BY MELANIE BUCK –
The Polk County Extension Service has announced that current 4-H Coordinator Lauren Frost will now fill the role left behind by recently retired Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, Kim Hughes. Frost joined the Extension Office in July 2015 and looks forward to challenges brought about by her new position. Frost will now be the 4-H/FCS Agent, allowing her to wear several hats throughout the day.
“It’s going to be hard to fill Kim’s shoes, she always did so much and always went the extra mile without being asked,” said Extension Agent Carla Vaught. She continued, “Lauren’s position will be different but we will do everything we can to carry on that role.” That role includes working with county homemakers clubs, master gardeners, family and consumer science education, and more.
Vaught also explained that she and Hughes only filled a portion of their time with 4-H but that will still continue to be Frost’s main focus, spending about 75% of her time in that area. “The children are our future and if we can get them trained up now, we won’t have to do so much training later,” explained Vaught. Volunteers will be needed to help fill some of Kim’s duties, just because she did so much.
Frost said, “It’s an overwhelming task at hand because there is so much to be done in both areas. I’m really passionate about kids and offering them diverse opportunities and giving them learning experiences. On the FCS side of it, there are so many things that need to be addressed for aging adults and home economics and it’s a big elephant.” Frost holds a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences and looks forward to being able to work in that area as well. Frost was recently featured as a Pulse Citizen of the Week – Click HERE for that feature.
Although Frost’s new role is unique, there is another agent outside of the county that fills a similar role and she will be able to help mentor her as she moves into new territory. Vaught said with Hughes retiring, there have been a lot of questions about what activities will be kept. “We don’t have a lot of answers right now but we will work through it and believe that Lauren is going to do a great job,” said Vaught. Patience is asked of patrons of the Extension Service. “Give us a year of feeling and learning and walking our way through,” she added.
Frost said, “I think it’s important to understand all of the different arms of Extension. I love to learn new things.” “We hate to see Kim retire but we are excited about what’s to come in the future,” Vaught said.
To learn more about the Polk County Extension Service and all they offer, stop by and visit them at 211 DeQueen Street in Mena, or call 479-394-6018.