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.
Monroe County Extension/4-H
In 2022, Monroe County Extension/4-H reached a total number of 44,115 contacts through in and out-of-office programs, activities, site visits, and club meetings. 7,267 contacts were reached through virtual programming and social media.
Family and Consumer Sciences
UGA Extension provides nutrition education programs and educational materials for adults and youth. By improving the overall health habits of Georgians, fewer hospitalizations and medications will be required, reducing health care costs for individuals, taxpayers, small businesses and corporations. The Monroe County Extension office can provide publications and assist residents in locating applicable programs in nearby counties. We provide research-based information through training and dissemination of publications, and link families, businesses and communities to university faculty and resources. Our Monroe County agent focuses on the prevention and management of chronic diseases through evidence-based nutrition programming and programming that addresses the social and cultural dynamics known to be associated with chronic diseases. Monroe County also offers the Elevate program. This skills-based, evidence-informed program helps couples form, improve, and sustain healthy relationships. Elevate blends practical skills with an understanding of the physiology of human interaction to enhance knowledge and skills essential to healthy relationships.
4-H & Youth Development
Monroe County 4-H aims to offer a variety of hands-on learning experiences for youth in agriculture and environmental education, healthy living, and leadership. Monthly in-school club meetings are offered to 325 fourth-graders, 380 fifth-graders, 350 sixth-graders, and 60 seventh and eighth-graders. 4-H’ers are able to participate in a variety of after-school special interest clubs and activities including: County Council, Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging, Poultry Judging, Shotgun Team, Dairy Quiz Bowl, Food Challenge, Project Achievement, Outdoor Adventure Club, Livestock exhibition, and monthly community service projects.
In 2022, Monroe County 4-H’ers celebrated numerous successes. A few of those successes include district awards for Outstanding Project Club Led by a Team of 4-H’ers, Outstanding Community Service Project Led by a 4-H’er, and Outstanding Teen Leadership Project Led by a 4-H’er. At District Project Achievement all five Senior participants from Monroe County placed first advancing themselves to State Congress. Two of the five gained Master 4-H’er status. The Dairy Quiz Bowl Senior Team placed third in the State. The Food Challenge Senior Team advanced from district to state competition and placed second securing themselves a chance to compete at the Great American Seafood Cookoff – 4-H Edition in Louisiana in 2023. Additionally, the Monroe County 4-H Senior Board assisted in planning and leading five new clubs for younger 4-H’ers: Jars of Joy, 4-H for a Difference, Sharing and Caring, Mini Cooking Club, and Explorers of the Deep. This provided them with a new responsibility for their 4-H program, allowed them to share their interests and all they’ve learned in 4-H, and opened up new opportunities for younger 4-H’ers to explore.
Agricultural and Natural Resources
During 2022, Monroe County Extension processed the following Agriculture & Natural Resources testing services:
Animal Waste- 1
Feed & Forage- 22
Microbiology (Bacteria)- 23
Water & Pond- 61
For a total of 366 samples processed
In addition to those numbers, more than 250 weed, insect, and plant disease specimens were correctly identified in the field, or under the microscope.
In 2022, the ANR Agent began a research trial with Dr. Pedro Fontes of the Animal & Dairy Science at UGA. In this trial, testing of the 7&7 day cattle estrus synchronization protocol is being done against the 7&6 day cattle estrus synchronization protocol. The expectation of this trial is that the 7&6 day protocol will have a higher rate in estrus, therefore, a higher conception rate at the time of breeding. With more than 6,000 beef cows in Monroe County, this trial could be a huge step in the progressive direction. Having cows synchronized for breeding will benefit Monroe County producers because it will reduce the costs involved.