Riedy aims to make life better as county FCS agent

? Being a partner with residents is her goal.

Renae Riedy began working in?October as the Marion County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences. ?I chose this field because I like to help people and share what I have learned to hopefully make their lives a little better, easier or safer,? she said. Patty Decker / Free Press

Helping people improve their lives, families and communities is the primary goal of Renae Riedy, who succeeded Nancy Pihl last fall as the K-State Research and Exten??sion family and consumer sciences agent for Marion County.

?Family and Consumer Science information helps people make informed decisions that may lead to a quality of life they desire,? she said. ?As an extension agent, my goal is to be a partner in meeting the needs of the county residents.?

One way to help residents is to inform them of the topics offered through her office.

?I am still learning about all the lessons I could teach,? she said. ?Some of the topics in FCS are health, nutrition, food safety, food preparation and preservation, parenting, stepparenting, couple relationships, basic living skills, personal finance, topics of specific interest to the aging, disaster preparation and much more.?

People can search for publications on a desired topic at ksre.ksu.edu/bookstore. These publications range from crops, insects and forestry to health and safety, home and family, and equipment and structures.

?If a publication cannot be found at the bookstore on the website, anyone can contact me and I can help get the information they are looking for, whether it is part of my focus or not,? she said. ?Our office is here to help.?

Life?s challenges

Riedy said she is aware of problems people face regarding economics, social and physical well-being.

?I see challenges in everyday life no matter where I am at in the state,? she said, highlighting the struggle to put food on the table, to have a healthy balance in life, isolation for those not able to be mobile?whether physically or economically? and parents striving to raise their children in a changing world.

As an FCS agent, Riedy said she is open to serving the needs of the community in whatever way she can.

Prior to accepting her position in Marion County, she worked with people on basic personal finance and debt reduction.

?KSU has educational resources for this and other financial issues, such as the Affordable Care Act and senior health insurance,? Riedy said.

?In relation to retirement and farm or business succession planning, family and consumer sciences and agriculture agents and specialists work closely to provide guidance.?

Kansas native

Raised on a farm in Dickinson County, Riedy and her husband are raising their family on a farm not far from where she grew up.

With more than 12 years experience in the work force, Riedy said she has already gained knowledge on a variety of FCS topics, such as budget counseling, early childhood parenting and home visiting, breastfeeding education and child-care licensing.

A staff of three

Riedy said she is grateful for the two other people she works with at the Extension office.

Rickey Roberts, ag and natural resources agent, has collaborative partnerships in his subject area. Riedy said she plans to make as many connections with other entities as possible.

In addition to her subject areas as an FCS agent, Riedy and Roberts share the youth development responsibilities for the county, which is the county?s 4-H program.

?We are a team of three locally, which includes our wonderful and highly experienced office professional, Doris Winkler,? she said.

The Marion County Extension office is located in the annex behind the Marion County Courthouse at 200 S. Third St., Marion.

Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Because agents often are away from the office, Riedy suggests people call 620-382-2325 and make an appointment.

?I would say I am like any educator?I want to make a difference, and I am looking forward to working with people of all ages in the county,? she said.

?I chose this field because I like to help people and share what I have learned to hopefully make their lives a little better, easier or safer,? she said.

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