NMSU Extension Family and Consumer Sciences agent recognized for work in Chaves County

WRITER: adchavez
CONTACT: Shannon Wooton, 575-622-3210, swooton

Shannon Wooton, the Family and Consumer Sciences agent for the New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service in Chaves County, was recently recognized for her outstanding work with the community and 4-H youth. This past spring, Wooton was named the Distinguished County Agent by the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, and was also one of two recipients of the Outstanding Agent Award for the Eastern District.

Wooton has been with Extension for about 20 years. She started her career as the 4-H Home Economist in Curry County and has been in Chaves County for 18 years.

“Shannon is clearly passionate about her job. A consummate professional, she works hard to provide programming that is needed in her community and is well respected by her colleagues,” said Priscilla Bloomquist, interim head of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences and Extension Family and Consumer Sciences. “Shannon has done an excellent job representing NMSU during her nearly 20 years of service and is very deserving of this recognition. We’re fortunate that she’s a part of the NMSU Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences team.”

Wooton continues to work with 4-H youth in Chaves County in areas of home economics, focusing on growing and maintaining the 4-H Clothing Project. She also works with 4-H Council Officers in areas of leadership, and with the Healthy Living Ambassador Program, a program where she enlists and trains teen 4-H members to teach younger students or 4-H members about nutrition.

Some programs that she conducts in Chaves County are Strong Bones Strong Women, an evidence-based program from Tufts University to prevent osteoporosis; the Kitchen Creations Diabetic Cooking School; the National Diabetes Prevention Program, which aims to help stop or delay Type 2 diabetes by helping participants lose five to seven percent of their body weight; and the Healthy You program, which was held for the first time last spring and focuses on developing a healthy lifestyle and foundation for life-long wellbeing.

Wooton also handles programming for the Chaves County Extension Clubs in areas of health, nutrition, clothing and finance. Six leader trainings are conducted yearly, and Wooton serves as adviser to the group. Some of the featured group activities include membership drives, promotions at the Eastern New Mexico State Fair, Books for Newborns, Nursing Cover-up Donations, three scholarships and the annual Holiday Showcase.

“Shannon is an exceptional agent,” said Leigh Ann Marez, department head of the Cooperative Extension Service’s Eastern District. “She makes a huge impact on the audiences she works with, both youth and adults, in traditional and non-traditional Extension settings. We are proud to have her here in our district and serving Chaves County. Shannon really thinks outside the box in program planning and delivery.”

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