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.
GEORGIA HUNTERS FOR THE HUNGRY PROGRAM HAS TWO-FOLD BENEFIT IN BULLOCH COUNTY
Crop damage caused by deer has been a major problem in Bulloch County for a number of years. Damage to crops has been increasing exponentially and has become a costly economic issue for commodity producers. The Georgia Wildlife Federation (GWF) has a program in the state that allows for deer to be processed and made available to local food banks. Bulloch County Extension Program Development Team members wanted to investigate possible solutions to row crop depredation, mainly in cotton, by deer in Bulloch County. The Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program was initiated in Bulloch County in fall 2015. Local funds were raised in conjunction with the GWF fund donation. Local meat processers agreed to participate in the Hunters for the Hungry program. The processed meat is utilized at the local food bank in Bulloch County and is distributed to those in need. The Georgia Hunters for the Hungry program provides opportunities during hunting season for hunters to share their harvest with those in need. A total of 1,650 pounds of processed deer meat has been provided to the local food bank since the initiation of the Hunters for the Hungry program in Bulloch County. There is still an issue with deer crop depredation in the county, but the program has provided an avenue to alleviate some of the problem. Benefits of the Hunters for the Hungry program has been two-fold; the meat provided by hunters helps feed those who are less fortunate and the program offers support to help manage the deer population in Bulloch County.
4-H’ERS DEVELOP PUBLIC SPEAKING SKILLS THROUGH PROJECT ACHIEVEMENT
In order to better prepare youth for oral presentation and communication, Georgia 4-H utilizes Project Achievement. Participants research a topic of their choice, prepare a speech and visual aids and then present in a competitive setting. The Bulloch County 4-H staff and Program Development Team found Project Achievement to be an area that needed attention for growth.
Fifth and sixth grade 4-H’ers learned the Georgia 4-H Friends Finding Your Way to Project Achievement curriculum focusing on the steps for developing an effective presentation: choosing a topic, writing an appropriate and educational speech and creating visual aids that are useful and valuable. Students interested in pursuing Project Achievement met individually with 4-H staff and volunteers over a three-month period to prepare for the county-level competition.
Seventh through 12th grade 4-H’ers participated in portfolio workshops, demonstration practices and dress rehearsals with feedback from volunteer judges and 4-H staff.
Eighteen seventh through 12th graders competed at Southeast District Project Achievement. Thirteen of these placed in the top three in their category and five advanced to State Congress, where one 4-H’er earned Master 4-H’er status. At Bulloch County’s Cloverleaf Project Achievement, 75 fifth and sixth graders presented speeches . Of those participants at Cloverleaf County Project Achievement, 46 advanced to compete at District Project Achievement. Because of these efforts, Bulloch County 4-H received honors for increases in Project Achievement participation at the district level and saw an improvement in the number of 4-H’ers placing in their projects.
One Bulloch County 4-H’er stated that participating in Project Achievement taught her how to conduct research and be creative. Another emphasized the confidence and positive thinking that she gains by competing.