• Shelly Barnes: Wilson County Extension welcomes summer intern

    By Shelly Barnes -

    Leslyne Watkins is interning as part of the UT-TSU Extension team in Wilson County for the summer.

    Watkins currently attends Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human ecology with a concentration in child development and family relations. With previous volunteer experience at the Wilson County Civic League, her passions include child and adolescent advocacy and wellbeing. 

    Watkins, a Wilson County native, expects to gain a deeper understanding of the needs within her community while working in Extension. She hopes to make an impact on her fellow community members by joining in on the many programs that Extension has to offer. 

    Working with me, Watkins’ focus will be on nutrition, consumer education and family life education. She has already participated in a variety of programs, including a poverty simulation as an in-service seminar for teachers. Watkins also participated in the first Tennessee Registered Judging School for Fairs and Festivals, which serves as an educational tool for volunteer development. 

    There are many other programs throughout the summer that Watkins will participate in such as the Farmers Market Fresh program. The program is an opportunity to encourage consumers within the community to eat healthier by shopping the local farmers market. Watkins will work by my side to share healthy recipes and tips, as well as promote the benefits of incorporating fruits and vegetables into the diet. 

    The Farmers Market Fresh program is funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program or SNAP and under an agreement with the state of Tennessee. 

    UT Extension provides a gateway to the University of Tennessee as the outreach unit of the Institute of Agriculture. With an office in every Tennessee county, UT Extension delivers educational programs and research-based information to citizens throughout the state and provides equal opportunities in all programming and employment. In cooperation with Tennessee State University, UT Extension works with farmers, families, youth and communities to improve lives by addressing problems and issues at the local, state and national levels. 

    For more information on this or other family and consumer sciences-related topics, contact Shelly Barnes, family and consumer sciences Extension agent for UT Extension in Wilson County. Barnes may be reached at [email protected] or 615-444-9584.

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