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:
In Fannin County, 260 youths are enrolled in 4-H. The 4-H program provided these students with various opportunities to get involved in 2015. Members worked on a community service project that assisted local veterinarians with inoculating pets in order to help control the spread of rabies. This event also helped educate the youth and public on the dangers of rabies. Another activity involved 4-H members bringing joy to nursing home residents with visits and gifts. Opportunities to improve leadership skills were also made available. Older members developed leadership skills as they assisted younger members with their demonstration projects and community work. In addition to Fannin County 4-H activities, members participated in various competitions, which gave them the chance to see other parts of the state. Because of their community participation, many members earned scholarships to take part in statewide activities such as 4-H camp.
Master Gardener Extension Volunteers
Master Gardener Extension Volunteers are part of a statewide network of trained volunteers. In Fannin County, they conduct projects to benefit he community. One important project that they started involves placing raised-bed gardens at all three elementary schools in the county. The volunteers work with the teachers to teach classes to the students, so that they can learn about agriculture. They also hold educational nature walks, plant sales and seminars, and they volunteer at the county office as needed.
Fannin County is one of the leading counties in the state for agritourism. Apple orchards are the main agritourism enterprise, but there are also vineyards and pick-your-own operations, featuring strawberries, blueberries, brambles and/or vegetables. Most growers utilize integrated pest management (IPM) practices to control insects and diseases in order to lower the amount of pesticides applied. Reduced pesticide usage makes the area more welcoming to a large public presence. University of Georgia Cooperative Extension in Fannin County can help agritourism venues implement IPM practices. Growers can also attend area production meetings put on by the Fannin County Extension office, so that they can keep up with the latest production information.
Fannin County is home to numerous second home owners. Many of these residents have never lived in an area that uses private domestic wells. The Fannin County Extension office has been able to educate homeowners on water quality and the importance of water testing. Fannin County Extension sends more microbacterial water samples to the UGA Feed and Environmental Water Laboratory than any other county in the state. Mineral tests are also provided. Education about the water and the results are provided to these clients, so that they can better understand how wells and their water supplies work. A guide has been developed for residents about what they need to know about wells, regardless if they are homeowners, foster parents, Realtors or other public business owners that depend on domestic wells for their water supply. This educational tool has allowed for homeowners moving into a rural setting to have a smooth transition.