LSU AgCenter nutrition educator receives national USDA award

Mary Ann Van Osdell, Smith, Joann, Roy, Heli J.  |  3/24/2009 7:46:19 PM

JoAnn Smith, center, LSU AgCenter nutrition educator from Richland Parish, received a national award for her service. Left to right are Ellen Murphy, Heli Roy, Smith, Danna Gillett and Sandra May, all with the AgCenter. (Photo by Mark Claesgens)

Photo By: Mark Claesgens

News Release Distributed 03/24/09

JoAnn Smith, an LSU AgCenter nutrition educator in Richland Parish, has been awarded a certificate of recognition from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service for her contributions to the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP).

EFNEP, which celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, is a federally funded program in all 50 states and several U.S. territories.

Smith was presented the award during a conference for LSU AgCenter nutrition educators. Smith was commended for many accomplishments, including a collaborative partnership with the Richland Parish School System. Beginning in 2006, she began monthly nutrition education programs for all fifth-grade students at Delhi Middle School.

Smith also began nutrition programs to physical education students at Delhi Elementary School this school year.

“She encourages students to include daily physical activity in their lives and actively participates in jump-roping and basketball herself,” said Heli Roy, nutritionist and coordinator of the LSU AgCenter’s EFNEP. “To further motivate the students to be active, she personally solicits donations of prizes and awards from local businesses to use as enticements.”

Smith believes in and personally implements the healthy lifestyle recommendations she teaches to her clientele around the workplace, according to her supervisor Danna Gillett, extension agent in Richland Parish.

Other recognition at the conference March 4 at the Wesley Methodist Retreat Center in Woodworth, La., went to those who had completed the Eat Smart Curriculum and passed the certification exam to become a Certified Nutrition Educator 2, Roy said. Two are with EFNEP – Linda Perry, Bossier Parish, and Brenda Plater, Bossier Parish. Three are with the Family Nutrition Program (FNP) – Marianna Langston, Union Parish; Ruth Reyes, Bossier Parish; and Evelyn Washington, Terrebonne Parish.

A service award was presented on behalf of the late Terry Wade for 38 years as a nutrition educator. She died earlier this year, Roy said.

Other service awards went to Joann Samuels, De Soto Parish, 30 years; Emma Ramsey, Orleans Parish, 28 years; Linda Edwards, Tangipahoa Parish, 27 years; Erica Simon, Orleans Parish, 26 years; Geraldine Henderson, De Soto Parish, 23 years; Grace Cawthorne, Caddo/Bossier EFNEP, 22 years; and Gracie McKinney, De Soto Parish, 15 years.

Mary Ann Van Osdell

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