responsibilities of parenting add heavy demands to all couples. Negotiating these changes can often become a source of tension. Our Elevate program provides both married and unmarried couples with strategies and skills to manage stress and conflict while strengthening their relationship. For parents who are apart, parenting can be challenging. Our Together We Can program helps single parents develop strategies and skills to manage stress and conflict, promote a positive coparenting relationship and develop future healthy, romantic relationships. Both the Elevate and Together We Can programs are free. These no-cost, eight-hour programs include a meal and on-site childcare at each class, as well as $80 for attending all four classes. In addition to elevating relationships, parents participate in research that will support future programs. Each participant can earn up to $125.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.