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 2020, the Peach County 4-H program enrolled 386 youth from 4th-12th grade as active member in our clubs. Members were exposed to monthly educational meetings, monthly specialty club meetings, and numerous leadership conferences and community service activities.
Overall, the 4-H program in Peach County had a successful year, even in the midst of a global pandemic. Throughout 2020, Peach County 4-H had: 5 youth exhibit livestock, 12 youth participate in District Project Achievement, 34 engaged in Project Achievement at the local level, 344 participate in monthly in-school club meetings, and 27 Judging Team and Shooting Sports Team Members. All of the programmatic efforts would not be possible or successful without the staff and volunteers for the program. In the 2020 program year, volunteers supported programming efforts in the areas of agriculture, leadership, citizenship and communications.
The Peach County 4-H program continued to provide programs through a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic. Youth had the opportunity to participate in virtual competitions, various STEM activities, take courses in teen leadership, take home activity packets, community service projects, virtual club meetings, and healthy living activities while at home. The 4-H staff never stopped providing exceptional programs to our clientele.
AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES
Specialty crops like peaches and pecans account for more than $25 million in farm gate value to Peach County producers. Therefore, it is important for our office as well as our growers to stay up to date on the latest technologies and innovations. Our office collaborates with researchers from UGA and across the southeast to provide education and applied research that impacts the sustainability of these industries. Collaboration with institutions as well as industry partners helps our office obtain grant funding to support our programs.
Our office maintains several blogs for not only our local clientele, but also for producers, landowners, and homeowners across the southeast. The Middle Georgia Gardener, Three Rivers Ag News, Strawberry News and UGA Peach Blog. Weekly newspaper articles also help gardeners stay on top of needs in their landscape.
The most enjoyable part of the job is the farm and home visits. It is extremely rewarding to be able to identify problems for large row crop producers and small time gardeners. Helping each to be as successful as they can be is our number one priority.
Since we did not have much of our normal meeting schedule last year the majority of our face to face contacts was in the form of farm and site visits. Even during unsure times our office had over 1000 face to face contacts pertaining to agricultural issues.