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
The Madison County Equine Industry was valued at 1.2 million in 2020, having close to 1,000 head of horses. Madison County 4-H helps those interested in owning horses by teaching basic horse care, responsibility, patience and dedication, breeds, tack, feed, health, showmanship, safety, show ring attire, conformation of horses, sportsmanship and riding skills with our horse quiz bowl, judging and drill reaching almost 60 participants & family members. In 2022 teams were named the State Senior Horse Quiz Bowl first place, State Senior Hippology 4th place and named as State Junior Varsity Drill Team Champions and 3rd place State Varsity Drill Team. The Madison County 4-H Junior Livestock Judging, Area Senior Poultry Judging and Area Junior Food Challenge Teams received 1st place and had 21 students involved. Project Achievement encompassed over 270 demonstrations, 30 students competing in district and/or state and 10 were awarded 1st place honors. Project SAFE and Target Sports 29 competitors were awarded State Archery Cloverleaf Team 1st, BB team District 3rd, and Shotgun team members all qualifying for state. Students also competed at Senior State Wildlife and Area Consumer Judging placing 3rd for both. National LifeSmarts Team, State Dean’s Awards, and District Leadership in Action and District Board Officer projects were completed by 11 students joining with 210 other Madison County youth to work for over 2500 volunteer hours of community/leadership service at county district, state and region. Madison County 4-H has had success in classroom 4-H curriculum for 24 in-school/afterschool club monthly meetings and weekly school activities. Project clubs such as Tech Wizards, Tech Changemakers, and Robotics with over 75 students /adults also met weekly. Monthly marketing efforts for 850 students and adults in the county included newsletters, newspaper articles and average of 18 home visits, 621 individual letters and 929 texts/phone calls.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Provides research-based information in the area of agriculture and natural resources to all residents. Educational programming is developed and designed to assist individuals in making sound economical environmental decisions that affects everyday life.
Teaching youth about agriculture and where the food and fiber come from that clothes and feeds them is important. They also need to understand about conserving our natural resources. The Madison County Agriculture and Natural Resources agent has been actively involved in field trips and activities to teach students about caring for our environment and learning about agriculture.
Madison County Extension and Keep Madison County Beautiful collaborated in the planning of the annual Madison County Third Grade Environmental Summit. All third-grade classes in the county were invited to attend a 1.5-hour program with rotations about the environment. Three hundred sixty-two students from all 5 Madison county elementary schools participated in the Environment Youth Summit. Contributors included: Madison County Beekeepers Association, Madison County Transfer Station, Camp Kiwanis, Madison County Sherriff Department, Madison County Board of Commissioners, UGA Extension Northeast District Area Water Agent, Georgia Environmental Protection Division, Madison County FFA and Madison County 4-H. Students rotated through stations featuring the following topics: Composting, Where is the Water, Our Friends the Vultures, Madison County Wildlife, Bees and Pollination, and Reading the Signs in Madison County. The Environmental Youth Summit demonstrated to youth in our county the importance of our environment as well as the necessity of keeping our resources and community clean and free of unnecessary pollution. All teachers received a take home classroom bag with handouts and goodies for the students to learn more about their environment.
Madison County Extension collaborated with the Madison County Young Farmers, Madison County FFA, and Madison County Farm Bureau to present two Farm Days for area schools. These events had stations that the students rotated through to earn about the diversity of agriculture in Madison County. Each station was interactive and had activities or animals for the students to see and touch. Farm Days were also hosted by The Madison County Early Learning Center and a local farmer. Over 200 students participated in farm days.
Family and Consumer Sciences
In Madison County 36% of the population is obese. Obesity and being overweight contribute to the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and some cancers. In response to this issue, the Oglethorpe County Family and Consumer Sciences agent offered programs on youth health and wellness, nutrition and physical activity education, and weekly newspaper articles. Prevent T2 Diabetes Lifestyle Change Program, Walk-a-Weigh, and Senior Center programming were offered to citizens in Madison County. Prevent T2 Diabetes Lifestyle Change Program is a CDC-recognized program offered in Madison County. The agent’s current cohort consists of two program participants. The two program participants lost a combined 20 pounds over the course of the year-long program. Participants of the Madison County Walk-a-Weigh series walked a total of 180 miles and lost 47 pounds collectively over the course of 12 weeks. 100% of program participants (n=5) indicated that they are extremely likely to be physically active for at least 30 minutes per day five days per week upon completion of this 12-week course. 20 senior citizens in Madison County attended educational presentations totaling 90 educational contact hours were over the course of four lessons. 10 newspapers articles were written and published in the Main Street Journal, reaching approximately 5,000 print and digital subscribers weekly. Topics for these articles included spring pantry cleaning, youth summer weight gain, herbs and spices, youth sports hydration, and pregnancy physical activity.