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.
NEWTON COUNTY ANR
Many equine owners in Georgia rely solely on veterinarians, industry professionals, or other equestrian enthusiasts for production information and advice as they are unaware of the expansive equine Extension resources available. To promote Extension equine resources and build relationships with local horse owners and professionals, a team of University of Georgia Extension Agents collaborated to develop “The Leading Rein”, a quarterly newsletter for Georgia horse owners and professionals across all equestrian disciplines. The purpose of “The Leading Rein” is to provide equine owners timely, research-based, and unbiased information about general equine ownership and has rotating articles on forage management, reproduction, nutrition, and 4-H horse programs for youth. Each newsletter is proofread by contributing Agents and Specialists before being distributed electronically via both social media and an email list of equine owners and professionals. Issues of “The Leading Rein” were published in September 2020, December 2020 and March 2021 and distributed to over 2,000 people per issue.
To improve the relationship with equine owners, the Newton County Cooperative Extensionwere provides multiple opportunities for equine owners to implement quality equine practices. The goals of the project are to:
· Identify equine owners and professionals in Newton County and surrounding counties
· Identify and reduce communication issues with equine owners
· Improve utlilization of Newton County equine resources by 75%
· Increase attendace to Newton County Cooperative Extension equine programming by 30%
· Provide equine owners with a publication that covers multiple aspects of owning horses: forages, nutrition, equitation, and general husbandry.
Newton County continues to be stronghold of agriculture in North Georgia. The traditional commodities of beef cattle, forage crops, pasture land, Christmas trees and nurseries still dot the landscape of the county, but the proximity to I-20 has brought an influx of new businesses, new extension consumers and the opportunity for Extension to serve a more diverse clientele. Newton County Cooperative Extension processed more than 500 soil and water samples in 2020, along with addressing landscaping, pest and disease questions, and provided pesticide training for commercial applicators.
4-H AND YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The mission of the Newton County 4-H Club is to assist youth in acquiring knowledge, developing life skills and forming attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive, contributing members of society. This is accomplished through hands-on learning experiences focused on agricultural and environmental issues, agriculture awareness, leadership, communication skills, foods and nutrition, health, energy conservation and citizenship. Georgia 4-H is all about exploring, discovering, encouraging and challenging. Members of 4-H share their research-based knowledge and technology with people where they live and work. Newton County 4-H Youth Development offers a variety of programs and activities. Youths have the opportunity to participate in monthly 4-H club meetings, Project Achievement, community-service projects, summer programming and camping opportunities. Youth can participate on judging teams and project clubs. Judging teams include cotton boll, consumer judging and poultry judging. 4-H members who attend summer camp have experiences that are fun and educational, making new friends and creating lifelong memories along the way. Campers follow an exciting learn-by-doing agenda that includes outdoor recreation, canoeing, archery, swimming, craft workshops, entomology and wildlife. The Newton County 4-H Project SAFE program offers a BB program . The 4-H’ers who engage in the sport learn sportsmanship, how to work on a team and the art of competition.