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.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Extension in Athens-Clarke County provided 84 nutrition and wellness programs for local residents, including the Walk-A-Weigh healthy living program and Cancer Prevention Cooking School, reaching more than 800 contacts. These programs focus on overall nutrition and wellness, increased physical activity and promoting healthier lifestyles all in an effort to reduce the incidence of chronic disease. The Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent also participated in 14 educational exhibits, reaching 245 contacts. Additional education in food safety for farmers market vendors, farmers and consumers was added throughout the year and will continue to be offered to interested organizations. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) continued reaching out to residents of the county, providing 1,355 hours of nutrition education to 400 county residents through classroom teaching and attending the Athens Farmers Market and the Broad Street Farmers Market. SNAP-Ed currently has site approval and memorandums of understanding with more than 20 partners and agencies in the county. SNAP-Ed continued to support the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program by providing nutrition education to county residents in both English and Spanish.
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 2018, 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 to prepare for competitions. 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 after-school practices and competitions.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Personnel made more than 4,500 agriculture-related educational contacts in the community. These contacts were made in a wide variety of settings from teaching gardening classes, such as the popular “Free Monthly Gardening Class” series held at the Athens-Clarke County Library, civic group presentations, “Ask a Master Gardener” booths at farmers markets, home and site visits, and informational exhibits and activities at local events. Shades of Green, the Athens-Clarke County Extension monthly gardening newsletter, was distributed to more than 1,700 community members. More than 170 Athens-Clarke County Master Gardener Extension Volunteers contributed 13,000 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 than 4,100 pounds of fresh produce for local food banks. With the supervision of Extension staff, Master Gardener Extension Volunteers answered more than 900 client questions.