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.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
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 project was working as a part of the Barrow County Farmers Market board to begin a local farmers market. The ANR facilitated the formation of the Barrow County Farmers Market board, wrote a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant application, and chaired the board in its first season. Below are outcomes for the first market season and impact data from end of season vendor surveys (75% response rate).
- Weekly attendance ranged from 150-650, with a total of 29 market days.
- 16 different vendors sold in the 2020 season.
- 67% of vendors have been in business less than five years.
- On average, 54% of total sales for vendors comes from the farmers market.
- 75% of vendors saw an increase in revenue as a result in the market, with those reporting an average increase of 40%.
- 67% of vendors plan to plant or produce more for the next market season.
- 58.3% of vendors own a business inside Barrow County.
Beyond a focus on the local food system, In 2020 the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent taught 31 classes, with a total of 517 attendees, conducted 42 site visits for technical assistance, and diagnosed 112 disease and insect samples.
BARROW COUNTY 4-H
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. Many of the lessons and afterschool activities focus on the engineering process have been evaluated through the students’ reflection and ability to answer questions about the activity. Students were able to define potential and kinetic energy. They were able to recognize differences in designs and why some designs were more effective than others. Students were able to make improvements in their original designs to make more effective machines. Students expressed a desire to participate in similar lessons in the future.
Students completed the 4-H Common Measures survey in science. According to the student responses:
- 96.3% either agree or strongly agree they like engineering.
- 90.9% responded they know how to define an engineering design problem.
- 83.6% responded that they know how to identify potential solutions to a design problem.
- 63.4% of the students correctly placed the step in the engineering design process in order based on a model presented during 4-H Club Meetings.
- 52.7% either agree or strongly agree that they would like to study engineering after high school.
- 51.9% either agree or strongly agree that they would like a job that involves engineering.