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.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Baldwin County’s obesity, fair/poor overall health, and lack of physical activity rates are also above the Georgia average. The Georgia percentage of people who are obese is 31.4, compared to Baldwin County’s 43.7%. In regard to physical activity, 28.3% of community members report no leisure-time physical activity. This indicates a strong need for health education and access to resources in this county. It is necessary to increase the equal education opportunities for nutrition and physical activity in Baldwin County.
The FACS Extension Educator was invited to host a cooking demonstration with the Baldwin County Senior Citizens Center. Over 20 people connected with the center, attended the health promotion event. Two healthy food options, a breakfast casserole with extra vegetables and a granola mix that can be used in a variety of ways, were prepared and shared with the seniors. With Christmas around the corner, 6 healthy tips to reduce the tendencies of holiday overeating were also presented. Simple recipes were chosen, therefore, they could be easily replicated. Recipe cards for the casserole and granola mix were distributed. Multiple people reported looking forward to incorporating the recipes and tips into their holiday. In January 2020, the FACS Educator returned to the Senior Citizen Center to share ways to continue to be physically active with aging. 10 chair, at-home exercises were demonstrated. This program included 26 senior participants. Before the start of COVID, the educator was going into Baldwin County’s Early Learning Center to work with 14 different teachers and their classes on learning about MyPlate recommendations. Each class averaged 15-20 children. This program was cut short due to school shut down, but a total of 11 classes were reached.
Baldwin County Extension’s social media platform was used to promote a summer monthly challenge. The FACS Educator created and published a calendar for each month with daily activities to keep healthy habits that reached a total of 709 people in a span of 3 months. To provide more resources to the community the Baldwin County Extension FACS Educator partnered with the Baldwin County 4-H Program Assistant to create and publish a Weekly Wellness Promotion Series for youth and adults. This series focuses on easy, at home, affordable recipes, and physical activity tips. It serves as a weekly reminder of ways to improve healthy lifestyle habits in a fun way. This series is shared weekly through Facebook. There has been a total of 7 videos with 739 people reached. Topics ranged from smoothie recipes and the benefits of consuming proper amounts of fruits to physical activity videos highlighting exercises to strengthen arm and leg muscles. The FACS Educator was invited to partner in two series with Jones and Monroe County Extension. The series in August with Jones County was entitled “Become A Better You.” The educator hosted a live zoom presentation on Nutritional Health with 6 participants. After the series was completed the video presentation recording was shared on Baldwin County’s Extension Facebook page and reached another 30 people. One participant of the series stated, “The presentation has made me more aware of making sure I am hitting the MyPlate recommendations on a daily basis.” The second series was in October called “Falling into Fun.” The educator recorded a how-to video on preparing avocado turkey burgers, with baked sweet potato fries, and apple-pear sauce. This series had about 30 participants. Each of these efforts has opened the door to make one step closer to increasing access to resources and improving the health statistics of Baldwin County.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The UGA Cooperative Extension office in Baldwin County currently does not have a 4-H agent. The 4-H staff offers the core programs of Georgia 4-H to include in-school club meetings, 4-H summer camp, Project Achievement, and State 4-H Council. In-school club meetings offer relevant curriculum to enrich the educational standards for fourth and fifth graders. Students in sixth through 12th grade can participate in the Baldwin County 4-H County Council, where student officers lead the meeting utilizing parliamentary procedure and provide updates and information to 4-H’ers about the different activities students can get involved in. 4-H summer camp provides an opportunity students from fourth through 12th grade to attend one of Georgia 4-H’s five camping centers that focus on environmental education, offer fun activities and promote healthy living and the essential elements of Georgia 4-H by emphasizing belonging, generosity and independence. Project Achievement is a competition where fourth through sixth grade students research a topic and deliver a presentation on their project. Students who are in seventh through 12th grade give longer presentations and compile a portfolio to document their project work, leadership activities, community service and other extracurricular activities. State 4-H Council is the annual, weekend-long 4-H conference where4-H Junior and Senior student leaders vote on by-laws, elect state officers, compete in the Iron Clover competition, learn citizenship and develop relationships with students from across the state.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
The UGA Extension office in Baldwin County currently does not have an ANR agent, but the Extension office is glad to assist clients with soil, feed, water and hay samples; provide information to clients through UGA publications; and host the Progressive Farmers Club in Baldwin County.