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 McIntosh County provides many agricultural services to local residents. Services and resources offered by the office include soil, water and plant-tissue analyses, in-office and on-site consultations for farmers and homeowners, and educational programs focused on environmental sustainability, pesticide safety and conservation.
In 2018, the Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) agent worked with local beekeepers to form a 19-member beekeeping club. Through monthly club meetings, McIntosh County Extension delivered programs on important beekeeping topics such as apiary establishment, beehive management and control methods for common pests and diseases of honeybees.
With materials from UGA’s Trees for Bees program, McIntosh County Extension offered several pollinator-conservation workshops. The more than 50 youth and adult participants in the Trees for Bees workshops gained a better understanding of native pollinator species, built their own native bee hotels and learned how to plant pollinator-friendly home gardens.
4-H Youth Development
In 2018, 642 youth in fourth through 12th grades were enrolled in the McIntosh County 4-H Club. In-school club meetings served every McIntosh County student in fourth through 12th grades once per month, plus additional Health Rocks! curriculum in physical education classes. The MG Sprouts after-school program engaged fourth- and fifth-graders in a literacy and horticulture programs led by three community volunteers.
Outside of school, 18 fourth- through sixth-graders participated in Cloverleaf camp at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Project Achievement participation included seven seventh- through 12th-graders for Junior/Senior DPA and 16 Cloverleaf District Project Achievement participants.
In December 2018, Maggie Van Cantfort joined McIntosh County Extension as the 4-H Youth Development agent. Maggie is a certified middle school science and social studies teacher with extensive experience in farm-to-school and experiential education. She is a former 4-H’er and started her career in education as an environmental educator at Rock Eagle 4-H Center.
In 2019, McIntosh County 4-H will build upon established garden programs, offer STEAM in Action after-school and summer activities and will collaborate with Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) and ANR staff to develop holistic seed-to-fork programming.
Family and Consumer Sciences
McIntosh County Extension’s FACS program provides research-based information on food and nutrition, food safety, food preservation, financial management, housing, positive youth development, and healthy relationships to a wide variety of audiences. Jasmine Black, the new FACS educator, is focusing on building community relationships and offering FACS programming.
McIntosh County Extension offers free nutrition education through the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). EFNEP delivers a series of educational nutrition programs, which give participants the opportunity to develop skills, increase knowledge, influence changes in behavior and improve their daily lives. Food demonstrations and taste-testing encourage clients to sample and prepare new foods.
Savannah Moore, the EFNEP program assistant, began teaching classes in February. Moore studied food and nutrition at Georgia Southern University and is bringing nutrition experience to McIntosh County.