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
Agriculture contributes more than $15 million annually to the economy of Butts County. The Butts County Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent is here to provide resources and information to local farmers and the general public. In 2020, the Butts County ANR agent made numerous farm/site visits regarding pest management, soil fertility and issues of importance to farmers and homeowners.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Butts County Extension does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent, however staff provides services by answering FACS questions using Extension resources and referring questions to FACS agents in surrounding counties.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
In previous years, Butts County 4-H has held a concentrated interest in teaching leadership at all levels from 5th- 12th grade for 4-H members. For Butts County, the 2019-2020 program year was no exception for all youth who participated in classes, workshops, 4-H club meetings and other events. Leadership was an integral part within each meeting held, on all levels. Butts County 4-H Program Staff members met with over 23 classes per month, these In-school 4-H Club Meetings were inside classrooms for 5th and 6th grades during regular instruction time. Beginning in September 2019, alongside the monthly lesson, Butts County 4-H’ers were taught about the basics of what makes a good leader and students were elected by their peers /teacher to best fill these rolls for the length of the school year and carried them out well- with much respect from their classmates. Additionally, both Junior (7th-8th grade) and Senior (9th-12th grade) 4-H’ers were encouraged to utilize their leadership skills while not only at 4-H events but within their community as well. Junior 4-H’ers were selected by their peers to hold a position during Junior and Senior 4-H Leadership Meetings. In addition to assisting with various daytime activities, these Middle and high school leader positions were a necessary part of hosting our Summer Fun events offered in June and July to the Cloverleaf Members. Another example of how much these 4-Hers enjoy sharing their knowledge with others is by assisting Cloverleafs attending Project Achievement as a Teen Leader. November 2019 was a very exciting time for all when this public speaking competition came around. Our Teen Leaders were well trained to guide younger participants by listening to the delivery of presentations, offered public speaking tips and calm nerves with their own past experiences and stories. In addition to these opportunities for our youth to explore and grow within Butts County, 2 of our graduating Senior 4-H Members applied and were selected to serve as camp counselors for the summer at Rock Eagle 4-H Center with the Georgia 4-H Camping Program. In addition to being extremely proud of these newly selected Counselors, 2 former Butts County 4-H’ers were selected to return as second year counselors as well. Sadly, the COVID-19 Pandemic prevented camp from being held, but we are looking forward to these individuals serving for the 2021 camping season at this time! With having a Junior/ Senior 4-H Leadership Club, nine of our Senior 4-H members graduated high school with an increased set of leadership skills developed through the 4-H program. Many of these members decided to further their educational dreams when accepted into the colleges of their choice. In the spring of 2020, 33% of our active graduating Seniors applied and received college scholarships as Senior Butts County 4-H graduates of Jackson High school. Over the 2019-2020 program year, we have seen many examples of Butts County 4-Hers hard at work as they continue to live out our 4-H Motto by “Making the Best Better”. Through hands on experiences, youth utilize the 4-H pledge to guide them in life using their heads for clearer thinking, their hearts to greater loyalty, their hands for larger service and their health for better living for the betterment of their club, their community, the country and the world!