Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.
Cancer Prevention Cooking School
Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S. and in Georgia. One-third of all cancer cases could be prevented by lifestyle choices, including maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and increasing physical activity.
In a grant-funded partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Appling County Family and Consumer Sciences agent presented the Cooking for a Lifetime Cancer Cooking School six times, with four follow-up programs, reaching 122 participants. Individuals learned about individual risks for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer, screening recommendations and nutrition and physical activity recommendations for cancer prevention. The data showed this program reached participants who are never or rarely screened for cancer, motivating men and women to consider getting cancer screenings. Evaluations noted participants definitely planned to get the following:
- Pap smear – 89%
- Mammogram – 87%
- Colonoscopy – 78%
- Fecal occult blood test – 61%
Earlier detection through screening can contribute to reduced health care costs as well as improved survival rates. The program is motivating participants to work to prevent cancer and promote health by being more physically active; achieving and maintaining a healthy weight; and eating healthier by choosing whole grains, limiting red meat and avoiding processed meat. One participant said, “I now understand more about how just eating healthy and exercising can help prevent cancer.”
Southeast Georgia Pecan Field Day
Southwest Georgia plays host to many pecan field days, but more than 33,000 acres of pecans are grown in southeast Georgia. To provide growers in the southeast region with more local pecan trainings and field days, Appling County Extension has hosted the Southeast Georgia Pecan Field Day for the past three years. Topics addressed include fertilization, diseases, the pecan market, thinning, hedging and transplanting. Each year new topics that interest growers are discussed. More than 271 growers from 31 counties attended the 2018 field day. One grower had the following praise for the Southeast Georgia Pecan Field Day: “It gives growers a place to go that’s close to their farm; it’s basically the same insects and the same seasons we all have to fight down here together. I think we can learn to better produce pecans when everybody comes together and talks about it in our section of the state.”
Growing for the Future
The mission of Georgia 4-H is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. To fulfill this mission, Appling County 4-H participated in Georgia 4-H Project Achievement, a public speaking competition. 4-H’ers chose projects from more than 50 project areas, researched topics of interest and prepared oral presentation with visual aids. In 2018, 20 4-H’ers from fifth to 12th grade competed in various project areas. After-school workshops helped prepare 4-H’ers to compete at their best. Ten fifth and sixth graders competed at Cloverleaf District Project Achievement. All 10 placed first, second or third in their projects. Ten seventh- through 12th-graders competed at Junior/Senior District Project Achievement. Six placed first, second, or third and one advanced to State Congress and earned the Master 4-H’er level by placing first. These competitions give youth experience in organizing their thoughts and building the confidence necessary