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
District Project Achievement (DPA) continues to be our most active program in Catoosa County 4-H. For Cloverleaf DPA, held in January 2018 at Georgia Highlands College in Rome, Georgia, we had 84 competitors and seven teen leaders representing Catoosa County. We received an award for a high number of participants. In March, we took 9 4-H’ers to Junior/Senior DPA.
Catoosa County 4-H visited all fifth grade classes at the eight elementary schools focusing on College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) lessons.
We also enjoyed going to all the middle schools and focusing on teen leadership and citizenship activities. Judging teams in Catoosa County 4-H this year included poultry, forestry, cotton boll and consumer judging. The Catoosa County BB Team was a new development this year, and participants included eight students in fourth through eighth grades. Our team qualified for the state tournament at Rock Eagle and had a blast.
Catoosa County welcomed many new staff and employees this year. Caleb Millican became the new 4-H agent in December, Roberta Pepper joined as the new part-time program assistant in November and David Buckler became the new AmeriCorps member in September. We also gained six new Certified Teen Leaders.
We continued to do community service with our 4-H’ers. We participated in the Rivers Alive stream cleanup and Adopt-A-Stream workshop, collected craft supplies for the Chambliss Center for Children, taught a craft lesson to students at Chambliss Center, made reusable diapers out of old t-shirts to be delivered overseas, and volunteered at Hope for the Inner City.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
At the beginning of 2018, we announced the retirement of long-time Agriculture and Natural Resource (ANR) Agent Charles Lancaster. Catoosa will miss Lancaster and is very happy that he still visits and volunteers around the office. The new ANR agent started August 1, but she was not new to the office. Julia Willingham has been the 4-H agent in Catoosa County for the past two years but has now assumed the ANR agent role. We are excited about what is to come in our office as she finishes training. Other ANR-related services included the submission of 71 soil tests, six feed and forage tests, two litter samples, three water tests, and three plant-tissue tests. We had three local producers enter the 2018 Southeastern Hay Contest.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Even without the presence of a Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent, we still strive to offer some FACS programs that are relevant and useful to our community. These programs include Walk Georgia, a statewide program that encourages participants to exercise more either as individuals or as part of a group. FACS also deals with food safety and preservation as well as questions regarding home and family. When we receive calls regarding these topics, we contact FACS agents in other counties in order to help our clientele.