Jeanne M. Priester was born in 1925 in Lee County, AL. She graduated from Montevallo University in 1947 and went on to receive her MS in 1958 from Auburn University. She worked with the Cooperative Extension Service (ACES) and spent a great portion of her career in Washington, DC, as a Federal Extension National Program Leader in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Home Economics and Nutrition Division.
In the 1960’s Ms. Priester was selected to lead a federal pilot project in five Alabama counties to reach young homemakers in low-income rural communities. This went on to become the national Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). She was invited to join the national Extension Service as a National Program Leader to duplicate the success of the project nationwide.
Other work of Jeanne Priester included work on the creation of the 1972 Mulligan Stew 4-H nutrition TV series that reached millions of youth. She worked to design Team Nutrition with USDA Food and Nutrition Service in 1995 and also served on the board of the Journal of Extension.
Ms. Priester received the 1988 Alumna of the Year Award from the Auburn University School of Human Sciences. She was a 53-year member of AAFCS and received their DSA Award in 1993. In 2008, more than a decade after her retirement she was the recipient of the Friend of the NEAFCS Award given to those who have made significant contributions to Extension Family and Consumer Science education programs on a multi-state or national level.
Jeanne Priester passed away in 2010 and we continue to honor her tireless work and significant contributions through the Priester Health Awards presented annually at the National Health Outreach Conference (formerly the Priester Conference).
At the 2018 National Health Outreach Conference we will continue the tradition of Priester awards. The awards luncheon which will be held on May 3, 2018 at noon will honor the award recipients. We invite you to consider possible nominees for the Priester awards, who continue the legacy of innovation and collaboration in creating a culture of health. Nominations will be open in early January 2018. We invite your nominations at that time.