Live Well Alabama
Dominguez Hurry has plenty of reasons to be satisfied with his work as a SNAP-Ed educator in Bullock and Macon counties, but he’s not ready to slow down anytime soon. Whether it’s renovating a field house at Bullock County High School, working with two school gardens, attending conferences, or promoting farmers markets, Hurry knows the importance of his job.
Bullock County Field House
One of Hurry’s main accomplishments as an educator came as a member of the Bullock County ALProHealth community coalition. The coalition’s goal is to increase access to healthy food and physical activity in Union Springs, Alabama. When the field house at Bullock County High School in Union Springs needed renovations, the county school system, city of Union Springs, and ALProHealth worked together to put up new walls, floors, and a roof. Visiting athletic teams use the building as a dressing room and the school stores athletic equipment inside. Hurry said the next phase of the field house is to create a sidewalk path from the field house to the school to create a safe walking trail.
In a partnership with Tuskegee University Extension, Bullock County High School, and the Bullock County Extension Office, Hurry helped establish a school garden to teach nutrition education and supply those in the county with fresh vegetables. According to Hurry, there are two harvests a year, both in the fall. The feature crops in the garden are kale and collard greens. The first harvest in fall 2019 went home with the students and the faculty of the high school. The second harvest went to the Bullock County Department of Human Resources, which gave it away to families in need around the county.
In Macon County, Hurry has supported a strawberry garden at George Washington Carver Elementary School. Each year, Hurry coordinates with the school to allow students to plant about 2,500 strawberries. The students learn the proper way to plant, irrigate, water, and protect against pesticides. In addition, Hurry teaches students about strawberries’ nutritional value and provides Body Quest nutrition classes to third graders in the school. Body Quest is an innovative childhood obesity prevention initiative that uses technology and hands-on learning to empower third graders and their parents to make healthier choices.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Hurry would take multiple classes to the garden to pick the strawberries and take them home. During the spring, Hurry invited parents to pick strawberries as a family at staggered times during the pandemic.
“Families came out and practiced social distancing, wore a mask, and picked the strawberries until they were all gone,” Hurry said.
In another project working with the Macon County ALProHealth Coalition, Hurry was involved in acquiring ceiling fans for the Macon County Farmers Market. The fans were installed inside the pavilion at the market for the weekly night market. The fan helps circulate air during the hot Alabama summer, and lights attached to the fan help provide more light during the night market.
Tuskegee Farmers Conference
In February, Hurry attended the Tuskegee Farmers Conference in Montgomery. Typically, Hurry is a judge in the high school culinary competition. However, this year, he also did a food demonstration for attendees of the conference. Hurry said the partnership between Alabama Extension and the university is excellent and helps reach many of the same people.
“We are all trying to reach the same people and trying to do the same kind of thing. Instead of trying to do it separately, we all partner together,” Hurry said. “That just makes it so much better.”
To find more success stories about SNAP-Ed educators, visit LiveWellAlabama.com.