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Teran Ransom went to college to become a fashion designer in New York City, or so she thought.
A Bourbon County native, she enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University to major in apparel design and merchandising. Near the end of her schooling, she realized the fashion market was small and hard to get into so she tried to think of what else she could do with her degree.
An internship altered her dream of designing fashion to strengthening families.
As the family and consumer sciences agent at the Hardin County Cooperative Extension Service, she oversees a number of activities focusing on home and family.
As an intern with the cooperative extension service in her home county, she worked with 4-H. She was somewhat familiar with 4-H. She showed up on her first day dressed nicely, including nice shoes. When she got there she found out it was tagging day and they were tagging 500 head of livestock.
“I thought, ‘what have I gotten myself into,’” Ransom said.
Through her experience, she also learned 4-H is about more than livestock. Children learn about leadership, life skills, public speaking, technology, science and more, she said.
Ransom, 27, loved the community aspect of her work at the extension service.
After her internship, she worked in retail management for a while but it wasn’t a fit.
She went back to school to get her master’s degree and worked with a food assistance program for 18 months at the extension office in Fayette County.
But she really wanted to work in family and consumer sciences, a better fit for her background. That opportunity opened up in June 2009 when she took on that role in Hardin County.
She calls it “modern home economics” with a focus on building strong families, linking them to research-based knowledge to enrich their lives. Her works includes organizing community classes and overseeing Operation Military Kids, which offers camps and other opportunities to children of deployed service members.
For Ransom, meeting people and building relationships in the community is the best part of her job.
Cooking is the part of her job she felt she would have to learn more about.
When she tells her friends she teaches cooking classes they laugh because she was known for a kitchen disaster during her senior year in a foods class.
The entire school had to evacuate because she set a stove burner on fire while deep frying crawdads, she said. She ended the year with the highest grade in that class but her classmates joked that was only because she tried to set the school on fire.
When she talks about cooking, she stresses one doesn’t have to be a chef.
“I feel that if you can read a recipe, if you can follow directions and if you’re willing to step outside the box, relax a little and believe in creative freedom in your cooking, then anybody can cook,” Ransom said.
She loves baking and has gone from kitchen pyrotechnics to creating a butterscotch cream pie with meringue she said her friends and family often request.
While many might think family and consumer science services are for older homemakers, Ransom said, people of all ages and backgrounds are taking advantage.
Facebook has drawn more interest especially among younger generations, she said. By posting classes and events on Facebook she gets a response from younger people.
The economy is another factor, she said. Consumers are trying to do more things themselves. Some are growing their own gardens and come to food preservation classes.
Sewing is more popular including making clothes, quilts and crocheting. Ransom fits into this group as well with a new interest in quilting.
She also sees younger people interested in classes about making better and healthier food choices.
Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or email@example.com.
Getting to know Teran Ransom:
Books: Novels written by Janet Evanovich and Lilian Jackson Braun
TV: Game Show Network, friends call her a competitive trivia person
Movie: “Dirty Dancing”
Hobbies: Zumba, baking, crocheting, quilting and she loves being outside, hiking and fishing.
Family: She is close to her parents and younger brother.
Traveling: She likes traveling throughout the state and even the country with her job.
Community: Ransom is involved in her church, Heritage International Christian Church, and the Elizabethtown Junior Women’s Club.
Fall tips: Stick with a pumpkin because nothing says fall more than a pumpkin and there’s so much you can do with it, she said. Paint them, carve them, stencil them or glue on buttons for decoration. Also, use them to make cookies, cakes, pies and soup.