REAP 2014, “Sowing Into Your Future”

August 1, 2014

REAP participantsThe Research Extension Apprentice Program (REAP) has just come to a close after 2 weeks of learning, fun, relationship-building, and skill development. REAP is a program for high school juniors and seniors that are interested in Agriculture and/or Human Sciences. The program is 2 weeks long and provides on-campus room and board for the students along with conducting many fun and educational activities. The goal of the program is to educate students in research and extension related topics in a fun and interactive way, and motivate them to pursue a career in Agriculture or Human Sciences.

From June 15th to June 27th, the students attended a series of workshops and activities that were designed to teach the students skills that can help them be more efficient and maximize their potential and introduce them to some of the basics of Agriculture and Human Sciences. They discussed topics such as, the power of meditation, basic nutrition, the benefits of juicing, the power of forgiveness, and effective time management. The students also attended curriculum oriented seminars conducted by CARC researchers and scientists where they learned the basics of different agriculture and human sciences. They learned about chemistry, different types of soils, natural resources, environmental systems, hydrology, veterinary medicine, growth and development of livestock animals, and more.

The students were also able to visit the George Bush Library in College Station where they toured the museum and learned about former President George H. W. Bush. They also took a trip to Peckerwood Gardens in Hempstead where they were able to observe several different types of rare and uncommon plants.

The program came to an end on June 27th with a closing program for the students, parents, faculty, and staff in which the students were able to give emotional speeches and reflect about their experience in the program. The closing program also featured speeches from faculty and staff members of CEP and CAHS including a motivational speech from Dean of CAHS, Dr. Alton B. Johnson. Some of the students also took turns as Master of Ceremonies, and some entertained the crowd with dance and spoken word performances.

REAP 2014 turned out to be a success, and all the participants enjoyed their experience and their time at PVAMU. They all left with new friends and new skills to help them stay motivated and be successful and attend college, hopefully, at PVAMU CAHS.

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More photos from the REAP 2014 event can be found at the CAHS Facebook and Instagram pages

By Jakari Bates

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25% of College Students Infected??

April 4, 2014


Panthers United is a campus recognized student organization, supported by the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences (CAHS). The organization’s primary focus is to exemplify leadership while impacting the lives of limited resource families through support and service to Prairie View A&M University and the local community. Panthers United has undergone several major transitions over the years. It has recently elected new leadership as well as a new advisor; a Program Specialist within the CAHS. In the past three semesters, Panthers United has accomplished many programming and service goals. Currently, the organization is in the process of planning their activities for the 2014-2015 school year. Programs of interest for next year include a reading program with Jones Elementary School and free technology classes for senior citizens.

Alexandria and Gabrielle with STD Awareness Campaign.

Alexandria and Gabrielle with STD Awareness Campaign.

Did you know that 25% of college students in the U.S. are infected with an STD?

In collaboration with Prairie View Student Nurse Association, Panthers United, hosted an information booth referred to as “Candy and Condoms” in the Memorial Student Center on March 31, 2014. Student leaders, Gabrielle Scott, Committee Captain-Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness, and Alexandria Hall, Vice President, successfully guided the organization so that the booth attracted over 100 individuals. The information booth provided general STD education, resources for common STDs and prevention tips to reduce transmission. Recent statistics report that in the U.S., 25% of college students are infected with an STD. Sexually transmitted diseases on campus are becoming a major problem and the issue is not getting the coverage and attention that it deserves.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common STD on college campuses is Chlamydia, Genital Herpes and Human Papillomavirus (HPV); when HPV does not go away, it can cause genital warts as well as cervical cancer. With nearly one in every 5 students infected with an STD on campus, it is important that student organizations, like Panthers United, to take the initiative and provide awareness and empower students to think twice before engaging in risky behaviors. Please take a moment to congratulate Panthers United for their continued efforts in supporting the CAHS vision of meeting needs and changing lives.

Click here to visit Panthers United on Facebook!

Click here to visit Panthers United on Facebook!


Remember: It’s not who you are but what you do that puts you at risk of contracting an STD






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

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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 or Dr. Roberson at or visit Cooperative Extension on Facebook at

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

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Texas 4-H and UnitedHealthcare Launch “Youth Voice;Youth Choice” Partnership

August 19, 2011


Hempstead, Texas – Texas 4-H and UnitedHealthcare joined together on August 17 to launch a new partnership – Youth Voice: Youth Choice – a program to help young people in the state improve their health and well-being through exercise, proper nutrition and attention to personal safety. 4-H programs in Texas are conducted through the Cooperative Extension Program (CEP) at Prairie View A&M University and Texas AgriLife Extension Service.

Nearly 200 parents and kids joined Texas 4-H leaders for a daylong Waller County Healthy Lifestyles Family Fun and Fitness Day held at the newly opened Hempstead Recreation Center as UnitedHealthcare presented Texas 4-H with a $65,000 check to mark the beginning of the partnership.

UnitedHealthcare vice president for Community Development-Community & State, Carl T. Kidd, left, presents $65,000 check to Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program associate administrator, Dr. Carolyn J. Nobles, 4th from left, launching the new partnership between Texas 4-H and UnitedHealthcare for Youth Voice, Youth Choice. Te'Anna Reed, CEP Extension agent, 3rd from left, and Dr. Health E. Hound along with 4-Hers are also on hand to accept the check.

To officially kick-off the partnership, UnitedHealthcare’s Dr. Health E. Hound mascot joined Houston-acclaimed “Strictly Street Salsa” instructor Raul Edwards in leading participating families, community leaders and 4-Hers for a group “Lose It to Salsa” dance exercise, learning fun and easy ways to stay fit.

“Since there is a national focus on healthy lifestyles for young people, this partnership between UnitedHealthcare and Texas 4-H is ideal and gives us the opportunity to work together with parents and youth to promote the benefits of good nutrition and exercise,” said Dr. Carolyn J. Nobles, associate administrator for the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University.

The Waller County Family Fun and Fitness Day, organized by Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension agents, Jernard McCray (4-H), Te’Anna Reed (Family and Consumer Sciences), Kenneth McCullough (Agriculture and Natural Resources) and UnitedHealthcare, included healthy workshops, family physical activities and a healthy lunch with food-preparation tips.  UnitedHealthcare provided a certified health educator who answered questions and provided information about health topics such as diabetes, weight control and fitness.

The event focused on the importance of diet and exercise in people’s daily lives and how to apply that knowledge with their families and friends in their communities. It is one of several events targeting underserved communities in Texas with nutrition and wellness messages.

“The partnership with 4-H and UnitedHealthcare is significant because it’s important to bridge the health disparity gap by engaging our target audience in healthy activities that will hopefully result in behavior changes around eating habits and physical activity,” said Dr. Rukeia Draw-Hood, program leader – 4-H, Cooperative Extension Program.

The Texas Department of Agriculture also participated in the event by providing information on Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples’ 3E’s initiative.

“With obesity rates at alarming levels in our country, it is more important than ever that educators, health care professionals and parents work together to emphasize the importance for our children of the 3 E’s of Healthy Living: Education, Exercise and Eating right,” Commissioner Staples said. “Positive lifestyle“


choices are not only beneficial to individuals and future generations, but also to the health of our economy. A healthy population is more productive, more competitive and far less likely to burden our health care resources. I commend Texas 4-H and UnitedHealthcare for bringing this positive message to our youth.

Raul Edwards, Houston acclaimed salsa dance and exercise instructor, leads group in a rousing "Lose It to Salsa" exercise.

Highlighting the event was a special “Lose It to Salsa” group dance and exercise led by Houston acclaimed salsa dance and exercise instructor Raul Edwards.  He taught the families and kids fun and easy ways to stay fit through salsa, merengue and other Latin genres that focus on cardiovascular conditioning, muscle toning and flexibility. Edwards stressed the benefits of the dance-exercise include weight loss,

physical endurance, muscle gain and increased range of motion while learning to dance.

Acting Dean of the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences, Prairie View A&M University–Dr. Richard Griffin, Hempstead Mayor Michael Wolfe and Prairie View Mayor Frank Jackson participated in the activities, along with other community leaders who attended the announcement. Attendees were also provided a healthy lunch with tips for good nutrition and wellness.

“Bringing families together through salsa is a fun and easy way to be more fit and healthy,” said Edwards. “This group of kids and their parents had an amazing energy and enthusiasm about this program and the partnership between 4-H and UnitedHealthcare.”

The announcement is part of a national partnership between the National 4-H Council and UnitedHealthcare. Texas 4-H is one of three states receiving funding from UnitedHealthcare for the pilot program. The grant will support events and activities designed to develop and enhance healthy living through afterschool programs, health fairs, camps, clubs, workshops and educational forums. 4-H youth leaders will serve as ambassadors, helping to lead programs that encourage young people to take action for themselves and their families, and to promote healthy living in their communities through nutrition literacy, physical fitness and personal safety.

Texas, along with Mississippi and Florida, were selected for the UnitedHealthcare pilot due to high incidences of obesity among children living in these states’ underserved communities. As part of the partnership, each state 4-H program is developing action plans with targeted goals and outcomes to provide innovative, hands-on learning approaches that target specific community needs. The results will be measured and shared with community leaders, providing other organizations the opportunity to learn and implement similar programs in at-risk communities.

As part of the Youth Voice: Youth Choice partnership, 4-H will sponsor events and activities in targeted counties in Texas. For example, Prairie View Cooperative Extension is planning additional family fun and fitness days in Wharton County and healthy cooking events in Fort Bend and Waller counties.  Additional events include nutrition education at youth camps, youth fitness activities at county fairs, student workshops, and other events at community health fairs and schools.

“I am excited about the 4-H and UnitedHealthcare partnership,” said Gail Long, program specialist – 4-H, Cooperative Extension Program and principal investigator for the CEP 4-H partnership. “This partnership will help young people throughout the state of Texas improve their health through diet and fitness.”

The partnership is being managed jointly between the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University (Contact: Gail Long, 936.261.5119) and Texas AgriLife Extension Service (Contact: Courtney Dodd, 979.845.6533) in coordination with UnitedHealthcare–Texas.


“This partnership is an important community service to help ensure children, particularly those in underserved communities, learn skills to enhance their health and well-being,” said Norine Yukon, president of UnitedHealthcare Community & State in Texas. “UnitedHealthcare is partnering with 4-H to help inspire thousands of young people to take action to lead healthier lives.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three children is obese or overweight, putting them on the road to lifelong chronic conditions like diabetes and heart disease. If left unchecked or untreated, obesity will affect 43 percent of adults by 2018 and will add nearly $344 billion in that year alone to the nation’s annual direct health care costs, accounting for more than 21 percent of health care

spending, according to America’s Health Rankings®. America’s Health Rankings is an annual comprehensive assessment of the nation’s health on a state-by-state analysis. It is published jointly by United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.

4-H nationally reaches more than 6 million youth each year through clubs, camps and school enrichment programs. UnitedHealthcare Community & State, UnitedHealth Group’s government-sponsored health care program, serves more than 2 million children in 24 states and the District of Columbia in Medicaid and CHIP. 4-H and UnitedHealthcare share connections with many of the same community-based organizations, including school districts.


Prairie View Mayor, Frank Jackson and UnitedHealthcare's Dr. Health E. Hound greet Waller County Family Fun Day participants.

About Texas 4H

More than 65,000 Texas youth are enrolled members of 4-H community clubs in Texas. Another 850,000 Texas youth get involved in 4-H through special educational opportunities at school, in after school programs, or at neighborhood or youth centers. Texas 4-H programs are conducted through the Texas AgriLife Extension Service and the Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University. These youth live in cities, suburbs, small towns and rural communities. 4-H gives them a chance to pursue their own interests – from photography to computers, from building rockets to raising sheep. A list of 4-H projects is available online. They go places – to camp, to state and national conferences. They learn to be leaders and active citizens.  In 4-H clubs, they serve as officers and learn to conduct meetings, handle club funds, and facilitate group decision-making. In a growing number of communities, 4-H youth serve as youth representatives in municipal or county government or as members of Teen Courts. They give back to their communities. 4-H members get involved in volunteer projects to protect the environment, mentor younger children and help people who are less fortunate. For more information visit


About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.


Texas 4-H
Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M
Gloria J. Mosby, 936-261-5121
Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Kathleen Phillips, 979-845-2872

Alice Ferreira, 203-459-7775

Photos courtesy of Alecea Rush, communications specialist, Cooperative Extension Program

Youth Lab Brings Cooperative Extension

July 25, 2011

PRAIRIE VIEW, TX – The Cooperative Extension Program at Prairie View A&M University will host the 2011 Career Awareness and Youth Leadership Laboratory at Prairie View A&M University on August 2in the Carden-Waller Cooperative Extension building. The event will start at 8:30 a.m. with registration and will feature multiple workshops focused on the 4-H thrust towards Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M).

Gail Long, interim program leader – 4-H & Youth, Cooperative Extension Program, said “The Youth Lab  is designed to give participants an opportunity to display their leadership skills and have fun and learn at the same time.  The event will be held one day only this year with youth attendees from Waller, Harris, Fort Bend, Grimes and Washington counties.”

To reflect the Youth Lab’s theme, Full S.T.E.A.M Ahead, workshops include creating digital images, using robotics, building a device used to measure wind speed (anemometer), and doing the proper things to stay healthy.  One of the workshops will also focus on identifying various species of owls.

“The Career Awareness & Youth Leadership Laboratory is one of our major 4-H events held annually for young people ages 13 to 16,” said Long. “We are committed to this tradition of providing experiential learning opportunities for youth as well as exposing them to college life and various careers that can be pursued in the agricultural and human sciences.”

An awards assembly where scholarships to deserving students will be presented is the culminating activity for the day’s schedule.

Contact Gail Long at 936/261-5119 or visit for more information about the 2011 Career Awareness & Youth Leadership Laboratory.

Writer: Dontrelle Caldwell, PVAMU Business Marketing Major and Gloria J. Mosby, program director – Communications PVAMU Cooperative Extension Program

Maintaining Balance is Focus of College of Agriculture and Human Sciences’ High School Career Day

May 12, 2011

PRAIRIE VIEW, TX – A group of 275 middle and high school students from Houston and Beaumont, Texas who attended Prairie View A&M University’s College of Agriculture and Human Sciences High School Career Day found that fun and making good grades is achievable if you find the correct balance.  The event took place on campus May 6and was part of the pre-Agricultural Field Day activities held May 7.

Dr. Richard Griffin, interim assistant research director, Cooperative Agricultural Research Center,center, and Theo Reed, PVAMU freshman Agronomy major,second from right, share information about Prairie View A&M University with high school students.

“We were certainly pleased to have this group of potential and upcoming Prairie View A&M University students attend the 2011 High School Career Day,” said Horace Hodge, USDA 1890 Program Manager and co-chair of the event. “Many young people have not been told about the advantages of majoring in the agricultural and human sciences once they come to a university, and we hold this event to reinforce the importance of agriculture and how it affects everyone’s lives. “

Pictured from left to right are students and the Graduation Coach from Worthing High School: Rodney Jackson, Mr. Zeno - graduation coach, Jazmine Tanner and Lamar Matthews.

Andra Collins, a Prairie View A&M alum who majored in agriculture with an emphasis in Animal Science and is now an agriculture teacher at Eisenhower Middle School in the Aldine Independent School District, brought more than 20 students to the Career Day.  Collins told the participants that her time spent as a student at Prairie View was very rewarding, and she wanted to go into teaching to expose more youth to the field of agriculture.

Bobby J. Smith, II, PVAMU Student Government President and an agricultural economics major, emphasized to the young people that going to college is a wonderful experience if you know how to set your priorities and have balance. “It’s about balance and what you want to achieve,” said Smith. “I partied a lot at Prairie View, but I also maintained a 4.0 average.”  Smith is graduating in May and will be attending graduate school at Cornell University in the fall.

Bobby Smith, II, graduating senior, Agriculture, and president - PVAMU Student Government Association, tells high school students that it's all about balance.

The participants also heard from other PVAMU agriculture and human science majors including Theo  Reed, a freshman majoring in agronomy, who told them to choose their friends wisely and to not be afraid to ask other students for help. Reed also said that it’s very important to maintain a balance in your school work and social life while attending college.

Excitement continued at the Career Day with a step show performance from the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and an engaging session from Dr. Wash A. Jones, assistant professor, who asked students some basic questions about agriculture. Mark Pearson, director for Enrollment Management, asked the young people, [why PVAMU?] and told them that he expected them to go to college and to do well.

In addition to Eisenhower Middle School, students from Houston representing Worthing and Sterling high schools and Travis and Woodson middle schools attended the Career Day. Young people from Central Medical Magnet High School in Beaumont, Texas also came to the Career Day.

Dr. Victor G. Stanley, interim head, Department of Agriculture, Nutrition & Human Ecology, ended the Career Day with information on the types of majors and degrees available in the College of Agriculture and Human Sciences.

For more information about the High School Career Day, contact Horace D. Hodge at 936/261-2521,

Photos – Alecea Rush, communications specialist – Cooperative Extension Program
Writer:  Gloria J. Mosby, program director – Communications, Cooperative Extension Program

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Awards First Place Honors to Cooperative Extension Fort Bend County 4-Hers

March 17, 2011

Alecea Rush, CEP communications specialist, far right, is pictured with the Fort Bend County All American Fresno 4-H Club as they receive the $500 award from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for winning 1st place in the 2011 AG4U Video Challenge.

Excitement resonated among the Fort Bend County All American Fresno 4-H Club as members were proclaimed 1st place winners of the 2011 AG4U Video Challenge and awarded $500 at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo on March 8th.  Participants in the contest had to develop a video depicting what being an ambassador for agriculture meant to them and their communities.  The All American Fresno 4-H Club is one of the clubs that operates under the direction of Timothy Sandles, Extension agent – 4-H & Youth with the Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program.

The award winning video, titled, “A Community of Anticipation” played on a large monitor at the rodeo during the awards ceremony.  “I am very excited that these 4-H club members collectively worked as a team to produce this video,” said Sandles. “Many of the members reside in areas in Fresno, Texas that don’t have positive outlets for them to display their creativity so producing the video afforded them an opportunity to release their talents.”

“I also appreciate the assistance of Alecea Rush, communications specialist, Prairie View Cooperative Extension Program, who showed the club members how to use and operate a video camera,” Sandles said.

There were numerous youth groups attending the awards ceremony including 4-H and FFA groups.

All of the students had a chance to interact with Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Todd Staples, during a question and answer session.

Staples talked about the youths’ future in agriculture and asked them about potential opportunities that they wanted to pursue. He also asked about their viewpoint on how technology and agriculture interact.

Writer: Gloria J. Mosby, program director – Communications
Photo Credit: LaRachelle Smith, Web Content Associate