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
In 2018, 4,055 clients contacted the UGA Extension office in Bartow County by phone, email and in-office consultations with farm, lawn and garden questions. More than 470 soil, water, forage, insect, weed and plant-disease samples were processed through the local office.
There is a growing need to increase agricultural awareness and communicate the historical context of modern agricultural advancements, as many consumers are two and three generations removed from farming. The Bartow County Extension office collaborated with the Bartow History Museum to create an interactive exhibit titled “The Call of the Land: Cultivating Bartow’s Agricultural Legacy.” More than 3,500 people viewed this exhibit from April through September.
As a complement to the exhibit, the museum worked with the local Extension agent to coordinate a tour of historic and modern farming locations in Bartow County. A total of 43 people attended the bus tour. Tour evaluations indicated that 100 percent of respondents learned something new about the history of agriculture in Bartow County. The agent was also invited to present an evening lecture at the museum titled “A Brief History of Agriculture in Bartow County” with 30 attendees.
4-H Youth Development
Georgia 4-H is an integral part of the education system of our state. Positive relationships and sustained collaborative efforts between 4-H and local schools result in strong communities and better-educated youth.
The 4-H agent and program assistant conducted a special College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) lesson for Cartersville City Schools during the past three years for 1,050 fifth-graders. Over six years, 6,000 Bartow County School students were instructed as part of the CCRPI curriculum. The four career clusters for fifth graders were: Finance, Government and Public Administration, Informational Technology and Marketing.
At the conclusion of one of the classes, 99 percent of students indicated that they learned about a new career as a result of their participation and 69 percent will consider entering one of these four careers. Over the past two years, Cartersville City and Bartow County elementary schools’ CCRPI scores have steadily increased.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Providing Bartow County with health, food safety and nutrition initiatives has become a cornerstone of the Extension office. In 2018, Bartow County Extension staff completed three programs on health and wellness including free nutrition-education classes through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) program, training restaurant and food service managers in food safety, and partnering with the American Cancer Society to offer a cooking school centered on cancer prevention.
In 2018, Bartow County SNAP-Ed taught 180 participants how to enhance healthy eating behaviors including food resource management, food safety, food preparation, healthy weight management and increasing physical activity.
Bartow County staff trained 45 Food Service employees in ServSafe®, a food safety certification program including 7 Northwest District health inspectors.
The Extension office conducted a Cooking for a Lifetime Cancer Prevention School that taught participants about cancer screening guidelines and recommended nutrition and physical activity practices for cancer prevention. The program connected women without insurance to low- or no-cost screening services in their area. Bartow County did better than the state average by recruiting one of the highest percentages of uninsured women with 38.9 percent qualifying.