UF/IFAS Spotlights: Marjorie Moore, An Agent of Change
Marjorie Moore dedicated her Extension career of 40 years to empowering children and adults alike and establishing partnerships to advance the needs of the communities she served. Her early work fostered healthy nutrition habits and 4-H leadership skills among children in low-income areas. When she wasn’t mentoring children, she was working with adults and agents to build leadership and strong county partnerships to benefit coastal communities.
Moore started her career in 1977 at UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County, where she was the first and only African American Extension agent in the county. She used her knowledge of family and consumer sciences to promote 4-H and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in Pensacola. Moore obtained a bachelor of science from Fort Valley State University in home economics education, today called family and consumer sciences. She later went back to school to obtain a master of education in home economics education from Florida A&M University.
In 1996, she returned to school again, this time attending The Ohio State University to obtain her doctoral degree in Extension education with minors in administration and research. She returned to Panama City in 2000 to continue her Extension work and later become the first and only African American woman to serve as Extension director of Bay County. She also holds the distinction of being the first female African American in the state of Florida to serve as a county Extension director.
When asked about her roles as an Extension agent versus that of a County Extension director, she said both required her to serve as change agents. Her vision for herself and staff was to serve as leading experts in their respective fields and be the first point of contact for residents seeking a better quality of life. A proud moment for Moore was when she and her staff developed a partnership with the county to help fund a UF/IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant agent – a key role that was missing in the coastal town. Today, that position continues to play a vital role in coastal conservation.
Moore’s programs were based on serving the needs of the community and promoting change for the better. Some of the programs she led focused on food and nutrition, food safety with special emphasis on training restaurant managers, food handlers, the Council on Aging staff, and school food service staff in the Bay District School System.
Moore retired on December 31, 2018. Days before her retirement, the Bay County Board of County Commissioners proclaimed December 18, 2018, as Marjorie Moore Day for her dedication and service to the county.
About this Series: The year 2020 commemorates the centennial year of the passage of the 19th Amendment, a crucial achievement in the women’s suffrage movement. This milestone reminds us of the collective spirit marshalled to enact this change. Throughout the year, UF/IFAS is highlighting female researchers, educators, staff members, students and innovators who embodied a similar trailblazing spirit during their engagement with the university. These trailblazers left an indelible mark on both the university and the state of Florida. The 19th Amendment states, “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex,” although some women were still denied the right to vote until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of the 1960s. We hope this series inspires others to ignite their own trailblazing spirit and effect change in our world.