UGA Extension Office

Our Impact

Making A Difference in Our County

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Barrow County Extension’s impact in the county over the past year.



UGA Cooperative Extension in Barrow County offers an Agriculture and Natural Resources program committed to providing resources for gardeners, farmers and school and community garden coordinators. The program’s initiatives include a focus on improving the skills and efficacy of school garden teacher, and supporting the local food system.

One key focus of 2022 was to work with Master Gardener Extension Volunteers to create ongoing projects. MGEV is a new program for UGA Extension-Barrow County. While there are plenty of opportunities for volunteers to help the agent with specific programs, the ongoing success of the program depends on projects planned and managed by volunteers. The agent has worked with trainees to connect volunteers with opportunities to meet needs in the community, develop project objectives, and find financial support to implement them. The agent has worked with team leaders to develop their leadership and program development skills. As part of the MGEV training workshop, the agent facilitated a program development activity. Two of the three project ideas generated as a part of this process were developed and implemented. 

The Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent taught classes,  conducted site visits for technical assistance, and diagnosed diseased soil and insect samples.




In-school club meetings are the foundation for meeting new 4-H’ers. In Barrow County, 4-H monthly lessons are taught in 44 – Fifth grade classrooms, 4 – 6th grade classrooms, and 4 – 7th grade classrooms. Both the 5th and 6th grade curriculum focuses heavily on science standards and reaches approximately 1,200 students. In addition, the Barrow County 4-H partners with the school system to offer afterschool programs for Lego Robotics and FIRST Tech Challenge Teams. 

Barrow Robotics is a collaborative program between the Barrow County School System and the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Barrow County 4-H Office. Barrow Robotics provides First Lego League and First Tech Challenge competitive opportunities to students throughout Barrow County, Georgia. The CloverBots FLL Teams #3085, #48816, and #56542 consists of twenty-five students from all five Barrow County middle schools and homeschool students. 

First Lego League Teams must address a real-life problem and create an innovative solution to address the issue they identify and present it to community and industry specialist. They also work through an engineering notebook to build and code their robot to complete missions.

 The RoboClovers FTC Teams #18597 and #21721 consists of seventeen members from The Barrow Arts & Sciences Academy and Winder-Barrow High School. The FTC Teams must design, build and program a robot to compete in autonomous and teleoperation play. The teams must also create and present an engineering portfolio that includes their work over the season and outreach for the year. These students work closely with their Mentor and Coaches to build as well as High School FTC Teams that assist in peer mentoring which include showing an interest and asking questions about their projects, teaching them coding/programming techniques, advising them on engineering and building strategies, discussing high school robotics and engineering opportunities, refereeing their scrimmages and giving them feedback, judging their project presentations and providing feedback. 

The Barrow Robotics Program has grown over the past twelve years and is projected to continue to grow as STEM careers continually grow in our community. Students in the Barrow Robotics Program have been able to see first hand the opportunities in the community, been given internship opportunities, and three of our four graduating seniors in 2024 have plans to attend engineering programs in college with more than 75% of our Barrow Robotics Students choosing engineering pathways in high school.

Barrow County 4-H applied for a Healthy Habits grant sponsored by Walmart to teach nutrition and cooking skills. In summer of 2022, Barrow County 4-H hosted a two-day nutrition, cooking and community service class for 5th-8th grade students. Nineteen students received 8 hours of training. Lesson topics and activities included energizing exercises, food preparation, games, importance of drinking water, sugary drinks, differences in milk, all about grains in a healthy diet, benefits of eating breakfast, and assisting at local clothes closet for needy families and packing food bags for distribution at a local food bank. In addition, the Barrow County 4-H program has started a fall cooking class series where 10 students are learning food preparation techniques and tips to utilize healthy habits in make food choices. Students from the summer series, completed a survey and indicated that they learned new information and plan incorporate many healthy habits into their daily routine. As a result of the summer class, students said:

  • 84.2% plans to drink the recommended amount of water
  • 100% learned about healthy food choices

Barrow County 4-H is continuing to offer Healthy Habits lessons in 2022-23 through afterschool cooking club and offering two lessons to 5th grade students. Students are excited about learning more about healthy food choices.