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.
4-H Youth Development
For the second year, Butts County 4-H surveyed community leaders and teachers, who responded that teens in Butts County need more leadership development.
In answer to this need, Butts County 4-H staff created leadership lesson for the Junior/Senior 4-H meetings each month. The lessons for the third year were called “Now that I know what a leader is what do I do with it?”; “How to become a better leader?”; “Why leading is important”; “What can I lead in Butts County?”; “Do I consider myself a leader?”; and “Why should I step up and lead?” Twenty-two active Junior/Senior 4-H’ers took part the first year and 24 active Junior/Senior 4-H’ers took part the second year. In 2018, 28 students participated.
In the first year, students did not clearly understand the meaning of leadership. They all believed leadership meant being in charge. Slowly, the students began to understand what true leadership was all about. The second year, the program started with a lesson on why it is important for every group to have leadership, followed by lessons on the dynamics of leadership. This year we took an in-depth look at why students should seek out leadership roles. By the end of the first year, more than 75 percent of participants had planned some type of leadership activity, with goals to accomplish during the summer fun/enrichment time. At the end of the second year, 76 percent had planned to pursue some type of leadership. By the end of the third year, 81 percent of participating students had taken on some type of leadership role in Butts County. The entire group did an excellent job of leading, each in their own way. Along with improved leadership, the group showed teamwork skills. The entire group stated that they felt they had matured in how they view leadership, stating it was not just the person in charge, but it a function of each member of the group to show leadership. Butts County School Superintendent Robert Costley commented that “Butts County 4-H has had an awesome effect on the students in Butts County. They have taught them teamwork and leadership skills needed for success in life.”
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agriculture contributes more than $15 million annually to the economy of Butts County. The Butts County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent is here to provide resources and information to local farmers and the general public. In 2018, the Butts County ANR agent initiated and participated in county and area agricultural educational programs and made numerous farm/site visits regarding pest management, soil fertility and issues of importance to farmers and homeowners.
The following programs reached more than 200 farmers in Butts County and surrounding areas:
Home Gardening programs (series of three programs), Piedmont Cattlemen’s Association meetings, the Small Ruminant Program, the Indian Springs Community Club program, Hay Field Day, Beef and Forage Field Day, and Beef Herd Field Day.
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.