COVID-19 Resources
UGA Extension Office

Our Impact

Making A Difference In Our County

UGA Extension is working diligently to help the people in our county. The following is the Extensions Impact during the year 2020.

4-H

Murray County 4-H reaches more than 1,100 Kindergarten through 12th-grade students and helps those students develop the knowledge, life skills and attitudes needed to become self-directing, productive and contributing members of society. Our mission is fulfilled through hands-on learning experiences offered both in the classroom and during out of school activities. Murray 4-H Tech Changemakers program addresses the digital divide between young people and senior citizens by providing education on common technological devices, assisting with one-on-one support, and helping with online activities. Monthly help sessions are offered at the Murray County Senior Center where 4-H youth teach older adults digital literacy skills. These classes have been postponed due to the pandemic but will resume as soon as the Senior Center reopens. Programming highlights include CCRPI Classes for all 5th graders including Preparing Presentations, 6 hours of the Healthy Living Curriculum for every 6th grader in Murray County ( 542 students) throughout the school year. During the virtual pandemic period, 210 students participated with weekly activity kits, 15 K-5th graders and 15 6th-12th graders for 7 weeks. One 6th grader noted when asked what they liked most about the activity kits," Getting to do whatever came to mind! I love" Chopped" and love to cook! Nothing to improve." Each weekly lesson was pre-recorded to go along with the kit of the week and posted to Facebook and Instagram. Several teen leaders posted pre-recorded Healthy Living lessons to Facebook during " Virtual Health Rocks Week ". These videos covered topics such as the dangers of vaping, developing healthy relationships and managing stress, averaging 288 views each. A total of 10 videos were posted throughout the summer with an average of 276 views and 57 engagements on each video, the highest viewed was Chopped competition video with 645 views and 207 engagements.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

The Covid-19 pandemic sent many people home to shelter in place, resulting in an increased interest in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking and gardening increased to relieve stress and boredom. According to AARP, gardening encourages social interaction, improves strength and flexibility, fights stress and lowers cortisol, and sun exposure increases Vitamin D. Due to Extension's inability to deliver face to face programming in the Spring of 2020, the Zoom platform was used for a gardening series to provide necessary information to first time gardeners and to those that would like to refresh their knowledge and skills. Topics offered were: Ten Easy Steps to a Happy Vegetable Garden, Know Your Pests and Diseases, Designing an Energy Efficient, Prosperous Home Lawn, and Native Plants for Happy Pollinators. Zoom Gardening attendees were from Murray, Whitfield and Gordon Counties. When asked if they were familiar with Extension Programming, 3 said they had never viewed or participated in an Extension program, 1 had attended an in-person program but never a webinar and 7 said they regularly seek out and attend Extension programs, both on person and virtually. 57% of participants attended 4 or more Zoom sessions. 82% said they were extremely satisfied with the speaker, the topics and the information provided. When asked to give one or more practices learned in a Zoom session that they then implemented at home, comments included " Several but the ones that come to mind are crop rotation, pollinator attracting flowers, native plants, which organic fertilizers to use, and where to find additional information just to name a few" and : While putting in my home garden, I used techniques that I learned from the Happy Vegetable garden class."

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