LAMPASAS — The county’s AgriLife Extension office provides many services to the community, but promoting healthy living initiatives is one of its top priorities.

The goal of the more than 250 county Extension offices and 900 educators throughout the state is to provide community-based education programs to improve the lives, businesses and communities of Texans with custom-designed educational programs relevant to each area.

“We work in cooperation with the Texas A&M University System,” said county Extension agent Karen DeZarn. “Most every county in the nation has an Extension office cooperative, and we are geared toward educating the community.”

DeZarn, a family consumer science educator, agricultural natural resources agent, developed several health programs for the Lampasas community, including weight loss, food safety, exercise and fitness, and managing Type 2 diabetes.

She said the homemade foods and canning program is popular.

“The idea of homegrown foods seems to be coming back,” DeZarn said. “I’ve gone around to the different clubs and talked about using herbs and spices in your dishes.”

The food dehydration, freezing and canning class also was popular. DeZarn said she believes the bad economy has led people to seek ways to save money and extend their harvests.

The Lampasas office often partners with surrounding counties to offer food protection management and food safety certification programs for food handlers and home cooks.

For more information about AgriLife healthy initiatives, call the Lampasas office at (512) 556-8271, or go to

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