AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
UGA Cooperative Extension’s primary focus is to provide information and technical expertise to homeowners and agricultural producers. Through office and farm visits, Habersham County Extension provides comprehensive soil, water, feed and forage analyses, as well as insect and disease diagnoses. The information gathered is used to make unbiased, research-based recommendations to save producers and homeowners time and money. Extension continued its work in the areas of watershed assessment and restoration. Local farms implemented best management practices including exclusion fencing, heavy-use watering areas and heavy-use feeding areas totaling $285,000 in impact in 2019-2021. In spring 2020, we conducted a Master Gardener Certification Course for 17 interns to enhance our volunteer group, Headwaters Master Gardeners. Each year the group contributes volunteer programming and service hours in our local community. Habersham County Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Steven Patrick was recognized with the Fisheries Conservationist of the Year Award by the Georgia Chapter of the American Fisheries Society. He served on the UGA Viticulture Team and UGA Water Team, which led to on-farm research in viticulture, water quality and fisheries in our local community.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
The wide variety of free UGA Extension publications is available at the county office, as well as phone consultations with Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agents in surrounding counties who can answer a range of FACS issues. This year the Extension office has requested funding for a permanent position in 2022.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The true strength of the Habersham County 4-H program is its diversity of programming, even with the challenge of adhering to Covid Safety Protocols. We saw many new opportunities emerge, while maintaining almost all current programming. This year we were excited to see our Food Product Development team place 1st in the state. Team members achieved Master 4-H status, while also earning State Congress bids at District Project Achievement. This team emerged from our local 4-H Cooking Club, which has resonated well with our youth. We have had Cloverleaf, Junior, and Senior 4-H Club members achieve at District Project Achievement in heath, food safety and cooking related projects. Our Life Smarts Team placed 2nd in the state and our Cloverleaf Cotton Boll Consumer Judging Team placed 3rd, with Haley Standridge leading the team as High Individual. Traditional programs like Poultry Judging, BB, Archery, and Livestock continued to flourish.