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
In 2018, UGA Extension in Gordon County hosted three educational workshops in the areas of commercial vegetables, commercial small fruits and homeowner vegetable gardening for citizens of Gordon County and the surrounding area. Commercial vegetable workshop topics centered on production tips and tactics, basic insect management plus disease management for the area. Small fruit workshop topics covered insect pest management in grapes, managing disease in commercial blueberry and blackberry, production of brambles and strawberries, biology and management of insect pests in berry crops, and strawberry disease management. Homeowner gardening topics covered were troubleshooting, equipment for the garden, and extending the gardening season into fall and beyond. Sixty-four total commercial growers, homeowners and county agents participated in these classes. Participants responding to a survey stated that they learned at least one thing that they did not know prior to attending one of the workshops. Popular topics were information on either better or new varieties and varieties in our area. Other popular topics were common pests, including spotted wing drosophila, and insect control methods, such as insecticides and trap plantings. One commercial grower stated, “One of the most informative grower meetings that I have attended. Disease information will help my operation.” In addition, 16 newspaper articles based on vegetable production were printed in the Calhoun Times. Youth education was conducted for approximately 625 youth and 33 adults at Ag Day events and the local fair in the area of plant growth and soils.
4-H Youth Development
With both school systems having an intense focus on career readiness, the Gordon County 4-H Club 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 more than 1,700 members in 2018. In schools, standards-based lessons are delivered to fourth- through 12th-graders to encourage exploration of career clusters and pathways. Outside of school, Gordon 4-H provides 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 programming to lead their community and engage in community service. Additionally, Gordon County 4-H offers 14 competitive teams, developing teamwork and good sportsmanship through six judging teams, three shooting-sports teams, one quiz bowl team and four livestock-show teams. In 2018, Gordon 4-H hosted one of the Georgia 4-H Area Poultry Judging Contests, one Area BB Match, the Gordon 4-H Market Goat Show, the Northwest Georgia Lamb Classic and the AgGeorgia Farm Credit Weekend Spectacular for youth that exhibit cattle, sheep, swineand goats.
Family and Consumer Sciences
In 2018, Gordon County Extension hosted multiple events offering Family and Consumer Sciences programming to local residents. The first event was part of the Gordon County Extension Lunch and Learn series at the Gordon County Agriculture Center. The event was titled “Spice Up Your Life!” and was based on chronic disease prevention with a presentation and cooking demonstration on the use of spices to cut down on salt use. Other events included two classes in the Cooking for a Lifetime program.