February 2021 Nassau County Extension Service Report


The University of Florida (UF) administers the Florida Cooperative Extension Service. The Nassau County Extension Service is a partnership between the University of Florida and the county government, providing research-based knowledge and expertise to the public.

The Nassau County Extension provides research-based knowledge in the following 4 Areas:

  1. Family and Consumer Sciences
  2. 4-H Positive Youth Development
  3. Natural Resources and Agriculture
  4. Horticulture

Nassau County Extension Service February 2021 Snapshot

Total Educational Programs/Activities: 66

Total Participants: 468

Total Educational Publications:29

Total Reach through Educational Publications: 7,271

Total Return of Investment (Savings to County): $22,097.20


The mission of the Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension Agent is to bring the educational resources of the University of Florida to the people of Nassau County to improve their quality of in the areas of Health and Nutrition, Aging and Human Development, general Financial Management, and 4-H youth development.

Success Story

Local Citizen, Blind and Unemployed, Receives Help to Get 2nd Stimulus Check

The Family and Consumer Sciences Agent received certification to assist Nassau County residents file their income taxes. The Agent, Meg McAlpine, received a call from a resident who needed his taxes filed, even though he had not worked in 3 years and lost his vision two years ago. He needed to file a 2020 income tax return to receive his second stimulus check. He is living on $780 a month from Social Security Disability. He could not afford to pay $250 for a local company to file his taxes. The IRS gave him Nassau County Extension’s phone number and he made an appointment with Ms. McAlpine. His 2020 taxes were filed, and he will be receiving $600 by March 21st.

Recognitions, Awards, Scholarships, Grants, Certifications

  • UF/IFAS Family and Nutrition Program Grant: $2,000
  • IRS Certification as Advanced Tax Filer
  • Certified Food Safety Manager, Instructor, and Exam Proctor for ServSafe

Educational Programs/Activities

  • IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: Provided free in come tax filing assistance to residents of Nassau County. In Person. 5 Participants
  • Financial Education – Setting SMART Goals with Income Tax Refunds. In Person. 5 Participants
  • Understanding Medicare: Provided unbiased information to help Medicare-eligible citizens understanding their Medicare Choices. Individual Consultations: participants: 10: Agent – 4; Volunteer -6
  • Food Manager Certification Training and Exam: Per Florida Statute 509.039, all food service managers must receive training by a certified instructor. Taught training via Zoom. Virtual class. 1 participant
  • Bluebirds Class. Assisted Master Gardener presentation on Bluebirds. Zoom Group Class: 64 Participants.

Total Programs/Activities: 6

Total Participants: 85

Educational Publications

  • Making SMART Financial Goals: Fact sheet given to income tax recipients. 5
  • Nassau County Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: (Facebook, Blog). Reach 520
  • COVID-19 Vaccinations: Q & A: (Facebook, Blog). Reach 520

Total Publications: 3

Total Reach: 1,045

Interim County Extension Director

  • Reviewed, compiled, and submitted Extension’s January monthly report to County
  • Reviewed Extension Horticulture/CED Posting
  • Participated in monthly UF/IFAS Northeast District County Extension Director Meeting
  • Conducted Extension Budget review/revisions
  • Planning and coordination of Miner Road Extension Building
  • Completed Appraisal with DED

Special Activities, Projects, Partnerships

  • Completed UF trainings
  • PVO800 – Application Screener

Service to County Government and University

  • Acting Interim CED
  • Attended monthly BOCC Department Head Meeting
  • Aided Nassau County EOC with COVID 19 Vaccination Appointments
  • Attended UF/IFAS CED Meeting
  • Completed UF/IFAS HR Training “Permanent Status and Promotion”
  • Completed UF/IFAS DED Training “PSP”
  • Provided support Horticulture Program and Master Gardeners

Return of Investment (Savings to County): $6,022

  • Volunteer Hours: Total:10 with a value of $272 (Independent Sector gathers data and conducts research on volunteerism in the nonprofit sector. The estimated national valueof each volunteer hour is currently $27.20).
  • Family Nutrition and Education Grant $2,000
  • Medicare Consults: $1,000 (According to Consulting.com, average hourly healthcare consulting fee: $100)
  • Medicare Subsidies Received: $1,500 (Part B Premium paid by State)
  • Savings to residents filing income taxes: $1,250 (Average cost is $250 per return)

Upcoming Program Announcements

  • Income Tax Filing Assistance – At No Cost- Appointment Only; contact Meg McAlpine (904)570-5713 to schedule appointment for Yulee or Callahan
  • March – Food Manager’s Certification Class and Exam, as required by Florida Statutes 509.038. Contact Meg McAlpine (904)570-5713
  • Diabetes Management Program. Contact Meg McAlpine (904)570-5713

Family Nutrition Program – Program Assistant Denise Cox

  • Total Programs/Activities: 7 (5 Adult Cooking Matters in Your Home classes) (2 YUM classes)

Total Contacts: 52 Children under age 5; 16 Adults between ages 30 -65

4-H Positive Youth Development: Kelsey Irvine & Ted Karsch

The 4-H Agent mission is to provide educational programs for positive youth development and overseeing fundraising, record-keeping, marketing, working with the Nassau County 4-H Association, and ensuring compliance with state and national policies. 4-H Agents recruits, trains, and retains youth and adult volunteers.

Kelsey Irvine

Success Story

The Kids Are Alright

4-H has it’s roots deep in agriculture. Although over the 100 plus years, it has transformed into a program offering projects in just about everything…there’s still something special about your first animal project.

In January, a new 4-H family approached our office with questions on how to get their special needs youth, Garrett, involved in the dairy goat program. This conversation continued as we got to know the whole family better and got started making plans to get his 4-H career up and running. What we later heard were Garrett’s tales of being heavily bullied, financial hardships, severe illnesses, and a lack of feeling like he belonged in the community. Knowing these details, Ms. Kelsey reached out to the Nassau County Farm Bureau to coordinate efforts and sponsor a new dairy goat for this youth. The Farm Bureau board quickly agreed to sponsor this special effort. With fiances in place, the team began the search for the perfect doe.

A long-time 4-H family, Casey and her daughter Sayde, joined the efforts to find Garrett’s new doe. They agreed to pick her up and even de-bud her so that he would be safe from any horn injuries. Within a few weeks this young man’s dream started to become a reality. Farm Bureau, Nassau 4-H, and the family agreed that we should commemorate the occasion with a presentation ceremony. At the end of the day it really wasn’t about giving a young man a goat, but rather making him know that he belongs and is cared for.

The night before the ceremony Ms. Kelsey received a phone call from the 4-H volunteer. The little doe was underage, underweight, and struggling to eat. They had been putting every effort into helping her thrive but it was beginning to look futile. The two families then communicated and came up with the most amazing solution. The young 4-H’er, Sayde, had opted to give Garret her own home-bred, show goat that she was going to exhibit in the fair.

“Momma, we can’t give him this goat. Let him have mine instead.” Syade’s generous decision seemed to come quickly and easily because she wanted him to have a quality animal and good 4-H project.

The morning of the presentation ceremony was rainy but everyone was still in good spirits. The local newspapers arrived to capture this special moment. Andy Toelle, the 4-H Northeast District RSA, Meg Mcalpine the Nassau County CED, members from the Farm Bureau board, Ms. Kelsey, and Jenessa Reed of the Farm Bureau’s women’s committee welcomed the families. A short speech was given then followed by Sayde personally handing over her goat, Ariat, to her new owner.

With teary eyes it was said: “We know feeling a sense of belonging is hard these days. With this goat we want you to know that you belong, your future has promise, and that you have this community to support you. We want to make your tomorrows better than your yesterdays.

Garrett’s Mother Thank You Note to Ms. Kelsey

“Once again you guys have brought me to tears. I love everything that you have done for my son. He really feels like he has friends and people he can talk to who understand him and like the things that he likes. He loves Ariat so much. He spends as much time as he can with her doing goat things and boy things. She’s coming along wonderfully. Garrett has been so excited to do all of the events in his clubs and knows that this is where he belongs. I cannot thank you guys enough for everything that you have given my son. But most of all you have given him a future. Something to fight for and something to live for. We have struggled for so many years to make him feel loved and valued. You guys have stepped in and done something that I didn’t know was even possible. We thank you for your love and your compassion and for being such an amazing group of people. We look forward to our future with all of you.

With much gratitude,

Sarah and Garrett”

Educational Programs/Activities

  • Florida 4-H State Virtual Horse Club: Equine youth education. Facilitated statewide club meeting discussing equine reproductive science from UF professionals. Virtual Group Class. Updating website and creating 3 creative works. 17 Participants.
  • Youth Leadership Nassau: Co-taught emergency simulation to the Youth Leadership Nassau group on behalf of NCEM. Virtual Group Class. Co-led with 4 volunteers (2 youth, 2 adult, 2 from out of state). 26 youth participants.
  • Co-taught Project and Record book workshop: Virtual webinar on policies, tips, and reminders for 4-H project and record books. 18 Participants.
  • Virtual Horse-Riding Challenge. Youth learned how to improve their horse-riding skills. Taught virtual group class. 40 Participants.
  • Co-led 4-H Association meeting: planning and advisory council for Nassau 4-H programming. 5 participants.
  • Co-taught Club Leader Training: updates on policies, needs assessments, and upcoming events. 9 participants.
  • Led Area North Planning Committee and associated horse show tasks for area and state programming. Serving as Chair at this time. Includes managing finances, registration, planning, policy, etc. 19 adult participants.
  • Coordinated Embryology school enrichment program for: Emma Love Hardee (8 classrooms), Hilliard Elementary (3 classrooms for 2nd grade and 4 classrooms for 1st grade), Bryceville Elementary (1 classroom) and 3 homeschool families. This includes teacher training, development and editing of educational videos, school visits for supply coordination and egg candling, and managing evaluations. Due to COVID-19 restrictions the program will be taught virtually through the TEAMS platform.
  • Assisted parents, club leaders, schoolteachers, and other volunteers through direct consultations and education. 6 consultations.
  • Provided oversight of community club meetings: 4 active clubs reaching 44 youth.

Total Programs/Activities: 20

Total Contacts: 186

Educational Publications

  1. Updated 2 google sites: Nassau County 4-H and the State Wide Virtual Horse Club website
  2. Updated 4 Facebook pages: Nassau County 4-H, Hoofbeats Hippology, Youth Emergency Team, 4-H Intentional Riding Challenge Group
  3. Friday Flyer, digital membership newsletter, 246
  4. “The Kids Are Alright”, UF IFAS blog
  5. Embryology Video Education Series: 7 videos
  6. Clinic re-cap video for social media

Total Publications: 4 formal, 6 websites, 8 videos

Total Reach: 14,246

Special Activities, Projects, Partnerships

  • Participated in Nassau County Farm Bureau food check out week
  • Participated in annual appraisal with DED
  • Attended the UF 4-H Environmental Science Committee and Science Action Team planning meetings

Services to County Government and University

  • Assisted EOC with vaccine coordination efforts
  • Co-leading Northeast District Support Staff Champions team, kickoff planned for 3/3
  • Serving as co-chair for FAE4-HA communicator awards

Return of Investment (Savings to County) $11,324

  • Agent led educational efforts or consultations valued at $50/hour. 23 hours= $1,150
  • Volunteer Hours: Total 24 – with a value of $1,034 non embryology volunteer value.
  • Embryology Volunteers: 28 hours per teacher x classrooms completed the project in Feb/Mar = 12 classrooms = 336 hours valued at $9,140
  • (Independent Sector gathers data and conducts research on volunteerism in the nonprofit sector. The estimated national value of each volunteer hour is currently $27.20).

Upcoming Program Announcements

Ted karsch

Recognitions, Awards, Scholarships, Grants, Certifications

  • Presented a national poster presentation for 4-H Teach me in 3 at the Joint Council of Extension Professionals Extension Leadership conference (x2)

Educational Programs/Activities

  • 4-H Life Skills for America’s Youth (afterschool program). Programs were conducted on 02/04 and 02/25. Youth are taught life skills, communication, and leadership through a variety of activities and 4-H curriculum. In-Person Group event. 18 Participants
  • Youth Leadership Nassau: This is an eight-hour virtual seminar that meets once a month with 30 youths in grades 10 and 11 from Nassau County. I organize, facilitate, and teach students about leadership and arrange for them to meet with prominent business and government leaders to learn about leadership. Virtual Group Seminar. 29 Participants.
  • Nassau County 4-H Council. I oversee the council, facilitate, and teach. This group meets once a month to learn leadership and communication skills by managing 4-H events in Nassau County. Participants are elected to officer roles, and they run all meetings using Robert’s Rules of Order. In Person: 8 Participants.
  • Assisted parents, club leaders, schoolteachers, and other volunteers through direct consultations and education. February total: 10 consultations.
  • Taught a 4-H volunteer training class on the theme of “Finding Your Volunteer Personality Type.” 8 participants
  • Led the 4-H association meeting planning and advisory council for Nassau 4-H programming. 5 participants.

Total Programs/Activities: 16

Total Contacts: 84

Services to County, Government and University

  • Assisted County EOC with the county distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Attended the social committee meeting at the University.

Upcoming Program Announcements

  • 4-H mural painting camp. Youth will work with a professional artist to create a large, portable canvas, mural at the Island Art Association of Amelia Island. July 19th to July 23rd.
  • 4-H Entrepreneurship camp. Youth will learn career readiness and entrepreneurship through participation in an 8 day camp. Yulee from June 14th to June 17th and June 21st to June 24th.

Return of Investment (Savings to County) $3,751.20

  • Volunteer Hours: Total :38 with a value of $1,033.6 (Independent Sector gathers data and conducts research on volunteerism in the nonprofit sector. The estimated national value of each volunteer hour is currently $27.20).
  • Agent led educational efforts valued at $50/hour: 32 hours= $1,600


The Natural Resource and Agriculture Agent mission is to provide educational programs that promote natural resources and agriculture, such as promoting oyster restoration practices, invasive species management, best management practices for farms, Florida Master Naturalist Program.

Educational Programs/Activities

  • Invader Raiders: Invasive Species Removal Workshop. In-person field day. 2 events, 20 participants
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program, Conservation Science Special Topic Module. Taught Wildlife Conservation. Zoom Class. 26

Total Programs/Activities: 2

Total Contacts: 46

Educational Publications

  • Dacey, J. 2021. “Living fossils, saving lives”, blog, UF/IFAS Extension Nassau County website
  • Dacey, J. 2021. “Living fossils, saving lives”, news article, Florida Master Naturalist Program Spring 2021 Newsletter
  • Dacey, J. 2021. “Living fossils, saving lives”, blog, Facebook
  • Dacey, J. 2021. “A Gopher Tortoise Garden”, news article, Gopher Tortoise Council Quarterly Newsletter
  • Dacey, J. 2021. “Superheroes of the Natural World,” Florida Master Naturalist Program blog
  • Dacey, J. 2021. “A Coastal Invader Among the Dunes,” Newspaper article, Fernandina Observer (online)
  • Dacey, J. & Washburn, A. 2021. “Invasive Species Removal,” flyer, sent via email
  • Dacey, J. & Washburn, A. 2021. “Brazilian Peppertree,” factsheet

Total Publications: 8

Total Reach: 48,000

Special Activities, Projects, Partnerships

  • Attended NE District Promo/PS Workshop
  • Attended NFLAG Meeting
  • Attended SEAS WAG Meeting
  • Attended Indian River Lagoon Symposium
  • Attended GTMNERR State of the Reserve
  • Completed Accessible Online Environments Training
  • Attended DED Appraisal
  • Submitted Section 24 of Three-Year Packet

HORTICULTURE – Interim Larry Figart, Duval County

Return of Investment: $500

HORTICULTURE – Interim (20 hrs/month) Larry Figart

Landowner Consults: 15










Posted: April 20, 2021

Category: UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Nassau Extension February Report

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