For the second quarter of 2014 (January, February, March), Food & Families Extension staff members have utilized the following categories to gain feedback regarding current programs and future initiatives for the development of new programs.
Food & Families Field and State Specialists held caring conversations as they engaged in networking activities and/or program delivery in South Dakota communities. The conversations identified a need for programs or materials to be developed for a more diverse population such as, Spanish speaking individuals, low-income individuals, and ranchers/producers. Additionally, it was identified that a need exists for additional information for consumers on how to incorporate physical activity into their daily and work routines. As a result of the caring conversations, some materials were translated in Spanish and information was provided to consumers on incorporating physical activity into daily and work routines.
Informal Conversation Feedback:
Informal Conversation feedback was secured during program delivery and phone conversations. Feedback was given regarding tactics and up-to-date topics that could make presentations and programs more successful. The feedback has been taken into account for future presentations and programs.
There were 15 requests for either new programs or presentations in the areas of Food Safety, Nutrition, Gerontology, and Financial Resource Management. Presentations were requested for university classrooms, employees that work with limited-income populations, and community members. Individuals from many South Dakota communities, along with neighboring states have requested programs in the areas of processing authority, food dehydration, ServSafe®, TeachSD, chronic disease prevention and management, barriers to physical activity for teens, identity theft, financial resource management for limited-income populations, financial aid, finances and families, and student loans and budgeting. The Food & Families Field Specialists have responded to program requests and have either delivered programs and presentations, or are in the process of designing programs and presentations to meet the needs of those who requested them.
Programs developed by the Food & Families capstone area are grounded in research. Field and State Specialists are either working on or have already completed thorough literature reviews or journal articles for use by communities or scholars. Prior to beginning programs in South Dakota communities, field and state specialists have conducted the following research surveys during this quarter: assessment of types of food offered and nutrition education provided by food panties in SD and pre-assessment surveys for worksite wellness to assess what SD worksites may need. A community needs assessment has also been completed to further understand community members’ perception on potential opportunities or areas of improvement to create healthier communities. Additionally, one of our specialists participated in a weeklong educational research based program sponsored by the SD Department of Health titled “Evidence-Based Public Health” where they worked to network and identify opportunities to collaborate to bring public health programs to SD communities.
Field and State Specialists will utilize the data collected to create sustainable, research-based programs in South Dakota communities.
Non-Profit and Foundation Interaction:
The Food & Families Program promotes interactions with both non-profits and foundations. As a result of promoting this interaction, a relationship with a new non-profit has been forged. The Five Loaves Bread Company has requested and received information and resources in the area of food product development/food safety. They will utilize the information and resources to improve their non-profit.
Participation in in-state networks allows the Food & Families Field and State Specialists to participate in knowledge sharing with our partners. Some examples of opportunities we were engaged with in sharing knowledge included: the SD Dietary Managers Association state conference, 2014 Aging Conference, SD Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Conference, SD Jump$tart Financial Literacy Conference, the SD Department of Health State WorkWell conference, and conducting ServSafe® classes.
Our specialists are also engaged in two steering committee initiatives centered on health, which include the Interprofessional Education steering committee led by the USD College of Nursing, and Chronic Disease State Management Program steering committee led by the SD Department of Health.
These opportunities allow our specialists to share their knowledge but it also educates them on activities other state agencies are engaging in.
Food & Families specialists engage in national networking with other state Extension systems or other partners. One example of utilizing national networks is the Voices for Food grant, which is a multi-state USDA grant that works with Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio. Additionally, there has been an opportunity for creating a networking relationship with Minnesota Extension as they have requested a review of the Financial Literacy curriculum that is being developed here in SD. Engaging in national networking allows our specialists to stay up to date on current research and programming.