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Welcome, Natalie Parkell

Press release by Liz Southers

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension Martin County Is Proud To Announce Our New 4-H Agent, Natalie Parkell.

June 28, 2018- Stuart, FL

The University of Florida IFAS Extension Martin County is announcing and welcoming Natalie Parkell as the Martin County 4-H Youth Development Program Agent. Natalie will be charged with applying her experience and unique perspective to the UF/IFAS Extension mission, “To provide research-based knowledge and educational programs enabling people to make practical decisions to improve their quality of life.”

Natalie exemplifies a poNatalie Parkell, 4-H Agent in Martin county, Floridasitive and progressive team member for the growing UF/IFAS Extension staff and 4-H program. After earning her Master’s Degree from the University of Virginia, Natalie began her career as a school teacher with a special focus on alternative programs for at-risk youth. After moving to Florida, Natalie began a career as a speaker and presenter for the University of Florida IFAS Extensions in Martin, Collier, Pasco and Pinellas Counties. She educated communities on small farms and gardening initiatives, which included lectures and demonstrations for local residents regarding aspects of hydroponic growing, horticulture, marketing, and integrated pest management. Natalie went on to join the board of the Martin County Extension Service Advisory Committee and became a regional consultant for the State of Florida Gardening and Hydroponics Department.

Parkell comes to the 4-H Agent position bringing 15+ years of experience as an educator, research specialist, and communications professional. Her most recent position was as a Farm to School and Community Food System Specialist, with the UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program. The objective of this program is to implement school and community gardens in 4 counties for limited resource populations, support local procurement efforts in schools, serve on wellness committees, work with farmers to increase market channels while meeting food safety standards, and build coalitions of school food authorities, farmers, aggregators, Extension agents, and other stakeholders as relevant to increase procurement of local food and increase healthy food choices in the region.

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