Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georigia Cooperative Extension is working hard for its constituents. The following are examples of Extension's impact on the county over the past year.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Extension in Athens-Clarke County provided nutrition and wellness programs for local residents, including the Walk-A-Weigh healthy living program and Cancer Prevention Cooking School. These programs focus on overall nutrition and wellness, increased physical activity and promoting healthier lifestyles all in effort to reduce the incidence of chronic disease. Additional education in food safety for farmers market vendors, farmers and consumers were offered throughout the year. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-ED) continued reaching out to residents of the county, providing hours of nutrition education to county residents through classroom teaching and attending the Athens Farmers Market and the Broad Street Farmers Market.
4-H Youth Development
As a component of the school system curriculum, Athens-Clarke County 4-H serves all youth in grades five through eight. In 2022, more than 1,000 children and teenagers participated in Athens-Clarke County 4-H. They learned and excelled in leadership, citizenship, public speaking, critical thinking skills, teamwork, and building character and good sportsmanship. The 4-H program offers a variety of after-school educational activities. Students may join after-school judging teams including forestry, wildlife, consumer judging and poultry. As part of these educational teams, students learn subject matter. Athens-Clarke County 4-H continues to reach at-risk youth through research based initiatives implemented to eliminate barriers that prevent youth participation in programming. To give all students the same access to 4-H competitive events, Athens-Clarke County 4-H does not charge a participation fee. All of the competitive events have a fee that the county 4-H program pays using money raised from local sources so that 4-H'ers may attend free of charge. Students must work hard to attend these competitive events. Athens-Clarke County 4-H also provides transportation to afterschool practices and competitions.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Agriculture and Natural Resources personnel made more than 1,400 educational contacts in the community. These contacts were made in a wide variety of settings, from teaching gardening classes, such as the popular free "Green Thumb Lecture" series, to civic group presentations, Master Gardener classes, home site visits, and informational exhibits and activities at local events. More than 23,000 issues of Shades of Green, the Athens-Clarke County Extension monthly gardening newsletter, were distributed to more than 2,000 community members. More than 150 Athens-Clarke County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers contributed more than 8,600 hours at UGA demonstration gardens, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and Athens-Clarke County school gardens. Two Plant a Row for the Hungry vegetable gardens produced more that 4,900 pounds of fresh produce for local food banks. With the assistance and supervision of Athens-Clarke County Extension employees, Master Gardeners answered more than 290 phone calls, emails and in-person questions from the community. These questions covered home vegtable garndening, ornamenetal and landscap plantings, turf information, pest control recommendations and plant, insect and disease identification.