- Januaray 2021
Name: Tammy Layton
Title: Extension Nutrition Educator
Unit: MSU Extension Service
County/location: Simpson County
Years in Position: 12
Years of Service to MSU: 12
Tammy Layton is a nutrition educator with the MSU Extension Service Office of Nutrition Education who teaches local children and adults about healthy eating habits.
When she first took the job, she could not have predicted the grocery store conversations in her future.
“After a lesson about dairy products and calcium, I was in the store and a little girl came up to me and asked about the skeleton I use as a teaching prop. ‘How is Mr. Bones, is he drinking his milk?’ she asked. Her mother walked over and wanted to know who Mr. Bones was, because that was all her daughter could talk about. After she realized Mr. Bones wasn’t a real person, the mom was excited too. Her little girl could remember how many bones there are in the human body.”
This excitement about learning and teaching is what keeps Tammy enthused about her job after more than a decade of service.
“Once you see the light go and they remember something, even adults, it makes a big difference,” she said. “You never know what people will take away from a lesson. I had one man stop me in the middle of a lesson to say he didn’t know raisins came from grapes. Even a little bit of understanding and change is important.”
Tammy was drawn to this work partly because of her own experiences growing up.
“My mom raised three kids without any help, so I know firsthand the struggles to get healthy food on the table,” Tammy said. “I think my mom would have enjoyed classes like the ones I teach now.”
Tammy loves being outdoors, cooking for her family, and spending time with her three-year-old granddaughter.