Nutrition: Sustainability, Food Security, and Public Health

Worksite Location
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County
Project Dates
June 15, 2020 - August 14, 2020
Faculty Sponsor
Heather Kolakowski, Hotel Administration
Field Mentors/Supervisors
MB Mitcham
Project Summary and Intended Outcomes

The nutrition sustainability program in Warren County is a hands-on, kinesthetic learning opportunity that combines evidence-based research with practical application. The county in which our office resides is primarily rural, with a high percentage of low-income residents. As the rural landscape lends well to providing food, if an individual has the knowledge of how to do so, our program focuses on the farm and field to table model. We instruct community members in several vegetable gardening techniques, including planning, planting, weeding, and harvesting, as well as what to do with that produce once it is harvested. Other associative programs include food preservation and cooking classes, with an emphasis on hands-on techniques that can empower people to safely store and consume their produce. Another facet of this is the incorporation of wild game and fish into an individual’s diet, so we offer classes that help to bring people into the outdoors, and then provide the information as to what they should do once they acquire wild game or fish. As education is useless unless the learner is engaged enough to implement what they have learned, these programs also include many fun, hands-on, interactive games.

Roles and Responsibilities

Daily watering, weeding, and observation of office garden, and daily care and supervision of office poultry. Weekly presence at local farmers’ market, handing out recipes and samples. Research into nutritional needs of the local community. Work with Resource Educator to deliver community nutrition and public health-based education. May assist with the supervision of summer youth workers, CWI adults, and 4-H youth as they relate to nutrition activities.

Qualifications and Previous Coursework

Required: nutrition, willingness to do physical work outdoors Preferred: public health, human ecology, biology

Benefits and Skills

A greater awareness of public interests and needs related to rural nutrition & poverty, rural natural resource issues, and the role of Extension land‐grant University mission at a local level, basic plan of work development and human dimensions issues. Expected learning outcomes would be increased understanding of food systems, public health issues, program research, design, and implementation, community needs assessments, positive youth development, and community educational engagement.