Mississippi County Extension Agents Receive State Awards

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Pictured left to right:  Dr. Pamela Pruett, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, and Elizabeth Easley, 4-H Agent, with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service in Mississippi County, received professional organization state awards at the recent Galaxy Professional Development Conference in Hot Springs. (photo provided)

Elizabeth Easley embodies excellence in extension education programming and youth development in her 4-H Agent position in Mississippi County. In less than two years, Easley received the prestigious 2018 Arkansas Association of Extension 4-H Agents (AAE4-HA) Rookie of the Year Award.

The Rookie of the Year Award is presented to an agent with five years or less work experience with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Extension Service as a 4-H agent who demonstrates excellence in carrying out the role and responsibilities of a 4-H agent.

The Mississippi County 4-H program has grown tremendously under Easley’s leadership. 4-H youth club membership increased 154 percent from 56 to 150 active 4-H club members. The county saw a 60 percent increase in the number of 4-H clubs and a 71 percent increase in the number of trained 4-H adult volunteers. Attendance grew for various 4-H events including 74 youth competing at the county O’ramas, 19 youth competing at the Delta District O’Rama, day camps reaching maximum capacity in less than 20 hours, and high participation in other county activities.

A long-time leader in Mississippi County 4-H stated, “I have heard many parents, leaders, and 4-H members make comments on their admiration of Easley’s organization skills and ability to engage everyone involved in the 4-H program. We are aware of all events, activities, and opportunities available through 4-H at local, district, and state levels as well as the requirements for our 4-H members to be successful.”

Dr. Pamela Pruett, the Family and Consumer Sciences agent in Mississippi County since January 2012, was the recipient of three team awards and one individual award presented by the the Arkansas Affiliate of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) at the state professional development conference recently.

Pruett received the Communications Written Press Releases Award for her feature article, Keys to living well despite diabetes, published in the Blytheville Courier News. The article focused on a remarkable success story about an individual’s inspiring journey through the extension program, Living Well with Diabetes.

The Early Childhood Child Care Training Award for the state program Best Care was a team award presented to county Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agents in the state who teach the ten hour Best Care program annually. Pruett is in a cluster with the Craighead County FCS Agent, Debbie DeRossitte.

DeRossitte, Pruett, and Debbie Baker the Clay County FCS agent, adapted the adult Extension Wellness Ambassador Program (EWAP) created by Extension Associate Professor of Health, Dr. Lisa Washburn, to an Extension Youth Wellness Ambassador Program. A service learning community service component was added and extension curriculum, Eating Smart Being Active and Extension Get Fit were correlated to the state Family and Consumer Sciences course, Nutrition and Wellness.

The team of agents, Pruett, DeRossitte, and Baker, and specialist, Washburn, received two NEAFCS-AR awards: School Wellness Award and Innovation in Programming, which is a new award. School Wellness recognizes outstanding school based programs to promote and improve physical, emotional, and/or social wellness of students, staff, or families of students in the school community. Innovative Programming recognizes innovation in FCS programming.

For information on 4-H youth programs and club membership and family and consumer sciences programs or information contact the Mississippi County Extension office at 870-762-2075.

Dr. Pamela Pruett is a County Extension Agent – Family and Consumer Sciences with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service in Mississippi County. She can be reached by email ppruett@uaex.edu.

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