Providing food preservation tips to Bartow History Museum’s patrons, Kathy Floyd was in her element at the venue’s bake sale Saturday. Although she retired from the Bartow County Extension team on Dec. 31, 2011, Floyd started working part time as a county family and consumer sciences agent for Georgia’s northwest district on July 1.
“They asked me if I would be interested in coming back part time to do programming in the surrounding counties because there’s not a family and consumer sciences agent in any of the counties between here and Chattanooga and here and Alabama,” Floyd said. “So we’ve got like 15 contiguous counties that don’t have a FACS agent. So because the need is still there for information and programming, I was asked would I be interested in working part time?
“So I’m really only like 25 percent. It’s not much. It’s equivalent of maybe 10 hours a week or the way I’m working it this month is I’ve got a bunch of farmers markets that I’m doing the same thing like I [did at the bake sale] — just [holding] an exhibit and answering questions and testing pressure canners and that sort of thing. ... [I’m looking forward to] just having an opportunity to teach and do education in the areas that we’ve always done. There’s definitely a need for it,” she said, adding she will be providing instruction at farmers markets in Bartow, Polk, Paulding, Floyd and Gordon counties this month. On Aug. 18, Floyd will answer questions and test canner gauges from 7 to 11 a.m. at the Bartow County Farmers Market in downtown Cartersville.
Floyd joined the Bartow County Extension team in 1988 and later became the coordinator from 2002 to 2011. With her father being a former county extension agent, Floyd was involved in the 4-H Club during her youth and previously described later following in his footsteps professionally as a “natural fit.” During her tenure as the family and consumer sciences agent, Floyd led many endeavors, including teaching various classes, from food safety to restaurants and the general public to money management and parenting.
“She’s no longer working just in Bartow County,” said Bartow County Extension Coordinator Paul Pugliese, who also serves as the office’s agriculture and natural resources agent. “She’s retired from Bartow County Extension, so ... [she was hired] back with the University of Georgia with some temporary dollars to help out and bring some programs to counties all over northwest Georgia that are missing family consumer sciences agents right now. That’s an entire program area that we provide services and education on that without an agent we wouldn’t be able to deliver that.
“Hopefully one day we will be able to get another family consumer sciences agent back in Bartow County but this kind of helps fill that need at least until the economy improves and we’ll get those dollars back into our budget eventually. So having somebody like Kathy with 30 years of experience and knowledge and training, you couldn’t ask for a better person to come back in and help deliver some of those programs, especially the ones that are most needed in our area.”
For more information on subjects related to family and consumer sciences, call the Bartow County Extension Office, 320 W. Cherokee Ave. in Cartersville, at 770-387-5142. While Floyd is working on a limited basis, the office can provide information sheets on a wide range of topics.