Shirley Sears is returning to Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service to serve as the Better Living for Texans regional program manager serving the North Region’s 42 counties surrounding Amarillo and Lubbock.
Sears will be headquartered at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Lubbock.
Better Living for Texans, BLT, is a nutrition education program for adults and children who are Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, SNAP, participants and SNAP eligible. The BLT program helps people make healthy meals, improve their physical fitness, save money at the grocery store, grow their own foods, and adopt better food safety habits.
“We are pleased Shirley chose to rejoin our agency and serve in this role,” said Renda Nelson, Better Living for Texans state program director, Amarillo. “She brings a wealth of knowledge from implementing this program previously as a county agent.”
Sears brings experience
A native of Whiteface, Sears earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics from Tarleton State University and her master’s degree in agriculture education from Texas Tech University.
She served as the family and community health agent in Cochran County from 2003-2013 before leaving to help with her family’s cotton gin. For the past year, she has served as a 4-H volunteer and secretary in AgriLife Extension’s office in Lynn County.
“I just realized how much I missed this agency and all the work it does,” Sears said. “I enjoy helping families with food and nutrition. I know that the need continues to grow. When I was an agent in Cochran County, the challenges were very real for many families.
“Now, with the pandemic and the economy the way it is, we can all use help. BLT provides a way to lend a helping hand, and I’m excited to be a part of that in the North Region.”
Many families find it difficult to balance work and healthy eating, or they might not have access to the resources they need, she said. BLT offers that educational component on things like budgeting your food supply and getting active.
“I value the Better Living for Texans philosophy of helping Texans with food and nutrition,” Sears said. “Everyone needs to be able to live and eat well.”