Making A Difference in Our County
We're working hard for the citizens we serve. Here are some examples of successful projects from the past year:
Success in Youth Leadership
In 2015, Butts County 4-H worked together with the local community leaders to try to solve the issue of a lack of youth ready to take on leadership roles in community workplaces. The proposed solution was to teach leadership skills to seventh- to 12th-grade 4-H members. The students were asked to come up with a project team that they would lead. It would be their responsibility to recruit, plan and implement any and all parts of these teams. The Butts County 4-H staff taught a leadership class for the members to help them understand their roles. The impact of this program will take several years to see, but some significant increases in leadership skills have already started occurring. Here is the breakdown of our successes in the first year of this leadership program: 1) Started a 4-H Poultry Judging Team, which was led by a Junior 4-H’er (with help from a volunteer leader); 2) Created a new Senior Citizen/Youth Partnership Garden, which was led by a Senior 4-H’er; 3) Organized a 4-H Food Product Development Team, which was led by a Senior 4-H’er; 4) Began a 4-H Horse Quiz Bowl Team, which was led by a Senior 4-H’er; and 5) Three youth from Butts County ran for positions on the Northeast District Board of Directors, and two were elected. The Butts County 4-H staff hopes to turn more leadership roles over to the youth of Butts County as these new leaders recruit more members and volunteers.
Helping Homeowners and Farmers
The University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Butts County is only a part-time employee, but works many hours. He continues to help Butts County residents with homeowner questions in addition to assisting the few farmers that remain. Butts County has a few pick-your-own operations and greenhouses, and the agent provides information for any difficulty they might be having. He goes into the community and does visits on-site as needed, and he will teach workshops for any organization. He also assists Butts County 4-H with the livestock program, where participation has increased by 50 percent in one year.
Family and Consumer Sciences
Even though Butts County Extension does not have a Family and Consumer Sciences Extension agent, the staff still provides service in this program area to residents by using statewide Extension resources. They also refer questions to Family and Consumer Sciences agents in neighboring county Extension offices. The Extension coordinator for Butts County teaches canning and food classes to adults and youth with the assistance of consumer economics teachers from the local high school.