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
Due to the cancellation of in-person events because of COVID-19, County 4-H Agent Lynn Davis along with an agent in a neighboring county co-chaired a virtual Southwest District Winner’s Workshop. 4-H district winning delegates still needed help preparing and perfecting their communication skills and this year they needed extra support to understand how to communicate through virtual means.
A group of 4-H professionals worked together to prepare a Winner’s Workshop where youth could learn ways to efficiently communicate through a recorded video or Zoom interview. The workshop consisted of a Zoom meeting where youth were given tips about what to wear, their appearance on camera, and delivery to a virtual audience. They also played a manners and etiquette game, were reminded to write thank you notes, and practiced interviews.
Twenty-five youth and twenty adults from Southwest District attended the Winner’s Workshop Zoom. All fifty-five Southwest District delegates had access to a participant guide and a recording of the Zoom meeting to help them prepare for the State Project Achievement Contest. After the workshop, 90% of delegates stated they felt more prepared for a virtual contest. 100% of delegates knew they must dress appropriately for their recorded presentations and Zoom interviews. 95% of delegates thought that the virtual workshop gave them an opportunity to improve their demonstration submission and interview skills. These delegates already had strong communication skills to make it to the state contest, but the Winner’s Workshop helped then adapt to communicating in a virtual setting.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
2020 presented the University of Georgia Turner County Extension ANR program with some unprecedented challenges but also many unique opportunities. The greatest achievement of the year was being able to continuously serve our agricultural clientele through the uncertain times caused by COVID-19. Although this pandemic did force some adjustments in how and where clients were supported, local producers continued to call on Extension when problems arose and they faced significant decisions. Since the office was closed to the public during the peak of the virus lock-down, often it was necessary to make more farm visits than normal. While in times past, clients could simply drop a diseased plant or sample by the office to get a needed result or answer, in the time of COVID-19, it was necessary that these submissions be collected in-person. The program has also been involved with numerous research efforts including projects in the areas of peanut fungicide, cotton variety comparison, watermelon disease control, and beef cattle reproduction and nutrition. Traditional programming efforts such as peanut maturity clinics and production meetings were also able to continue for Extension clientele with minimal interruption. 2020 Crop production meetings were conducted before the COVID-19 lock-down was implemented and peanut maturity clinics were conducted outside with social distancing guidelines in-place. Production meetings provided an excellent opportunity for producers to hear about production strategies and advances for various crops directly from UGA Extension specialists. The Turner County ANR program hosted production meetings for several crops including cotton, peanut, watermelon, and hemp.