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
In 2019, Madison County 4-H students competed in the Western Round-Up Horse Quiz Bowl, Southeastern Regional 4-H Hippology, National Open Drill Team, National Livestock Shows, Wild Card Life Smarts, National Archery Games, Daisy National BB Team, Great American Seafood Contest and National 4-H Congress. In these programs, 39 Madison County 4-H’ers brought home national awards including blue ribbons for the Horse Drill Team and High Individual and Reserve Champion for Horse Quiz Bowl. These programs could not have been possible without excellent volunteer coaches, motivated students and gracious donors for each and every program. The Environmental Summit is a collaborative effort funded by the Madison County Board of Commissioners and the Madison County School Board. The Madison County Extension office, Keep Madison County Beautiful, UGA faculty and county volunteers helped provide environmental education to 389 youths. The students were motivated with opening speakers including John Scarborough, chairman of the Madison County Board of Commissioners, and Madison County Sheriff Michael Moore. Students and teachers learned hands-on about recycling, vultures, bee pollination, natural resources, water conservation and contamination, wildlife protection, vermiculture and the water cycle, and how these and other lifestyle choices can affect our environment. Since this collaboration took place, 4-H’ers have participated in river cleanup; recycling of cans, pop tabs, water bottles, paper, and bottle tops; recycling programs in the classroom; 4-H Holiday Water Bottle Contest, and Adopt A Highway programs in the county.
Family and Consumer Sciences
In Madison County, 30% of adults are obese. Obesity and being overweight contribute to the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, diabetes and some cancers. In response to this issue, the Madison County Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agent offered programs on cancer prevention, nutrition and physical activity education, weekly newspaper articles and social media content focusing on nutrition and physical activity education. Cooking for Cancer Prevention, Walk-a-Weigh, Cooking to Share and senior center programming were offered to county citizens. In 2019, the Madison County FACS agent offered 40 programs and presentations totaling 1,406 educational contact hours. A total of 204 participants took part in those programs. The FACS agent also hosted programs on relationship building with local teenagers. A total of 71 youth participated in the Relationship Smarts program offered through Madison County Middle School. Of the 71 participating youth, 63 (88.7%) graduated from the program, meaning they completed 75% of the curriculum.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
Superior research and education are the driving force of agricultural innovation, and no one knows this better than UGA Cooperative Extension. Madison County has a new agricultural and natural resources agent who has been working hard to meet producers and is eager to maintain a high level of programming that will deliver unbiased education. Farmers have been dealing with decreases in commodity prices, which has increased the importance of extension programming to keep farming profitable and sustainable. The new Agriculture and Natural Resources agent will address these issues, and as well as forage management, row crop agronomics and livestock production. A large focus will also be placed on addressing the needs of homeowners, home gardeners and youth agriculture-related events.