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
UGA Worth County Extension provides research-based information for Worth County citizens and producers through educational production meetings, on-farm research, farm and site visits, and individual consultations. In 2020, the educational production meetings held for growers included the latest UGA information on corn, melon, peanut, and cotton production, and on row crop irrigation and weed management. The agent conducted on-farm applied research with local growers in corn nutrients, cotton varieties, and peanut varieties; also work on managing insects in row crops, citrus production, and pine trees was performed. With the onset of COVID-19, face-to-face interactions were limited for a period of time, but Worth County Extension programming and farm and site visits continued even during this time. Worth County Extension distributed and disseminated information through regular emails and social media outlets of the Worth County Ag blog page, twitter, and Facebook.
4-H Youth Development
Worth County 4-H provides an environment that enables participants to develop skills through the essential elements of independence, generosity, belonging, and mastery. Youth in 4-H develop skills that are valuable to themselves and the community, helping them grow into successful adults. In 2020, Worth County 4-H had an enrollment of 373 youth and a total of 20 clubs. A total of 14 certified adult volunteers assisted 4-H with various projects. Monthly 4-H Club Meetings were held for Worth County fifth-grade, homeschool, middle school, and high school students when schools were in session. Fourteen 4-H members were contestants in Junior/Senior District Project Achievement. Two senior 4-H’ers went on to earn Master Status in the Virtual State Project Achievement Contest in the Housing project area and Robotics project area. Six 4th and 5th graders competed in Virtual Cloverleaf Project Achievement. COVID-19 cancelled the district contest so 4-H’ers recorded videos of their presentation in order to compete against other 4-H members from Southwest Georgia. When COVID-19 shut down activities in March 2020, it cancelled many 4-H events including 4-H summer camp, state weekend activities, Georgia 4-H Project S.A.F.E. (Shooting Awareness, Fun and Education) Shotgun contests, and more. Although in-person events were cancelled, Worth County 4-H worked to meet with 4-H members in a virtual setting. Weekly Zoom meetings were offered to 7th – 12th graders throughout the summer. We also supported activities such as 4-H N.A.I.L.D It (weekly hands on STEM and healthy living activities over Zoom), virtual teen leader training, Plugged into 4-H Virtual Lessons (emailed lessons on Agriculture), county photo contest, and virtual social media spirit weeks. COVID-19 may have stopped many in person events, but Worth County 4-H still worked to reach 4-H members across the county. Throughout 2020, members of 4-H have donated to the Ronald McDonald House, made cards for local health department, and made cards for local nursing homes. Worth County also had entries in the Meat Goat, Beef Cattle and Swine livestock shows. 2020 provided a number of challenges, but Worth County 4-H continued to work to “make the best better”.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Worth County Extension collaborated with the Worth County Health Department to host drive through COVID-19 testing at the Worth County Ag Pavilion once a week for 7 months. Also, with the help of Tift County Family and Consumer Science Agent Roxie Price, our Worth County 4-H Agent, Kristen Ford, published a lesson on added sugar for Extension staff across the state to use. This lesson created the awareness of the amount of sugar one drinks in sodas, sports drinks, and juice. The lesson also points out the negative effects of too much sugar in one’s body, such as childhood obesity.