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Texas AgriLife Extension Agent

Texas AgriLife Extension Agent for Family and Community Health in Hopkins County

Agri-Life Extension
Johanna Hicks

By Johanna Hicks

Editor’s note: This is the 3rd in a series of program impacts provided by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health – Hopkins County.


Better Living for Texans is a statewide program targeted toward helping families serve healthier foods and increase physical activity. In Hopkins County, approximately 4,021 receive supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits, according to

Food insecurity, obesity, and lack of access to healthy food are other issues that impact this audience and have a solid potential to impact health negatively. Obesity among adults in Hopkins County is 37% of the population. Similarly, 32% reportedly are physically inactive.

To help address these issues, the Community Health/Wellness Alliance, Master Wellness Volunteers, and Family & Community Health Committee assisted in planning, marketing, and presenting programs.


Offered are the following programs:

  1. Walk & Talk 8-week program for Head Start parents
  2. Healthy Snacking for preschoolers
  3. Better Living for Texans newsletter
  4. 55+ Health Fair on food budgeting and physical activity
  5. Be Well, Live Well series for 55+ group
  6. Newspaper columns on food safety, saving money at the grocery store, and meal planning

Partnerships & Collaborations:

  • Sulphur Springs Head Start staff is instrumental in promoting programs to parents
  • ROC (Recreational Outreach Center) allows us to use their facility for programming purposes
  • Master Wellness Volunteers and Healthy Texas Youth Ambassadors assisted with programming for kids and adults


  1. Walk & Talk 8-week series:
    • Two teams (Miles still being logged as of this writing)
    • Fruits & Vegetables focus
    • Weekly nutrition lesson and a cooking demonstration or recipe sampling
    • Provided were incentive items to reinforce topics covered in the series
    • Distributed weekly are information sheets and recipes
    • Master Wellness Volunteers and Tarleton State University student interns assisted in programming
  1. Healthy Snacking Teach Piece:
    • 175 Head Start children reached
    • Incentive items provided
  • Used interactive method
  • 55+ Health Fair:
    • BLT programs were promoted (Fresh Start and Walk & Talk)
    • Fruit and popcorn provided for fair-goers as a healthy alternative to cookies and candy
    • Provided display on fast food and nutrition labels
    • Approximately 250 senior adults attended
    • Distributed 85 small bags of popcorn and 30 pounds of apples and oranges
  1. Be Well, Live Well Series (BWLW):
    • 7 participants; 2 volunteers
    • 7 (100%) completed pre- and post-surveys
    • Surveys indicated: increased fruit & vegetable consumption (6 of 7); increased physical activity (5 of 7); referring to nutrition facts label (7 of 7)
  1. BLT Newsletter
    • Ten issues prepared
    • Provided to 28 outlets for distribution to clientele reaching approximately 5,000 households

Closing Thought

Never mistake a time-out for a defeat.