“It’s going to be an opportunity for the public to learn about all the different programs and services we provide through the local county extension office, and that’s going to cover the gambet of our 4-H youth development program to our agriculture and natural resources programs as well as our family and consumer science programs,” Pugliese said. “We’ll have booths set up where people can learn and experience some of the different services we provide such as soil testing, water testing, insect and disease diagnostics for home gardens, lawns, farm applications and we’ll have videos people can watch that will be ongoing throughout the night on what we provide as far as services.”
“We’re the outreach arm of the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension program, so we provide the education on everything from how to grow your crops and food and vegetables, and we assist both farmers and homeowners with that process,” Pugliese said. “We help folks with growing food all the way from the farm to the table, and so the table aspect of that would be the home-food preservation, canning, cooking, freezing and preserving that food, which gets into our family and consumer science side of things.”
The open house also will provide an opportunity for visitors to learn about 4-H.
“The 4-H program is our youth outreach program, as far as getting kids to learn some of these life skills, whether it’s growing your own food or learning how to protect the environment. A lot of the opportunities for kids to get involved are focused on environmental education, so the kids can actually learn about some of these things during the summer camps we provide during the summer, and there will be a table with information [on 4-H] at the open house.”
Woodland Middle School eighth-grader Katie Poe recently spoke to The Daily Tribune News about her experiences in 4-H and the annual Georgia 4-H Junior Conference. Poe said she enjoyed the activities at the conference as well as the classes.
“What’s important to me about 4-H is it’s kind of like a company that helps make the world a better place,” Poe said. “... Next year I hope to do more community service than I have done this year.
“I’d like to participate in the River’s Alive program and just donate more to people in need, like the food drive and the coat drive we do every year.”
Pugliese said it’s important for the growing community to see the various opportunities available through its local agencies.
“I think a lot of younger generations are not aware of all the services and opportunities we provide in the community, and so the idea of having this open house is hopefully some folks will be able to get here after work who aren’t able to stop by our office during the daytime and experience some of these things,” Pugliese said.
The itinerary for the event includes:
• 4 p.m.: Light refreshments, tour, Ask a Master Gardener and 4-H information table
• 5:30 p.m.: 4-H performing arts variety show
• 6 p.m.: Seminar titled “Top 10 Tree and Landscape Mistakes”
• 6:45 p.m.: Kathy Floyd, retired Family and Consumer Science Extension agent, presents seminar titled “Home Food Preservation Tips”
• 7:30 p.m.: Door prizes
For more information, read Pugliese’s column in Sunday’s paper.