Extension, Edgewood ISD ‘shoe’ their generosity to Title 1 students

February 17, 2014

Elementary, middle and high school students from Title 1 schools in the Edgewood Independent School District received an early Christmas present thank to the Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Edgewood ISD.


Elementary school children from the Edgewood ISD in San Antonio try on their new shoes during the Great Zapato Roundup

Fifty-six pairs of new tennis shoes, donated by AgriLife Extension, Prairie View A&M College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, the Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension Program 4-H and Youth Development advisory committee, Bexar County Master Gardeners and area 4-H clubs, were distributed to students from throughout the Edgewood ISD the evening of Dec. 19. Distribution took place in the cafeteria of Emma Frey Elementary, 900 S. San Eduardo Ave. in San Antonio, where more than 200 students and family members had assembled for the free shoe giveaway. Additionally, many gift cards for purchasing new shoes were donated by Edgewood District Alumni Association and the Compadres for Scholarships program.

“Many students in the Edgewood ISD are in need of new shoes and these donated tennis shoes will be a useful and practical early Christmas gift for those students,” said Desiree Rucker, Prairie View A&M Cooperative Extension Program 4-H and Youth Development agent for Bexar County. “Extension promotes physical activity as a means of improving youth health and well-being, so providing tennis shoes was also a true ‘rubber meeting the road’ incentive for getting more young people to exercise.”

Groundbreaking for New CAHS/COB Facility

February 10, 2014

CAHS faculty and staff at the groundbreaking for the new CAHS/COB facility

On Thursday, January 23, 2014, the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences (CAHS) and the College of Business (COB) at Prairie View A&M University held an official groundbreaking for a new facility that the two colleges will occupy in 2015. The event was held at Alumni Field next to the construction site. Despite the cold and wet weather, many faculty and students from both colleges came to observe as administrators broke ground for the new building.  The ceremony included speeches from students, the two deans of the colleges, and the President of the University.

The new building will be an 89,000 square-foot, four-story facility that will be located between Hilliard Hall and the Criminal Justice building. The $37.8 million venture will include a 400 seat auditorium with theater-style seating and executive seating at the front, technology-enhanced classrooms, and a 400 square-foot student lounge on the second floor. There will be large, open areas dedicated to student-professor collaboration. The building will also have a tall, eye-catching clock tower that will extend far above the campus.

The building is designed with both colleges in mind. There will be color-coded accents throughout the building to assist students, faculty, and visitors with navigation. Levels three and four will be arranged to give each college its own identity. Agriculture students and faculty will be able to take advantage of new laboratories and office space on these floors.

There are plans to install a web camera so that people can remotely view the construction process. The new academic building is just one of several new sites that are being developed for the near future on Prairie View’s campus. The faculty and staff of CAHS are highly anticipating the completion of the new project which is scheduled for 2015.


PV Livestock Club Demonstrates Outstanding Performance

February 8, 2014

FWLSR2In the first time that Prairie View A&M University has competed at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo in the Dairy Goat Competition, Prairie View’s Livestock Club members Robert “Woodie” McClennon, Theo Reed and Bryce Peterson, along with advisors Scott Horner and Dwight Rhodes brought home 1 reserve champion and 3 champion ribbons.  The winning goats were a 7 year old Alpine milking doe named Agalea, shown by Brice Peterson; a 2 year old Alpine milking doe named Bree, shown by Woodie McClennon; and a dry yearling Alpine named Caryn also shown by Woodie McClennon.  The team also showed the second place best 3 females in the show that had over 200 goats competing.

Following through on the partnership with Dallas County’s DeSoto Independent School District via the One Kid at a Time project was the project’s lead principal investigator, Dr. Joice Jeffries, standing on the side lines  to cheer on both the DeSoto students and the PVAM youth that were participating at the Fort Worth show. The Livestock Club worked closely with the students from the DeSoto ISD middle school, mentoring the youth that are participants in the One Kid At a Time Project. Club members helped the youth with the final show preparation,  grooming of their goats and worked with them to show how best to exhibit their animals.  The middle school youth fared well, showing their goats to many middle and upper class placings in a very competitive show.

Odom Academy Middle School Students get a T.A.S.T.E. of Entrepreneurship

February 7, 2014

cg4June 6, 2013-Most students learn about horticulture and how to start a business through text books and magazine articles. However by working with T.A.S.T.E (Teaching Agricultural Sustainability Through Economics) an entrepreneurial program ran by Community and Economic Development Cooperative Extension Agents Winnefred Jackson and Lloyd Hebert), the students at Odom Academy Middle School are getting hands on experience. The school, located at 2550 West Virginia Street in Beaumont, Texas is home to “Odom’s Organics” a farm and produce stand run by its middle school students. It’s a small farm whose biggest product is an education for Odom Academy’s agriculture students in how food gets to the table and entrepreneurial skills that can be used over a lifetime. On Thursday June 6, the school hosted its ribbon cutting ceremony for the grand opening of its produce stand. The student build produce stand included produce available for purchase such as okra, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, cucumbers, radish, squash, beans and fresh eggs. While many of the items were harvested at Odom Academy, some were purchased from a local farmers market. According to Odom Academy Agriculture Teacher Will Humber, purchasing from the local farmers market has taught his students about negotiating prices, and how to mark up produce to make a profit. The grand opening also included live entertainment by Odom Academy’s Jazz Band, a tour of the garden, various fruit trees planted by the local Girl Scout Troop, sausage links donated by AgriLand Farm Credit and salad using fresh vegetables from the garden and prepared by Odom’s Family and Consumer Sciences class. In support of the students the event was well attended by Prairie View A& M University Cooperative Extension Program Staff, Beaumont Independent School District Officials, local community organizations and local businesses.

4-H Youth Lab, Speak Up and Speak Out for Healthy Living

February 7, 2014

1074758_10151818714982642_1167811878_oYouth from 12 counties where Prairie View A&M University’s Cooperative Extension Program in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences provides  family and consumer sciences and 4-H and youth development programming participated in a health summit training as part of two nationally funded health initiatives focused on curbing obesity.   The focus of the health awareness initiative is to promote healthy living choices and physical fitness importance thru our youth voices as part of the solution.  The 2013 Career Awareness & Youth Leadership Laboratory was held on the campus at Prairie View July 9-10.  The Cooperative Extension 4-H & Youth Development component in conjunction with UnitedHealthcare, Walmart, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo sponsored the event.

Participants were trained from the use of a Choose Health: Food, Fun, and Fitness (CHFFF) curriculum designed at Cornell University which included sessions on veggies and fruits, whole grains, nutrition fact labels, sweetened drinks, fast food, and eat breakfast.  The participants were encouraged to find creative, alternative methods to convey healthy information and ways to help their communities best understand the importance of healthy living. Both funders, UnitedHealthcare and Walmart, of this national health initiative are very much interested in empowering youth voice and youth choice into how we deliver curriculums and programs related to health importance.

“We were thrilled to have 132 youth, ages 13-19, participate with over 30 caring adults from their respective communities to develop professional public speaking,  classroom management and leadership that are essential job skills for making presentations as Health Ambassadors,” said Dr. Rukeia Draw-Hood., program leader, 4-H & Youth Development, Prairie View A&M University, Cooperative Extension Program.

Extension Agents are actively recruiting youth ambassadors to participate in service learning projects by reaching out to science classes, health clubs, and other youth organizations that are interested in participating in a national initiative.  For now, communities should look out for the outreach efforts from this initial trained group of youth in their county to speak up and speak out for healthy living in their creative youth voices!

For additional information about the 2014 4-H Career Awareness and Youth Leadership Laboratory or Youth Ambassadors Health Initiative, interested persons may contact Dr. Draw-Hood at rdraw-hood@pvamu.edu or Dr. Roberson at sgroberson@pvamu.edu or visit Cooperative Extension on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pvcooperativeextension.

Dr.RobersonBy Dr. Sam Roberson
Program Specialist, 4-H and Youth Development
Cooperative Extension Program

Visit us online at www.pvamu.edu/cahs

Nutrition and Allergies: Keeping Bailey and Baby

February 5, 2014
Bailey and Baby

Say Hi to Bailey and Baby!

I have suffered from allergies since I was an adolescent and am completely allergic to animals; especially cats even though we have had cats, dogs, rabbits, and birds in my house as far back as I can remember. I don’t remember too many things helping me with my sneezing attacks (which typically lead to Asthma attacks) aside from a hot face cloth and some tea or a nice dose of an antihistamine and a few pumps from my inhaler.

At some point my mother thought it would be best to simply pay for me to receive allergy immunotherapy which involved a series of shots over an entire year. The shots were administered weekly and then less frequent as the time progressed and by the end of the year I was able to be around cats and dogs without problems. According to the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), “occasionally doctors give cortisone-type shots that can temporarily reduce allergy symptoms. These types of shots are different and should not be confused with allergy immunotherapy injections” (para. 3). But receiving this therapy takes time, patience, and of course, MONEY.

As the proud owner of two new kittens (Baby and Bailey); I thought I would be okay due to the allergy immunotherapy treatment, however the allergies are kicking in strong. Trying to find a way to co-exist with my two new family members tends to leave me exhausted, congested, and unable to breathe. This past weekend I felt so terrible that I almost consumed and entire bottle of orange juice over a two day period, after which ironically I felt a little better. So of course that peaked my curiosity… can orange juice help to reduce allergy symptoms?

The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America suggests that: avoiding your allergens, vacuuming, and staying away from humid climate will help prevent your allergies from being triggered.  However, according to Providence Life Services, “…the right foods can help you minimize your body’s response to allergens” (para. 2). The AAAAI also supports the idea that your diet can have an impact on your allergy symptoms. Here are some foods to consider:

  • Onions, apples, citrus fruits, and broccoli contain quercetin, a bioflavonoid that can inhibit the body’s release of histamines, reducing allergic reactions.
  • Salmon, flaxseed oil, walnuts, pecans, and hempseeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, and there is evidence to suggest that omega-3s can help reduce inflammation of air passages.
  • Water — staying hydrated will thin mucus while hydrating your mucous membranes.
  • Fruit and fruit juices (as long as they are not loaded with high-fructose corn syrup) are rich in antioxidants that can reduce inflammation. Berries are particularly rich in antioxidants.
  • Spinach, sunflower seeds, pinto beans, and artichokes are high in magnesium. Some studies have linked a lack of magnesium to asthma. Adding magnesium to your diet may ward off asthma symptoms by relaxing the muscles around the bronchial tubes. (list provided by the Providence Life Services).

So, the answer is yes! Drink lots of orange juice without the high fructose corn syrup. You may also want to consider increasing your exercise to strengthen your immune system, and avoiding the excessive use of  alcohol and tobacco. AchooAllergy.com indicates that excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco can increase the release of histamine. Now I know what to do to keep Bailey and Baby and stay healthy. Check out these websites for more information about Nutrition and Allergies.


Providence Life Services   http://www.providencelifeservices.com/blog/2011/03/fighting-allergies-with-nutrition/
AAAAI  https://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/library/at-a-glance/allergy-shots.aspx
Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9
AchooAllergy.com http://www.achooallergy.com/nutritionforallergysufferers.asp

DanielleHairstonGreenBy Danielle Y. Hairston Green,
Program Specialist, Family and Consumer Sciences
Cooperative Extension Program

Visit us online at www.pvamu.edu/cahs