Lois Lewis, Marva Fairchild and Jerolyn Nordlund

Lois Lewis, Marva Fairchild and Jerolyn Nordlund attended the Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences annual conference at Cragun’s Resort and Conference Center in Brainerd.

Family and Consumer Sciences teachers Lois Lewis, of Indus School, Birchdale, Marva Fairchild, Falls High School, International Falls; and Jerolyn Nordlund, Littlefork High School, Littlefork, attended the Feb. 26-27 Minnesota Association of Family and Consumer Sciences annual conference at Cragun’s Resort and Conference Center in Brainerd.

Lewis was the MAFCS program coordinator for the event.

A pre-conference took place Feb. 25, featuring a ServSafe certification training, a food science workshop, and an excursion to Central Lakes College, Christmas Point Wild Rice Company, Prairie Bay Grill, and Lindar Corporation.

Highlighting the conference were presentations by Maxine Peterson, FCS education specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education, Jill Conlon, FCS department chair at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Deborah Larson, FCS teacher at Anoka High School who talked about the newly developed frameworks to be used by FCS teachers for curriculum development and instruction in schools and about teacher recruitment to overcome the current FCS teacher shortage.

Keynote speakers for the conference were Kara Thom, Minnesota author of fitness books, including the Go! Go! Sports Girls series for children, and Carolyn Barnhart, current president of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

Twenty-four breakout sessions featured speakers from a variety of organizations, including Dakota Technical College, BestPrep, University of Minnesota, Minnesota Extension Service, AARP, Hospitality Minnesota Education Foundation, Common Ground Minnesota, MN Food Charter, Minnesota Association for Career and Technical Education, and New Country School.

Minnesota Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America Executive Director Wendy Ambrose and several FCCLA members also presented information promoting the FCCLA service organization.

Lori Young, Minnesota FCS Teacher of the Year from Albany High School, spoke about her junior high class, “A Taste of FACS,” while two college students from MSU, Mankato, presented information about food allergens, sensitivities, and restrictions. Attorney Betsy Whitlatch of Gray, Plant, Mooty, offered sessions on estate planning and managing digital property, and a textile arts session was presented by Anoka middle school teacher Connie Reski.

Sponsors of conference activities included: Midwest Dairy Council – milk break; Hospitality Minnesota – ProStart students’ appetizer demonstration; Learning ZoneXpress – Awards Reception; Minnesota Beef Council – “Farmland” movie and snacks. Exhibits and a silent auction were available at the conference Feb. 26.

The following individuals received awards during an evening dinner: Riley Holmes and Jill Schmidt, Scholarships; Sue Kuseske, Lois Lewis and Gerry Luepke — Outstanding Service Awards; Ashley Nelson – New Achiever’s Award; Michelle Kamenov, Minnesota Department of Education – Outstanding Friend of MAFCS Award; Jill Conlon, Deborah Larson, Karen Smith – Outstanding Professional Awards; Lori Young – 2016 Teacher of the Year Award. Best Practice Grants were awarded to: Amanda Herman, Beth Smith and Marian Dombrock.

Family and Consumer Sciences empowers individuals and families across the life span to manage the challenges of living and working in a diverse global society, thereby “Creating Healthy and Sustainable Families.”

The unique focus of MAFCS members is on families, work, and their interrelationships. MAFCS members include educators, business professionals, and professionals who work with individuals, families and communities in various capacities.