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 $190,000 in impact in 2018-2019. In spring 2019, we conducted a Master Gardener Certification Course for 19 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 hosted a radon program and food-preservation update and has requested funding for a permanent position in 2020.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The true strength of the Habersham County 4-H program is its diversity of programming. Highlights include our Food Product Development Team placing third in the State. Christine Budd was a recipe finalist in the Pantry Pride Contest. Our program leveraged $7,640 in scholarships for youth to attend summer camp. We hosted a week-long Farm-to-Food Camp. Our Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging teams placed fourth at the Senior level and third at the Junior Level. Rachel Dailey led our Junior Poultry Judging team as the high individual competitor, while Christine Budd led our Senior Team as the fourth high competitor. In Forestry Judging, Rachel Dailey led our Senior team with her fourth high individual performance, while Autumn Samsel placed 10th in the Junior Division. Participation at District Project Achievement, in archery and on our livestock show team are all on the increase. Our program was recognized with the Innovative Work in School Relations Award in 2019. We look forward to a busy year in 2020.