As the newest agent for Sampson County Cooperative Extension, Sydney Johnson is ready to help local families.
“I’m excited to be in Sampson and working with everyone in the community,” she said.
Johnson began her duties in December as a Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agent. She will also serve Duplin County. Her duties will include educating the community on matters such as nutrition, food safety and preservation.
“I have a lot of plans for what I want to do in the community,” Johnson said.
One of them includes a fitness program for farmers to help them make healthier choices while they’re working in the field. Another health program Johnson would like to bring to Sampson County is Faithful Families, which focuses educating church groups about nutrition and wellness.
A goal for Johnson is to help reduce the obesity rate in Sampson and Duplin counties through her work with cooperative extension as a FCS agent.
“It’s definitely needed here,” Johnson said about the neighboring counties high obesity rate. “It will really help to have an agent here that can go out in the community and help people.”
Johnson is ready to work with anyone she can and would like to have integrative collaboration with extension groups such as 4-H and others outside the office such as nursing homes or other medial services.
“I’m trying to build those relationships right now,” Johnson said.
She would like to be one of several links of service that the local extension office offers.
“Everyone seems very involved with the community and we’re just trying to help educate everyone and help them with anything they have questions about,” Johnson said about providing services such as nutritional education or helping a farmer with soil samples. “It’s very community oriented and it’s a strong cooperation because we’re so focused on the community and we work well.”
Prior to joining North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Johnson was an intern with Feast Down East, a nonprofit organization with a focus of bringing fresh local produce to communities. Her internship began in January and ended in May, but she continued through volunteer work by teaching nutrition programs to people in public housing communities.
She grew up near Charlotte and graduated from Hopewell High School in Mecklenburg High School before attending the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in community health education in 2015.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.