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Family and consumer sciences extension builds strong, healthy Kentuckians

In family and consumer sciences extension, we work to give individuals the skills they need to improve the quality of life for themselves and their families. Throughout the year, we offer educational programs centered in areas that range from making healthy lifestyle choices to securing financial stability. In the past programming year, we have reached more than 1.6 million Kentuckians.

These programs have made a meaningful impact across the state. Our Truth and Consequences Program, which focuses on the realities of substance abuse, has changed the lives of young Kentuckians. In a recent survey, more than 400 of them reported that they know of peers who no longer engage in substance abuse because of the program.

We offer a variety of health-related programs for all age groups that focus on eating healthy and increasing physical activity. Due to these efforts, more than 12,000 Kentuckians made a lifestyle change to improve their health. FCS extension agents also work closely with local farmers markets to promote fresh produce consumption to many different audiences through the Plate It Up Kentucky Proud program and Nutrition Education Programs. We increased Kentucky farmers market sales by more than $17,000 when agents conducted Plate It Up food demonstrations or offered recipe cards during the markets. Our agents and NEP assistants work educating low-income families on the benefits of healthier eating and buying fresh foods resulted in families redeeming more than $61,000 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Women, Infants and Children or senior benefits at the state’s farmers markets.

Through various career preparation programs, we are able to help individuals gain knowledge that will help them attain employment or find a more fulfilling job. In the past year, more than 43,000 people used practical living skills they learned through FCS Extension to advance their education or employment. We are home to a vibrant group of Extension Homemakers.

These members engage in numerous outreach projects to better their communities and Kentucky. One such project is the ovarian cancer screening fundraising program. Each year, Extension Homemakers contribute to this UK Markey Cancer Center program, which provides free ovarian cancer screenings to Kentucky women. Since fundraising began 40 years ago, Extension Homemakers have given $1.4 million to that effort.

For more information on local family and consumer sciences programs, contact the Woodford County Cooperative Extension Service at 873-4601 orelizabeth.coots@uky.edu. You can also find us online at woodford.ca.uky.edu or on Facebook at facebook.com/woodfordcountyCES/.

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