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
4-H camping programs provide an opportunity to experience cooperative group living that focuses on developing life skills and social, mental and physical development in young people. According to Penn State Extension, “4-H camp opportunities provides children with a community of caring adults who nurture experiential education that results in self-respect and appreciation for human value. All of the outcomes — self-identity, self-worth, self-esteem, leadership, and self-respect — build personal competencies.” Although 4-H camp often provides invaluable experiences, many children in Evans County are unable to afford any 4-H activity that requires a registration fee. Approximately 41.3% of children are living in poverty in Evans County (Kids Count Data Center). When 4-H camp is advertised, many parents express interest in their child attending as a participant or teen leader, but struggle financially to make the opportunity a reality.
Working to provide 4-H camp financial assistance for 4-H’ers in need over the past three years, the 4-H Agent has secured $3,350 for camp scholarships on behalf of state and civic organizations. Through donated funds and camp scholarships provided, 15 Evans County students have attended a 4-H camp free of charge as a participant or teen leader over the past three years. Thirty-one camp participants have raised a total of $2,768 using a provided fundraising opportunity to help reduce their camp registration costs, with two students using the opportunity to pay for their total camp costs. One supporter stated when donating the funds for a full camp scholarship, “I would not be who I am today without 4-H. I want to provide the same opportunity to a young person in need today.” Another comment from a parent about giving students the opportunity to earn camp fees was, “I greatly appreciate you providing the opportunity for our young people to work their way to camp. Kids need to know and understand that with work and effort can come great rewards. I never expected when I told my daughter that she would have to work for her way to camp that she would sell enough doughnuts to pay her whole way to camp.”
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Superior research and education are the driving forces of agricultural innovation, and no one knows this better than UGA Extension. Evans County has a new agricultural and natural resources agent who has been working hard to meet producers and is eager to maintain a high level of programming that will deliver unbiased education. Farmers have been dealing with decreases in commodity prices, which has increased the importance of extension programming to keep farming profitable and sustainable. The new Agricultural and Natural Resources agent will address these issues and as well as pasture management, cotton, peanuts, corn, organics, onions, pecans, livestock and more.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Although Evans County Extension does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences agent based in the office, we strive to assist local residents with their questions. Common questions regard food safety, food preservation and treating mold and mildew. These topics and others are answered through a wide variety of free UGA Extension publications available at the county office or by phone conferences with Family and Consumer Sciences agents in surrounding counties.