National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS)  Delegation at the GreenbrierThe National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) annual session of 2015 was held November 2-5 at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Spring, West Virginia. Sixty-five members from Kentucky attended the annual session, which included two events where awards were presented celebrating the success of many exemplary professionals and programs. Several Kentucky FCS agents and their colleagues received national and regional recognitions this year. Agents were acknowledged for their leadership and implementation of programs that aim to improve the quality of life for families in their communities and across Kentucky. 

The following awards were presented to Kentucky Extension Agents for Family and Consumer Sciences: 

  • Distinguished Service:The Distinguished Service Award (DSA) is one of the highest awards presented by NEAFCS recognizing members for leadership, educational program efforts and professional development. Three honorees from Kentucky were recognized with the NEAFCS DSA – Joan Martin, Debbie Temple, and Leslie Workman.  
    • Joan works with participants in diabetes education to set goals and solve problems to manage diabetes. She also helps parents gain skills in providing a safe, nurturing home for children, through which nine children were returned to their homes.  
    • In Debbie Temple’s FCS career, she collaborates with community partners in providing timely programs for clientele. These programs provide skills aimed at helping them deal with challenges they face everyday.  
    • Leslie’s work in Pike County focuses on innovative leadership development and helping youth and families discover skills that will improve their lives. She enjoys teaching bread making, textiles and family finance. 
  • Continued Excellence:The Continued Excellence Award recognizes members who have previously received the Distinguished Service Award and continue to be actively involved in professional improvement programs. The 2015 Kentucky recipients were Nancy Kelley, Judi O’Bryan, and Vicki Wynn. 
    • Nancy works on a family and community approach to teaching nutrition education and encouraging the consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables in an effort to target high obesity rates. This cross-discipline, multi-faceted approach involves both Extension and community resources and personnel. Both adults and youth reported increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. 
    • Judi believes that professional development is a key element for a successful Extension program. She has made a commitment to professional growth through learning and service in our Association. 
    • Vicki is grateful for the opportunities Extension has to offer. She believes her involvement in professional development has increased knowledge, broadened networks and charted the course of a rewarding career. 
  • Florence Hall Award:Presented annually, this award recognizes an outstanding program conducted by one or more NEAFCS members who have been alert in recognizing new concerns and interests of families and have involved people in planning and implementing programs that benefit families. Eugenia Wilson’s team included the family resource and youth service center directors with the Martin County school system, which placed 3rd in the Southern Region for their work on Nurture Today for a Better Tomorrow in Martin County Family Resource Centers. Educational sessions held at least monthly were designed and delivered to participants to strengthen families; address early literacy; teach nutrition; and nurture parents who had minimal or outdated parenting skills. Program activities focused on building social capital, learning new skills, discussing current issues or problems, and learning how to prepare healthy meals. With today’s fast paced lifestyles and lack of parenting skills, educational sessions were focused on helping participants learn the needed skills and then practice them in hands on activities.  
  • Environmental Education Award:This award recognizes NEAFCS members for outstanding educational programs conducted for families and/or communities on various environmental issues and concerns. The 3rd Place Southern Region recognition went to Denise Wooley for her program with Plate it Up and Master Food Volunteers. The Plate it Up Kentucky Proud Campaign throughout McCracken County utilized a variety of methods and locations to increase consumer purchase, preparation, and preservation of Kentucky grown produce.  
  • Family Health and Wellness Award: This award recognizes innovative programs that promote and improve health and wellness of families. Stephanie Derifield was recognized as 1st Place Nationally as well as 1st Place in the Southern Region. Stephanie implemented Cooking Matters for Parents, a series of hands-on cooking classes with nutrition education, which targeted families with children ages 6 and younger.  
  • Food Safety Award: This award is presented for an outstanding educational program conducted by one or more NEAFCS members who have been innovative in developing, delivering, and/or determining the impact of a food safety program that makes a difference. The 2nd Place National recognition and the 2nd Place Southern Region recognition were granted to Laura White Brown and team member Leslie Workman for their work with The Gluten Free Choice: Is it for Me? program. Diane Mason placed 3rd in the Southern Region for her work with Food Safety Education through “Seasonal Salads and Sensational Dressings.” 
    • Laura and Leslie created an innovative program exploring the words “gluten-free” and the many myths surrounding gluten. This lesson explores gluten in the American diet and how it pertains to your family’s safety.  
    • Diane’s “Seasonal Salads and Sensational Dressings” was a one-hour interactive program focusing on the safe handling of fresh produce. Surveys showed participants changed their behavior because of what they learned. 
  • Human Development/Family Relationships Award: This award recognizes innovative human development and family relationships educational efforts. Whitney Morrow won the 3rd Place National recognition and 2nd Place in the Southern Region for her Laugh and Learn Playdate Program. Linda Combs was recognized for 3rd Place in the Southern Region for her work with Mommy and Me. 
    • Whitney’s Laugh and Learn Playdate Program reinforces positive child development in a variety of subjects to help parents and children interact, develop children’s social skills, and prepare preschoolers for Kindergarten.
    • Linda’s Mommy and Me is a collaborative program involving all county extension personnel. Each month parents/guardians and their children between the ages of three and 14 attend the family oriented program. 
  • Marketing Package Award:This award recognizes NEAFCS members for outstanding marketing efforts that address the concerns and needs of children, families, or communities. The 3rd Place Southern Region recognition went to Stephanie Derifield for her work with the Heritage Harvest Tour.  
    • The Heritage Harvest Tour was a September weekend self-guided driving tour to promote agri-tourism and community economic development. In 2014, the tour generated over $44,660 among 14 tour stops.  
  • Social Networking Award: This award recognizes innovative online social networking efforts. Melinda McCulley and team were recognized as 1st Place in the Southern Region for their work with the Plate it Up Kentucky Proud Facebook Page. The page is an excellent avenue for agents to communicate with consumers about the great recipes that are available through this program. The team includes Theresa Scott, Judi O’Bryan, Kathy Byrnes, Liz Kingsland, Diana Doggett, Natalie Taul, Jennifer Bridge, Lynette Allen, Pam York, Janet Johnson, Lynn Blankenship, Cecilia Hostilo, Vicki Wynn, Nelda Moore, Sarah Brandl, and Tammy Stephenson. 
  • Communications Awards: To recognize FCS professionals for outstanding work in communications, NEAFCS presented communications awards in nine categories. Kentucky FCS professionals received awards in four of the nine communications categories. 
    • Newsletters: This award encourages excellence in communications by recognizing exceptional newsletters written for a general or specific audience. Andrea Johnson and Kimberly Campbell took home 3rd Place National recognition as well as 1st Place Southern Region recognition for their work with Building Strong Families in Magoffin County. In 2014, the Magoffin County Building Strong Families Newsletter reached approximately 1,204 individuals throughout the county. The newsletter indirectly delivers research-based information in efforts to reduce rates of poor health and obesity in the county. 
    • TV/Video: This award encourages excellence in educational television and video programming. The 3rd Place National recognition as well as the 2nd Place in the Southern Region recognition went to Melinda McCulley for her work with “This Week at the Farmers Market,” which is a video series used to promote the available produce for the week, as well as highlight a Plate it Up Kentucky Proud recipe.  
    • Photography: This award recognizes the use of photography to tell an Extension story or communicate an educational message. Whitney Morrow placed 2nd Nationally and 1st in the Southern Region for her work with They Think We’re Just Fishing. “A Day Out With Dad” was offered to celebrate fathers in Carter County and encourage them to spend more quality time with their children, educating them on the importance of their role. Lora Pullin placed 3rd Nationally and 2nd in the Southern Region for her work with Home Food Preservation. The Greenup County Extension Service took initiative to address poor nutrition among residents of Greenup County. 
    • Radio/Podcast: This award encourages excellence in communications by recognizing exceptional radio programs or podcasts. The 2nd Place National recognition and 1st Place Southern Region recognition for radio/podcast awards were presented to Amanda Hardy for her work with Stand Up to Falling. Amanda recorded five segments on falling. The ads introduce the seriousness and consequences of falling; protection from unsafe home environments; lack of exercise; vision; and medication usage.  
  • Master Family and Consumer Sciences Volunteer Award: This award honors outstanding educational programming efforts that utilize the Master Family & Consumer Sciences Volunteer Program curriculum or educational materials as a supplement to enhance existing or new Master Volunteer Programs. The 1st Place National recognition as well as 1st Place in the Southern Region went to Denise Wooley for her work with Plate It Up. Ten individuals at food pantry cooking school learned to use kitchen equipment, plan meals, and cook. Building this positive relationship with participants will help them move to other Extension programs.  

Congratulations to each and every one of these agents for their commitment and work to build strong families and communities for Kentucky! 

Author: Cara Croley
Contact: Cara Croley,
Terms: FCS