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.
Floyd County Extension programs help enable citizens to make sound decisions to improve their quality of life as it relates to social/economic well-being and the environment in which they live. Floyd County Extension presented 75 educational classes in 4-H and Agriculture/Natural Resources, and had contact with more than 11,000 citizens. Outreach efforts led to the creation of 55 news articles/newsletters and 43 radio programs. In 2020 Floyd County processed 263 soil samples, 95 disease/insect samples on plants, 42 feed/forage samples, 27 water microbiology samples analyzed for bacteria, and drinking water for quality.
4-H COMPETITION HIGHLIGHTS
District Project Achievement
Floyd County 4-H hosted the 2020 Cloverleaf District Project Achievement at Georgia Highlands with over 1,000 people in attendance. Floyd County had sixty-two Cloverleaf 4-H’ers to compete at this competition. They also had twenty adult and teen volunteers that assisted in concessions, carnival games, and providing lunch for the cloverleaf district event. Floyd County also had ten 7th-12th grade 4-H’ers to attend district and one senior 4-H member earning a chance to compete at State Congress.
Four Floyd County 4-Hers extensively studied the areas of personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and environmental issues. They then completed competitive online testing in each subject area. Their test scores secured them an invitation to compete at the State Competition where they were awarded the title of JR LifeSmarts State Winner.
4-H CAREER READINESS HIGHLIGHTS
College Career Readiness Performance Index (CCRPI)
4-H Leaders taught career paths (Marketing, Information & Technology, Finance, and Government & Public Administration) to all county school 5th-grade classrooms. Classroom participation exceeded 500 students where the program has been well received by the counselors, teachers as well as students. Students learn the importance of academic classes and social skills and how they are applied to these specific career paths. For their class projects in November, they related 3 careers that might stem from the project area they chose.
4-H COVID RESPONSE
The COVID-19 pandemic produced limited availability for youth activities that were vitally important to the overall well-being and positive youth development of youth ages 5-18. Programmatic activities that were previously held face to face were converted to virtual programming addressing a variety of issues. While virtual programming was the recommendation many youths have limited availability to technology and limited supplies. In response, Floyd County 4-H developed weekly educational activity kits that addressed: Artistic Expression, Handwashing/Food Safety, Environmental Science, and Agriculture. Floyd County 4-H had a total of 264 youth participate.
Virtual Lego Contest
From a virtual perspective, Floyd County 4-H aimed to help alleviate the anxiety that is triggered by public speaking. Floyd County 4-H developed a virtual activity that allows 4-Hers to play and “Let Go” of their public speaking anxiety with Lego blocks. The overall objective of this activity was to allow youth through the use of Lego blocks, the opportunity to explore the world of creativity, learn and play while exploring communication styles as building blocks. Each participant in this activity was given a theme to build an inspired, original Lego creation. The participants then recorded and shared a brief presentation about his or her creation along with how their creation was engineered. A total of 10 youth participated from 3 counties participated as well 4 adults provided volunteer or staff support for each event
Online Landscape Irrigation Training
Many factors come into play when considering an irrigation system, such as water source, slope, drainage, plant needs, the best time to irrigate, type of irrigation equipment needed, proper installation of the irrigation system, etc. A face-to-face, hands-on irrigation system training was planned to address these factors but then the worldwide pandemic known as COVID-19 struck and brought all face-to-face trainings to a screeching halt and mandated social distancing. UGA Extension staff in Floyd County presented the Landscape Irrigation Training live via Zoom in one morning and one evening session. The training was announced via social media and email. The irrigation training covered topics such as watering and plant health, laws and regulations (Georgia Water Stewardship Act of 2010,) irrigation methods/components, and a knowledge test on the components of irrigation systems and the tools required to install the system according to local and state laws and regulations. Twenty-three people participated in the live video training. Survey results showed that the program met the expectations of 93 percent of respondents and that 87 percent would recommend the training to others. Most importantly is that 93 percent of respondents said they learned something they did not know before the training.
Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Training
Twelve Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers completed 42 hours of classroom training so to become certified Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteers for Floyd County. In late October of 2020 five of the seven participants (71%) from 2019 Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer training class meet all requirements to become certified Georgia Master Gardener Extension Volunteer for Floyd County. The Floyd County Master Gardener Volunteer program currently has 29 active members serving the public. In 2020 they donated 560 hours of volunteer service valued at $15,232.00, answered 55 telephone/email inquiries, drove 1,594 miles while volunteering, and complete over 90 hours of advanced training/continuing education courses.