Tag Archives: AREC

Kim Williams – March Employee of the Month

Kim Williams, agricultural supervisor at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center, has been selected as the employee of the month for March.

Kim Williams, March Employee of the Month

 

Kim’s nominator praised her enthusiasm, positive attitude, and dedication, saying that she “is an outstanding employee at the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Even on the busiest and most stressful days, Kim keeps a positive attitude that not only impacts her work, but it keeps everyone around her in good spirits, as well. Kim is nothing but professional, enthusiastic, helpful, studious, insightful, funny, and a true joy to work with.”

She approaches each conflict with a positive outlook and works hard to ensure daily tasks are completed. Kim is highly organized and a motivated individual who puts her job first.

Most notably, her nominator points out that she is “without a doubt, the most deserving candidate of this award”.

Congratulations Kim!

Posted in Accolades | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside the ARECs: The Seafood AREC in Hampton, Va.

The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are a network of 11 research centers located throughout the state that emphasize the close working relationship between the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Inside the ARECs” highlights the work and accomplishments of these 11 centers and will appear in every Insights.

Established in 1975, The Seafood AREC is housed in a two-story 9600-square-foot building located on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay in Hampton, Va.

Seafood Research and Extension Center

Core research and Extension programs at the center focus on food science research regarding safe food handling practices associated with seafood products, as well as post-harvest processing methods for molluscan shellfish, aquaculture thermal and freezing processes, energy audits, and waste management.

The Seafood AREC also currently serves as a regional Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points training center and is a hub for the region.

Continue reading

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Capacity building grants program

In order to stimulate translational research, foster agricultural outreach, and to enhance research and Extension activities at the Southwest Virginia, Shenandoah Valley, and Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences awarded five capacity building grants which are intended to provide seed funding to improve competitiveness for extramural grants and to provide opportunities to the faculty to more fully utilize and support these AREC facilities.

The Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension jointly funded five projects for a total of about $250,000. The funded projects are listed below.

Continue reading

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Students become certified master food volunteers in special topics class

Melissa Chase’s special topics class was offered through the Department of Food Science and Technology and provided students access to faculty expertise, food preparation techniques, and served as an educational resource for the community. It was also designed to cultivate future Master Food Volunteers and introduce students to career options within the food science and technology field and Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Master Food Volunteers are an important resource for disseminating information about food preparation, nutrition, and food safety. The volunteers operate under the umbrella of Virginia Cooperative Extension and in partnership with the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, an entity that provides a research resource for the program. In the class, students developed educational tools that promoted healthy eating habits and safe food handling tips as if they were actual volunteers.

“We certified students at the end of the class to become Master Food Volunteers who are ready to work in the community educating the public about healthy food options and safe food preparation,” said Chase, state coordinator of the Master Food Volunteer Program.

Continue reading

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside the ARECs: Hair Sheep research in Glade Spring, Va.

The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are a network of 11 research centers located throughout the state that emphasize the close working relationship between the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Inside the ARECs” highlights the work and accomplishments of these 11 centers and will appear in every Insights.

The Southwest Virginia Agricultural Research and Extension Center located in Glade Spring, Va., performs research  and outreach in areas as diverse as food-animal production, tobacco management, biofuel production on pasturelands, and Christmas tree production.

Hair Sheep from research center in Glade Spring, Va.

The center operated on leased land until 1947. In 1952 funds appropriated by the General Assembly with support of the Southwest Virginia Agricultural Association, the Virginia Farm Bureau, and the Burley Tobacco Association allowed for the purchase of a 208-acre tract of land in Glade Spring that would become the AREC.

In recent years, the center has recently become one of the primary sites for conducting hair sheep research at Virginia Tech. Hair sheep have emerged as a significant area of interest to researchers and farmers alike because they have proven to thrive on marginal pasturelands, which means farming hair sheep could allow farmers to further maximize profits by utilizing land previously thought to be unproductive. The university has already had successful sales of breeding rams at the center also, and plans to incorporate a pasture-based hair sheep ram testing facility at the AREC are underway.

Continue reading

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

2013 Fall Agricultural Research and Extension Center meeting a success

The 2013 fall meeting of the Agricultural Research and Extension Centers’ staff was held in November at the D. H. Murdock Research Institute on the North Carolina State University Kannapolis campus in an effort to explore potential regional collaborations. Virginia Tech AREC directors, superintendents, and administrators in conjunction with representatives from the NCSU and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Research stations attended joint meetings all day. It was an opportunity for the Virginia Tech and North Carolina State University participants to learn more about each others’ systems and to discuss best practices.

Group Photo from VT-NCSU Superintendent Meeting

Current and potential partnerships and regional needs were part of a panel discussion lead by the directors and superintendents. Activities included a presentation by Richard Reich, assistant commissioner of agriculture for North Caorlina, a tour of the Kannapolis campus, and a group dinner at the Salisbury County Extension office. The second day included state-specific sessions followed by a tour of the North Carolina Piedmont Research Station and a joint dinner at the research station. Research and Extension collaborations with North Carolina and other multistate and regional initiatives continue to provide opportunities for our Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension partners in the region.

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Inside the ARECs: The Alson H. Smith Jr. AREC

The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are a network of 11 research centers located throughout the state that emphasize the close working relationship between the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Inside the ARECs” highlights the work and accomplishments of these 11 centers and will appear in every Insights.

Located in Winchester, Va., the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center serves Virginia’s commercial fruit and value-added horticultural food crops industries through research, educational programs, development of sustainable production systems and technologies, and increased public knowledge of horticultural opportunities and benefits.

The Winchester Research Laboratory grew out of an earlier project in which five experimental orchards were established in the Shenandoah Valley between 1912 and 1920 to study fertilizers, cultivation, and spraying. The laboratory was established in 1921 when entomologist W. S. Hough was employed by the Crop Pest Commission. A 5-foot-by-7-foot building was built on runners to serve as a lab and was located in an orchard behind his barn. The pest problems of that day were codling moths and leafrollers, pests which Hough studied through his 42-year career and which continue to be serious pests in the 21st century.

Continue reading

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Search committee formed for the Director of Tidewater AREC

The search committee for the Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center Director position has been formed and will be meeting soon. Pete Schultz, director of the Hampton Roads AREC, has agreed to serve as the chair of the committee.  Other members include:

  • Ames Herbert, professor, Tidewater AREC
  • Hillary Mehl, assistant professor, Tidewater AREC
  • Gail White, research specialist, Tidewater AREC
  • Mark Estienne, professor, Tidewater AREC
  • Jody Jellison, associate director, VAES
  • Wade Thomason, associate professor, CSES

The committee plans to share updates to keep others in the college aware of the status of the search. Thank you to the search committee members for their willingness to serve in this very important group.

 

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Extension agents recognized for outstanding service

Since 2002, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has recognized Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and specialists for their outstanding participation in the plastic pesticide container recycling program, the pesticide disposal program, and pesticide safety education courses.

On Sept. 4, 2013, the following agents were recognized for their outstanding performance in 2012:

2012 Plastic Pesticide Container Recycling Program – Chris Drake, Extension Agent in Southampton County. Chris inherited a good program and worked aggressively to make it better by growing the number of containers received, improving the quality of plastic by ensuring containers are rinsed and stored correctly and, most importantly, by increasing the number of participants. The Southampton County program provided approximately 12,000 pounds of the nearly 89,000 pounds of plastic collected from the 29 participating sites.

Continue reading

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Inside the ARECs: Southern Piedmont AREC celebrates Family and Farm Day 2013

The Agricultural Research and Extension Centers are a network of 11 research centers located throughout the state that emphasize the close working relationship between the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station and Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Inside the ARECs” highlights the work and accomplishments of these 11 centers and will appear in every Insights.

Family and Farm Day was held at the Southern Piedmont Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Blackstone, Va., on Sept. 14, 2013.

Visitors to the event participated in a wide array of activities. An appearance by the PET dairy cow was a highlight of the event for children, while adults were able to have Extension agents test canner pressure gauges and view a canning demonstration. The event included 70 exhibitors and attracted over 900 participants from the local community. Traditional farm animals like chicks, cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats were on view, as well as information about the importance of bees in agriculture, and a worm farm that demonstrated how they enrich soil. Kids had the opportunity to make pinecone bird feeders using peanut butter and bird seed, and families tested their navigation skills by making their way through a corn maze.

1374243_438223219620235_1866402297_n

Family and Farm Day is an opportunity to engage the local community and involve members of the community in Virginia’s oldest industry: agriculture. The event is held each year in mid-September and is part of the Southern Piedmont AREC’s mission to educate members of the community about agricultural endeavors in the region.

The Southern Piedmont AREC has five resident faculty, 15 full-time staff, and employs additional hourly people at various times of the year. The resident faculty members conduct research and Extension programs on tobacco, forages, and beef cattle, and they cooperate with other faculty (from Virginia Tech and other institutions) to study alternative crops for Southside Virginia. Crops grown at the center include tobacco, Bermudagrass, crabgrass, annual ryegrass, corn, wheat, barley, soybeans, strawberries, and wine grapes. Faculty expertise includes agronomy, plant pathology, and animal science.  Research and Extension projects also focus on beef cattle management and production including pasture management and rotational grazing.

The need for agricultural research in the Southern Piedmont region of Virginia was first recognized in 1906 when an appropriation of $2,500 was made from the General Fund to finance research at the region’s first off-campus field stations, one at Appomattox and the other at Chatham. The necessity of field stations operated as a complement to the work on the main campus in Blacksburg was recognized more than 90 years ago. Agricultural Research and Extension Centers throughout the state Extension field offices continue to remain significant sources of knowledge for local farming communities.

Posted in Past Issues | Tagged , , | Leave a comment