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Living Well Month Celebrated in Arkansas

What are some of the services offered by Extension Family and Consumer Sciences program?

Nashville, Ark. – March has been designated as “Living Well Month” to encourage all Americans to improve their health and well-being by taking advantage of the educational opportunities offered by the local Cooperative Extension Services. 

An initiative of the National Extension Association for Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS), Living Well Month was developed to increase awareness of educational opportunities and resources designed to help individuals, families and educators improve the quality of their lives, become competent consumers and build healthier communities. 

According to Jean Ince, Howard County Extension Agent for Family and Consumer Sciences, the Cooperative Extension Service in Arkansas is system of the University of Arkansas – Division of Agriculture. “Many families may be familiar with the services provided by Extension agents for agriculture or the 4-H program, but are unaware of the mission of the Extension Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program.”

Recent programs in Howard County include The Best Care program to provide verified training for child care providers; Estate Planning Workshop; Cook Smart, Eat Smart Basic Cooking Program; and Extension Get Fit-Tai Chi for Arthritis exercise training. Currently Ince is conducting nutrition education programs in schools throughout the county to teach young people how to eat healthier and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Several programs offered by Extension are ongoing.

In addition to the community and youth programs conducted by Ince as County Extension Agent - Staff Chair/FCS, she serves as advisor to Howard County Extension Homemakers, a group of 50 volunteers who focus on community service, education and leadership.

According to Ince, “Extension Homemakers are a vital component in FCS programming. They often serve as facilitators for FCS projects and spread the mission of Extension Family and Consumer Sciences throughout the county.”

Family and Consumer Sciences (formerly Home Economics) programming is driven by the needs of each county, according to Ince. “County FCS agents utilize local residents in advisory committees to identify specific needs that can be addressed through educational programs.” 

“Healthy families are the cornerstone of healthy communities,” says Ince. “Family and Consumer Sciences put non-biased, research-based information to work in people’s lives, helping families find answers for living well, raising kids, eating right, and spending smart.”

Upcoming programs will focus on food safety and home canning of fruits and vegetables, teaching basic consumer skills to youth, healthy meal planning, plus much more.

The Cooperative Extension Service was created by the Smith-Lever Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson on May 8, 1914. “For over 100 years the underlying philosophy of the Extension Service has been to help people help themselves by taking the university to the people: by providing adults and youth the necessary skills and knowledge to help them achieved the best quality of life possible,” Ince noted.

All Extension programs including Extension Homemakers activities are open to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (large print, audiotapes, etc.) may also freely participate. They should, however, notify the County Extension Office as soon as possible prior to the activity so that accommodations can be made.

For more information about Family and Consumer Sciences programs offered in Howard County, contact Jean Ince at the Howard County Extension Office located on the second floor of the courthouse. Interested persons may call 870-845-7517 or email jince@uaex.edu. You can also check out our web page at www.uaex.edu/howard for information in all our program areas.

Recipe of the Week

            This recipe was shared by Katilynn Hanney, a Howard County 4-H Teen Leader. Katilynn won first place in the Senior Division, 4-H Breads Contest. The work is well worth the end result!

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Dough

½ c. unsalted butter, melted

2 c. whole milk, warm to the touch (110-115 degrees)

½ c. granulated sugar

1 pack active dry yeast

5 c. flour, divided

1 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. salt

Filling

¾ c. butter, softened

¾ c. light brown sugar

2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

Frosting

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

2 Tbsp. butter, melted

2 Tbsp. whole milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 c. powdered sugar

            Generously butter two disposable foil pie/cake pans. In a large bowl, whisk together warm milk, melted butter, and granulated sugar. The mixture should be just warm, registering between 100-110 degrees. If it is hotter, allow to cool slightly. Sprinkle the yeast evenly over the warm mixture and let set for 1 minute.

            Add 4 cups of all-purpose flour to the milk mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

            Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove towel and add an additional ¾ cup of flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir well, then turn out onto a well-floured surface. Knead dough lightly, adding additional flour as necessary, until dough just loses its stickiness and does not stick to the surface.

            Roll dough out into a large rectangle, about ½-in. thick. Fix corners to make sure they are sharp and even. Spread the softened butter evenly over dough. Sprinkle evenly with brown sugar and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Press the mixture into the butter.

            Roll up dough, forming a log, and pinch the seam closed. Place seam-side down. Trim off any unevenness on either end. Cut the log in half, then divide each half into 7 evenly sized pieces (about 1 ½-in. thick each). Place 7 cinnamon rolls in each cake pan, one in the center, six around the sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

            Remove plastic wrap. Bake cinnamon rolls in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

            While cinnamon rolls are baking, prepare the frosting. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, whole milk, and powdered sugar, until smooth. Remove cinnamon buns from the oven. While still warm, drizzle evenly with frosting. Makes 14.

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517
jince@uaex.edu

 

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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