Portales tapped to host conference

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Reporter

Portales will get its first taste hosting the New Mexico Association of Family and Consumer Sciences’ annual conference, scheduled for April 2008.

The conference will be held in conjunction with the Smithsonian exhibit: Key Ingredients: America by Food that will be on display at Eastern New Mexico University from Feb. 22 to April 6, 2008.

The conference will focus on family wellness, health and the elderly, said NMAFCS President Jacquelyn Madrid.

The conferences are generally held in either Las Cruces or Albuquerque, said Madrid.

“It’s never been here before. It will give us a spotlight of the professionals in our area,” Madrid said.

According to Madrid, activities planned for the conference include tours of the exhibit, viewing of tapings of the Creative Living show produced at KENW, a luncheon, dinners, guest speakers, a game night and a breakfast panel that will include several speakers.

Breakout sessions will cover topics such as elderly issues, health and wellness issues, education issues and history of the association, Madrid said.

“It will give attendees the information to take back to students and other teachers,” Madrid said of the conference.

Attendees are expected to arrive from within the state and also from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Organizers are also hoping to have a Taos chef who suffers from dyslexia present a demonstration, said Merlene Olmsted, professor of Family and Consumer Sciences at ENMU.

“It’s neat to have someone who is successful and overcame a disability,” Olmsted said.

Another aspect to the conference will be a candlelighting ceremony during a dinner get together. The ceremony is a way to recognize graduating students from the family and consumer sciences program, Olmsted said.

“It’s a really nice ceremony. It’s been meaningful for the students,” Olmsted said.