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.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
UGA Extension in DeKalb County helps citizens become healthier, more productive and more environmentally responsible. With more than 730,000 citizens and an improving economy, many homeowners still find themselves growing their own vegetables and doing their own landscaping. To assist residents with this, DeKalb County Extension provided 111 educational programs and reached 5,276 citizens on various gardening and landscaping topics. DeKalb County Extension also contributed a weekly gardening column to The Champion, with a circulation of 225,000. Published articles were on topics related to tree and ornamental shrubs, lawns, perennials, composting, soil-building, vegetables and community gardening, landscaping, insects and disease, and recycling.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agents offered a Kids Spring Break Cooking Camp in DeKalb County for children between the ages of eight and 12. During the interactive, three-day program, youth were engaged in activities centered around nutrition, food science and the essential cooking skills. Camp participants learned to successfully identify the five MyPlate food groups and demonstrate knife safety and proper handwashing. Participants also expressed plans to drink more water and eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains after the camp.
With funding from the DeKalb County government and the DeKalb County Board of Health, and collaboration and partnerships among various departments and community organizations, DeKalb County Extension launched year three of the Fresh on DeK program. Fresh on DeK visited 11 locations on a weekly basis and supported six communitywide events that reached 4,689 citizens. Areas that were identified as food deserts and limited-resources neighborhoods benefited from Fresh on
DeK through nutrition education, recipe demonstrations and the distribution of more than 40,000 pounds of fresh produce. Fresh on DeK matched education with access by reaching 1,316 individuals at the nutrition education table. Individuals received practical take-home tips on ways to eat healthier and prepare produce purchased at the market. Fresh on DeK also featured local produce such as muscadines, Vidalia onions, peppers, zucchini, squash, tomatoes, snap beans and corn from 13 Georgia farmers.
4-H Youth Development
Driven by 4-H Teen Leaders, the 4-H Wellness 360º program leverages the proven influence of young people by engaging teens to lead and empower their peers and families to establish lifelong healthy habits today. The program includes nutritioneducation, cooking classes, yoga and lessons on avoiding risky behaviors. It provides the framework to ensure that today’s youth have the knowledge and confidence to not only live a healthy life themselves, but also to share their knowledge with their peers and families. The DeKalb County 4-H Club trained five teenagers to become Wellness 360º ambassadors. DeKalb County 4-H also provided Wellness 360º instruction for 690 youth participants.