Making A Difference in Our County
University of Georgia Extension Hall County 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
Hall County has continued to grow both commercially and residentially. Agricultural land in rural areas can be an attractive target for development as the county population pushes past 200,000. With this continuous change, there is an increased need for agriculture awareness.
In response to this, Hall County Cooperative Extension has developed successful partnerships with a variety of community groups such as the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce. Hall County Extension has been able to provide insight into the agriculture industry across the county. Another successful awareness effort includes an agriculture day for a local elementary school. Students and teachers learned valuable information about the poultry, dairy, beef and vegetable and fruits industries.
There are approximately 139 active Master Gardener Extension Volunteers in Hall County. Our Master Gardeners enjoy serving the county, providing more than 10,000 horticultural volunteer hours annually. The focus of the Master Gardener program is to educate the public about environmental stewardship, home food production, gardening with youth and the value of landscapes.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
The Hall County Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Extension program has been working to expand nutrition and health education to residents in Hall County. Program areas include chronic disease prevention, food safety, food preservation and general nutrition topics. To distribute this information, partnerships were forged with local business, civic groups, schools, libraries and non-profits. More than 3,392 face-to-face contacts were made in nutrition classes, workshops and hands-on demonstrations in 200 different sessions around the community. Family and Consumer Sciences Extension in Hall County assembled 34 exhibits around the county, including local farmers markets, to address food safety and budgeting when purchasing foods, reaching more than 900 contacts. Lessons were taught in middle and high school FACS classes, with topics ranging from green cleaning to the role of sensory science in food production and safety. New curriculum was developed for teachers in the state on food preservation methods and sensory science for the Family and Consumer Sciences classroom.
EXPANDED FOOD AND NUTRITION EDUCATION PROGRAM
he Hall County Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) offered 75 educational sessions of the FoodTalk curriculum. EFNEP reached 611 family members and volunteers donated $2,726 through in-kind service hours. Three new partners were identified this year: Right from the Start Medical Assistant Group, Hall County Schools Family and Consumer Science classes, and Gateway Domestic Violence Center, resulting in 12 total partnerships for 2019. Clients reported measurable improvements in four core areas of the program: diet quality (95% improvement); reducing foodborne illness risk (74%); food budget (79%) and physical activity (55%). In 2019, EFNEP in Hall County provided direct nutrition education to 89 youth participants.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Hall County 4-H is known for its excellence in hands-on education in and out of the classroom. Hall County 4-H delivers agricultural-awareness and science-enrichment programs in the school environment to more than 1,348 students monthly. A key element to school programing is the opportunity for youth to learn about public speaking. Writing and presenting 4-H demonstrations reinforce a variety of Georgia Performance Standards in an enjoyable format. Hall County 4-H’ers participate and compete in after-school clubs, teams and activities. Hall County 4-H offers Horse Club, Cooking Club, Dog Club, Target Sport Teams, Poultry Judging Team and residential summer camp experiences.