Pittsburg County OSU Extension Educators David Cantrell, Greg Owen and Rachel Lockwood along with educators, Donna Jung from Canadian County, Melanie Taylor from McIntosh County, Kelsey Ratcliff of Coal County and Area Horticulturist, Jim Shrefler received recognition at the National Extension Association of Family Consumer Science (NEAFCS) 85th annual session held in Hershey, PA for their efforts of the Gather and Grow Nutrition Education Conference.

In the Spring of this year, the team won First Place for the Excellence in Teamwork Award and the Innovation in Programming Award at the Oklahoma Extension Association of Family Consumer Science (OEAFCS) held in Oklahoma City. This recognition advanced the team to the Southern Region Awards. The Southern Region of Extension encompasses Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virgin Islands and Virginia.

During the recent National Extension Association of Family Consumer Science (NEAFCS) 85th annual session held in Hershey, PA, the team was recognized as the 3rd Place Southern Region Winners for the Gather and Grow Nutrition Education Conference that has been conducted the last two years in McAlester, OK.

The goal of the Gather and Grow Nutrition Education Conference was created to improve health outcomes by gathering knowledge in the areas of agriculture, nutrition and health to grow healthier schools and communities throughout Southeast Oklahoma. Through great partnerships of the City of McAlester, Southeast Oklahoma Bee Keepers Association, Oklahoma Department Of Education, Oklahoma Department of Health, Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust (TSET), Choctaw Nation, USDA, Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Cooking for Kids, Southwest Dairies, Farm to You, OHCE, 4-H, The Bank NA and more, the first years of the conference have welcomed over 200 teachers, cafeteria staff, child care providers and school administrators from across 22 counties of Oklahoma.

The Excellence in Teamwork Award was established in 2018 to recognize outstanding Extension Family Consumer Science programs conducted by a multi-disciplinary team. This Extension program demonstrated effective performance and significant results to receive such recognition.

Planning is underway for the 2020 Gather and Grow Nutrition Education Conference to continue educating cafeteria staff, teachers and child care staff on the diverse topics of agriculture, nutrition and health to further advance the health of our schools and communities.

Rachel Lockwood is the Family Consumer Science Extension Educator with Pittsburg County OSU Cooperative Extension Service. For more information related to this topic or related FCS programs contact Rachel at 918-423-4120, email Rachel.lockwood@okstate.edu or on Pittsburg County OSU Website http://oces.okstate.edu/pittsburg/ or find Pittsburg County OSU Extension Center or Pittsburg County OHCE on Facebook.

 

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