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
Chatham County 4-H had 1331 students enrolled in 2018. There were 63 clubs in Chatham County. Programs were conducted in 38 schools, both private and public. The Chatham County Extension 4-H program reached a total of 16,691 young people. Members participated in 4-H State Congress, State 4-H Council, District Project Achievement competition, summer camp and monthly club meetings. A total of seven new community clubs were established in partnership with community centers. These clubs reach out to limited-resource and at-risk youth within the city. County competition teams included forestry, wildlife, shooting sports and poultry judging. Chatham County 4-H also works on the Wildlife Enhancement Project, which provides educational activities for youth to learn vital research skills by investigating facts about local and invasive species. They use the skills learned to complete projects to increase biodiversity in partnership with the Audubon Society and the Superior Landfill. One of our Chatham 4-H’ers was selected to represent the state of Georgia at the 4-H National Conference. This selection process is very competitive and is one of 4-H’s highest honors.
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP)
UGA Extension in Chatham County delivered free nutrition education to families with children and youth through Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP), which offers educational nutrition programs that help participants develop skills, increase knowledge and make behavioral changes that will impact their daily lives. Food demonstrations and taste-testing encourage clients to sample and prepare new foods. In 2018, UGA EFNEP directly reached 593 individuals in Chatham County, representing households of 2,594 individuals. Eighty-five percent of participants were caregivers for children under age 19. Community volunteers contributed 727 hours of their time, valued at $17,732. The Food Talk or Hablemos de Comida curricula attracted 363 participants to all sessions.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Extension assisted 4,537 Chatham County residents through Family and Consumer Sciences resources and programs on topics such as chronic disease prevention through nutrition and physical activity, managing personal finances, home-buyer education, healthy homes, food safety and preservation, and parenting. Chatham County Extension also provides low-cost, high-quality educational programs to increase the knowledge and skills of childcare providers. Quarterly trainings were offered, and 3,744 educational-contact hours were provided to 624 childcare professionals. Of those attending, 85 percent of childcare providers stated their skills were significantly improved as a result of the trainings. A total of 729 volunteer hours were contributed, valued at $17,707.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Chatham County Extension assisted 4,778 urban consumers in finding answers for their agriculture-related questions. Chatham County Extension supports the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Program with 126 active Master Gardeners. The Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm had a total of 28,875 visitors. This includes those visiting the gardens as well as those attending educational outreach programs.