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
Urban horticulture is a focus in Dougherty County. Landscape professionals, foresters, arborists, golf course superintendents, grounds maintenance workers and
public works personnel receive yearly training through seminars, daylong workshops and webinars. These trainings provide the most current horticulture information and management tools in the commercial landscaping industry. These opportunities allow participants to earn continuing education credits that count toward certifications.
With the aid of the Master Gardener Extension Volunteer (MGEV) program, homeowners receive technical assistance in the areas of composting, flowers, fruit and nut production, insect identification and control, lawn and plant care, pesticide safety, shrubs and trees, soil and water testing, vegetable gardening, weed identification and control, and water conservation. In 2017, Dougherty County Master Gardeners donated 734 hours (representing $17,718.00 in labor), traveled 7,618 miles and had 4,479 contacts, which included telephone calls, providing technical information/service to citizens, giving talks to civic clubs or garden clubs, and working in community
and school gardens.
The Fort Valley State University (FVSU) Cooperative Extension program provides farmers annual and quarterly educational trainings and workshops to improve productivity while protecting the environment. The Extension agent offers advice to help farmers and homeowners control and/or manage diseases and weeds, market products made from plants and animals, establish co-ops, complete applications for U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency loans and farm plans, and apply for Natural Resources Conservation Service cost-share programs.
UGA Extension in Dougherty County has partnered with FVSU Extension on a number of programs and services concerning pesticide safety, pesticide license certification, water management, hydroponics and aquaponics, commercial pecan production, soil sampling, and water sampling. The Extension staff also provides quarterly updates to the Dougherty County Board of Commissioners.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences programs and publications provide chronic disease education, prevention and management for Georgians who are at-risk for or suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease and/or cancer. Dougherty County offers a yearly Diabetes Cooking School and Cancer Prevention Cooking School to inform county residents how good nutrition can prevent these diseases. By learning skills that address preventing chronic disease, we can greatly reduce the costs of health care and teach people how to live healthier. Recent statistics reveal that youth in Dougherty County lead the state of Georgia in sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Relationship and health education offered to this demographic teaches healthy relationships and goal setting.
The federal Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) works with low-income families with small children and includes a seven-week nutrition demonstration program.
4-H Youth Development
The Dougherty County 4-H Club offers core programming in elementary and middle schools, with additional programming for high school students. 4-H has proven to be an effective asset to our community through service projects, public speaking competitions, summer camps, team building and healthy lifestyle programs.
4-H works in partnership with the Dougherty County School System and private schools to benefit 1,187 young people. 4-H is active in 11 elementary schools and three middle schools. Science, engineering and technology, along with the 4-H AgriScience curriculum, allows youth to receive extended education through experiential activities. Dougherty 4-H teaches good citizenship skills by taking part in community service opportunities like Stash the Trash and local food drives.