The 2016 National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences Awards system is open! It’s the end of the year and that means it’s time to update your eFARS.
This is a great time to take a look at your 2015 accomplishments and see how they fit with the award categories. Please consider nominating yourself or a colleague for this recognition offered to VEAFCS and NEAFCS members. Many of the awards come with monetary prizes to help support your work. Deadline for submission is Feb. 22, 2016.
On behalf of the grant project team, I invite Extension administrators, leaders, and directors to participate in an upcoming webinar about a recent multistate collaborative effort to create and pilot a graduate course around the topic of Local Food Systems for Extension agents. The effort was funded by a professional development grant from USDA’s Southern SARE program and involved collaboration between North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina.
Joanna Massey Lelekacs and J. Dara Bloom of North Carolina State University and Cooperative Extension will be sharing the course background and outline, lessons learned, and proposed next steps.
As the grant project transitions from a pilot effort to a possible online course, they are interested in your perspectives and feedback on its applicability to Extension efforts in Virginia and the opportunity for adding parallel materials that are a bit more state-specific and focused to build the state’s capacity for educational programming in the area of community, local, and regional food systems.
I hope you can join us for the webinar! Make sure to join in on Monday, Dec. 14 at 11 a.m.
The deadline to submit a nominee for the Wine Award for our college is Feb. 5.
The William E. Wine Award is presented to three individual faculty members each year in recognition of “a history of university teaching excellence.” Faculty teaching dossiers, following the pattern set by the Academy of Teaching Excellence, are submitted to college Wine Award nomination committees, and each college committee selects one nominee to be sent forward to the University Wine Award Selection Committee.
Please submit nominations to Anya Work by the due date for consideration.
The State 4-H Office has once again been successful in securing a grant to sustain and implement 4-H Health Rocks! programming efforts. This means money is available to support implementation for those who have an interest in this program. Health Rocks! is curricula for a healthy living program aimed at 8 to 14-year-olds, with the goal of bringing youth, families, and communities together to reduce tobacco, alcohol, and drug use by youth.
The Health Rocks! leadership team would like to invite you to participate in a Health Rocks! implementation training on Jan. 11, 2016 at the Science Museum of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia. There is no cost to attend, however participants will be responsible for their own travel to and from the training. The training will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude by 4 p.m. Lunch will be provided.
If you would like to attend this training, please contact Tonya Price.
The Virginia SARE program has recently received additional professional development funds to enable at least eight Extension and USDA professionals to attend the Southern SAWG Annual Conference in Lexington, Kentucky on Jan. 28–30.
Please let me and your district director know if you would be interested in and would benefit from attending the SSAWG Annual Conference. There will be some per diem and meal costs that will have to be covered by Extension, but registration and the majority of travel expenses will be covered by the University of Georgia and the Southern SARE program on a reimbursement basis.
I need to provide the Southern SARE folks the list of attendees for Southern SAWG by 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 9, 2015 or the travel scholarship funds will be forfeited and redistributed other states in the region.
Please note that the dates for conference do conflict with the Virginia Association for Biological Farming Conference. Virginia SARE also has secured funds to pay agents’ registration fees for the VABF Conference, which will be held at the Smith Mountain Lake 4-H Center in 2016.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Staff Association is sponsoring a food drive for the Montgomery County Christmas Store. Canned fruit and cake mix have been requested but any non-perishable food item would be appreciated. Donations will be accepted until noon on Nov. 20. Donation boxes will be set up in each department and if there are any questions, please contact your departmental representative or email Sandra Gabbert. Let’s make this a better Christmas for all!
The Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center’s undergraduate summer internship is open to applications for summer 2016! Applications are due Feb. 5, 2016.
Objective: To help prepare undergraduate students for careers in the equine industry, academia, or the veterinary sciences through applying classroom knowledge in a real world setting and learning new skills through meaningful research and Extension projects.
The internship will be offered in summer 2016 and is located at the MARE Center, a 420-acre equine facility located in the heart of Virginia’s horse country. This is an immersive learning environment for those students who are sincere in their desire to secure employment in the equine industry and/or pursue post-baccalaureate education in graduate or veterinary school. This novel program provides substantive and authentic experiences that result in the ultimate capstone experience.
Interns will assist with all ongoing research and Extension activities at the MARE Center. Each intern will be assigned a specific project area. Project areas will include topics such as equine nutrition and health, pasture management, conservation and land stewardship, equine reproduction, and youth development (4-H). Interns will be involved with all aspects of their specified project including literature review, protocol development, experimental design, data collection, data recording, and data analyses. Interns will have the opportunity to disseminate knowledge gained through their project in an Extension or research publication or presentation. An essential component of the internship will be developing leadership and communication skills while building networks within the equine industry through Extension activities. Interns will gain practical hands-on experience operating a 420-acre farm. Management experience will include daily horse care, nutritional management, young horse handling, reproductive management, pasture and forage management, and potential management of other livestock.
Mark your calendars for the 2016 Governor’s Conference on Agricultural Trade, March 7 – 8, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia.
The Virginia Tech Alumni Association established the award for Extension Excellence in 1975 to promote Extension at Virginia Tech and to recognize the outstanding contributions of Extension professionals to the land-grant mission of the University.
Two awards, one for agent faculty and one for specialist or administrative faculty, are presented at an awards dinner and ceremony in the fall of each year. Each award consists of a plaque and a check for $2,000.
Agents, specialists, or administrative faculty members who are Virginia Cooperative Extension employees are eligible for the award. Nominees are not required to be Virginia Tech graduates.
The selection committee will evaluate each nominee’s application according to the criteria listed below. A summary addressing the four criteria as they relate to the individual’s program(s) and impact(s) should be prepared. This document should be no more than 3 pages long.
- Innovation/creativity – 25 points
- Program Results/impacts/subject matter – 50 points
- Leadership/professional activities – 15 points
- Communication skills – 10 points
In addition, the application packet should include the following: