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What a FCW Extension Agent does
Monique Koerner
Monique Koerner

As I’m entering my third week as the Family and Community Wellness (FCW) Agent, the most frequent question I have gotten so far is, “What do you do?” That is a great question! I’m not sure after only three weeks I’m qualified to answer that question but I will do my best.  

The main goal of any extension agent is to bring quality, research-based information to the people of Kansas and the districts or counties that we serve. Typically, there are a handful of agents in a district or county that are ready to answer questions and provide programming on a wide variety of topics; from plants and animals to bugs, nutrition, and healthy living. I’m excited to learn more as I network with other FCW agents at Agent update in Manhattan in a couple of weeks.  

The area that I will provide education and information is family and community wellness. Family and Community Wellness Agents develop and deliver educational programs to build healthy, sustainable communities, families, and individuals. Programming may include, but is not limited to, strengthening families and individuals; building community capacity; family and community health and wellness; and local volunteer development. That is a lot! Those are large and encompassing descriptions and maybe need some clarification. They are broad for a reason so that agents can tailor the needs to the community they serve.

I see my job as building relationships with the people in Ellis and Barton County. Currently, as I figure out what our community needs, I have mostly been asking a lot of questions and what do people want to learn more about. What is important to them? What are ways they can be healthy both mentally and physically and also financially? I have experience, education, and resources to help with all these areas. One of the main topics that has surfaced already is in the area of nutrition. Families are busy! Many families struggle to meet nutritional needs of their families in a quick, easy, economical but yet healthy way. Not only are families busy, but prices are rising, so finding meals that fit in the budget is important. Eating out is expensive and often times it is difficult to find healthy choices.  

One thing for sure is I love answering questions. There are no dumb questions. I know it is easy to find information on the internet but sometimes it is nice to talk to someone who can tailor the information to your specific needs. If you are curious about any of these topics, please feel free to email, call, or come by the office. I look forward to meeting you!

Monique Koerner is the Family and Community Wellness Agent with K-State Research and Extension – Cottonwood District. You may reach her at: 785-628-9430