Educator honored for work with local Future Farmers of America

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 21, 2022

Raising awareness about food safety and the importance of good nutrition has driven Kysha Rooks to work with young people around Rowan County.

As the Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program Educator for the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Rooks is an asset to a community with deep roots in agriculture and farming. Her most recent efforts have even gained her recognition from those outside of the classroom as well.

Communities In School of Rowan County awarded Rooks on May 4 with the Partnership of the Year Award for this school year after she conducted a six-week long class with the Future Farmers of America eighth graders at North Rowan Middle School.

In her work with the FFA, Rooks taught her students about everything from knife-cutting skills, to using the MyPlate app, and much more.

Rooks also emphasized the importance of food hygiene in particular, noting that, ‘I don’t think students are aware enough today on how to prepare their food or understand the basics of food safety due to limited understanding of food-borne microbes’. She believes that this leads young people to, “underestimate the risks and consequences of illness” that can come from consuming tainted food.

While these students prepare to graduate and enter high school armed with a comprehensive knowledge about food safety, the work for Rooks is not done. She will return to the school next year for more classes with the school’s FFA.

“I enjoyed my time with the students and look forward to being back at North Rowan in the fall.”