On April 24, Ut-Agricultural Extension Director Vickie Clark shared an update from the extension and from a new group Grow Carter County. Grow Carter County has earned Carter County a new distinction from the Governor’s Foundation for Health and Wellness. It joined a statewide network and was named a Healthier Tennessee Community for demonstrated investment in physical activity, nutrition and tobacco cessation in schools, workplaces and faith-based organizations. This distinction follows the group’s reception of a $5,000 grant from the foundation, which is funding initiatives like a water bottle refill station at Little Milligan Elementary School, a Story Trail near Downtown Elizabethton and a sound garden in a park near the Health Department.
Additionally, Clark gave an overview of the UT Extension Office’s services and updates from each. The extension oversees Family and Consumer Science services, agriculture services and 4-H programs. 4-H is serving 1,200 students in Carter County, and its forestry division will compete at the state level this year. She said the Extension also provides classes on parenting, finance, and nutrition. Recently, the extension partnered with the home school community to offer a new program On My Own Financial Classes (targeting middle and high school students), which they plan to offer in public schools soon. Overall, she said Carter County is making great strides through grassroots efforts and organizations to improve the health and quality of life for citizens of all ages.