Helping families live well

Extension agent teaches about health, food and finances

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— The Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Service has a new representative to help families.

Karen Massey, a registered dietitian, is Routt County's agent for family and consumer science.

Massey, who has been on the job for three months, said she deals with issues that help people live well. Her programs include nutrition-related topics such as preparing food, feeding children and losing weight. She also has programs about health, parenting and preparing financial documents.

"I want to be a resource for people for questions they have about their family and about eating," Massey said.

Massey was born in Glen--wood Springs. She received bachelor's degrees in secondary education as well as food science and nutrition from Colorado State University. She completed a master's degree in health education from the University of Northern Colorado.

Massey worked for the dairy industry and then at the Coors Wellness Center. She also was an associate professor of nutrition at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

Before moving to Steamboat, Massey spent four years at sea on a 43-foot catamaran with her husband, Dean, and their twin sons, Jack and Ben. During the 15,000-mile trip, Massey said, she learned a lot about self sufficiency.

"We really did have to find ways to take food and preserve it for our Atlantic crossing," Massey said. "It was a challenge to keep everyone healthy."

The family also had to work with a budget, home school the boys and take care of medical problems.

"We learned about a lot of things," Massey said. "I kind of became a believer in strengthening all aspects in your life."

The twins are now 13 years old, and Dean Massey is a science teacher in Hayden.

C.J. Mucklow, the county's extension director, said Massey was selected because of her background.

"We're really quite pleased to have someone at that level of expertise in human nutrition here available to the public," Muck--low said.

Massey said her goals include promoting "anything that helps people and makes their life easier."

She wants to help the aging community and spend time with young people in schools and through the 4-H program. If people need assistance that she can't provide, she will contact other experts connected to Colorado State University, Massey said.

"My job is to take all of the resources of CSU and make them available to Routt County," Massey said.

-- To reach Dana Strongin, call 871-4229 or e-mail dstrongin@steamboatpilot.com

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