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 Ware County 4-H Club provides a positive environment that enables community youth to develop life skills through the essential elements of independence, generosity, belonging and mastery. There are nearly 1,000 students (fourth through 12th grades) enrolled in the Ware County 4-H program. UGA Extension conducts more than 40 monthly in-school educational programs to encourage fourth through sixth grade students to develop leadership, citizenship and communication skills. In addition to in-school programming, Ware County 4-H hosts monthly Junior/Senior club meetings, a specialty precision air-rifle team, book club, garden club and various specialty events, including a Waycross-Ware County Historic Scavenger Hunt that was developed by a Ware County 4-H’er. Ware County 4-H is represented well at district and statewide 4-H events such as Cloverleaf and Junior/Senior District Project Achievement, Cotton Boll and Consumer Judging, Poultry Judging, summer camp and livestock shows. Additionally, our 4-H’ers serve in leadership and learning roles such as Southeast District Junior Board President, STEM and Healthy Living Ambassadors, OneGeorgia Ag Exchange Program participants, and Clovers and Company members.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
As the largest county in land area in Georgia, Ware County has a diverse agricultural community within its borders. Superior research and education are the driving forces of agricultural innovation, and no one knows this better than UGA Extension. Ware County has a new Agricultural and Natural Resources agent who has been working hard to meet producers and is eager to maintain a high level of programming that will deliver unbiased education. Farmers have been dealing with decreases in commodity prices, which has increased the importance of Extension programming to keep farming profitable and sustainable. The new Agricultural and Natural Resources agent will address these issues as well as budgets, pasture management, cotton, peanuts, corn, timber, livestock and wildlife management.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Our community focus includes healthier-lifestyle education for adults and youth. WareCounty Family and Consumer Sciences promotes safer food, greater physical activity and nutrition, better relationships and stronger personal finances. The FACS Agent encourages these lifestyle changes through educational events and community outreach. For example, over the past year FACS has provided nutrition and physical activity education programs and exhibits to 551 youth and 394 adults in Ware County. These have included series such as USDA Cancer Prevention Cooking School, Walk-a-Weigh, Nutrition: Out of this World, SNAP-Ed: Food Talk Better U, and Yoga 4 Kids in addition to individual programs and information distribution from these and other curricula, such as Healthy Georgia Wellness. At the close of each youth program, attendees have been able to identify something new they have learned, enjoyed and are willing to try on their own. Of the adults surveyed at the end of programming, 99% indicated they felt more confident and would be likely to use new information learned during the program and 66% stated that the information they learned would help them save money.