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
Agricultural production remains strong in Putnam County. Long known for dairy production, beef cattle, egg production and row crops have become key components in our agricultural economy. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Putnam County provides on-site consultations, soil and water testing, insect and disease identification, advice on weed management and nutrient-management assistance to the farm and residential communities. Our programming efforts for 2020 were affected by COVID isolation rules. Home horticulture and Agricultural/Natural Resource trainings were conducted via distance learning through several online formats. With so many Putnam residents sheltering at home we received over 2800 phone questions and inquiries. Due to the shelter at home rules in place, on-site consults were difficult to orchestrate; however, 134 on-site consultations were made through the use of videotelephony. Laboratory services including testing of soil, water and animal waste remained important services to the community and were carried out via a drop box system to maintain social distance.
4-H Youth Development
Putnam County 4-H provides an environment for its participants to develop skills through the essential elements of independence, generosity, belonging and mastery. 4-H youth develop skills that are valuable not only to the community, but to the youth as they grow into successful adults. There are approximately 732 students in grades 4-12 enrolled in Putnam County 4-H. Through a partnership with the Board of Education and the Putnam County School System, UGA Cooperative Extension conducts approximately 37 monthly, in-school/virtual educational programs to support the curriculum offered and to encourage fourth through sixth grade students to develop leadership, communication skills and self-confidence. Students in 4th-6th grades attend in-school educational programs related to English Language Arts and STEM throughout the year. As a part of in-school programming, Putnam County 4-H started a County Project Achievement Competition as a capstone project to the English Language Arts curriculum taught, where 283 youth presented classroom demonstrations during the month of December. In addition to school educational programming, Putnam County 4-H hosts three specialty clubs. The Putnam 4-H Archery Team participates in the Georgia 4-H State Indoor and Outdoor Archery Tournaments. The Putnam 4-H Art and STEM Clubs meet throughout the year after school to participate in hands-on activities related to art and science. Over the summer due to COVID-19, youth participated in virtual programs such as summer activity books, summer bingo, and virtual educational videos.