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
The Dawson County 4-H Club’s archery and BB teams have hit a bull’s eye with the Project SAFE (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) program. They have doubled the number of participants in the past three years due to the hard work and dedication of Dawson County 4-H-certified volunteers and Project SAFE coaches. Currently there are 16 BB, one air rifle and 21 archery participants in Dawson County. In the past three years, five archery coaches, seven BB coaches and one air rifle coach have completed Project SAFE training. The Dawson County Project SAFE teams have raised more than $7,500 to help keep registration fees at a minimum for 4-H students. A total of 600 coaching hours were accrued this past year and 250 hours were accrued by risk-management-trained 4-H volunteers in assisting, chaperoning, transporting and fundraising for the teams. Volunteer time is worth $23.07 per hour, according to the federal government. The monetary value of hours volunteered is more than $19,500.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Although Dawson County does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent based in the county Extension office, we strive to assist local residents with their questions. Common questions cover food safety, food preservation, dealing with mold and mildew, healthy meal planning, nutrition, family budgeting, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) resources and more. These issues and others are answered through a wide variety of free UGA Extension publications available at the county office and phone conferences with FACS agents from surrounding counties. Often neighboring FACS agents are conducting programming that our county residents are welcome to attend. Our office provides programming information to residents.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Clark MacAllister assists farmers and homeowners with many topics including soil fertility, safe pesticide usage, private pesticide license testing, water usage, home gardening, small farm start-ups, and crop and pasture management. The UGA Extension office in Dawson County also provides soil, water, forage and plant-pathogen testing through the Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratory at UGA.
The Amicalola Regional Farmers Market was started by a local group of citizens and stakeholders to promote consumption of local produce and crafts. The group was able to secure a market venue at Veterans Memorial Park and worked with the local board of commissioners to secure permits. The farmers market had several new and returning vendors from the 2017 market. The UGA Extension agent acted as market manager for the market season. The Amicalola Regional Farmers Market successfully increased access to fresh, local fruits and vegetables to citizens of Dawson County and surrounding areas.