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South Dakota Ag News Headlines
Folliard New Family and Community Health Specialist
South Dakota Ag Connection - 12/04/2018

When it comes to fruit and vegetable consumption, South Dakotans rank among the lowest in the nation. As a new SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, Jennifer Folliard is working to change the statistics in two communities by removing one of the greatest barriers to healthy eating - cost.

"Through SDSU Extension and new grant funding, we can provide nutrition education and Double Up Dakota Bucks. There is an opportunity here to make an improvement. Even a small improvement will go a long way," Folliard explained.

Double Up Dakota Bucks is a dollar-for-dollar match program Folliard is collaborating with NDSU Extension to introduce to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients in Dupree and Lake Andes communities, as well as two communities in North Dakota through a grant from the United State Department of Agriculture.

For example, when SNAP recipients purchase $1 worth of fruits and vegetables, they receive an additional $1 to spend on produce, up to a maximum of $10.

"This program helps shore up the supply of produce in these rural grocery stores and farmers markets, and improve the diet by getting at one of the biggest barriers to eating healthy," Folliard said.

Along with implementing this program, in her new role as SDSU Extension Family & Community Health Field Specialist, Folliard will work with the SDSU Extension team and community stakeholders to address statewide needs for programming and research in family and community health. She will work to develop innovative educational materials and design effective methods of delivery. And, work to develop partnerships with diverse community agencies and organizations.

"Jennifer brings years of public health experience and insight to South Dakotans. And, she has a passion for serving others through her work as a dietitian," said Suzanne Stluka, SDSU Extension Food & Families Program Director.

From the time she was in middle school, Folliard wanted to become a dietitian. "I really liked science, I liked people and I liked food. And, I knew I didn't want to become a doctor or a nurse. Yet, I wanted to do something in the healthcare field," Folliard explained.

Folliard received and a bachelor of science in dietetics, human nutrition; foods and nutrition in business from Purdue University and a master's in public health, comparative health systems and policies from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Prior to joining the SDSU Extension team, Folliard spent several years working as Director of USDA Legislation and Policy for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Washington D.C.

"I reviewed research and worked with policy makers to improve food security and health nation-wide, looking at what programs were working and those that were not working. Today, I have a deep understanding of best practices and I am interested in bringing that perspective to South Dakota through my work with SDSU Extension," Folliard said.

To contact Folliard, e-mail her at Jennifer.Folliard@sdstate.edu.

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