In September, Kentucky Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension agents received national and regional recognitions during the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Agents were recognized for their development of programs and methods of outreach that have improved quality of life for families residing in the state of Kentucky.
The following awards were given to Kentucky FCS agents:
- Distinguished Service: This is the highest award given by the NEAFCS, recognizing members for leadership, educational program efforts, and professional development. The 2012 Kentucky recipients were Linda Combs, Knott County; Brooke Jenkins-Howard, Magoffin County; and Kim Foster, formerly in Nicholas County (now a Kentucky 4-H Specialist).
- Continued Excellence: This award is only given to NEAFCS members who have previously received the Distinguished Service Award and are continuing to actively involve themselves in professional improvement. The 2012 Kentucky recipients were Nellie Buchanan, Morgan County and Sally Mineer, Lewis County.
- Mary W. Wells Memorial Diversity Award – This award is presented in support of the Extension emphasis on diversity and pluralism in programming. Stephanie Derifield received the national and southern region awards for Extension’s work with women recovering from substance abuse at Karen’s Place. The program delivered through the Lawrence County Extension Service is entitled GROW and focuses on gardening, relationships, opportunities and wellness.
- Family Health and Wellness Award – This award was established in 2012 to recognize innovative programs that promote and improve the health and wellness of families. Rosie Allen, Gallatin County, and Carole Gnatuk, Extension Specialist, received the first place southern region award and second place national award for Home is Where the Health Is. The program is designed to strengthen parenting skills, increase healthy habits for children and adults, and reduce the risk of overweight and obesity.
- Florence Hall Award – Presented annually, this award recognizes FCS agents for their alertness to new concerns and interests of families. Liz Kingsland, Bourbon County; Cheryl Case, Harrison County; Judy Hetterman, Owen County; Kenna Knight, Pendleton County; and Rita May, Extension Associate received the first place southern region award for the Recipe for Life program. Recipe for Life engages 5th grade students in food preparation to learn the skills of food safety, nutrition and measurement. Small groups of students work with Extension Homemakers Association volunteers to prepare foods following specific recipes. All students then have the opportunity to sample all foods. The project correlates to reading and math learning objectives for students.
- Communications-Radio/Podcast: This award encourages excellence in communications by recognizing exceptional radio programs or podcasts by NEAFCS members. Matti Daniels was awarded first place nationally and in the southern region for a series of radio programs focusing on stretching the food dollar.
- Communications-Newsletters: This award encourages excellence in communications by recognizing exceptional newsletters written for a general or specific audience. Gina Noe was awarded third place in the southern region for the Madison County Extension Homemakers Newsletter.
- Communications-Photography: This award recognizes the use of photography to tell an Extension story or communicate an educational message. Mindy McCulley, Barren County, received second place nationally and in the southern region for her photo from Second Sunday in Barren County. (See photo below).
- Communications-Educational Curriculum: This award recognizes creative teaching packages. A teaching package includes a plan for education and evaluation as well as communication tools from at least two of the following categories: audio visual, written, exhibit, slides, transparencies, educational technology, or educational publication. Rosie Allen, Gallatin County, and Carole Gnatuk, Extension Specialist, received 2nd place recognition in the southern region for the Home is Where the Health Is curriculum.
- Communications-Educational Technology: This award recognizes NEAFCS members who develop outstanding educational technology designed to support constructive behavior. Second place in the southern region was awarded to Lynn Blankenship, Nicole Peritore, Connee Wheeler and Jane Bryant for presentations developed to accompany the five lessons included in the Mind Body Connection: Simple Deep Breathing and Stretching Exercises for Stress Release program.
- Community Partnerships: This award recognizes an NEAFCS member's effort to meet the needs of families by collaborating with agencies and consumers. Diana Doggett received second place nationally and in the southern region for her work with Better Bites: Snack Strong, a community partnership that encourages healthy snacking signified by the Better Bites Menu which features healthy food options.
Congratulations to these agents for their commitment and work to build strong families and communities for Kentucky.