LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 24, 2017) — For many years, Janet Johnson has worked tirelessly for the citizens of Allen County in her role as an agent for the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. Her hard work recently garnered national recognition when the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences named her their Educator of the Year.
The association annually gives the award to a family and consumer sciences extension educator who conducts outstanding programs that positively affect families. The recipient must have been a member of the association for at least 12 years and must have already received its distinguished service and continued excellence awards.
“The impact Janet has made on countless individuals, her community and the state is substantial,” said Jennifer Hunter, interim assistant director of family and consumer sciences extension the UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. “She is an outstanding professional, teacher, colleague and champion for family and consumer sciences.”
Johnson is committed to extending UK’s research knowledge to Kentuckians to build strong families. The community is her classroom, as she delivers programs focusing on resource management, family development, civic engagement and nutrition and health. Through weekly and monthly television programs, she brings extension education directly into the homes of Kentuckians and Tennesseans. Johnson collaborates with her coworkers in her county and across the state to strengthen all areas of extension.
Much of Johnson’s work has revolved around community and economic development. She helped secure nearly $20 million in funding for Allen County to support beautification, renovation, transportation and built environment efforts.
She was also integral in the development of Plate It Up Kentucky Proud, a program UK family and consumer sciences agents conduct in partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. The program encourages consumers to purchase and eat local produce. Regionally, Johnson was instrumental in connecting producers and consumers in south-central Kentucky through the Farm to Table program.
Johnson has actively encouraged financial literacy for Kentuckians of all ages. She worked alongside state specialists to develop programs to help individuals and families rebound after the recession and develop succession and estate plans. She also presented youth financial literacy programs in her county.
A natural leader, Johnson spearheaded many efforts within her county and through statewide roles, including serving as president and vice president of the Kentucky Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.