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
Youth are faced with many challenges in today’s society. Deciding on health choices that will impact the future don’t seem to be in the forefront of their minds. Choices made today can have a major bearing on their future welfare.
Of ninth grade youth, 79.5 percent report negative risk with alcohol consumption. That is 3.3 percent higher than the state average. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Haralson County ranks fourth in the state of Georgia and 200th in the nation for being a vulnerable opioid epidemic county. In 2017, the CDC reports that nearly six of every 100 middle school students (5.6 percent) and nearly 20 of every 100 high school students (19.6 percent) reported current use of some type of tobacco product.
An event held in Haralson County, called “Teen Maze,” is designed to increase adolescents’ understanding of personal responsibility and the importance of making positive life choices. The event further expands their knowledge and encourages them to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. Teen Maze has been described as a life-sized game board to help teens see firsthand the consequences of negative life choices. More than 600 youth had the opportunity to experience real life consequences through 15 Teen Maze scenarios. A teacher stated, “Students shared several comments about their impression of the maze. They said this seemed very real and they would never want to be in this situation.”
Youth in the Haralson County 4-H Club are encouraged to seek opportunities on the state level. Jade Lewis served on the Northwest District Junior Board of Directors, Jadyn Williams was selected to perform with the 4-H performing arts group Clovers and Company, and Dalton Williams was selected as a stage crew member. Some 4-H’ers were selected to serve as State Ambassadors, including Rachel Ibbetson (STEM), Rebekah Ibbetson (Healthy Living), Melody Goodwin and Rylee Sharpton (Health Rocks). Christina Gavazzi was selected to be a 4-H camp counselor and received Master 4-H status for earning a 4-H scholarship. Five 4-H’ers attended 4-H State Congress and Haralson County was awarded four awards at District Project Achievement. 4-H Coordinator Dorothea Graham was honored for Excellence in Animal Science Education and Citizenship in 4-H Youth.
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 Laboratories 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 Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Haralson County Cattlemen, Haralson County Farm Bureau and neighboring Extension offices to provide educational programs and events for the agricultural community.
In November of 2018, a new Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) professional was added to the Haralson County Extension team. This is the first time in quite a while that there has been an agricultural correspondent in the office. The new ANR educator is here to further assist community members with anything they may need, from helping 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.