Georgia might not be known for citrus. But UGA’s Cooperative Extension offices in South Georgia and researchers based at UGA’s Tifton campus are fostering a growing industry, particularly around satsumas. Satsumas are smaller than navel oranges and possess traits that make them good candidates for success in Georgia. Most importantly, they’re cold-tolerant to 15 degrees. In fact, colder weather makes the fruit even sweeter.
With the help of UGA Extension in Lowndes County, the Georgia citrus industry has grown from about 4,500 commercial citrus trees in 2013 to more than 390,000, covering about 2,700 acres in 45 Georgia counties. About 85% of those are satsumas, and because they are also seedless and easy to peel, satsumas are ideal for school lunches. School districts are a crucial customer base for Georgia’s emerging citrus industry.
The Rural Engagement Research Program expands our impact in Georgia and addresses economic and medical barriers in rural communities. For example, the program supports the Cognitive Aging Research and Education (CARE) Center in the College of Public Health, which offers dementia risk reduction and support for people with dementia and their caregivers throughout Georgia.
More than 6.5 million Americans live with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia. That number is expected to double in the next 30 years. Individuals with these diseases and their caregivers must manage a complex illness and navigate a complicated health care system. Most dementia-related care is provided in major cities—often out of reach for rural and even some urban communities.
The CARE Center makes these new resources more accessible for all Georgians, whether through an Archway Partnership or Extension office, or even some local doctors’ offices.
This program, housed in the College of Public Health’s Institute of Gerontology, is a collaboration with UGA Extension, the Archway Partnership, and the Augusta University-University of Georgia Medical Partnership. It’s supported through external grants, including one from the National Academy of Medicine, and internal seed grants from the Rural Engagement Faculty Workshop and the Presidential Interdisciplinary Seed Grant program.
More than 240,000 Georgia students aged 9 to 19 typically participate in 4-H each year. Run by University of Georgia Cooperative Extension within the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, 4-H programs focus on agriculture, STEM, healthy living, and civic engagement.
“The opportunities offered by 4-H today far exceed the organization’s beginnings as an agricultural and a homemaking program more than 100 years ago,” says Melinda Miller, program development coordinator for the 4-H Southwest District. “Young people who participate in today’s 4-H learn life skills, community involvement, and how to become responsible, active, and engaged citizens through service and leadership.”