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
UGA Extension in Cherokee County and Cherokee County 4-H Club offered a variety of programs to provide agricultural and environmental learning opportunities to youth including fifth grade agricultural science lessons, specialty clubs and judging teams, a Farm-to-Fork day camp and an agriculture expo cosponsored with the Cherokee County Farm Bureau. Extension staff also assisted with the countywide Cherokee County Farm Bureau first-grade agricultural
The Cherokee County Extension staff presented science-based lessons that correlated with what students were currently learning during science classes in school, along with hands-on experiments and activities. Lessons covered microorganisms, plant classification, inherited traits, zoonotic diseases, and weathering and erosion.
Each lesson met Georgia Performance Standards for
Nine hundred twenty-nine students from seven different schools in Cherokee County participated in agriscience lessons during fifth-grade 4-H club meetings. All students completed a survey at the conclusion of the school year. Data collected from these surveys yielded the following responses:
- Seventy-seven percent of students demonstrated knowledge of key terms related to 4-H agriscience lessons.
- Eighty-seven percent of students recognized that zoonotic diseases can be passed between people and animals.
- Eighty-two percent of students recognized that offspring can resemble their parents.
- Eighty-four percent of students recognized that an epidemic does not affect only a few people.
- Eighty-nine percent of students recognized that they should look at several different characteristics in order to classify plants.
Cherokee County teachers gave positive feedback and found that the lessons reinforced their current fifth-grade science curriculum.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Fruit field days were organized and presented at two different locations, one in Cherokee County and one in Dade County. The first field day was an advanced training for 23 Master Gardener Extension Volunteers from 11 counties across north Georgia. This training included a half-day of theory on variety selection, site considerations and pest management from UGA Extension specialists. The second half of the training was hands-on, with stations on pruning, spray equipment and safety, and pest identification. The subsequent field days in Cherokee and Dade counties were attended by 43 individuals from six counties and followed the same model of theory and hands-on teaching formats.
To complement the field day activities, a grafting class was offered to increase knowledge of fruit-tree propagation. Extension fruit specialists presented the theory and techniques of grafting, and materials were provided to graft five trees each for 46 participants from 11 counties across north Georgia.
A total of sixty-five people participated in the field day trainings. As a result of the trainings, knowledge increased in the following ways:
- One hundred percent improved their knowledge of common diseases and insect pest of fruit in Georgia.
- One hundred percent improved their knowledge of site considerations and variety selection.
- One hundred percent indicated that they feel more confident making pruning and pest management decisions.
- A total of 46 people participated in the grafting class. The results of a survey taken after the grafting training showed:
- Ninety-two percent indicated they had no previous experience grafting
- One hundred percent improved their knowledge of grafting techniques
- The follow-up survey showed that approximately 75 percent of grafts were successful after four months.