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
The Sumter County 4-H Club works collaboratively with local private, public and charter schools to provide youth development programming. Members of 4-H grow and work together with adults to develop life skills through innovative inclusion and leadership programs, various competitions, summer learning experiences, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) activities and specialty clubs. A total of 723 Sumter County 4-H’ers were enrolled in the club during 2018.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Sumter County Family and Consumer Sciences (FACS) Agent Mitzi Parker provides programming that increases the health, wellness and financial capabilities of Sumter County residents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that, each year, roughly 1 in 6 Americans gets sick, 128,000 are hospitalized and 3,000 die of foodborne diseases. Parker promotes food safety by providing the community with the national ServSafe® Manager Certification program. This two-day course is designed for restaurant managers and food-service workers and focuses on food safety. In 2017, Parker taught four ServSafe® Manager classes, and 57 participants earned their ServSafe® Manager Certification. Parker also collaborated with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to present a cancer-prevention program to educate participants about adopting nutrition and lifestyle choices to prevent cancer, and promoting screening tests for early detection. The program empowers participants to make healthier food choices, increase physical activity and increase the likelihood they’ll get recommended cancer screenings.