Cooperative Extension brings Twiggs County community together for health and wellness

Published By: Russell Boone September 25, 2023

Residents of Twiggs County participate in the Stepping into Fall Walkathon organized by Fort Valley State University's Cooperative Extension Program in Jeffersonville, Georgia.

Residents of Jeffersonville, Georgia, gathered at the City Hall Square to participate in a program organized by Fort Valley University’s (FVSU) Cooperative Extension Program.

From September 20-22, 75 residents walked more than a mile during the Stepping into Fall Walkathon.

Terralon Chaney, FVSU family and consumer sciences (FCS) Extension agent for Twiggs County, said the event is designed to expose residents to a physically active lifestyle and promote healthy living practices.

“My target goal until the end of my career is to promote health and wellness. The reason I try to have an annual walkathon is to promote our heart health and to let people know how important the heart is. It is also designed to help people know how crucial it is to walk and keep yourself healthy,” Chaney said.

In addition to providing county residents a chance to take part in a health-related activity, the FVSU Extension agent said the event provides participants a forum to discuss chronic illnesses that may affect them. “It also gives them a chance to walk and talk among themselves about what they can do to live a healthier lifestyle as a community,” Chaney said.

Participants of the Stepping into Fall Walkathon pose as a group in Jeffersonville, Georgia.

Charles Williams, mayor of Jeffersonville, said that FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program offers services such as toy drives for youth and food drives for the elderly throughout the year. He said he shares the benefits of collaborating with FVSU Cooperative Extension with elected officials. These benefits include promoting and developing healthy lifestyles.

“I tell them my story of this town, and how activities like this make a huge difference and have a big impact in small communities like this one. I am just grateful that (FVSU) chose Twiggs County and the city of Jeffersonville for this event. I would also like to thank Terralon Chaney for bringing this to our community,” Williams said.

Chaney said it is important for FVSU’s Cooperative Extension Program to provide outreach activities that promote healthy living, especially in rural communities. She said FVSU’s outreach programs have had a definite impact in Twiggs County, creating a personal relationship between the institution and the community.

“Since I have been here, FVSU Cooperative Extension has provided us with everything we need to promote healthy lives in Twiggs County. A lot of great things have been accomplished.”