My name is Melanie Southerland, and I am the Family and Consumer Sciences Agent for Jefferson County. I started in my position on August 1, 2022. I come from Taylor County, FL where I grew up and still live today. I love living and working in a rural community. I bring my passion for health and wellness promotion and knowledge of social determinants of health, aiming to reach all areas where people live, work, play, and worship. Health is comprehensive; it includes physical health, emotional health, mental health, and financial health. In Jefferson, I will be focusing on providing education and resources for improving healthy lifestyles and food safety practices as well as improving economic well-being.
I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Social Science and Child Development and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Florida State University. I bring experience from working with the UF/IFAS Extension Family Nutrition Program for the last five years where I served as the Nutrition Program Manager for five rural counties in northeast Florida.
When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and our family. I enjoy walking my dogs, reading, and fishing!