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
The Habersham County Extension office’s primary focus is to provide information and technical expertise to homeowners and agricultural producers. Through office and farm visits, UGA 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. UGA Extension in Habersham County 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 $100,000 in impact in 2018.
In spring 2018, we conducted a Master Gardener Certification Course for 18 interns to enhance our volunteer group, Headwaters Master Gardeners. Each year, Master Gardener Extension Volunteers contribute volunteer programming and service hours in our local community. Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent Steven Patrick was recognized as Fisheries Conservationist of the Year and received the National Search for Excellence in Natural Resources Award and
the Forestry Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. 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
A wide variety of free UGA Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) publications are available at the county office, and we offer phone consultations with FACS agents in surrounding counties who can address a range of issues. This year, the Habersham County Extension office hosted a radon program and food-preservation update and has requested funding for a permanent position in 2019.
4-H Youth Development
The true strength of the Habersham County 4-H Club is its diversity of programming. Our highlights include Christine Budd achieving Master 4-H status in the Food Fare project by winning the Food-Fare competition at District Project Achievement and State Congress. Catie Long finished second at State Congress in the Performing Arts General project. Camden Hughes represented Georgia as a delegate at Citizenship Washington Focus. Our Cotton Boll Consumer Judging Team finished second at the district contest with Tianna Ramey placing first in Senior Reasons and third overall at the competition. Christine Budd finished as the High Senior Individual at Poultry Judging. Rachel Dailey led our county team with a fourth-place High Individual performance. Georgia 4-H’s Performing Arts Ensemble has six Habersham County 4-H Club members as part of its 39-member cast. Each of these members also participates in our local Fine Arts Club, which has performed at the Chattahoochee Mountain Fair, county commission meetings, the farmers market and other locations. Bryan Skelton placed second and Otis Budd placed third in the Southeastern Teen Kayak Fishing Championship and Ethan Mosher placed third in the Southeastern Youth Kayak Fishing Championship. “Hooked on Wild Waters” filmed the event for a television show, which can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtHVXcI_mBY.
Andy Haygood received the Innovative Work in School Relations from GAE4-HA. We also received the awards for the Highest Increase in Senior Camp Participation, Highest Percent Increase in Senior Camp participation, and Highest Percent Increase in Cloverleaf Camp Participation. Sarah Smagur received the State 4-H Volunteer of the Year Award.