Area(s) of Specialization
Food Science for Extension Agents
Coordinator of the Rapid Response Center
Co-Director of the Kansas Value Added Foods Lab
B.S. , Kansas State University, 1986
M.S. , Kansas State University, 1997
Karen Blakeslee is coordinator of the Rapid Response Center, an Extension Agent resource for Food Science. She is also the co-director of the Kansas Value Added Foods Lab. The Rapid Response Center was formed in 1995 as a resource for Kansas State University Research & Extension Agents. Resource topics included Food Science, Human Nutrition, Food Service and other consumer topics. Since that time, the Center has grown to be of valuable assistance to Kansas State University Extension Specialists in those areas, primarily in food science. The Kansas Value Added Foods Lab is resource for small food producers to evaluate the safety of their food products, Nutrition Facts labeling, production guidance and more.
Karen's background includes working in ice cream manufacturing and in cereal and pasta manufacturing for almost 12 years. Karen is a native of Great Bend, Kansas.
The Rapid Response Center works closely with Food Science faculty as well as Human Nutrition faculty to answer Extension Agent and consumer questions about food. Most questions are related to food safety, home food preservation, and food preparation.
The Master Food Volunteer program is also a part of the Rapid Response Center. This program helps recruit volunteers in counties or districts with a high interest in food. These volunteers are given about 40 hours of training. They, in turn, give back a minimum of 40 hours of volunteer time to help Extension Agents in any food related programming in their counties.