Extension and Ag Research News


EFNEP Honors N.D. Nutrition Education Agent

A Grand Forks County nutrition education agent was honored during the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program’s 40th anniversary celebration.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) recognized Jean Noland of Grand Forks for her integral support of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) during the program’s 40th anniversary celebration in Washington, D.C.

Noland is the North Dakota State University Extension Service’s nutrition education agent for Grand Forks County.

EFNEP annually helps more than 500,000 limited-resource families and youth make sound nutrition and health choices. In 2008, the North Dakota EFNEP program served 2,500 families.

The program addresses national priorities, such as hunger, health and obesity. Through an experiential learning process, participants learn to make food choices that can improve the nutritional quality of the meals they serve their families. They increase their ability to select and buy nutritional food; gain new skills in food production, preparation, storage, safety and sanitation; and learn to better manage their food budgets and related resources from federal, state and local food assistance agencies and organizations. They also learn about related topics, such as physical activity and health.

The 40th anniversary celebration was held at the University of California Washington Center.

“It is exciting and rewarding to receive this award and represent the state of North Dakota,” Noland said. “At the end of the day, it is nice to know that I may have somehow made a difference.”

In 2008, 94 percent of adults graduating from EFNEP reported improved dietary intake, including an increase of about 0.8 cup equivalent of fruits and vegetables. Additionally, 73 percent of youth graduating from the program reported eating a variety of foods from all groups in their diets.

The hands-on, learn-by-doing approach allows participants to gain the practical skills to make positive behavior changes. Through EFNEP, participants also experience increased self-worth as they recognize that they can improve their and their family’s health.

County Extension family and consumer science professionals provide training and supervise peer educators and volunteers who teach EFNEP in their local communities. Methods for program delivery include direct teaching in group or individual situations; mailings and telephone teaching to complement other teaching methods; mass media efforts to develop understanding, awareness and involvement in the educational program; and development and training of volunteers to assist with direct teaching of adults and youth.

CSREES distributes congressionally-appropriated funds annually to support EFNEP at the state level through land-grant university Extension programs. Through federal funding and leadership for research, education and Extension programs, CSREES focuses on investing in science and solving critical issues impacting people’s daily lives and the nation’s future.

For more information, visit the CSREES Web site at http://www.csrees.usda.gov/efnep or the NDSU Web site at http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/foodwise.

NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Desiree Tande, (701) 231-6515, desiree.tande@ndsu.edu
Editor:Ellen Crawford, (701) 231-5391, ellen.crawford@ndsu.edu
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