Field experience at the K-State Riley County Research and Extension



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In 1862, the Morrill Act granted federal support to states, in order to develop college curriculum that included agricultural instruction. Land-grant universities have a triadic mission, emphasizing teaching, research, and extension in order to make knowledge created through research available to the community. The 1914 Smith Lever Act created the Cooperative Extension service, with the purpose of disseminating information from the land-grant universities directly to the people. The agents that today work in these Cooperative Extension units are educators that act as an “extension” of the university, providing programs in agriculture and natural resources, community and economic development, family and consumer sciences, and 4-H youth development. Well-developed extension programs are led by qualifies staff members and serve a broad-based clientele, providing unbiased and up-to-date information, are responsive to local need and emergencies, are focused with well-defined areas of responsibility and supported by a long-term plan, and utilize resources efficiently. They also address the community's needs and reach many people and multiple audiences, having the support of community leaders and stakeholders. Kansas State University is the oldest, coeducational land-grant university in the nation, and faculty members have been conducting research and extension activities since the 1860s. With the passage of the Smith-Lever Act in 1914, Kansas created its Cooperative Extension Service. With time, to simplify and make the tie between Cooperative Services and Kansas State University, its name was changed to K-State Research and Extension. The K-State Research and Extension has four Core Mission Areas: Youth, Family, and Community Development; Food, Nutrition, Health, and Safety; Natural Resources and Environmental Management; and Agricultural Industry Competitiveness. Their mission is to be dedicated to a safe, sustainable, competitive food and fiber system and to strong, healthy communities, families, and youth through integrated research, analysis and education. My field experience was spent within the K-State Riley County Research and Extension Office under the direction and supervision of the Family and Consumer Sciences agent, Virginia Barnard, MPH. I completed 240 hours onsite between May and September of 2017. For most of the time, my responsibility involved assisting the Family and Consumer Sciences agent with the “Stay Strong, Stay Healthy” training sessions, and creating supplemental material for the participants. I also worked closely with the 4-H Youth Development agent, that connected me to the 4-H Verde Clovers club, and together we organized a 3-day kidscamp. I also performed many other activities and developed other products.



public health, physical activity, exercise, nutrition, extension

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Master of Public Health


Public Health Interdepartmental Program

Major Professor

Katie M. Heinrich