Who We Are
Click on the links below to learn about our amazing staff and their accomplishments.
Starting from top, left to right:
Family & Consumer Sciences and CED Leadership
- Leadership and management to the Taylor County Extension Service
- Health, nutrition, and wellness of individuals and families
- Food preservation and food safety
- Vaccine Education and awareness
Taylor County’s FCS Agent is currently working with the USDA NIFA Rural Health 2: Advancing Rural Health Equity and Community Action to Prevent COVID-19 Grant to support families in Taylor County by increasing public awareness and education about COVID-19 vaccines while reinforcing basic prevention measures along with increasing awareness of overall health education. Educational materials including newspaper articles, blogs, social media posts, and flyers have been developed and are being utilized to spread awareness during health fairs, festivals, and other local events and have reached over 10,000 individual contacts. Our education intervention is indicating preliminary effects in reducing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and overall health awareness in rural populations.
Agriculture and Natural Resources
- Develop and coordinate a meaningful Master Gardener Volunteer experience In Taylor County
- Encourage best management practices to maintain an environmentally responsible community
- Promote sustainability and management that conserves both Commercial Horticulture and Agricultural Natural Resources
- Enhance Forestry and Firewise management and foster 4-H youth development
Reorganized an inactive Master Gardener group by providing continued education hours and recruited, trained, and retained two new classes of (26) volunteers, and implemented a new statewide software reporting tool, Better Impact. Developed an on-line newsletter for volunteer members, keeping members engaged, recognized, and satisfied with their volunteering experiences. Is a constant and challenging accomplishment in a rural, low-income community. Raised awareness and certified 84 men on the Green Industry Best Management Practices to help protect our natural resources and water, who will boost the economy where their families live, work, and shop, additionally saving the state thousands of dollars by reducing recidivism rates from the correctional institute where they were trained. Increased annual workshop participation by improved marketing and professional leadership, providing updates on citrus management for north Florida producers and potential future growers with deliveries of information from UF specialists statewide. Successfully provided seasonal Plant Clinics at the local library on various gardening topics, with increased interest for more activities throughout the year.
4-H Youth Development
- Organizational strategies and marketing 4-H in Taylor County
- Life skill development · Summer Day Camps
- School Enrichment/Community Clubs
- Healthy Living/Mental Health Education
The 2021-22 club year is actively engaged with ninety youth participating in clubs, such as, Horse, Culinary, Sewing, Livestock, Clover buds, and Sharpshooters. Taylor County 4-H works diligently to provide options for youth to participate in 4-H. Taylor County’s 4-H Agent is currently working on the PROSPER grant (Promoting- School -Community and University Partnership to ENHANCE Resilience) to develop healthy social and emotional health for 6th-grade youth and families in Taylor County. Thirteen Taylor County 4-H is also known for its superior summer camping program, which provides youth a chance to develop character, and valuable life skills, make new friends, and discover new interests. We have thirteen-day camps planned that range in topics such as theatre camp, wild about water, sports, culinary arts, and much more.
Marine & Natural Resources
- Enhancing Taylor County waterways
- Improving marine ecosystems literacy in Taylor County
- Increasing the sustainable use and conservation of fishing resources in Taylor County
- 4-H and youth development
The enhancing Taylor County waterways educational program, which mainly targets local government officials (County commissioners, County administrator, County Engineer, County Attorney), has resulted in the development and adoption of one major waterway navigational restricted area ordinance and a continuous improvement process of Taylor County navigational safety, including maintenance and service of 48 waterway markers (signs and buoys), four river light systems and at least four other navigational aids, removal of three derelict vessels and removal of 876 derelict crab traps from coastal areas.
Leigh Ann Grubbs
Attended the Business Professionals Conference in March 2022, where she learned more about the financial side of Extension and met other county Extension workers.
Completed the Master Gardener Volunteer training on March 23, 2022, with the hope of being a help to our Ag agent, Lisa Strange, when receiving home gardening questions.
4-H Program Assistant
Worked to build up the website to keep it accurate and with more up-to-date information. Other than helping with general social media such as presenting Throwback Thursdays to acknowledge great 4-Hers of the past and releasing blogs, she also helps and leads many 4-H clubs.
Starting from left to right
Food and Nutrition Recourse agent
UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program Columbia, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, and Taylor Counties
Food and Nutrition program assistant
FNP Success Stories for Taylor County
Garden By the Gulf
FNP has had a great partnership with Steinhatchee Elementary School for many years providing both direct education and garden support. A new garden champion, Chrissy Bray, recently took the helm and with the help of FNP Food Systems Specialist Judy Dampier guided the garden to a successful season. Using Dampier's non-traditional gardening technical assistance through text messaging and Bray's indomitable spirit, the garden was a huge success despite the pandemic and Bray's limited gardening experience. Students reinvigorated, planted, tended, harvested, and tasted from the garden. Potatoes and beans were seasoned with herbs from the garden and received a resounding thumbs up at the tasting party! “The hydroponic garden was so much fun! The kids loved it! Thank you for helping us!”- Chrissy Bray
Seeds of Change
The excitement from the Boys and Girls Club of planting and harvesting has led to expansion of the garden outside of the club itself. The director reported back to Corrie [FNP nutrition educator] that some of the children at the Boys and Girls Club are now starting up gardens of 4 their own in their homes. The children are very excited to share with their families what they have learned in nutrition class and soon will enjoy homegrown vegetables!