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.
4-H Youth Development
Haralson County Cooperative Extension staff worked with Tanner Health System to increase availability of produce to the community. The Extension team began teaching at the Bremen Farmers Market and countywide festivals, educating young people about foods that help prevent cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes; portion sizes, food groups, growing produce, exercise, farm-to-table, sugar content in foods, and building strong bones and teeth. They taught lessons on starting school gardens and making use of the produce that they have grown to benefit the students. A garden has also been built by 4-H’ers and Extension staff at Bremen Assisted Living and Haralson County Senior Center.
These efforts have increased public awareness of healthy lifestyles for youth by successfully marketing programs to community leaders, elected officials, school officials and parents. In 2019, 1,049 youths participated in 4-H healthy living events and classes conducted in school, after school, and during summer programs. After attending the classes, 89% of participants indicated an increase in their understanding of nutrition, healthy living and the importance of growing fresh produce due to the lack of quality produce at grocery stores.
4-H youth are encouraged to seek opportunities on the state level as well. Jadyn Williams was selected to perform with the 4-H performing arts group, Clovers and Company. Four Haralson 4-H’ers were selected to serve as State Ambassadors: Rachel Ibbetson – STEM; Rebekah Ibbetson – , Healthy Living; and Melody Goodwin and Rylee Sharpton – Health Rocks. Sharpton received Master 4-H status for earning a 4-H Scholarship and Jozie Mize received 4-H Master status for winning first place in the Food Fare project at State 4-H Congress. Five 4-H’ers attended 4-H State Congress and Haralson County was awarded four awards at District Project Achievement. Robert Graham received an award for being the Most Outstanding Volunteer Leader for Northwest District and was also the state winner. Dorothea Graham, Haralson County 4-H coordinator, won an award for Diversity and Inclusion and was honored for 20 years of service.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
The Haralson County Extension office helps farmers and homeowners with inquiries regarding soil fertility, pesticides, water usage, home gardening and crop and pasture management on a daily basis. Through the Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratory at UGA, we conduct soil, feed and animal waste testing. The Haralson County Extension office helps its community members to correctly identify plants, insects and weeds. The office enjoys collaborating with organizations like the National Resources Conservation Service, Haralson County Cattlemen, Haralson County Farm Bureau and neighboring extension offices to provide educational programs and events for the agricultural community.
During 2019, there were multiple fundraisers and programs held to further the community’s involvement and awareness of the agriculture surrounding them. There are many upcoming programs planned for 2020 in conjunction with multiple organizations. The current Agricultural and Natural Resources educator is here to further assist any of the community members with anything they may need, whether that means helping to identify a rogue flower in a home garden or helping a land owner to understand the results of a soil test. The Haralson County Extension office is here to help all members of the community.