Highlights from the Southern Region

Marian Ross (TX), Southern Region Director

Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Food Volunteer program

These folks love food, and they love telling others about food even more, they are the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Master Food volunteers. Whether helping to teach a workshop on food preparation, educating children about making healthy food choices or answering food safety question questions at a farmers market, these volunteers are passionate about food.

With fewer than 30 full time family and consumer science agents scattered across the state and the demand for nutrition and food information on the rise, their presence has been welcomed. There are 8 supervising educators and 125 active volunteers. In addition to the technical knowledge that the volunteers gain, many volunteers are learning job skills including interpersonal communications, public speaking and presentation skills that they can use in other parts of their lives.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.Vt.edu/spotlight/impact/2012-10-08-food/master-food.html

A Tribute to Margaret Fitch ~ Oklahoma

Margaret FitchLike many 4-H members, Margaret Edsel Fitch dreamed of a career in Cooperative Extension. She began that career in Cimarron County and later served 25 years in Canadian County. In 1970 she moved to Arizona as Extension Home Economics Pro-gram Leader, and completed her career as Acting Associate Di-rector for the Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service. After retiring, she returned to Oklahoma.

During and after her career, Margaret was known and recognized for her leadership and dedicated service to her profession and it’s mission of improving the lives of individuals and families. She served as a consultant in several foreign countries and as president of the Oklahoma and American Home Economics Associations and the International Federation of Home Economics.

Many current and recently retired Oklahoma Extension FCS Educators will remember Margaret for the significant role she played in establishing the FCS Ambassadors organization to support FCS and 4-H program development.

Margaret so strongly believed in supporting Educators with innovative program ideas, that she gave one of the first large gifts to Ambassadors during the OSU “Bringing Dreams to Life” campaign in the mid 1990s, by donating the proceeds from the sale of property in a retirement community where she and her late husband had planned to re-tire. She never wavered in her belief in the importance of giving back to the profession she dearly loved. When the FCS Ambassadors established in her name, the Margaret Fitch Fellowship, contributions of over $75,000 were received, not just from Oklahomans, but from her colleagues across the U.S. and several countries around the world.

Margaret was recognized with many wonderful awards throughout her career and her life. Her legacy, though, remains her steadfast belief in the importance of education through FCS and 4-H, and her lifelong dedicated support of Oklahoma Extension Educators who diligently work every day to improve the lives of others.

Contributed by Dr. Lynda Harriman
Associate Dean, College of Human Sciences and
Assistant Director, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, FCS & 4-H, Retired