July 21, 2011

Extension Office Introduces New Nutrition Specialist

By Hannah Kiddoo

This week Scotland County's Missouri Extension Office welcomed Jennifer Mayfield as the new Regional Health and Nutrition Specialist. Mayfield will assist with dietary and health issues in Scotland and eight surrounding counties.

Mayfield has an impressive background in nutrition. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and a Master of Arts in Family Systems from Southeast Missouri State University. She is also a Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist in the state of Nebraska and plans on receiving a similar title in Missouri. For the past seven years, Mayfield worked in Nebraska, serving as a North American Missionary to the Santee Sioux Reservation and working as the tribe's nutritionist, specializing in diabetic health. She also assisted with the Northern Ponca tribe's dietary program.

During her time in Nebraska, Mayfield wrote and received grants for the tribes that focused on using traditional tribal foods and methods of gardening to reduce obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns in the groups.

Mayfield's objective for Scotland and the surrounding counties is to provide opportunities for nutritional education and training while working to meet the needs of community members.

"The main goal right now is to find out what the community wants and needs and to be as helpful as I can," stated Mayfield.

She noted that community health issues could be anything from diabetes and heart disease risk to a lack of fresh fruits and vegetables or walking areas. Mayfield's plan is to tackle those issues and also work with other area specialists to utilize resources that are already available to Scotland County residents such as the Healthy Lifestyles Initiative.

A meet-and-greet was hosted in the Extension Office Friday to welcome Mayfield. Residents with questions about local health and nutrition resources may contact Mayfield at mayfieldj@missouri.edu or by phone at 660-465-7255.

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