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September 30, 2008

Congressman Etheridge visits Harnett County

Harnett County visit
From left, George Quigley and Jon Ort greet Rep. Bob Etheridge, along with Lisa Childers. Etheridge visited the Extension center in Harnett County recently. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Childers)

Rep. Bob Etheridge, second congressional district, visited his home county and Harnett County Extension Center recently to learn about the impacts the local Cooperative Extension program is having on the county and its residents. Cooperative Extension Advisory Board members, along with Extension customers and administrators, were among those who attended this event.

“Back Home” visits are held annually for U.S. congressional representatives in order to showcase quality Extension programs and provide a forum for Extension Advisory Leaders to interact with members of Congress.

Harnett Advisory Leadership Chair Leon McKoy and County Extension Director Lisa Childers welcomed Etheridge, and Extension agents and volunteers shared impacts and accomplishments. Some of the highlights are listed below.
• 4-H members Rossie Blinson and Veronica Campbell shared how 4-H had impacted their lives through public speaking opportunities and life skills trainings.
• Mason Poe and Johnny Barefoot described how they had worked with Extension agents and participated in agricultural programs offered including the pesticide certification program.
• Eugene Gonzales of Central Carolina Community College spoke of how the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) had enabled the college to expand efforts to reach more Hispanic and Latinos in the county.
• To highlight programs addressing families, Mr. and Mrs. Brian Dinges, parents of three children, described how the Parents As Teachers and Incredible Years parenting programs have helped their family.
• Trinity Faucett, director of human resources for Harnett County, spoke of the benefits her family has reaped as a result of her involvement in Cooperative Extension’s Parents As Teachers program. She emphasized the importance of parenting and the need for parenting information being available to parents of all educational and income backgrounds.

Dr. Jon Ort, associate dean and director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, and George Quigley, State Extension Advisory Leadership Chair, made closing remarks.

Before the 2008 “Back Home” visit to Harnett County came to a close, Etheridge was invited to speak to the group. “Extension has really changed over the years. It’s not just food safety and preparation, and soil testing anymore,” he said.

“Today’s Extension Service assists families in nutritional awareness, health and well-being, community development and environmental issues, like conservation and water usage. North Carolina has one of the top Extension Services in the nation, second only to Texas. We have Extension offices in all 100 counties, and we still do soil testing and food safety. Just like your old Extension Service, only better," Etheridge said.

Posted by Natalie at September 30, 2008 09:39 AM