UACES Facebook Roofe named head of Family and Consumer Sciences for extension
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Oct. 6, 2023

Roofe named head of Family and Consumer Sciences for extension

By Tracy Courage
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Fast Facts: 

  • Nina Roofe to oversee extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences programming
  • Administrator brings teaching and industry experience to job

(556 words)
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LITTLE ROCK — Helping people live better has been at the heart of Nina Roofe’s career – as a longtime registered dietitian, as a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Family Sciences at the University of Central Arkansas, and now in her new leadership role as assistant vice president of Family and Consumer Sciences for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

Nine Roofe
LEADER — Nina Roofe is the new assistant vice president for Family and Consumer Sciences at the Cooperative Extension Service. (UADA photo)

Roofe started Sept. 25 and will ensure research-based programming is available to meet the needs of Arkansans in the areas of food and nutrition, food safety and preservation, health and exercise, personal finance, home safety, early childhood and mental health.

“Family and Consumer Sciences has always appealed to me because it takes a holistic approach — meeting people where they are, where they live, where they work. It’s practical. It’s all about helping people and helping them improve their lives,” she said.

“You can design a nutritiously balanced plate of food and teach someone how to cook, but if they can’t afford to buy the food or if they live somewhere without a kitchen, it doesn’t work. You can’t just do health and wellness, or nutrition, or home safety, or consumer economics,” she said. “It’s all intertwined with family life, so you have to look at the whole picture.”

The Division of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service employs Family and Consumer Science agents in every county of the state. Roofe plans to visit agents in the coming months to assess needs that exist throughout the state and ensure that extension is offering the best programs to meet those needs with resources available.

“Dr. Roofe has more than 32 years of experience and brings a wealth of knowledge to the position,” said Bob Scott, senior associate vice president for agriculture-extension and director of the Cooperative Extension Service. “I am excited for her to join our team.”

Family and Consumer Sciences is one of four extension units. Other units include Agriculture and Natural Resources, 4-H, and Community Professional and Economic Development. Roofe’s position is a newly restructured one. Before Roofe’s hire, one person oversaw both Family and Consumer Sciences and Arkansas 4-H.

“It needed to be two positions because they are two separate units,” Scott said.

A career bucket list

Working for extension has been on Roofe’s “career bucket list.”

She grew up in Izard County on a beef cattle farm and was involved in 4-H, the youth leadership program of the Division of Agriculture. Her great aunt was a home economist in Izard County, and her great uncle ran the Soil Conservation Service. Her husband’s stepfather was also an extension agent.

“I feel like I’ve always had the extension gene,” she said.

Before joining the Division of Agriculture, Roofe was a professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition and Family Sciences in the College of Health & Behavioral Sciences at UCA, where she has taught since 2002.

“I love teaching,” Roofe said. “I swore I’d never be a teacher because my parents were both public school teachers, and I saw their struggles, but I love it. You’re reaching students, and they touch lives. It’s a ripple effect.”

Roofe has a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from the University of Central Arkansas; a Master of Science in Corporate Health Promotion from the University of Arkansas; and Ph.D in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from Iowa State University.

To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit Follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @AR_Extension. To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station website: Follow on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.

About the Division of Agriculture

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. The Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Media Contact: Tracy Courage
Director of Communications-Extension
U of A System Division of Agriculture