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 COUNTY EXTENSION - ANR PROGRAMING STILL SUCCESSFUL IN 2020
Gordon County Extension - ANR Program hosted two face-to-face workshops prior to COVID-19 restrictions: 1st Year Experiences with Hemp Production in Georgia with guest presenter, Dr. Tim Coolong, UGA Professor in Horticulture and Northwest Georgia Home Vegetable Garden Workshop with guest presenter Robert Westerfield, UGA Senior Public Service Associate/Consumer Fruits and Vegetables. A total of 95, including presenters, attended the Hemp Production Workshop; possibly the first industrial hemp meeting in Northwest Georgia. Dr. Coolong's topics included Background and Regulations; Trial Results and Economics; and Production: Greenhouse to Harvest. Local hemp producers, Brad and Wes Swancy, Riverview Farm, spoke of their established hemp production in Tennessee. These gentlemen gave insight of their production year with both discussion and images. The Northwest Georgia Home Vegetable Garden Workshop hosted a total of 14, including speaker. Mr. Westerfield gave a presentation on gardening basics which included a question/answer period for attendees. Greg Bowman, Gordon County ANR Agent, gave a presentation on properly collecting soil for analysis including the importance and procedure for randomly taking sub-samples in order to represent the entire area of land, sampling depths for garden and lawns versus pasture land, and presented different types of soil probes explaining the procedure for use and gave estimated prices. Greg also spoke of fees for analysis at the UGA Agricultural and Environmental Services Lab (AESL). He announced that Gordon County Extension had soil probes available for the public to check-out free of charge.
Greg took his programming to a new level by creating several videos with an entomology theme for Facebook posting. Video production will most likely continue to be a part of his programing efforts even when face-to-face contact limitations are reduced. Greg's videos covered the following topics: Crane Flies, Rose Sawflies, Bagworm Education, Tick Protection, Lady Beetle Home Invasion, Pollinators, and Good Bugs/Bad Bugs. Video production was actually Greg's impact statement for 2020.
Greg created a Gordon County/Northwest Georgia 4-H Livestock Judging page on Facebook. Currently with 45 followers, this page was created to give an avenue for 4-H Livestock Judging Alumni to get and stay connected and possibly encourage them to assist the current program financially and/or by becoming a certified 4-H adult volunteer.
GORDON 4-H - MAKING THE BEST BETTER IN 2020
- Project Achievement – five youth attended Virtual State Congress and three Gordon County 4-H’ers were recognized as Master 4-H’ers (state winners) in their project area:
- Breana Manning – Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts
- Hannah McElrath – Swine
- Gabrielle Ralston – Veterinary Science
- State Market Goat Show – Master 4-H Showman Hunter Petty (state showmanship winner from all 4-H youth in 6th-12th grade)
- 3 received Key Award (cumulative award for 4-H participation from 7th grade)
- 1 selected for OneGeorgia Urban/Rural Exchange Advisory Team and as a Georgia delegate to the National Agriscience Summit
- 2 selected for inaugural statewide Ready4Life Workforce Preparedness Ambassador program
- 2019-2020 Junior District Board Member serving a 39 county area
- 2020 Rivers Alive Award
- Gordon County 4-H selected as state recipient of the 2020 Rivers Alive Award for the 4-H division; annual event led by program assistant Becky Pass
- Summer Activity Kits - Beginning in mid-June and running through the end of July, Gordon County 4-H delivered its “Get Out and ‘Do’ Something” summer programs. Each week, Gordon County 4-H provided an activity for K-12 youth to do that was hands-on and offline. Many youth had provided feedback that they wanted a break from virtual school and programs, so the priority was to create activities that youth could complete without being on a computer or phone screen. Families registered for the activity the week prior, and then picked up the kits at the 4-H office from a drop box to minimize face-to-face contact. Once they completed the activity, they dropped off either the completed item or a verification sheet indicating they completed the activity in a separate drop box. Kits were provided free of charge, and between 40-50 youth registered each week for the activities. Each activity that a youth completed entered them into a drawing at the end of the summer for a $25 gift card. A parent comment received stated “thanks for organizing this – especially the community service opportunities.”
- School Programs - Both school systems were enthusiastic about 4-H continuing to provide in-school programming and the 4-H agent worked with both systems to create a plan that suited each school’s needs. Those plans had 4-H back in schools face to face with all 4th and 5th graders in 5 out of the 6 county schools, with one school opting out for the year, and connecting with the virtual teachers to provide virtual lessons to students who chose the virtual option. In the city school system, 4-H is providing virtual programming to all 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders. Each of the students doing in-school programs is completing a 4-H project. A set of lessons was adapted for in-person and virtual delivery and a workbook for project achievement was created for all youth to be able to engage in projects throughout the school year.
- Created home-based activity kits for Cloverbuds (K-3rd grade) and Homeschool clubs
- Launched new Community Kindness Club in December 2020
- Designed and launched a new app for Gordon County 4-H through the Grandstand Events/4-H Now platform as a mobile-friendly, one stop shop for all things Gordon County 4-H