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EDUCATOR SPOTLIGHT: Kathy Enyart

Kathy Enyart, Ottawa County

County Extension Director, Family & Consumer Sciences/4-H Youth Development Educator

I have been an Extension Educator for 11 years, 10 in Oklahoma and 1 in Kansas

Program Highlights:

I am proud to be a part of a five county partnership that developed a gardening program for Child Care facilities called “Learn to Grow”.  FCS and Ag educators from Craig, Delaware, Mayes, Nowata and Ottawa Counties partnered with Cherokee Nation and DHS to provide vegetable gardens to 102 facilities throughout the area reaching over 3300 children.  Educators provided the educational component to the project and continue to be a resource with gardening, cooking and nutrition information. One of our goals for the project was to increase consumption of vegetables in the children’s diets.  Initial results are showing that through growing and helping prepare the vegetables the children are more excited and receptive to eating vegetables.

A few years back I developed the Ottawa County Resource Directory.  It is a trifold brochure filled with phone numbers for resources that are available to help individuals and families in Ottawa County.  I continue to update the directory periodically and distribute it to agencies, schools, business, individuals and families through an email list serve, our extension website and copies handed out at a variety of events. I continue to receive feedback from other professionals of how beneficial this directory is.

The 4-H Food Showdown contest is one of my favorite 4-H activities.  It provides hands on educational opportunities that teach life skills to youth in a fun format.  Not only are they able to use their creativity to create a recipe, but they are also learning teamwork, communication skills, nutrition, culinary skills, and presentation skills.

My biggest influences on choosing a career in with Extension were my parents, Bill and Wanda Kimbrell.  My mom taught Home Economics for over 25 years and volunteered with 4-H and other community groups.  Being in my Mom’s shadow for many years gave me an insight into my future career path and developed my passion for teaching and helping others.  My Dad was a long time Agriculture teacher and a 4-H volunteer.  He helped develop my love for showing animals, judging forestry and growing up on a farm.  I was an active 4-H member for 10 years which included serving as State 4-H Officer and being a state project winner.  I was active in several project areas with Clothing and Forestry being my top two.  I enjoyed all the opportunities 4-H gave me through activities, trips and competitions.

Like many educators, I have a passion for working with people.  I love working with people of all ages and in a variety of capacities.  I began my professional career as an Extension Program Assistant and Extension Agent in SW Kansas.  When we moved back to NE Oklahoma I worked as a Quality Control Supervisor and in Research and Development for a food company followed by teaching Family and Consumer Sciences for 12 years.  When the opportunity came to return to Extension it seemed a natural path to take.  Extension offers me the opportunity to continue to learn and expand my knowledge while helping others find resources that enhance their lives.