LaToya Drake

LaToya Drake Barren County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences

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 1.5 million Kentuckians.

These programs have made a meaningful impact across the state and in our community. Our area-wide Money Mondays webseries, which focuses on financial resources management strategies, has introduced individuals to tips for budgeting, credit health, saving for the holidays and back-to-school shopping. Presently, more than 296 individuals have viewed one or more of the short video series presented via Facebook; you may view this video series on the area FCS Facebook page – Soky Home and Health, @MCAFCSExtension.

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 26,000 Kentuckians reported eating healthier foods in this past year. 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 thousands of dollars 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; Barren County’s own late Homemaker, Virginia McCandless initiated the fund that provides these screenings. 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 Barren County Cooperative Extension Service or follow us on Facebook.

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expressions, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Upcoming extension programs

July 23- 25

NEP Food Preservation Workshop 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. BCEO

July 27

Recipe Demo and Sampling at Bounty of the Barren Farmers Market 10-11 a.m. Barren County Square

Aug. 10

NDN Tacos at the Farmers Market 10-11 a.m. Barren County Square

Aug. 15-25

Kentucky State Fair State Fairgrounds

Aug. 21

Cooking with the Calendar 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. BCEO

Aug. 29

GEPB Energy Workshop (GEPB Customers ONLY)

Aug. 31

Recipe Demo and Sampling at Bounty of the Barren Farmers Market 10-11 a.m. Barren County Square

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