Monday, September 19, 2016

FREE Diabetes Classes:

5-week series starting Oct 18th

Click here to see flyer for more information!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Richard and I are moving to Extension positions in Leon County, which is located between Dallas and Houston.  Our last day in Hays Co. is Feb. 10th and we will start in Leon Co. on Feb. 15th.  We are excited about the new opportunities for our personal and professional lives.  

As I move onto new adventures in my life and career, I just want to say thank you to everyone I had the opportunity to work with during my 5 years in Hays County.  I have learned so much in that time, and I have worked to make a positive impact.  I appreciate your support, partnership and interest.  I wish you the best, and look forward to keeping up with great Hays County progress.

When a new agent is hired, please welcome him/herIn the interim, please know that there will likely be gaps in programs, educational resources, etc. especially with both Richard and me leaving the only agent positions in Hays County.  If you have any questions about the vacant positions, please feel free to contact Kathleen Greer, District Extension Administrator, at 830-278-9151.

Friday, October 16, 2015

FCS Newsletters

Click here for the Fall 2015 Hays Co. FCS Newsletter.
Some highlights include:
- Pumpkin’s Benefits
- Drink More Water
- Alcohol Awareness Program Availability
- Healthy Cooking Demos
- Nutrition Education Program Availability
- Olive Festival
- 5K Run/Walk Events
- Texas Home Visiting Program
- Dispute Resolution Center Programs
- Learn, Grow, Eat, GO!
- Backyard Basics
- Program Highlights & Information
    - School Programs
    - Do Well, Be Well with Diabetes Class Series
    - Child Care Providers Needed
    - Networking Luncheon
    - 4-H Youth Development Happenings
    - Extension Education Club Happenings
- Community Happenings

Later issues are also available:

Learn, Grow, Eat, GO!

Learn, Grow, Eat & GO! (LGEG), a project of the internationally-recognized
Junior Master Gardener® Program, combines gardening, nutrition and physical activities, and emphasizes science, math, language arts and social studies.  LGEG supports 35 3rd grade TEKS and STAAR objectives.  The program includes:
  Learn - 10 weeks of in-class, TEKS aligned activities with 2 concepts per week
  Grow - Raised bed or container gardening
  Eat - Vegetable tastings and food demonstrations
  Go - Classroom “physical activity breaks” related to school subjects and Walk Across Texas
You can find out much more at or see the information sheet by clicking here.  

The Healthy City Task Force has already agreed to take LGEG on as a project, and other partners are welcome.  Please contact me if you are interested in helping with LGEG, or if you’d like to help your schools get LGEG implemented.

Extension Education Club Activities

The San Marcos Extension Education Club meets the third Thursday of each month, at 9:30 am, at the Extension office in San Marcos.  Anyone is welcome to attend their meetings and learn more.

Their new year kicks off November 1st, so check back soon for their 2015-16 Hays Co. Extension Education Association Yearbook.

New EE clubs may be formed at any time in any area of Hays County.  If you’re not interested in a formal EE club, a Study Club may be your choice.  Contact Laura for more info.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Salvage Workshop

The San Marcos Extension Education Club partnered with the University of Texas at Austin's School of Information to host a Salvage Workshop to train volunteers on how to clean damaged photos, books and documents.  Karen Pavelka, a lecturer, and a team from the School of Information presented the workshop on June 3rd at the Extension office in San Marcos.  Those participating included Extension Education Club members and other volunteers wanting to help with cleanup efforts now and in the future.  Participants learned how to handle items damaged by water and flooding.  The workshop also included tips on how to store items to limit or prevent damage in the future.  A video of the workshop is available by clicking here.

For more information about cleaning or preserving photos, books, etc., please feel free to contact Karen Pavelka at 512-903-9564 or

Monday, June 1, 2015

Safety Days Highlights Video

Our 2015 Progressive Ag Terry Fielder Safety Days were conducted on May 7th and 8th at Lehman High School.  Over the 2-day program, we had a total of 755 4th grade students from 7 Hays CISD elementary schools and 225 youth and adult volunteers and school staff.  Students rotated through 9, 20-minute sessions on a variety of safety topics.  Special thanks to everyone who helped make the program a success!  We couldn't do it without you!!

Check out the highlights videos that Richard compiled.  He went above and beyond this time with two versions – 1 long and 1 short.  Click here to view the 18-minute video and click here to view the 6-minute (short) video.

Click here to view a video summary about the 2014 Safety Day.

Looking for Volunteer Judges

We are trying to compile a list of potential judges for various events such as 4-H award selection and project judging for food, clothing, etc.  This is a great chance to interact with some outstanding young people and evaluate their efforts and achievements.  Anyone interested in doing any of this is asked to please contact me.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Texas Community Futures Forum Summary

We conducted our Futures Forum on March 28th.  The event brought together individuals from throughout Hays County to identify and prioritize critical issues.  The forum is conducted state-wide, within each county, every 4-5 years.  Issues were reviewed within four areas:
  • Agriculture & Natural Resources
  • Families & Health
  • Community Resource & Economic Development
  • Youth
Click here for a complete summary.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Video Proves Point

Hays County Sheriff Cutler shared this video and encourages everyone who operates a vehicle to please watch it and keep it in your thoughts while driving.  Click here to watch the video.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


   A unique collaboration between the Healthy City Task Force and the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance has resulted in Fitscription, a program to promote wellness and physical activity opportunities for all ages and abilities, using outdoor green space and natural areas.  Various organizations and individuals have been involved in planning this initiative, which was initially presented to the HCTF by the San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance. The idea was modified for San Marcos and to mesh with the HCTF mission.  Mayor Daniel Guerrero issued a proclamation in November to kick off the Fitscription program. 

   Fitscription Referral Pads are being distributed to local doctors, nurses, therapists and the like with the anticipation of advocating community members of all ages and abilities to be referred to enjoy the outdoors for their own health benefits.  Each pad includes tear off sheets that can be filled out according to the participants’ special needs.  Blanks have been provided to indicate the type of activity, number of minutes per day, and number of days per week.  Map resources are listed for community members to contact for information and how to obtain detailed maps of San Marcos parks, trails and natural areas.  The back of the Fitscription Referral includes a reduced map of the San Marcos parks and natural areas, including areas with bike and wheelchair access.  

   Community involvement is encouraged through the HCTF page on Facebook or through the regularly scheduled meetings held the second Wednesday of each month at 3 p.m. at the San Marcos Activity Center.  Please contact DerryAnn Krupinsky at 512-393-8043 for questions or information.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

YMCA - Happy Family, Healthy Family

Take the first step as a family and begin learning how to lead a healthy lifestyle with this program offered by the YMCA of Austin. This is a FREE childhood obesity intervention program for children, ages 7-13, and their parents. Gain energy and confidence while learning how healthy meals fuel a healthy and productive life.  

Program begins April 2nd. Register today while space is still available! Call the YMCA of Austin at 512-236-9622. Each program lasts 10 weeks and meets twice per week, typically a weekday evening and Saturday morning. Parents must attend with their child.  Find out more by clicking here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Kissing Bugs and Chagas

Kissing bugs are insects also commonly known as cone-nose bugs or chinches. Kissing bugs feed on blood during the night, and they are called kissing bugs because they prefer to bite humans around the mouth or eyes. This photo is one of the most common species found in Texas. The kissing bugs can be found around woodpiles, debris in the yard, and woodrat nests, but are also attracted to the lights and carbon dioxide that are associated with human houses and dog kennels.  Kissing bugs can harbor a parasite, which causes Chagas disease in humans and dogs.  The bugs and parasite are more common in the southern United States than previously thought.  Many conditions can determine where kissing bugs may come into contact with humans and dogs and whether or not they transmit this deadly parasite. Even if a bug is not carrying the parasite, a bite can cause an allergic reaction. Chagas disease initially causes a localized reaction (see photo above right), but the parasite can later affect the heart and digestive tract, and can ultimately cause death. No vaccines exist, and medications are few and not always effective.

Click here to see a brochure with more details. Click here to view a brochure on how Chagas can affect dogs.

Diabetes Resources

Diabetes remains a significant health issue in Hays County, and Extension has outstanding programs in both English and Spanish.  We have had successful Diabetes Classes in the past, and in order to offer them again in the future, we would like to combine our efforts with other agencies and individuals.   If you would like to partner on diabetes education, please contact me.

One resource we created a few years ago is the Hays County Diabetes Coalition's website that provides information and resources related to Diabetes. Also, if you have resources or educational opportunities to add, please share those with me and I'll add them to the website.   

Nutrition Education Available

   BLT (Better Living for Texans) is a federally funded program that teaches limited resource audiences basic nutrition including MyPlate, selecting and preparing healthy menus, comparing food prices, and importance of physical fitness.
    Any school, afterschool, senior center, housing authority or other program interested in teaching their clientele about nutrition is encouraged to contact me to schedule programs.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Child Care Provider Training

Since 2012, we have planned and conducted 3 very successful Child Care Provider workshops.  We will continue to offer a training annually here in Hays County. 

Special thanks to the Hays County Child Care Providers Training Committee:  Rebecca Eichen, Maria Matts, Marie Jones, Stephanie Bonnet-Kramer, and me.  We have spent many hours planning, conducting an evaluating our training in order to make it the best it can possibly be for Hays County providers.  Additional committee members are always welcome.

Click here to visit the Hays County Child Care Providers website for more details on the training as well as other great resources.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Need a Presentation?

If your club or group is looking for speakers, please keep in mind that your Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is a great resource.  Extension is all about educating citizens about a variety of topics.  Feel free to contact our office.

4-H Program Full of Opportunities

The new 4-H year begins September 1st, and everyone hit the ground running.  Our 9 4-H clubs are busy with a variety of activities, lead by their youth officers and adult volunteer leaders. 

You might think 4-H is just about kids showing animals, but it’s really more than you ever imagined.  4-H uses a variety of projects and activities to ensure young people develop into productive, contributing members of society.  Currently, we are busy with our food project, and preparing for the County 4-H Food Contests.  Click here to visit the 4-H blog to learn more about opportunities 4-H has to offer.

Great Resource for Home Food Preservation

Whether you are a rookie or an expert to home food preservation, the National Center for Home Food Preservation, based at the University of Georgia, is a great resource.  Find out more at  They also offer “So Easy to Preserve,” book and DVD series, both containing the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture recommendations for safe food preservation.  The book is a 375 pages of 185 tested recipes, step by step instructions, and in-depth information.