UGA Extension Office

Our Impact

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.


Georgia 4-H has impacted over 2,000 Clayton County students since 2019 through in-school programming, summer camps, specialty clubs, and 4-H- activities like District Project Achievement. Our 4-H participant numbers increased by 300% in the past two years, largely due to offering programs that are not provided to the youth in the city of Clayton County. 4-H provides the youth of Clayton County the access to participate in activities they would have never been introduced to, such as STEM, archery and shooting sports, horse riding, meeting other 4-H'ers from different counties, and outdoor environmental education. 

In 2022, the 4-H program worked its name back into the community. With a new 4-H agent, 4-H in-school programming, we support teacher's lessons with hands-on STEM activities that follow the Georgia Standards of Excellence. Our specialty clubs include but are not limited to Horse Club, Cooking Club, and Book Club. New specialty clubs were added to our Extension Office, including District Project Achievement Club and Garden Club. 4-H'ers have already participated in a few yearly 4-H activities, including 4-H Day at The Capitol and Horse Quiz Bowl.

Our volunteer numbers have also increased because parents and citizens of Clayton County see the importance of 4-H in the community. Some of our volunteers come from the Clayton County School System and the Board of Elections and Registration, showing the community's importance of 4-H. The volunteers provide a safe and wholesome environment for students to express themselves and grow. Establishing those relationships is how we continue to recruit and build great rapport with our 4-H'ers. 

4-H is necessary to the youth of Clayton County by allowing them to gain access to places and things that they have yet to experience.


In collaboration with 4-H, ANR started a Fall Garden Club on the east side of our office parking lot. Lessons were taught on Saturday mornings and have included weeding and plant bed preparation, seed or seedling planting, converting measurements, fertilizer, and photosynthesis.  Additionally, we hosted bilingual programs and workshops in irrigation, pesticide safety and license renewal, plant ID, and landscaping.

In our collaborative work with the City of Morrow, a survey was implemented at the community gardens to keep accurate records of cultural practices, pest issues, fertilizer applications, and pesticide applications.  We presented short seminars to Clayton County Public School teachers about soil testing, fall gardening and how educators can utilize our services.


According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the United States obesity prevalence was 41.9% in 2017. In 2022, the state of Georgia reported about 33% of the population struggles with adult obesity with 27% of the population reporting a lack of physical activity. Obesity contributes to the development of other chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. All of which can lead to death.

Obesity is a prevalent issue in Clayton County, Georgia for both youth and adults. It is reported that 40% of the Clayton County adult population struggles with obesity with 38% reporting lack of physical activity. Although 38% of the population reports a lack of physical activity, 72% of the population is said to have access to exercise opportunities.  According to the CDC, obesity can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers. Clayton County has a high prevalence of all three of these chronic diseases.

In Clayton County, we are offer many chronic diseases prevention programs and workshops including, but not limited to, the following:

Just for the Health of It: Home Edition

In 2020, Bibb and Clayton counties united to offer Just for the Health of It: Home Edition (J4HI). The weekly one-hour workshops stream on Facebook live teach ways to manage and reduce the risk of chronic diseases, as well as offer cooking demonstrations to highlight the topic of the month. The series shares tips on healthy habits, and food safety, and encourages the reduction of fat, sodium, and sugar. Since the initial postings, Just for the Health of It: Home Edition episodes have been viewed by over 18,000 people in 19 states and seven countries. Using J4HI lesson plans and recipes, Bibb County served 196 participants through six face-to-face classes. Additionally, Chatham County reached 260 clients. Post-surveys revealed that over 92% of surveyed participants felt more knowledgeable about the topics presented and 90% stated they would consider modifying behaviors.


In February 2022, Clayton County Extension launched its Walk-a-Weigh program. This was an eight week, one-hour series held in person at South Clayton Recreation Center. Each week consisted of a lesson, a sample of a recipe, and walking. The lessons taught provided tips and tools on how to eat and live healthy. Lessons included how to add more fruit and vegetables to your diet, how to get rid of negative food and physical cues, healthy eating out, and how to love your body. The Walk-a-Weigh program received over 50 registrants. Throughout the 8-week program, 15 participants remained active and engaged. After participating in the series, approximately 90% of attendees reported increased knowledge and physical activity. Some attendees reported they had lost a few dress sizes, and other reported losing at least 2 to 5 pounds.


Obesity, poor nutrition, and limited physical activity are significant health concerns, which often lead to chronic disease. Poor health disproportionately affects minority and low‐income populations. Clayton County ranked higher than national and state levels in terms of food insecurity (12%), poverty (17%), and adult obesity (40%). On average, 65,315 residents received SNAP benefits each month in Clayton County in 2020. These individuals have low access to healthy foods, physical activity facilities, and healthcare services, all of which suggest an increased need for evidence-based, culturally appropriate nutrition education and obesity prevention interventions.

UGA SNAP-Ed offers Food Talk classes, consisting of either four or six learner-centered classes to enhance healthy eating behaviors, including food resource management, food safety, food preparation, healthy weight management, and physical activity. Food Talk and Food Talk: Better U programs are delivered face-to-face or virtually by trained paraprofessionals, following the peer-educator model. Classes are delivered in low-income areas, therefore reaching a primarily low-income and minority population with a higher level of obesity, chronic disease, and other health disparities. In 2022, 132 low-income participants enrolled in the UGA SNAP-Ed Food Talk/Food Talk: Better U programs while 73 participants enrolled in Food Talk: Farmers Market program. 54 (41%) of the Food Talk/Food Talk: Better U participants completed the course. In total, participants completed 562.5 hours of classes.

Produce Powerhouse Party

In September 2022, the FACS and SNAP-ED team, launched our Produce Powerhouse Party. Every Wednesday, for the month of September, the SNAP-Ed team held two Produce Powerhouse Party sessions at 10:00am and at 3:00pm in the Clayton County Extension parking lot. The Produce Powerhouse Party consisted of a 30-minute SNAP-ED Farmer’s Market lesson and recipe demonstration, and recipe tasting. Once attendees completed the class and the necessary paperwork, they received a bag of produce and an incentive (e.g. veggie brushes, cutting boards, spatulas, and more). Over the four-week period, we welcomed over 80 individuals to the Powerhouse Produce Party and passed out close to 90 bags of produce. One attendee stated, “great information” and another stated that “the class was very engaging”. We hope to continue to grow our Produce Powerhouse Party and spread the word about the power in produce.


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