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Jennifer Bridge receives national extension award



KATIE PRATT

Lexington, Ky.- An agent with the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service recently received national recognition for her visionary leadership and innovative programs. Jennifer Bridge, Meade County family and consumer sciences extension agent, was the recipient of the National Distinguished Service Award from Epilson Sigma Phi, an organization dedicated to extension professionals.

 “Throughout her extension career, Jennifer has created thoughtful and impactful programs to better her community,” said Jennifer Hunter, UK assistant director of family and consumer sciences. “She is a great example of the quality of extension agents that we have in Kentucky."

For more than 31 years, Bridge has served individuals and families in Meade County. She has worked to help develop the leadership and communications skills of the county’s Extension Homemakers. Under her guidance, the group has taken on community-wide leadership roles and completed numerous community service projects. One project led the Extension Homemakers to lobby the local government for a permanent recycling center for the county. Today, the center processes 8,000 tons of materials each year and has expanded to include seven satellite sites. The group continues to advocate for the project by speaking to nearly 3,000 school-aged children each year about the importance of recycling and sustainable living.

 With Fort Knox located in the county, Bridge has worked extensively with military families, especially in the areas of family economics and strengthening family relationships.

 After getting numerous food and nutrition-related questions, Bridge created a series called Edible Education. This popular local program focuses on ways to use the latest cooking technology to prepare healthy meals along with basic food preparation skills.

 Throughout her career she has always interwined family and consumer sciences education with community and economic development, as she believes healthy families and thriving communites go together. Her work with local community leaders to develop walking trails that encourage physical activity and promote downtown development has strengthened Meade County.

 Bridge has been actively involved with