East Region AgriLife Extension regional program leader to be based in Dallas

Writer: Robert Burns, 903-834-6191, rd-burns@tamu.edu

Paula Butler (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Kevin Painter)

Paula Butler (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo by Kevin Painter)

DALLAS — Paula Butler has been appointed the family and consumer sciences program leader for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service East Region.

Her responsibilities will include program planning in the areas of family consumer sciences and 4-H.

Butler will begin work in her new position Jan. 1 and will be based at the Texas A&M Research and Extension Center at Dallas. She currently serves as the AgriLife Extension family and consumer sciences agent for Navarro County, northeast of Waco.

The AgriLife Extension East Region includes Districts 4 and 5, an area encompassing 44 counties, from Jasper County in the south to Bowie County in the northeastern corner of the state and Anderson County to the west.

The regional program leader job description includes providing the “overall vision and regional leadership for the development, implementation, evaluation, and interpretation of Extension educational programs,” according to Dr. Susan Ballabina, AgriLife Extension associate director for program development, College Station.

“Paula is known for her creativity, innovation and program excellence,” Ballabina said. “She has been a leader in several East Region program efforts and has served on several program teams, including Dinner Tonight and Sports Nutrition. Most recently, she has been the regional team leader for both the Fuel Up to Play 60 and the Step Up and Scale Down programs.”

Butler is skilled in developing partnerships to enhance programs for both adult and youth audiences, Ballabina said.

“Over the years, she has developed numerous community collaborations resulting in high-visibility and high-impact programs,” she said. “She will continue to use these skills as she develops strategic partnerships to support east region FCS and 4-H programs.”

Butler received her bachelor’s in home economics from North Texas University in 1981 and her master’s in agriculture, food science and technology from Texas A&M University in 1982.

She received her certification as a clinical dietitian from Scott and White Hospital, Temple, and worked as either a clinical dietitian or a consulting dietitian in the Central Texas area until accepting the AgriLife Extension agent appointment for Navarro County in 2004.

Awards include Texas Association of Counties-Iris Stagner Healthy County Wellness Coordinator of the Year, 2013; National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences first place Family Health and Wellness Team Award, 2013; AgriLife Extension Superior Service, first place Food Challenge Team Award, 2010; Texas Association of Extension 4-H Agents, first place Promotional Package Team Award, 2010; Kidz in Motion National Child Passenger Safety Hero Award, 2009; Texas AgriLife Extension Superior Service, Master Wellness Volunteer Team Award, 2008; and the Texas Cooperative Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Programming Excellence Award, 2006.

“Because of my credentials as a registered dietitian and passion for nutrition and health, I understand the relevance and critical need to provide programming in this area,” Butler said. “Unlike most other agencies, Extension is uniquely positioned to impact every county within the state of Texas. I understand the value of partnering with other groups, agencies and healthcare institutions to create opportunities that can benefit wider, more diverse audiences.”

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