The 2013 Agency 229 Annual Report for the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station division showcases a few of the many ways Virginia Tech, Virginia Cooperative Extension, and the Agricultural Experiment Station are contributing to the economy and the benefits we bring to Virginians.
A recent study conducted by Battelle, the world’s largest nonprofit research and development organization, found that the growing agbioscience industry in the southern United States generates $240 billion in regional economic activity and supports more than $2.2 million jobs. The findings of this study underscore the importance of the contributions of our land-grant system.
Whether we are developing methods to protect crops from stink bugs, providing families with financial education, researching ways to prevent disease by altering a mosquito’s genetic makeup, or helping communities provide nutritious food for their citizens, our efforts continue to improve the standard of living and quality of life for Virginians — now and in the future.
We encourage you to share the report with other key Extension stakeholders and volunteers.
Over the past several weeks, we have been busy visiting with multiple members of the Virginia Senate and Virginia House of Delegates. We have let them know that Virginia Cooperative Extension is busily filling positions the General Assembly provided last year, and we are looking forward to renewing our Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with local governments throughout Virginia in the coming months. In our meetings, we have received very positive feedback from all parts of the commonwealth.
Ed Jones, director, Virginia Cooperative Extension
The advocacy committee of our Extension Leadership Council visited the General Assembly Building in January to meet with legislators and update them on the positive impacts Cooperative Extension is making. They also shared information on Virginia Tech’s budget request for Agency 229. This request would provide an additional 12 agents for Cooperative Extension, and two to three specialists for our Agricultural Research and Extension Centers. Although the budget is very tight, and some agencies will experience reductions, we are hopeful the General Assembly will see fit to fund the $750,000 budget amendment for Agency 229. Our sponsors for this amendment are Delegate Beverly Sherwood of Winchester and Senator John Edwards of Roanoke.
Make sure you have the VCE In-service on your calendar. Agents, specialists and administrators from Virginia Tech and Virginia State will be coming together for three days, March 19-21, 2012 in Blacksburg at The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center.
The first half-day will include updates from myself, Dean Grant, and Dr. Jewel Hairston from VSU. Our tentative plans are to have two keynote speakers help us think about promoting Extension’s public value to build support for our programs. We will cap the first day’s program with an awards dinner. The second and third days will provide opportunities to build or refresh knowledge and skills in our core competency areas and in subject matter content. In addition there will be time set aside for program area updates, department displays, professional association meetings, and the VAAEA Silent Auction. And don’t forget to enter your work into the poster competition.
Conference and lodging registration will be sent out in February.