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Today’s meeting of the Eddy County Commission began with a presentation on the Cooperative Extension Service and the Eddy County Extension programs led by Woods Houghton.

Houghton began by discussing the history and background of the Cooperative Extension Service, which is a partnership between the county, state and federal governments whose mission is to bring research-based knowledge to industrious people and to put said knowledge to work in the agriculture, livestock, consumer and family sciences, youth development, and engineering fields.

“Our fundamental objective is the development of human resources and to make people’s lives better,” said Houghton.

The Cooperative Extension Service is now offering a diabetic cooking school open to diabetics as well as family members and caregivers of diabetics. The class focuses on food preparation, safety and nutrition specifically for people who suffer with diabetes.

“It’s a free class that covers nutrition basics from A to Z with a registered dietician,” said Jennah McKinley, extension home economist. “They even get to go home with resources to help them manage their diabetes.”

The Cooperative Extension Service also mentioned their efforts in developing parenting education classes and life skills workshops. The parenting education classes focus on parental practices. The classes are open to daycare professionals, social workers, county parents, county teen mothers, and child development classes.

The workshops are focused around Eddy County youth and their potential to be influenced by negative indicators such as crime, poverty, teen pregnancy, and single-parent families. The basic life skills discussed in the workshops include consumerism, nutrition, personal development, and creative arts.

For more information on these classes and workshops, contact the Eddy County Extension Office at 575-887-6595.

In other business, the commissioners voted to purchase eight 2016 Ford Explorer Police Package Vehicles (PPVs) for the Eddy County Sheriff’s Office from Artesia Ford for $254,704.

Eddy County had issued an Invitation for Bids (IFB), which was advertised in the Artesia Daily Press, Carlsbad Current-Argus, Roswell Daily Record, and posted to the Eddy County New Mexico website. Artesia Ford responded with the only bid, and an evaluation committee determined the bid met specification requirements and that the proposed amount was within budget.

“It’s a win-win situation for our local economy,” said Mark Cage, chief deputy with the ECSO. “I plan to purchase every vehicle from here on out in Eddy County; it just makes sense.”

The commissioners also voted for the Malaga Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a new brush truck on contract, which will carry their medical, auto extrication, and rescue equipment. This unit will be funded through the volunteer fire department’s existing Fire Excise funds. The brush truck will replace a smaller unit that is older and does not have sufficient space to store the equipment they are carrying. The older unit will be moved to the Eddy County Fire Service office.