Tag Archives: 4-H

Virginia Farm to School Conference a success

The recent Virginia Farm to School Conference was held in Charlottesville, Virginia, and was a great success! This conference was a result of a USDA Farm to School conference grant that was awarded to the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Virginia Cooperative Extension, Farm Bureau, The Department of Education, and others worked with VDACS to organize and host the conference, which had over 160 participants. Dean Jewel Hairston, First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe, and Todd Haymore were some of the distinguished speakers.

What was most compelling was the role local Extension clearly plays in the work of the Virginia Farm to School Program. Not only were there several agents and specialists in attendance, but Extension agents were routinely recognized in many of the breakout sessions led by schools, farmers, and non-profit organizations. Over and over again, ANR, 4-H, and FCS agents were specifically acknowledged for their role in supporting either the “farm” or “school” aspects of this state-wide programming: youth garden education, nutrition education, food safety, food procurement/distribution, and food diversion were just some examples of program work the speakers and groups recognized.

For more information, check out this brief news article that highlights some of the event and Extension’s role.

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Henrico 4-H team repeats as LifeSmarts state champions, will compete nationally

A Henrico County 4-H team will compete in the national LifeSmarts consumer education competition for the second consecutive year after winning the state championship in Glen Allen.

Pictured left to right are team member George Evans, assistant coach Sheila Hyde, team members Emily Royster and Stephen Baker, coach Karie Dawkins, assistant coach Kathleen Cantwell, team member Curtis Cantwell and team captain Joshua Hyde.

Pictured left to right are team member George Evans, assistant coach Sheila Hyde, team members Emily Royster and Stephen Baker, coach Karie Dawkins, assistant coach Kathleen Cantwell, team member Curtis Cantwell and team captain Joshua Hyde.

The 4-H team — called WYSIWYG, an abbreviation for “What You See Is What You Get” — consists of students Joshua Hyde, Stephen Baker, Curtis Cantwell, George Evans and Emily Royster. Karie Dawkins coaches the squad, with assistance from Kathleen Cantwell and Sheila Hyde.

WYSIWYG earned its second state title after scoring better than five other teams in the Virginia LifeSmarts Competition, held March 9 at the Virginia Housing Development Authority’s Virginia Housing Center in Glen Allen. The team will represent the state in the National LifeSmarts Championship, scheduled for April 17-20, 2015, in Seattle. It will be the fifth team from Henrico’s 4-H program to compete nationally since 1995.

A program of the National Consumers League, LifeSmarts is a consumer education competition that challenges students in ninth through 12th grades with questions about personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities.

Henrico 4-H is a comprehensive youth development program that offers hands-on learning experiences under the guidance of 4-H agents and trained adult or teen volunteers. Program offerings include recreational camps and a variety of contests and clubs.

Congratulations!

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Hokie BugFest flashback

On Oct. 11, the Inn at Virginia Tech buzzed, hummed, and chirped as thousands of children and adults flocked to the fourth annual Hokie BugFest. This year’s event featured a lineup of entomology exhibits, live arthropods, a flea circus, a bug-themed haunted house, and glow-in-the-dark millipedes. New this year was a bee-dancing contest, where contestants imitated the “waggle” dance that honey bees perform. The HokieBird kicked off the contest by doing a demo.

Hokie Bugfest was held at the Inn at Virginia Tech. Bugs are displayed for people who are interested in learning about insects, beetles, and spiders up-close.

Visitors strolling through Latham Ballroom learned about household pests (such as bed bugs and termites), forest pests (such as gypsy moth and hemlock woolly adelgid), and mosquito pests (such as those that cause malaria and other diseases). A giant apiculture exhibit (sponsored by the New River Valley Beekeepers Association) demonstrated the art of beekeeping and taught visitors about the importance of pollinators in our environment.

Older kids tested their wits by playing Bug Jeopardy and quizzing the Wizard of Entomology. Younger ones enjoyed a wide variety of arts and crafts, including face painting and making bug masks. Many earned a junior entomologist certificate by visiting eight exhibits.

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2014 Korea Master Gardener International Conference

Cooking Demo with South Korean MGs

The Gyeonggi-do Agriculture Research and Extension Services served as the host site for an International Master Gardener Conference from Sept. 23-27. The conference involved more than 200 attendees from Germany, Japan, South Korea and the United States. While the majority of attendees were Master Gardeners from South Korea, 25 attendees represented several states from the U.S. Our conference host and liaison was Lee Wonsuk, a research scientist at GARES. He was the key organizer for the conference and was assisted by leaders from the Korean Master Gardener Association.

4-H Monument at GARESCooperative Extension was introduced in Korea in the late 1940s through the 4-H program. As a matter of fact, a monument in front of the research center pays tribute to the introduction of 4-H to their country. In more recent history, two Extension Master Gardener programs have been established and are actively working to meet the consumer horticulture needs in two South Korean provinces: Gyeonggi and Jeju Island.

The opening ceremony of the conference included a welcome from the Governor of Gyeonggi Province. The conference included several keynote sessions with concurrent breakouts as well. Our very own Debbie Dillion, ANR Extension Agent in Horticulture from Culpeper, gave a presentation on Building and Maintaining an Effective Master Gardener Program during one of the concurrent sessions.

While we were there, we were able to visit several community gardens throughout the city as well as the private gardens of two South Korean Master Gardeners. The hospitality was unsurpassed by anyone’s standards. Our hosts were absolutely gracious the entire time we were there and their attention to every detail was impeccable. The cultural experience was irreplaceable. It was interesting to note that despite some language and cultural differences, the opportunities, barriers, and challenges faced by their Extension Master Gardener program are very similar to what we experience here in the United States. Likewise, the Extension Master Gardener program is alive and growing there the same as it is here. Agriculture, and specifically horticulture, truly is a universal and equalizing art and discipline.

— Dave Close
Consumer Horticulture and Master Gardener Specialist

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Video shows demonstration garden from Virginia Cooperative Extension – Amelia County

Take a look at the progress of our Extension demonstration garden throughout 2014, some of challenges we encountered, and the outcome at the end of the summer. We used the garden for a variety of educational workshops and activities for youth and adults.

You can contact the Amelia County Extension office at 804-561-2481. The video was produced by Laura Siegle, Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent in Amelia County.

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Jamison represents Virginia 4-H at Maker Faire

Kathleen Jamison, 4-H Youth Development specialist, received an invitation from the White House to attend the first-ever White House Maker Faire on June 18, 2014. At the Faire, the president hosted makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs who are inventing the future by using cutting-edge tools and techniques to bring their ideas to life. Kathleen represented 4-H along with Lisa Lauxman, National 4-H Youth director, and Jim Kahler, National 4-H program leader.

Kathleen Jamison speaks with former 4-H member Michael Snyder about his 3D printer, which will be the first manufacturing devise to be used in space.

Kathleen Jamison speaks with former 4-H member Michael Snyder about his 3D printer, which will be the first manufacturing devise to be used in space.

While at the Faire, she met Michael Snyder, director of R&F for Made In Space and a former 4-H member. Snyder displayed a 3D printer that will enable astronauts to make parts and tools on-demand, and this summer will be the first manufacturing device to ever be used in space. Snyder told Jamison that he would not be where he is today if it were not for 4-H.

“He was enthusiastic and obviously accomplished,” said Jamison. “And he put the brilliance of his work into practical application for the benefit of science and our country… so typical of a lifelong 4-Her.”

In addition to 4-H, Virginia Tech was also represented at the Faire by Nicholas F. Polys, affiliate professor for the Department of Computer Science who had a booth. Jamison used the event as a way to network with makers, corporate directors and policymakers, including a young man from Alabama who she said would be a great inspirational speaker for teens at 4-H Congress next year.

“In Virginia 4-H, we’re serious about investing in our children. Not only will they make and invent our future, they have the power to reclaim our ‘Made in America’ heritage,” said Jamison.

— Sara Lepley, communications and marketing intern

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Franklin County Livestock show Aug. 8-9

Virginia Cooperative Extension, with the assistance of the Franklin County 4-H Adventure Farm Livestock Club and numerous sponsors, is proud to offer an Open Youth Livestock show in 2014 for youth ages 5 to 19. The objective is to offer a successful show while providing club members and outside youth with a meaningful learning experience. The club has opened the show to surrounding counties to enhance the show and provide an opportunity for regional interaction.

The show will be held Friday, August 8 through Saturday, August 9, at the Franklin County Parks and Recreation on Sontag Road in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Youth will have the opportunity to show dairy and beef heifers and steers, sheep, and goats. Children ages 5 to 8 will be allowed to show in the Cloverbud age show, but must be accompanied in the ring by an adult.  

If you need any assistance or have questions, contact Cynthia Martel at the Virginia Cooperative Extension-Franklin County Office at 540-483-5161. Please encourage friends and family to attend the show and youth to participate. This show is open to all youth regardless of enrollment in 4-H or FFA. This is an opportunity to get youth to show animals and see the benefit of joining a local 4-H Livestock Club or FFA Chapter.

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From the Dean — July 2014

Alan Grant, dean

Alan Grant, dean

Dear Colleagues,

As we approach the halfway point of the summer, it’s a good time to highlight some of the great summer programs and activities involving many CALS faculty, staff, and students. Thirty-five CALS undergraduates are among the 356 students attending the second Virginia Tech Summer Academy. Some of the courses are taught by CALS instructors.

Transfer student orientation took place June 23-26 for the 136 transfer students joining the college this fall, and orientation for about 500 new first-year students starts July 7.

There have also been a number of opportunities for youth on campus this summer. More than 500 4-H members were on campus June 16-19 for State 4-H Congress. The 2014 theme was “Celebrating the Past, Making It Last.” Caleb Elder, a contestant on “The Voice,” performed at the 4-H Congress luncheon celebrating Extension’s centennial. The following week, almost 2,000 FFA members were here for the State FFA Convention. Beginning June 29 and lasting for about a month, an additional 100 high school students will be on campus for the Governor’s School for Agriculture.

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Happy Virginia Cooperative Extension Day!

In 2014, we celebrate 100 years of the Smith-Lever Act, which established Cooperative Extension System, a national network of educators who extend university research and knowledge to the people.

Cooperative Extension centennial logo

You are invited to come and help us celebrate this milestone! 

Virginia Cooperative Extension Centennial Showcase

Thursday, May 8

1:30 – 4 p.m.

Ag Quad (between Price and Seitz halls)

Enjoy some ice cream as you visit with Extension faculty and staff from more than 15 departments and three colleges across campus. View displays that will inform you about the people and programs that are extending knowledge and changing lives across the Commonwealth of Virginia, the country, and the world. You may discover ways to collaborate with our faculty that reside in 107 county and city offices, in one of 11 agricultural research and extension centers, or one of six 4-H educational centers.

For more information about showcasing your Extension program and activities, please contact Joe Hunnings. We would like to have all departments and program areas represented.

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VCE Showcasing Scholarship poster winners

The Showcasing Scholarship poster session and competition was held at the recent Virginia Cooperative Extension Professional Development Conference, in February 2014.

The poster session provided individuals an opportunity to illustrate how an identified educational or research need was addressed and what the impacts or results were, or to highlight a new or innovative educational methodology they have used successfully, or to feature applied research that has been conducted. This award program featured cash awards in each of the four Extension program areas—ANR, FCS, 4-H and CV with first, second, and third places for each category.

Congratulations to all the winners and contributors!

Category Place Title Submitted By
4-H 1st Youth Learn That Being Healthy Rocks Tara Brent
2nd Impacts of Teen Cuisine on the Dietary Habits and Food Preparation Skills of Adolescents Lynn Margheim
3rd 4-H Enhancing Youth Leadership Skill Development Rita Schalk
ANR 1st Gaining Valuable Insights from Agribusiness Showcase Kevin Spurlin
2nd Let’s Have Some Fun(gi)! : Education for farm income diversification and home production of mushrooms Gregory Frey
3rd Strawberry Virus Detection, Identification, Best Management Practice Recommendations and Information Dissemination Roy Flanagan
Applied Research 1st Evaluation VOTiVO Nematicide Seed Treatments in Known Soybean Nematode Problem Fields David Moore
2nd A comparison of the effect of six nitrogen rates and three nitrogen fertilizer sources on cool season grass hay yield Philip Blevins
3rd Virginia Grain: A Spatial Analysis of Production, Consumption, and Storage Gordon Groover
CV 1st Extension Partners with Southside Growers to Bring Major Agritourism and Marketing Opportunity to the Region Bob Jones
2nd Extension Helps Grayson County Shape Its Future Kevin Spurlin
FCS 1st Teens in Smyth County Get Cooking with Teen Cuisine Mary McFarland
2nd Master Volunteer Food Training: Producing Dedicated Role Models, Impacting Healthy Lifestyle Practices in the City of Portsmouth, Virginia Crystal Barber
3rd Cooking Matters Grant Impacts Nutrition, Cooking Skills, and Grocery Shopping Education in Prince William County Nancy Stegon
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