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
As the seventh-largest county in Georgia based on land area, Emanuel County produces both a wide variety and large amounts of agricultural commodities. Emanuel County’s top 10 commodities include cotton, beef cattle, peanuts, pine seedlings, pine straw, pecans, soybeans, peanut hay, corn and silage. Together these top commodities assist in providing a 2017 farm-gate value of more than $69.6 million. With row crops dominating the top 10 commodities grown within Emanuel County, we see roughly 43,000 acres producing numerous varieties and species of row crops. We also have more than 300,000 acres of timberland resulting in just over 69 percent of the land being covered in forest. Emanuel County farmers, landowners and foresters work diligently to maintain their roles as important producers of agricultural products within the state. To assist our local homeowners, landowners, foresters and farmers, UGA Extension in Emanuel County provides a variety of services, including sampling and diagnostics, general information and knowledge, research and assistance to improve local production and maintenance of Emanuel County’s agricultural commodities.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Food safety education is offered to the food industry to encourage proper food safety and prevent foodborne illness. In the U.S. each year, foodborne disease results in an estimated 48 million people with gastrointestinal foodborne illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In 2018, the Emanuel Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent collaborated with other Southeast District FACS agents to deliver food safety education to 238 participants. Agents coordinated, conducted and evaluated ServSafe® Manager and ServSafe® Food Handler courses and exams for local food service workers and students completing the Nutrition and Food Science pathway.
The FACS agent developed a PowerPoint presentation and coordinated with the state specialist to distribute UGA Extension food-safety posters in schools. The agent distributed three articles on food safety to two local newspapers, reaching 12,000 readers.
Two hundred thirty-eight participants received 74 hours of food safety education. Sixty-seven participants completed the ServSafe® Manager course and exam, resulting in a 73 percent passing rate. Forty-nine participants received national certification. Fourteen students completed the ServSafe® Food Handler Safety course and exam, resulting in an 86 percent pass rate. Twelve students received certification and the completion of the pathway.
4-H Youth Development
UGA Extension 4-H faculty delivered a Georgia 4-H Certified Teen Leader training that equipped rising seventh through 12th graders in Bulloch, Candler, Emanuel and Evans counties to serve as Certified Teen Leaders. Teens were equipped with materials to assist them with becoming successful leaders for their communities. Through the program, all 22 participants became Certified Teen Leaders through Georgia 4-H and are equipped to support local programs.
Before the workshop, 44 percent of participants reported knowing at least something about the Teen Leader role, 44 percent agreed that they knew something about the ages and stages of 9- to 11-year-olds, 67 percent felt confident serving as a Teen Leader, and only 17 percent strongly agreed that they felt comfortable handling difficult situations. After the training, 89 percent of participants reported knowing about the ages and stages of 9- to 11-year-olds and 89 percent strongly agreed that they felt comfortable handing difficult situations. One hundred percent of participants reported knowing a lot about the role of a Teen Leader and all 22 felt confident serving in that role.