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
The focus of Carroll County 4-H in 2019 was community. We noticed the needs of our community during the time of the pandemic and catered activities and outreach programs to meet those needs. Due to COVID-19, many families were seeking fun yet socially distanced educational activities for their children. A scavenger hunt was created for the Buffalo Creek Education Center and Trail where children observe a wildlife habitat and engage in physical activity. Carroll County 4-H introduced the scavenger hunt to the public through short videos posted to social media. Through those advertisements, we reached 8,802 people, engaged 681 people on Facebook, and 21 known participants.
The third annual Blessing Bag Drive, supervised by AmeriCorps Service Member and Program Assistant, Natalie Moncus, which provides bags of necessities to the homeless community has grown to reach over 150 individuals across 3 organizations. In addition to reaching the community through Blessing Bags, we also installed a Blessing Box at the Buffalo Creek Trail head where citizens can either drop off or take what they need from a small pantry that is full of donated non-perishable foods and items.
Family and Consumer Sciences
The physical inactivity rate in Carroll County, Georgia is 38% and the obesity rate is 42%. Family and Consumer Science (FACS) Agent saw these numbers, and created programs and content to meet the needs in the community. The goal was to improve health outcomes in Carroll County by increasing physical activity during COVID-19. This process started by educating the community of different public trails and parks located in the county. During the summer of 2020, the FACS Agent created a series of videos spotlighting each public park and trail in the community. The Carroll County Extension office partnered with the Carroll County government to make sure that these educational videos were reached by all residents. Each video describes the park, the mileage, difficulty, and family friendly activities to do. This was also the time the importance of physical activity was discussed. The county walking trails are an overall community success. The videos reached 15,500 people, and engaged with 2,523 people on social media.
Family and Consumer Science program area reached a total of 270,478 people in 2020 through cooking demos, physical activity videos, Wellness Wednesdays, and FACS Friday. Along with the Carroll County public park videos, we offered a variety of virtual programming from Basics of Canning series, Wellness Wednesday webinar series, and SNAP-ed Food eTalk. Health and disease prevention education is an important topic and the FACS program area has been able to share this information to get people healthy and active.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agricultural programs continued during Covid-19 virtually with webinars in backyard flocks, farmers market vendor series, vegetable gardening, marketing your agricultural business, equine pasture management, small ruminants, fire ant management, and soil and hay testing reaching 1,256 people. Farm visits, Master Gardener programs, and cattlemen meetings continued both in person and virtually as needed. To continue service to our farmers, a drop box was placed outside the office to allow farmers and others to drop off soil and water test while the office was closed to the public. The drop box was a success and has become a permanent part of how we handle business when our office is closed at night and on the weekends.