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.
GORDON EXTENSION EXCELLED IN ANIMAL SCIENCE EDUCATION IN 2019
ordon County is home to approximately 10,000 brood cows and 1,250 small ruminants, which makes educational opportunities important to citizens of Gordon County. In 2019, Gordon County Cooperative Extension offered a small ruminant workshop for Northwest Georgia, along with a separate beef reproductive management workshop. University of Georgia and Fort Valley State University specialists, along with county agents, presented at these functions. A sampling of topics covered at these two events were parasite management/FAMACHA, small ruminant harvesting process, pasture management, pregnancy checking and culling in beef cattle, cowherd body condition scoring, and herd bull tips. In September 2019, Gordon County Extension hosted a three-day beef cattle artificial insemination training in collaboration with ABS Global. Areas covered were reproductive anatomy in cows/heifers, heat synchronization protocols and hands-on practice by participants on how to pass the artificial insemination rod by the cervix of a female bovine for possible artificial conception. One producer said he would implement artificial insemination to increase the dollar value of his calf crop, but also to increase possible selection for desired genetic traits.
Gordon County Extension offered two youth tours where 4-H’ers learned about work done at Overlook Farms, which specializes in quality Kinko goat genetics. Youth also toured Bickett Genetics, which offers traditional embryo transfer in beef cattle and collaborates in invitro fertilization of bovines as well. In addition, youth toured the UGA Cohutta Fisheries Center, which centers on sturgeon work for meat and caviar.
Gordon County Extension additionally excelled in agriculture media work, with weekly articles in The Calhoun Times and Gordon Gazette. The Gordon County Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Facebook page offered 21 Tips of the Week that resulted in approximately 4,500 direct engagements with readers on landscape and other agriculture topics.
BANNER 2019 FOR GORDON 4-H
With both school systems in Gordon County having an intense focus on career readiness, Gordon County 4-H is the foremost provider of experiences that teach life skills and focus on positive youth development, offering a wide range of in-school and extracurricular activities to nearly 1,800 members in 2019. In schools, standards-based lessons are delivered to fourth through eighth graders that encourage exploration of career clusters and pathways. Outside of school, Gordon County 4-H provides education in club settings for Kindergarten through third grade, ninth through 12th grade and homeschooled youth. In addition, Gordon County 4-H offers individual project-based contests in which nearly 60 4-H’ers participated, teaching research and public speaking skills. Gordon County 4-H’ers also have the opportunity to participate in leadership training and citizenship programs to lead their community and engage in community service. Additionally, Gordon County 4-H offers 14 competitive teams, developing teamwork and good sportsmanship through its six judging teams, three shooting sports teams, one quiz bowl team and four livestock show teams. Gordon 4-H had the state champion dairy judging team and represented Georgia at national competition in Wisconsin.
In 2019, Gordon County 4-H began two new major technology initiatives: FIRST Lego League Robotics and 4-H Microsoft Tech Changemakers. Gordon County 4-H was able to support eight elementary school-based robotics teams, each of which attended regional competition after developing skills in robotics, research, public speaking and teamwork. In the 4-H Tech Changemakers program, two teens were trained to lead the national program in the county, and these teen leaders provided training to an additional six youth to deliver lessons on technology to adults.