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La Plata County’s best kept secret

If you’re reading this column, you’re either familiar with La Plata County Extension Office or the headline was just too catchy to skip.

For regulars, what may not be familiar is the name and face contributing to your Saturday morning ritual. Who am I? My name is Nicole Clark. By trade I’m a registered dietitian. While I do love a good salad, you can relax in knowing I am also quite fond of bacon. I enjoy a good trail run and a local beer afterward. As you’ll discover, my recipe for life (and work) blends health, adventure and growth.

This February, my predecessor, Wendy Rice, retired after 18 years with the Extension Office. To say there are big shoes to fill as the new family and consumer science agent would be an understatement. So begins a new adventure, not only for myself, but also for the Extension Office.

If stopped on the street and asked what you knew about the Extension Office, how would you answer? Admittedly, my long-standing perception of the Extension Office revolved around sewing, cooking and the county fair. To my husband’s disappointment, I am not interested in raising chickens or goats in our backyard. Frankly, keeping our children alive and well is quite enough for now. And while I’ve made some delicious peach jam in the past, it was hardly worthy of competition. Point being, for far too long I was unaware of what the Extension Office had to offer and failed to use this amazing resource. When I heard a fellow agent describe the Extension Office as “the county’s best kept secret,” I realized I was not alone.

With a vague title like family and consumer science, there is room for clarification. Here are a few quick facts:

The Extension Office provides resources and education in agriculture, 4-H/youth development and health and well-being. Family and consumer science is the umbrella in the Extension Office covering health and well-being for individuals, families and the community. Improve your health and well-being by attending Extension Office programs and workshops, calling with questions at 382-6461, visiting our website (www.laplataextension.org) or requesting a presentation for your group. The Extension Office proudly partners with local organizations for the betterment of the community. Connect with the Extension Office to share your organization’s mission. Programs and workshops are offered at low to no cost thanks to the support of La Plata County and Colorado State University.Services are available for all to use, including individuals, organizations and private or public enterprises. Past programming has included food safety, radon testing, financial wellness, weight loss, high-altitude food preparation and food preservation. Future programming, however, is in your hands, and that’s where the adventure awaits. The programs and workshops depend on feedback from you, the community. Health and well-being are by no means limited to diet and exercise.

You’re encouraged to think in and outside the box as you share your thoughts about how the Extension Office can serve La Plata County. Please complete the survey in the breakout box and email your priorities to me. Recognize a need not listed on the survey? Let me know.

Nicole Clark is the family and consumer science agent for the La Plata County Extension Office. Reach her at nicole.clark@colostate.edu or 382-6465.

Nicole Clark

Community needs survey

Which of these health and well-being topics would be of greatest benefit to you and/or La Plata County (choose all that apply):

1. Chronic disease management and prevention

2. Mental and emotional health

3. Stress/resiliency

4. Family relationships, child development

5. Nutrition, physical activity, sleep

6. Finance

7. Other

Email responses to Nicole.Clark@co.laplata.co.us.