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
UGA Extension in Long County eagerly assists both farmers and homeowners with a variety of agriculture- and natural resource-related questions and concerns. In 2018, the office processed 49 diagnostic soil, water and feed and forage samples using UGA laboratory services. The Long County Extension staff assists citizens obtaining private applicator licenses and Georgia Agriculture Tax Exemption (GATE) cards and aids in the identification of plant diseases and insects. Additionally, clients visit the office to receive print resources to assist with their questions. A large variety of research-based publications is available both online and in-person. Small garden plots, growing pecans and raising a flock of backyard chickens are topics that many hobby enthusiasts enjoy, while farmers are interested in crop management, weed control and soil quality.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA’s Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) conducted programming in Long County this year. EFNEP, a federally supported Extension community-outreach program, directly served 83 Long County residents and indirectly reached 439 participant family members. EFNEP provides participants with information in four areas: diet quality and physical activity, food resource management, food safety and food security. EFNEP educators provided 452 direct-education sessions, and volunteers donated $1,499 through in-kind service hours to support the programs. Of the participants completing evaluations, 98 percent indicated that they ate more fruits and vegetable or drank fewer sugary beverages, 82 percent reduced the risk of foodborne illness, and 75 percent indicated that they compared food prices more often when making grocery purchases.
4-H Youth Development
Georgia 4-H provides positive youth development programming, and attending 4-H summer camp is a highlight for many Long County children. Whether going down a zip line, hiking through a forest or practicing team-building skills, summer camp is a safe, inclusive environment for young people to learn and grow. Given the current state of the economy, many families are not able to afford opportunities like 4-H summer camp. Many local businesses contribute funding to offer summer camp scholarships, but Long County 4-H wanted to provide additional ways to help 4-H’ers attend camp. Through careful planning and implementation, Long County 4-H coordinated doughnut, strawberry, pizza, Vidalia onion and rib sales to send youth to Georgia 4-H summer camp in 2018. More than $7,900 was raised in five months to provide approximately 55 youths with the opportunity to attend summer camp through full or partial fundraising. Long County had 69 youths attend Cloverleaf Camp, 12 youths attend Junior Camp, 19 youths attend Wilderness Challenge Camp, and four youths attend Marine Resources Camp. Summer camp can be impactful, and the experiences can help 4-H’ers develop critical skills like independence, mastery, belonging and generosity that can benefit them over their lifetimes. Jaden McGowan, a junior 4-H’er, stated, “4-H camp is what I look forward to all year. I wouldn’t miss it for world. It’s more than just camp; it’s about making new friends from different counties involved in 4-H.”