Family and Consumer Sciences

The mission of Family & Consumer Sciences agents is to promote economic, environmental, and social sustainability for families by providing education for living well in Florida, now and for the future.

The Family and Consumer Sciences educational programs link research, knowledge, and technology to the needs of individuals, families, and communities in the county. Dedicated to strengthening families through education, the belief is that the family:

  • Is the most effective and efficient unit for building a competent society;
  • Has a right to meet basic needs and to make choices about its future, and;
  • Is interdependent within communities and their environments.
  • The emphasis of the Family and Consumer Sciences program is to improve Manatee County's families by providing instruction to parents and child care providers to ensure that they have the knowledge necessary to provide for a caring, loving, and nurturing environment for their children. Other elements of this program include nutrition and food safety, money management, and providing adequate housing.

Strenthening Marriages & Relationship Training  (SMART) classes now available!

SMART Couples Florida classes are designed to teach you how to communicate your needs, listen to the needs of others, successfully resolve conflicts, and maintain happy and healthy relationships with everyone in your life.  Based on the latest research and taught by UF/IFAS-trained instructors, SMART Couples classes include:

  • Relationship Smarts Plus 3.0: A fun and unique program designed to help teens learn how to set goals and make wise choices about relationships, dating, partners, and more. Target audience: Teens

  • Smart Steps: An empowering stepfamily program developed specifically to strengthen relationships between remarried or re-partnered couples and their children, including non-custodial parents.  Target audience: Couples, remarried couples in stepfamilies

  • Before You Tie the Knot: A dynamic premarital program for couples who are striving to start their marriages out right.  Target audience: couples, premarital couples

  • Elevate: A powerful relationship enhancement program for couples - dating, cohabiting, engaged, married - who want to improve their communcation skills and to strengthen their relationships.  Target audience: couples, married couples

For more information and to register for classes, please call Nelly Nelson, Family & Consumer Sciences agent, at (941) 722-4524.  Also, check out our easy-to-use website at

Cooking with Herbs

Throw that salt shaker away!  Learn how to select, store, preserve, and use herbs in your everyday meals.

A to Z Guide to Herbs
Easy Herb Recipes
Selecting, Storing, & Using Fresh Herbs (Ohio State University)
Drying Herbs (Oregon State University)

keysLinking Seniors with Safe, Reliable Transportation

Florida has the largest population of older adults in the United States. Many of them are unable to or choose not to drive. To address this issue, the University of Florida's Senior Safety Resource Center created an easy-to-use database containing over 700 transportation options to help seniors remain mobile within their own communities. To see what options are available in your area, visit:

cashFact Sheet: Couponing Basics

These days, saving money is more important than ever.  With a little time and organization, couponing can easily save you up to 50% on your grocery bill.

 Click here to learn a few helpful tips for using coupons.


Nelly Nelson
Family & Consumer Sciences
(941) 722-4524 ext. 1854

Additional FCS Areas
Family & Consumer Sciences Publications
Other Extension Resources

Living Well logo
"Raising Kids, Eating Right, Spending Smart, Living Well"

All events listed above will be held at the Manatee County Extension Office in Palmetto.
For more information, please call (941)722-4524.