Extension classes will focus on food preservation, estate planning

Published 9:24 pm Monday, June 19, 2017

By Mary Stewart | The Selma Times-Journal

The Alabama Cooperation Extension Center will be hosting two educational workshops for Dallas County citizens.

They will offer a food preservation workshop as well as an estate planning workshop.

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Callie Nelson, the county extension coordinator, is excited for citizens to enjoy these upcoming classes.

“I am very excited because we want to make sure that we are providing the best researched based information on all topics that relate to families, farming, agriculture and nutrition,” Nelson said. “So, to be able to get these classes offered to people in the Black Belt, it’s just a really great opportunity.”

Janice Hall, regional extension agent, will be the instructor for the food preservation class.

“She will cover basic food preservation which includes canning, pickling and freezing,” Nelson said. “She will spend the majority of the time on how to dry fresh fruits and vegetables.”

She will also cover what equipment is needed, how to preserve foods safely and how long foods will last after being preserved.

“It will be a hands-on workshop, where the participants will get to come up and do some of the prep for some of the demonstrations,” Nelson said “She normally has samples for everyone to have and to carry home with them.”

The workshop will be held June 29 at Westwood Baptist Church on Highway 80 West in Selma.

The class does have a $5 fee that will be used to purchase an Alabama food preservation cookbook. However, participants who cannot pay the fee are still invited to come to the class.

Robert Tufts, an emeritus professor and an attorney, will be instructing the estate planning workshop.

“This is a new program that the extension is offering, and the target participants are farmers and land owners; but anyone would benefit from participating if they wanted to learn about estate planning,” Nelsom said. “They are going to be talking about wills and succession planning.”

The workshop will be held Thursday June 22 at the Black Belt Research and Extension Center on County Road 944 in Marion Junction. It will run from 6-9 p.m.

Both of these workshop ideas came from a need assessment meeting the extension calls their grassroots meeting.

“Last year, 38 people came to our meeting, and they go through and highlight or rate different educational topics that we need to offer to the public. Both of these came out of that workshop,” she explained. “We had not done the drying before, but we had enough interest in it that we decided to offer a class on drying. Every year, we have people who want to know about estate planning. Whether they own land or not, they just want to know how to make those plans for the future so that you pass on what you have to the next generation.”

The extension will have more programs coming up, including a backyard beekeeping workshop, master gardeners class and diabetes education class.

They do ask that if you are interested in either workshop that you call them to register.

If you are interested in the food preservation class, call (334) 875-3200, and if you are interested in the estate planning class, call (334) 872-7878.