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New home economist joins NMSU's Sandoval County Extension office

BERNALILLO - The new home economist in Sandoval County is looking forward to expanding New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service programs in one of the state's most diverse counties.

Sandy Taylor is the new home economist at New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension office in Sandoval County. (Courtesy Photo from NMSU)

"This county has the urban setting of Rio Rancho and Bernalillo, rural life of Cuba and the tribal communities of the pueblos and reservation," said Sandy Taylor, who joined the staff in October. "I believe we have something for each of these communities."

Taylor joins a staff of seven who provide Extension services to the county through 4-H youth programs, nutrition education programs and agriculture expertise.

"We're glad to have Sandy join us," said Rudy Benavidez, county program director and agriculture agent. "She brings a lot of experience and enthusiasm to our staff."

Roberta Rios, Extension Northern District department head, also acknowledges the experience Taylor brings to her new position.

"The Cooperative Extension Service is pleased to welcome Sandy back into the Northern District. With her prior Extension education experience in adult and youth programming, Sandy will no doubt be a valuable addition to the Sandoval County Extension staff," Rios said.

Taylor has four years of experience as a home economist in Cibola and Torrance counties. Besides coordinating nutrition and family consumer science programs in the county, Taylor will work with 4-H agent Steve Lucero to develop youth programs.

"I enjoy working with the kids," Taylor said. "It's fun to watch them develop their life skills as they grow into young adults. I enjoy keeping track of their accomplishments after they graduate from high school."

Lucero and Taylor are exploring non-traditional 4-H programs for the urban settings while expanding the traditional programs in the rural communities.

As the home economist, Taylor plans to provide programs in consumer finance, energy efficiency and nutrition.

"When looking at our general society, we see that people are not taking their health seriously," Taylor said. "I believe we have to educate the kids and their families about healthy eating choices. In the past I have introduced kids to different types of food and then I would see them in the grocery store asking their parents to purchase some of the food items that we tried."

Growing up in Roswell and graduating from Goddard High School, Taylor says she did not have the opportunity of joining 4-H. "I really noticed the difference among my fellow college students who had 4-H experience and those who hadn't. In 4-H kids learn how to give presentations and communicate their thoughts," said the NMSU graduate.

Taylor earned a bachelor's degree in home economics and a master's in family consumer science from NMSU in 1995 and 1998, respectively.