Have you ever mapped out a plan and thought for sure everything was going to happen exactly the way you planned it? Well, that’s exactly what I did, and the path took a turn I was not expecting.

So, I have truly learned to expect the unexpected and to welcome it. I always said the Family and Consumer Sciences agent (FSC) position with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, would be a wonderful opportunity, never thinking the position would be available (it’s that great). Surprisingly enough, I am now the new FCS agent, and I am so grateful to have this opportunity to serve the citizens of Robeson County in a different capacity.

I am not new; I have been with North Carolina Cooperative Extension for over a decade. I am sure a lot of you know me as the 4-H Program Associate, working with the youth of Robeson County. In my new position, I will focus on adults but serve all ages. The adult obesity rate in 2022 for Robeson County is 44%, and the physical inactivity rate is 36%. Together we can work to improve both obesity and physical inactivity, which can lead to chronic diseases, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. The core of FCS programs is nutrition, health, food safety, food preservation, and local foods systems. We all know eating healthy and moving more will improve of our health. It’s a lifestyle change, not a diet.

Robeson County continues to rate as one of the least healthy counties in North Carolina according to the health ranking data. We all have the opportunity to change those unhealthy rankings one person at a time through education, applying what we learn, sharing information, and working together. There is a saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” The same applies to making Robeson County one of the most healthy counties in North Carolina. I will deliver research-based information through classes, workshops, and training to promote nutrition, healthy eating, physical activity, food preservation and food safety.

There is also an exciting opportunity for local adults to become Extension Master Food volunteers (EMFV). Volunteers will receive a core curriculum of 30 hours of training and will then shadow the FCS agent for 30 hours during their first year. Volunteers will be able to provide support to the FCS agent’s program, including assisting with cooking, nutrition education, food safety classes, and conducting food demonstrations in the community. You will have so much fun learning and serving the community in this role. I hope you will consider joining me in focusing on the positive in people and making a difference. To receive information on upcoming classes or becoming an Extension Master Food volunteer, please send me an email with your contact information!

Every day is a new day. You never really know what tomorrow will bring. Embrace the changes and new opportunities that come your way. Always be open to unexpected turns in your pathway. Sometimes it might be just what you need and what you deserve.

For more information, contact Wendy Maynor, Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent, at 910-671-3276, by Email at [email protected], or visit our website at http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/.