Tag Archives: training

Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition upcoming trainings

Save the date for two upcoming Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Program spring in-service trainings.  

May 16: Farm Transfer Strategies and Networking professional development training

As an initiative of the land access group, the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition will be holding a Farm Transfer Strategies and Networking professional development training for Virginia Cooperative Extension professionals, non-profit organizers, and service providers on May 16 at the Virginia Farm Bureau Building in Richmond, Virginia. The time frame for the training is approximately 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with lunch provided. This training features Kathy Ruhf of Land For Good, a nationally recognized leader in farm entry, succession, and tenure. The training will also include coalition partner resources and the expertise of Andrew Branan, a regional voice in farm legal and tax issues, particularly those surrounding transfer of the family farm.

May 17: Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition statewide gathering  

The Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition will be holding our spring coalition meeting in Richmond, as a follow up to the Farm Transfer Strategies and Networking training. This half-day, statewide gathering is an opportunity for coalition partners to network, share resources, and learn about this past year’s work, including: whole farm planning programming; mini-grant initiatives; and many of our action team projects that coalition partners are leading across Virginia. New Extension agents are encouraged to attend. Lunch and travel accommodations will be available.

Accommodations will be available for those individuals who will be attending both events and require lodging.

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Upcoming grant writing workshops for farmers market and local food promotion programs

The USDA Agricultural Marketing Service recently announced they will be accepting grant applications for their Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Programs. To raise awareness about the two programs and, hopefully, increase the number of applications and overall success rate for Virginia, Theresa Nartea and Eric Bendfeldt will be offering two free grant-writing workshops. The first workshop will be in Petersburg on April 8 and the second will be in Roanoke on April 15.

Preregister for only one of the workshops. The workshops are free, and materials and light refreshments will be provided.

If you have any other questions about the workshops, please contact Eric Bendfeldt at 540-432-6029.

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Invitation to a multistate collaboration: Local food systems for Extension agents graduate course webinar, Dec. 14

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.


Eric Bendfeldt

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Characterizing waterborne lead in private water systems webinar on Dec. 11

public water webinar ad

Please join us for the upcoming Characterizing Waterborne Lead in Private Water Systems webinar with Kelsey Pieper from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill on Friday, Dec. 11 from 10 – 11 a.m.

You can join in the webinar online or call in via phone.

To call in, dial 1-855-749-4750 and use the meeting access code 643 108 221.

Contact Erin Ling if you have any questions.

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Health Rocks! implementation training Jan. 11

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.

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Professional development opportunity – 2015 Virginia Farm to Table Conference

Dear Extension colleagues:

I hope you are doing well. The 2015 Virginia Farm to Table Conference – “Strengthening Your Foodshed, Protecting Our Watersheds” has been approved as a professional development opportunity for Extension personnel. As an approved VCE training, lodging and meals not provided at the event will be covered by VCE professional development funds. Cheryl Cox in Bobby Grisso’s office can help with coding for travel and reimbursement. Mileage needs to be covered by local unit funds.

Additionally, registration fees for up to 20 agents will be covered by the Virginia SARE program on a first come, first serve basis. To register for these spaces, please email me (ebendfel@vt.edu) or Lauren Arbogast (laurena1@vt.edu) at your earliest convenience.

  • When: Thursday, Dec. 3 and Friday, Dec. 4, 2015  Note: There is a pre-conference tour planned for Wednesday, Dec. 2
  • Where: Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Workforce Center, One College Lane, Weyers Cave, Virginia 24486.
  • Cost: $40 per day
  • Register online at https://goo.gl/xqX8z2

The conference will feature engaging and inspirational speakers with broad experience and knowledge of food, farming, and the environment including Dennis Keeney of Keeney Place and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy; 2014 James Beard Leadership Award Winner Karen Washington of Rise and Root Farm; Chuck Benbrook of Benbrook Consulting Services; Robin Morris, executive director of Mad River Food Hub; and Ellen Polishuk of Potomac Vegetable Farms.

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MARE Center undergraduate summer internship open for applications

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.

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Stress Solutions meeting Nov. 9

Stress Solutions are new VCE stress-related materials that have been designed to support all program areas and be useful for audiences who have daily stress, those with health concerns, generational transitions, caregiving stress, and financial stress. These materials and brief videos are intended to be embedded into other programs you may be offering.

This meeting will be recorded, if you’re not able to check in to the live webinar.

The WebEx meeting is on Nov. 9 at 10 a.m. You can join the meeting online or call in.

  • Meeting number/access code: 645 439 320
  • To join by phone, call: 1-855-749-4750
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Wintermester course in animal processing

The Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences is offering a Wintermester course in animal processing. Though the course is being offered to undergraduates, it is open to the public, and has some in-service opportunities.

This course is designed to provide individuals with a hands-on learning experience in animal harvesting, processing, and food safety. It consists of a one week on-line HACCP education in food safety that will result in HACCP certification. The following two weeks will consist of an intensive on-campus learning session in the meat science center. This is an outstanding opportunity to get some useful, applied knowledge in meat processing and if appropriate, three credits toward graduation requirements. If you have any additional questions, or wish to secure space in the class, please contact Jordan Wicks.

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Communication training for volunteer managers

Crucial Conversations provides training in conversational skills that are necessary to successfully navigate situations in which the stakes are high, there are opposing opinions, and the topic generates an emotional response on the part of one or more person involved. This engaged workshop will provide insight and practice in conversing and sharing messages effectively, which actually takes some practice! Specific scenarios will be developed to allow experiential practice and role play for Extension faculty/staff to practice effective communication with volunteers.

The dates for the training are as follows:

Dec. 15, 2015 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Virginia Tech Roanoke Center, Room 710
Roanoke Higher Education Center
108 North Jefferson Street
Roanoke, Virginia

Dec. 17, 2015 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Virginia Tech Richmond Center, Room 333
2810 N Parham Rd
Richmond, Virginia

Lunch will be provided. Registration limited to 30 participants for each session.

Registration is due by Nov. 15, 2015.

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