Food for Thought: Saddle Up with FCE

November 18, 2022

Smith County FCE members attended the 40th Annual Tennessee Association for Family and Community Education (TAFCE) Conference held November 13-16, 2022, at the Franklin Cool Springs Marriott.

Their theme ‘Saddle Up with FCE’ was played to the hilt with decorations, hospitality room spreads, games, line dancing, and seated line dancing! FCE members are recognized statewide for the certified volunteer hours they donate, their participation in the cultural arts contest, fashion revue, and creative writing.

The conference was declared officially open at the general session Monday evening, November 14th, by the TAFCE President, Gloria Fisher, Cumberland County. City of Franklin Vice Mayor, Clyde Barnhill declared November 14th as “FCE Night in Williamson County”. Dr. Janet Fox delivered greetings from UT, and Judy Fullmer, NAFCE President from Kansas, brought greetings from the National Association for Family and Community Education.

The Tennessee Association for Family and Community Education (TAFCE) chose Saddle Up! Nashville as their service project for this conference. Audrey Kidd from Saddle Up! in Williamson County, was present at the general session on Tuesday to accept the monetary donation made by the group to support their work using equine support with persons (3 years to young adult) with physical disabilities.

At the general session on Tuesday, a local author and educator, Peggy O’Neal Peden, shared confidence points of entering the publishing world. She also conducted a book club review for her first release, Your Killin’ Heart. Her second education session guided participants through the beginnings of book writing using journaling. The Cowgirl Prom attendees were captivated by Dan Harrell aka ‘Cowboy Dan’s’ downhome humor. Harrell is known for his videos educating children about agriculture and living.

Conference attendees were offered options for educational tours, walk-in craft classes, creative craft classes, and education sessions. Topics of workshops included suicide prevention, dance fitness, chair volleyball, the history of FCE name changes, wreaths for all occasions, cooking Southern, scrapbooking your memories, coffee talk, and everything you wanted to know about insurance but were afraid to ask.

The opening session and the Cowgirl Prom were opportunities for FCE members to receive awards in cultural arts (such as beading, chair making, needlecrafts, quilting, etc.), fashion review, and creative writing. Winners from Smith County were Karen Patterson who won first place in accessories for fashion review, Greta Kirby who received two second place ribbons in creative writing, Jennifer Byrnes-Blubaugh who won first place in counted cross-stitch, and Kathy Wilkerson who placed second with her artwork.

Family and Community Education (FCE) is an organization of volunteers who work together to build strong families and communities. Educational materials are created and utilized to strengthen knowledge and skills. Resources are provided to develop leadership skills, enabling people to make a difference. Ultimately, FCE strives to make our communities a better place in which to live. To learn more about FCE club work in Smith County contact Mary Parker Draper at the Extension Office at 615-735-2900.