Erath FCH

Family and Community Health (FCH) is part of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A&M System. AgriLife Extension offers practical information for families: raising children, housing and environment, eating well, managing money, and staying healthy. Topics the Erath County FCH Agent frequently deals with include Certified Food Management, Childcare Conference, Food and Nutrition, and many others.

Visit the state website to access even more great resources.

For easier viewing on a smartphone or tablet, or to print the newsletter, click Fall 2021 Newsletter to view/download as a pdf. You can click on any website mentioned in the newsletter to go directly to that webpage.

Food & Nutrition

Cooking Schools and Classes

Picture-pgErath County Family and Community Health Extension Agent conducts nutrition classes at Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) in Dublin, Texas, with the help of volunteer, Mary Howard.

The purpose of CWJC of Erath Co. is to provide life skills development and job stills education classes taught in a Christian context where women mentor women. For more information on classes offered at CWJC, call Deneen Tiemann at 254-445-2228.

For information on nutrition programs contact the Erath County Extension Office at 254-965-1460.


School Nutrition Programs

General foods and nutrition programs are given to area schools as requested by teachers. Tarleton State University (TSU) senior level nursing students, along with Texas Health registered dietitians, Ellen Wells and Laurie Lively partner with Erath FCH County Extension Agent, to give as many nutrition programs as possible.

Topics include:

  • MyPlate – (USDA Dietary Guidelines)
  • Think Your Drink
  • Eating Disorders
  • Mindless Eating
  • Moo Moo Milk
  • Portion Distortion
  • Increasing Fruits & Vegetables in the Diet



Food Safety and Food Preservation

Both the state required Certified Food Manager’s course and the Food Handler’s course are offered through Texas AgriLife Extension.

Click the links below to see information on these courses and view a schedule of course and testing dates.

All food service establishments, under the jurisdiction of the DSHS, with some exemptions, shall employ a Certified Food Manager.

  • Additional information is available HERE.

Certified Food Manager

Food Handlers Training

Info on Starting a New Retail Food Establishment inTexas 

  • The Partnership for Food Safety Education (PFSE), saves lives & improves public health through research-based, actionable consumer food safety initiatives that reduce foodborne illness.

National Center for Home Food Preservation

  • The National Center for Home Food Preservation is your source for current research-based recommendations for most methods of home food preservation. The Center was established with funding from the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (CSREES-USDA) to address food safety concerns for those who practice and teach home food preservation and processing methods.


Dinner Tonight!

What are you having for Dinner Tonight?

Need some new ideas? Visit the Dinner Tonight website, which is devoted to helping busy families by providing videos and recipes of main dishes, appetizers, side dishes, and healthy desserts. Click here for recipes, videos, and more!

Every April since 2012, a Dinner Tonight! Healthy Cooking School has been conducted at Tarleton State University.  This is a multi-county event sponsored by Texas AgriLife Extension, TSU, Texas Health, Stephenville, The Home Place, STAR Council, HEB, and the Texas Beef Council or Dairy Max.  The event averages an attendance of over 150 people who see live demonstrations of healthy menus by celebrity chefs and local county extension agents, video presentations from dieticians as well as audience participation in such events as “Not Your Momma’s Kitchen Gadget.”  Participants get to sample two dishes, receive a cookbook and a goody bag and a chance to win numerous door prizes including a Kitchen Aid mixer!  Be watching for the next event.

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Child Care

Childcare providers play a vital role in caring for America’s children. Earn state required continuing education credits and find helpful information on the state website or browse courses available online.

Usually held the second Saturday in September, the Child Care Conference has been an annual event sponsored by TSU and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service (an approved provider of professional development training for childcare providers) for over twenty-five years in this community. The conference meets Texas Dept. of Family & Protective Services, Child Care Licensing annual training requirements for Child Care providers working in home-based and center-based programs, offering participants the opportunity to earn six clock hours.

Topics and format of the conference differ from year to year, but the cost is usually around $30 for 6 clock hours of credit.

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Money Management

Family Resource Management provides you with the information you need to spend and save your money wisely. Visit the state website here.

Erath County Leadership Advisory Board has been actively supporting a program called Real World Simulation since 2012.  The goal of the Real-World Simulation is to teach teen financial literacy skills such as keeping and balancing a check register, saving money, and planning for expenses that would be accurate to their geographic area.

LAB members suggested local community partners who would provide relevant information at such stations as Housing, Transportation, Food, Pets, Entertainment, Children, Charitable Giving, Credit Cards, Clothing, Insurance, and Utilities.  Two community resource people from each of those tables were there to answer student questions.  One station, the “Wheel of Fortune/Misfortune” was a simply a game of chance spinning either bonus money like a $50 birthday gift or unexpected expense like a traffic ticket of $100.

Students were given a packet that held such information as their age (all were 25 years old), marital status (all were single), and occupation, along with a paycheck stub showing how much money they made after they paid taxes, social security, student loan payment, etc.  A random 30% of the students were given the parenting packet, meaning they had a child to provide for.  Occupations ranged from retail salesperson to physical therapist, vet assistant, teacher, maid, firefighter, home health care aid, hair stylist, etc.

Finally, students who ran out of money before the end of the month visited a “financial advisor” who suggested what cuts they could make to help them attain their financial goals.

This simulation has been conducted in Stephenville and Dublin, with Lingleville, Huckabay and Hudson Academy participating as well.

Here are some comments made by this year’s students:

  • I need to go through college and figure things out before having a child.
  • Plan where your money goes before you spend it or you will go broke.
  • I just didn’t really know all the complications in life.
  • I have a better understanding of the bills I have to pay.
  • It changed my view on a lot of things – having a kid is very expensive especially with a low income.  The struggle is hard.


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