March 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 March 2021 Snapshot

Total Educational Programs/Activities: 82

Total Participants: 1,919

Total Educational Publications: 9 written, 9 videos, 7 websites

Total Reach through Educational Publications/Postings: 26,242

Total Return of Investment (Savings to County): $30,725.68


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

School Cafeteria Employee Promoted to Cafeteria Manager

The Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, a certified food safety instructor and proctor, teaches food safety principles and practices to employees working in the food service industry. Florida statutes require all food handlers to receive training from a certified Food Safety Instructor. Mary Ann, an employee of the Nassau County School District, attended a day long food safety training, taught by Ms. McAlpine. Being promoted to cafeteria manager was dependent upon her taking the class and passing the two-hour exam. Mary Ann was an excellent student. She studied the 200 page Food Manager Study Guide, prior to taking the class. Throughout the day she was focused and comprehended the material. When it came time to take the exam, she started to doubt herself, unsure of her ability to apply food theory to practical situations. With a deep breath and a calm approach she completed the 95 questions. She received her score instantly, because the exam was administered by computer. When she saw her score of 84% she let out a sigh of relief and stated “I know I am supposed to be in the food service industry and a cafeteria manager. I am so happy!”

Recognitions, Awards, Scholarships, Grants, Certifications

  • UF/IFAS Family and Nutrition Program Grant: $2,000
  • IRS Certification as Income Tax Site Coordinator
  • Passed IRS audit as an Income Tax Intake Site
  • Certified Food Safety Manager, Instructor, and Exam Proctor for ServSafe

Educational Programs/Activities

  • IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance: Provided free income tax filing assistance to residents of Nassau County. In Person. 17 Participants
  • Financial Education – Setting SMART Goals with Income Tax Refunds. In Person. 8 Participants
  • Understanding Medicare: Provided unbiased information to help Medicare-eligible citizens understanding their Medicare Choices. In Person. 11 participants: 9 – Agent, 1-Volunteer
  • Food Manager Certification Training and Exam: Per Florida Statute 509.039, all food service managers must receive training by a certified instructor. In person. 1 participant(employee of Council on Aging)

Total Programs/Activities: 37

Total Participants: 85

Other Activities

  • Co-chaired Homemade Entrepreneurship Program meeting. 4 participants.
  • Attended monthly FCS Connections meeting. 35 participants.
  • Attended monthly Health Advisory Committee Meeting. 17 participants.

Educational Publications

  • Understanding Your Economic Rebate: Facebook. Reach 121
  • Power of Partnerships: (Facebook, Blog). Reach 322
  • Updated Extension Website
  • Updated Extension Blog Site

Total Publications: 2

Total Reach: 443

Interim County Extension Director

  • Reviewed, compiled, and submitted Extension’s February monthly report to CountyManager’s Office
  • Approved PCard Charges
  • Completed and submitted annual Affirmation Action Annual report to UF/IFAS
  • Reviewed Extension Horticulture/CED Posting and posted to all UF/IFAS Horticulture Agents
  • Provided leadership, management to Extension Agents and staff
  • Conducted Extension’s Overall Advisory Committee Meeting. 7 participants.
  • Participated in monthly UF/IFAS Northeast District County Extension Director Meeting
  • Conducted bimonthly meetings with Administrative Coordinator
  • Facilitated office meeting with Assistant County Manager Marshall Eyerman
  • Conducted Extension Budget review/revisions
  • Planning and coordination of Miner Road Extension Building(D. Podiak, Master Gardeners, nature trail preparation, donated items)

Special Activities, Projects, Partnerships

  • Completed UF trainings
  • Short Course on Diabetes
  • Fiscal Responsibilities
  • Information and Communication Services Bootcamp

Service to County Government and University

  • Acting Interim CED
  • Aided Nassau County EOC with COVID 19 Vaccination Appointments
  • Provided support to Horticulture Program and Master Gardeners

Return of Investment (Savings to County): $6,513.60

  • Volunteer Hours: (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).
  • Family Nutrition and Education Grant $2,000
  • UF/IFAS salary for Interim CED and Horticulture Agent $1,332
  • Medicare Consults: $1,100 (According to, average hourly healthcare consulting fee: $100)
  • Medicare Subsidy for Prescription Drug Plan $600
  • Savings to residents filing income taxes: $2,000 (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
  • April – 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: 9 (2 virtual Head Start; 7 In person America’s Youth and ARC). 131 participants.

Upcoming Program Announcements

Family Nutrition Program

  • Virtual Classes: Head Start Callahan 4/5, 4/12, 4/26,
  • Head Start Amelia Island – YUM 4/6, 4/13, 4/27
  • On Site Classes: ARC Nassau – Eat Healthy Be Active, Gardening for Nutrition 4/15, 4/22, 4/29
  • America’s Youth – Gardening for Nutrition 4/14, 4/21, 4/2


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

On March 27 & 28 two Nassau County 4-H youth competed in their first State 4-H Hippology contest in Gainesville. This contest includes accurately judging 4 classes of horses, answering a 100 question written test, correctly identifying over 100 industry items, and presenting a team solution to a equine related problem. These two girls had several intense study sessions, made flash cards, and even requested to borrow materials from the 4-H office to be better prepared. Their hard work paid off! Lauren won first place intermediate and Raelin won 4th. Together they won first place intermediate team! Moments like this are hope that hard times, barriers, and let-downs cannot stop our next generation for persevering their dreams!

Recognitions, Awards, Scholarships, Grants, Certifications

  • Received $850 scholarship money from Nassau County Farm Bureau to support youth participants at the Area North Horse Show

Educational Programs/Activities

  • Youth Leadership Nassau: Co-taught environmental science and human dimensions of ecology/conservation to the Youth Leadership Nassau group. 26 youth participants.
  • Co-led State Hippology Contest for multi-county competition about equine science knowledge mastery. Nassau specific 2 youth participants. See success story for results.
  • Virtual Horse-Riding Challenge. Youth learned how to improve their horse-riding skills. Taught virtual group class. 40 Participants.
  • Co-taught spring break environmental science hybrid camp discussing local parks, habitat, citizen science, forestry & marine science, and co-led an educational hike/activity at Cary State Forest. 3 adult volunteers from professional agencies. 5 registered participants.
  • Co-taught youth emergency preparedness for recorded multi-county virtual program. 2 live participants, watch count unavailable at this time.
  • Coordinated & taught 4 adult volunteer judges for 4-H Nassau County Events. through an orientation.
  • 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), Sonshine Christian Academy (1 classroom), Nassau County Farm Bureau, Yulee Primary, and 4 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. Full participation information available in May.
  • Assisted parents, club leaders, schoolteachers, and other volunteers through direct consultations and education. 11 consultations.

Total Programs/Activities: 8; Total Contacts: 90

Other Events

  • Florida 4-H State Virtual Horse Club: Equine youth education. Facilitated statewide club meeting discussing equine behavior from UF professionals. Virtual Group Class. 16 participants.
  • Co-Facilitated 2021 Nassau 4-H County Events at Traders Hill Ranch. Youth competed in various categories: public speaking, demonstrations, photography, talent. In-person. 20 youth participants.
  • Participated in 1 teach-the-agent youth-led educational meeting about cattle operations and projects. 2 participants (1 youth, 1 adult)
  • Provided oversight of community club meetings: 4 active clubs reaching 44 youth.

Total Other Events: 5; Total Contacts: 104

Educational Publications

  1. Updated 2 google sites: Nassau County 4-H and the Statewide 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, monthly digital 4-H Membership Newsletter, 251
  4. 4-H County Events, Westside Journal & Record, 14,000
  5. Edited Statewide Extension Equine Team chapter on equine disaster preparedness
  6. “Nassau’s 2021 County Events”, UF IFAS blog
  7. Embryology Video Education Series: 2 videos

Total Publications: 3 formal, 6 websites, 2 videos

Total Reach: 14,246

Special Activities, Projects, Partnerships

  • New Embryology partnership with Nassau County Farm Bureau
  • Facilitating post-embryology chick adoptions to sponsor growth of program

Services to County Government and University

  • 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. 23 adult participants.
  • Participated in Nassau County Overall Extension Advisory Committee Bi-Annual Meeting. Virtual Group Meeting: 7 participants
  • Assisted EOC with vaccine coordination efforts
  • Co-lead Northeast District Support Staff Champions team, kickoff webinar
  • Serving as co-chair for FAE4-HA communicator awards
  • Serving as interim chair and official vice chair for the Area North Horse Show committee

Return of Investment (Savings to County) $12,164.80

  • Agent-led educational efforts or consultations valued at $50/hour. 31 hours= $1,550
  • Volunteer Hours: Total 23 – with a value of $625.60 non-embryology volunteer value.
  • $850 grant from Farm Bureau
  • Embryology Volunteers: 28 hours per teacher x classrooms completed the project in Feb/Mar = 12 classrooms = 336 hours valued at $9,139.20
  • (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

  • State Wide Virtual Horse Club meetings, 4/19 & 4/26
  • Area North Virtual Prep Night, 4/22 (Zoom)
  • Forest Ecology Contests (Gainesville) (2 registered participants)
  • Area North 5/7-8 in Clay County
  • Tactical Rescue Training for Agent (5/24 & 6/4-5)

Ted Karsch

Success Story

One thousand three hundred and ninety-four youth in grades 4 to 6 participated in a county-wide speech contest within their schools. Youth were judged according to a rubric and the winners in each grade within their schools received ribbons for first through third place. All participants also received a certificate for having competed in the contest.

Educational Programs/Activities

  • 4-H Life Skills for America’s Youth (afterschool program). Taught 2 Programs on and 03/04 and 03/11. Youth are taught life skills, communication, and leadership through a variety of activities and 4-H curriculum. In-Person Group event. 18 Participants
  • Nassau County 4-H Council. Facilitated, and taught. 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.

Total Programs: 3; Total Participants: 26

Other Events

  • Co-facilitated the Nassau County 4-H County Events Competition at Trader’s Hill Farm. 38 attendees.
  • Nassau County 4-H Speech Contest: Facilitated teachers and youth in county-wide speech contest. 1394 youth in grades 4 to 6 participated in a county-wide speech contest within their schools. Youth were judged according to a rubric and the winners in each grade within their schools received ribbons for first through third place.
  • Assisted parents, club leaders, schoolteachers, and other volunteers through direct consultations and education. February total: 7 consultations.

Total Other Events: 9; Total Participants: 1,439

Educational Publications

Total Publications: 8; Total Reach: 150

Services to County, Government and University

  • Participated in Extension Overall Advisory Committee Bi-Annual Meeting: Zoom Group: 7 participants
  • Assisted County EOC with the county distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine.
  • Attended the social media committee meeting at the University.
  • Attended the Leadership and Communications 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) $7,257.60

  • Volunteer Hours Total: 208 with a value of $5,657.60 (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.

Success Story

Volunteering for Extension Inspires Career Path

Jennifer recently graduated from the University of Florida and was determining her next steps. She began volunteering with UF/IFAS Extension, Nassau County’s invasive species removal efforts along Amelia Island’s beaches. She helped pull up invasive Russian thistle, organized volunteers and even created an online report for to track the number of plants removed and determine hotspots. Inspired by her volunteer efforts, she decided she wanted to make positive change at the legislative level and return to school. After a few months she was accepted into a graduate degree program for Environmental Policy and Planning at the University of Michigan. She looks forward to what the future holds and we wish her the best in her environmental endeavors.

Recognitions, Awards, Scholarships, Grants, Certifications

  1. Florida Agricultural County Agent Association Communications Award for Best Website.

Educational Programs/Activities

  • Invader Raiders: Invasive Species Removal Workshop. In-person field day. 2 events, 20 participants
  • Florida Master Naturalist Program, Coastal Shoreline Restoration Special Topic Module. Taught Oysters. Zoom Class. 26
  • 4-H Spring into Nature Camp, Taught alligators/fish Zoom class, 5.
  • 4-H Spring into Nature Camp hike. Taught flora and fauna of Cary State Forest, In-person field day, 8 participants

Total Programs/Activities: 5; Total Contacts: 56

Other Events

  • Facilitated Master Naturalist teaching event: Zoom Group: 25 participants
  • Facilitated Horseshoe Crab Watch Event/Volunteers: In person Group. 10 participants.
  • Supervised UNF Intern – Living Shoreline Project: In person/Zoom: 1 participant

Total Events: 3; Total Contacts: 36

Educational Publications

  • Dacey, J. 2021. “Living fossils, saving lives”, news article, Florida Master Naturalist Program Spring 2021 Newsletter
  • Dacey, J. 2021. “Superheroes of the Natural World,” Florida Master Naturalist Program blog, FB Newsleader
  • Dacey, J. & Washburn, A. 2021. “Mother of Millions,” factsheet
  • Dacey, J. & Washburn, A. 2021. “Brazilian Peppertree,” factsheet
  • Maintained Facebook site

Total Publications: 4

Total Reach: 48,000

Special Activities, Projects, Partnerships

  • Attended NE District Promo/PS Workshop
  • Attended GTMNERR State of the Reserve
  • Completed Accessible Online Environments Training
  • Completed Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Training
  • Submitted Three-Year Packet edits

Services to County Government and University

  • Participated in Extension Overall Advisory Committee Bi-Annual Meeting: Zoom Group. 7 participants
  • Member of UF/IFAS NE District Small Farms Committee

Return of Investment (Savings to County) $1,849.68

  • Volunteer hours 42 @ $44.04 = 1,849.68


  • Return of Investment: $2,940
  • Soil Samples:72 PH Tests Conducted @ $20 per test = $1,440
  • Landowner Consults: 15 @ $100 per consult = $1,500
  • Conducted and submitted American Beach Stewardship Annual Report to county







Posted: April 20, 2021

Category: UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: Nassau County March Report

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