SHELBY COUNTY AGENT DIRECTORY


Cathy C.Faust 

Former Shelby County Extension Director

Family & Consumer Sciences Agent III

Shelby County Extension Service Agricenter International

7777 Walnut Grove Road Suite B, Box 21

Memphis, Tn 38120

cfaust2@utk.edu

 

Cathy provides educational programs in family financial management, family life, clothing and parenting. Faust has served as the Family & Community Education club Advisor for the past twenty-five years. These clubs work on community service projects such as making MIFA Love caps for the homeless, collecting items for abused women’s shelters, Alzheimer’s day care centers and nursing homes, and providing area nursing homes with entertainment and fellowship. She teaches mandatory Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Financial Management classes, and assists the Shelby County 4-H Agent with “On My Own” simulations. Financial management classes are also presented to various clubs, such as inner-city Memphis PTO groups, Housing Projects, Families First Clients and community, civic and church groups. The goals of these classes are to teach consumers how to develop good record-keeping skills and spending-saving habits.

Those who have an interest in financial management or accounting and have some computer skills can volunteer to stamp literature, address mail-outs, and perform other general office duties. Help is especially needed for “On My Own” simulations.

Faust relinquished her position as Shelby County Extension Director December 2nd, 2013.  She will assist the interim director in the transition process and the new director, which we hope to have on-board July 1st, 2014. Faust is also serving as interim 4-H Agent until a new Agent is hired.

 


 

Christopher Cooper

 Horticulture

 901-752-1207  

 cmcooper@utk.edu

 

As the Extension Service's Horticulture Agent and Coordinator for the Master Gardener program, Chris is a familiar face to most in the program, having just started his second year in the county. Chris's primary job, in addition to his work with the Master Gardener program, is to plan, develop, coordinate and conduct educational programs addressing issues that affect urban, commercial and home horticulture.

 

Master Gardeners can volunteer to help Chris conduct horticultural education programs and workshops and respond to the public's questions through the Gardening Hotline. There are also opportunities to gather research-based information for programs, meet with homeowners, and present programs to the public. The most important skill needed is an interest in interacting with the public on a subject of expertise.     

 


Rita Jackson

Family & Consumer Sciences

ritaj@utk.edu

901-752-1207

 

Rita is an area extension specialist serving three Tennessee counties:  Shelby, Madison, and Carroll. One of her primary jobs is to oversee the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program that targets low-income families and teaches nutrition education. She supervises and trains 16 nutrition educators who live in the communities served. The program serves primarily low-income adults and young children. Rita’s goal is to help educate and change the behavior of families so that they make sound nutritional decisions. She also oversees a prenatal nutrition program that focuses on nutrition. The youth nutrition and food safety program is taught once a month in the Shelby County schools, primarily for those in the fourth through sixth grades.

Volunteers are needed to assist at health fairs handing out brochures, typing up programs and other materials, and helping organize and sort foods into food groups. Volunteer with foreign language skills also would be especially helpful. March, which is National Nutrition Month, is a particularly busy time with many requests to conduct health fairs. Volunteers work at a variety of locations around the city, although some clerical work can be done at home or at the Agricenter International offices.

 


Booker T. Leigh

UT Extension Shelby County

Extension Agent III

Commercial Horticulture

901-752-1207

901-752-6240 Fax

bleigh1@utk.edu

 

 

 

Booker's primary role is working with the commercial clientele who are producing horticulture crops and providing service to the general public through education programs. He will be setting up classes for training and certification for the commercial landscapers. Booker, also has a television program on cable channel 18 (the Library Station) that provides horticulture information to the general public. He writes a weekly news article for the Commercial Appeal that appears in the garden section on Fridays. 

 

 


Natalie Owens

Family & Consumer Science 

nowens2@tnstate.edu   

901-752-1207

 

Providing nutritional education to low-income adults, seniors and children is Natalie's primary task. Her work is funded through the Tennessee State University Nutrition Education Program, whose goal is to help these families and individuals develop better nutrition and dietary practices. She works through schools, community centers, churches and other organizations.

 

 Those interested in this work can help by serving as a referral source. Master Gardeners can help by sharing gardening tips or teaching families how to grow food in containers and enhance their food supply through community gardens, demonstration techniques, and/or presentations.

 


Tim Roberts

Youth Education 

Tim.roberts@utk.edu

901-752-1207

 

 Tim works mostly with children and teens regarding agriculture, forestry, and natural resources. He interacts with grades K-12, adults, seniors and those county residents with special needs. Tim says the goal is to educate youth regarding the importance of agriculture (e.g., to let them know that milk doesn’t come from a jug at Kroger) and of forestry (e.g., to see past the trees to the products they use every day that come from trees). He works primarily in outdoor classrooms, including the Agricenter amphitheater. In addition to state funding, Tim’s programs are supported by agribusinesses that help subsidize the cost of transporting students from throughout west Tennessee, north Mississippi and eastern Arkansas to the Agricenter.

 

Volunteers are needed to help prepare materials for educational programs and to even help lead programs for some groups. Master Gardeners can also serve as tour guides, plan some programs, serve on the Plant Camp Planning Committee and donate recyclable items such as milk jugs, drink bottles, and plastic containers for programs. Many of Tim’s programs are in the September through mid-November timeframe, but more are now being held in the spring, as well. Most of the programs are held at the Agricenter. The only skill required is an interest in educating youth and sharing your knowledge about plants with them.

 

 


Joanne Waterman

Urban Gardens and Small Farms

 901-752-1207 

jwater1@tnstate.edu

 

 Jo Anne primarily works with Urban Gardeners and the Small Farmers community. She mentors them and assists them in getting their gardens started by teaching them the growing cycle from “the ground up”, educating them on soil sampling and preparation. She educates small farmers and home gardeners on the latest practices needed to solve problems and improve production. She also conducts presentations at public and charter schools, community centers, nursing homes, independent living centers, churches and other organizations. Jo Anne often says “teach me to garden and I’ll grow food for a lifetime.”

 Master Gardeners can also help the community by sharing gardening tips and teaching families how to grow food in containers. The community may also be taught to enhance their food supply through community gardens, demonstration techniques, and presentations.

 

 

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UT/TSU Shelby County Extension Office
Agricenter International - Suite B, Box 21
7777 Walnut Grove Rd,
Memphis TN 38120.
Phone: 901-752-1207 Fax: 901-752-6240