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
For more than 100 years, UGA Cooperative Extension has provided free, reliable, research-based information. UGA Extension in Pike County assists citizens with questions about crops, livestock, home lawns, gardens, horticulture, aquaculture, natural resources and the environment. The Extension office also offers laboratory testing services for soil, water, forage, feed, plants and radon. Furthermore, the ANR agent is able to serve the community through personal laboratory interpretations, making recommendations, performing site visits and conducting educational programming. Pike County Extension seeks to provide local beekeepers with resources to improve management of apiaries and increase total numbers of bee colonies. Through four programs, participants were given the opportunity to ask questions from a Master Beekeeper, order packages of bees and participate in hands-on activities with a hive. These programs attracted 72 participants and gained community support with almost $650 of in-kind donations. The success of these educational programs denoted not only a need for more programming in the area of beekeeping, but helped establish a local group of beekeepers. Several spring participants reported beginning hives for the first time due to Extension programming. One participant reported, “This is the exact type of program I have been looking for and needing.” Local beekeepers continue to utilize the Extension office as a resource for their apiaries and request programming throughout the year. Furthermore, new beekeepers are starting apiaries within the county, which helps promote not only pollination but agriculture as a whole.
4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
The mission of the Pike 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. Pike 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 Pike County 4-H Project SAFE program offers archery and shotgun disciplines for any experience level. The 4-H’ers who engage in the sport learn sportsmanship, how to work on a team and the art of competition.
FAMILY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES
Due to the resurgence of consumer interest in locally grown produce at farmers markets, Family and Consumer Sciences agents have developed a series of “Farm, Fresh and Fast” publications to be distributed at local farmers markets and U-pick farms. These educational pamphlets, along with many other publications on health and nutrition, are also available at the Extension office. The easy-to-read publications will help residents make wiser food choices and save money because they have information on how to use fresh products when they are in season.