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
The UGA Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) program in Rabun County had another busy and productive year in 2018. ANR Agent John Scaduto reestablished the Northeast Georgia Vegetable Production Seminar, which was a long-standing production meeting held annually in Rabun County. The response from local producers was overwhelmingly positive. With more than 75 growers and UGA Northeast District Extension agents in attendance, four doctorate-level vegetable production specialists from around the state offered cutting-edge information on all aspects of vegetable production. The seminar will be offered in March 2019 and will once again become a signature annual program for UGA Extension in Rabun County.
As a member of the UGA Viticulture Team, Scaduto continued his participation in local and regional viticulture research projects to assist northeast Georgia vineyards in maximizing quality and production, enhancing their ability to produce award-winning wines and, in turn, helping to attract more agritourism to the county.
Scaduto offered educational programming in the areas of small-farm business planning, forestry resource management, the safe and effective use of pesticides, home gardening and fruit production, and the important role of beneficial insects in the environment.
In collaboration with Northeast District Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) agents and the Rabun County Food Bank Teaching Kitchen, Rabun County Extension was able to offer cancer-prevention and diabetes cooking schools to assist local residents incorporate healthful living techniques in their daily lives.
More than 500 no-fee consultations were conducted in 2018 and almost 200 diagnostic samples on water, soil, disease, and agricultural and residential pests were performed.
4-H Youth Development
4-H Extension Associate Donna Young meets monthly with nine fifth-grade classes, seven sixth-grade classes, one junior (seventh- and eighth-grade) class with 27 students, and one senior club (ninth- through 12th-grade) with 18 students, all during school time. She conducts several after-school classes and workshops. Rabun County 4-H took 37 4-H’ers to Jekyll Island for summer camp.
The Rabun County 4-H Club was very successful at District Project Achievement (DPA) in 2018. We had three seniors place first and advance to the state competition. Huck Smith competed in crafts, Guy Gober in entomology and Sage Shirley in environmental science. Sage placed second at state. Both Huck and Guy earned Master status by placing first in their respective categories. Huck became Rabun County’s first Double Master. He had previously mastered in the science of engineering and mechanics last year. He is one of only two in the state to earn Double Master status. They both attended National Congress in late November.
On November 17, Cloverleaf DPA participants traveled to Union County for the competition. Rabun County received plaques for the highest percent of winners and the largest increase in participation from Northeast District. Rabun County had one student place third, seven place second and the remainder placing first.
Rabun County won plaques for:
- Largest percentage of winners, Cloverleaf DPA 2018
- Largest increase of participation, DPA 2018
- Highest percentage of first-place winners, Junior/Senior DPA 2018
- Largest number of first-place winners, State Congress 2018