Tag Archives: VSU

Richmond City VCE hosts Urban Food Desert Symposium

The Richmond City Virginia Cooperative Extension Office hosted the Urban Food Desert Symposium on April 29, 2014. The event was held at Fifth Street Baptist Church, a church located in one of the 25 food deserts across the city. The symposium, which was attended by approximately 85 individuals, was intended to promote an awareness of the food deserts in Richmond as well as bringing together resources in an effort to address this concern.

The first lady of Virginia Dorothy McAuliffe gave opening remarks and commended Richmond City for bringing together such a diverse group of participants to collaborate, continue the conversation and to provide resources to work in food desert communities across in the city. She also said that Extension is doing its part in “bridging the gap” by providing a forum for affiliates and partners to help work on this initiative. Delegate Deloris McQuinn, who is a strong supporter of Extension and introduced a proposal at the General Assembly, was not able to attend but sent her congratulations for our efforts.

Two other friends of Extension, City Council Representatives Cynthia Newbille and Ellen Robertson, charged the audience to think outside of the box and find ways to get the food desert community residents involved in this initiative. The VCE educational information used in gardening, agriculture, food nutrition, food preparation, and food safety are ways to engage residents and by doing so, they will find that there are alternatives to corner stores and convenience stores.

Virginia State University’s own Jewel Hairston spoke about increasing access to healthy and affordable foods and how VSU plays an integral part in the fight against food deserts. Following her address, she gave an overview of the Virginia State University’s “Living in a Food Desert” documentary as a preemptive measure to it being view by the symposium participants. During the documentary clickers were used to gauge the opinions of the audience. Marcus Comer of VSU presented an indoor farming model in Petersburg. The VSU mobile lab was on hand to provide any technology needed for the event as well as promoting the lab as a resource to food desert communities.

The day ended with an Ignite Presenter’s panel, consisting of organizations promoting access to healthy and affordable food. This gave the group an opportunity to ask questions about resources, collaboration and working in communities. The organizations represented on the panel were FeedMore, Tricycle Gardens, Renew Richmond, Richmond Health Department and 31st Baptist Church, the first urban church to receive a USDA Farm license. Crystal Tyler Mackey of the planning committee gave closing remarks and thanked the audience for their participation in the event and the electronic evaluation that followed.

Poster-Urban-Conf_ctm_editsTwandra Lomax-Brown, family and consumer sciences agent, and Brittany Council, 4-H/ urban agriculture agent along with the orchestration of the symposium, also presented a poster titled, “Urban Food Deserts: Working Across Disciplines to Address Food Insecurity in the City of Richmond” in Atlanta, Georgia, during the National Urban Extension Conference May 4-7, 2015.

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New Southeast District phone numbers

The Southeast District office located at VSU is fully functional. Below are office phone numbers should you need to reach staff at this location. The office still needs training on new updated phone system, so messages may be unattended until it learns how to retrieve them.

District Director (TBA): 804-524-5272
Alma de Leon – DAA: 804-524-5465
Sharon Whitehead – IT: 804-524-5494 (cell: 804-517-0309)
Carlos Ulloa – IT: 804-524-5639 (cell: 804-517-0265)

Lonnie Johnson can be reached at 804-527-4251 or on his cell should he be traveling.

The district website is current as well. Email is still the best form of communication.

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VSU career opportunity

Career Opportunity: Assistant Professor/Extension Specialist, Sustainable and Urban Food Systems, Cooperative Extension, School of Agriculture, Agency 234

Position Number: F0305

Salary Range: Commensurate with Education and Experience

Appointment Date: Open Until Filled

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The Extension Faculty/ Specialist appointment is held in the Cooperative Extension Department of the School of Agriculture at the University. The Extension Specialist, Sustainable and Urban Food Systems, will strategically develop, plan, implement and evaluate educational outreach programs in Urban and Sustainable Food Systems. The educational programs will holistically address the issues of small-scale crop and livestock production and marketing within the conceptual framework of sustainability and environmental, economic, and social dimensions. The Extension Specialist, Urban & Sustainable Food Systems, will work directly with Extension agents/educators, grass-roots organizations and volunteers to provide educational programming. Examples of educational programming are campus and field-based on-farm demonstrations, workshops, conferences, field days, tours, displays at public events and mass media presentations held at Virginia State University’s Randolph Farm and at other locations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Extension Specialist, Urban & Sustainable Food Systems, will develop appropriate in-service training programs in sustainable and urban agriculture for those interested in Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Science, and 4H/ Youth Development agents/educators, as well as other stakeholders. The Extension Faculty/ Specialist will develop and actively market sustainable production and marketing publications and fact sheets. The incumbent will develop grant proposals concerning sustainable and urban production and marketing of crops, livestock, and non-timber forest products. It is also expected that the selected candidate will prepare and submit quarterly reports, an annual progress report, and other reports as requested. The selected candidate will be expected to conduct research and may be assigned teaching responsibilities when necessary.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Master’s Degree (Ph.D. preferred) in horticulture, sustainable agriculture, agronomy or another agriculture sciences related field is required. Knowledge and demonstrated experience in planning, conducting, and evaluating participatory Extension or non-formal education programs. Operating knowledge of the USDA’s National Organic Program and Good Agricultural Practices. Knowledge of the Virginia Cooperative Extension System.  Knowledge and understanding of the 1890/1862 land-grant system relationship and 1890 target audiences. Knowledge/experience in Urban agriculture and production and marketing of both organic crops and naturally produced livestock. Industry experience in sustainable certified organic livestock, crop production, and whole farm systems will be given consideration. Demonstrated ability to work with limited resource audiences and economically disadvantaged audiences.  Ability to communicate orally and in writing; to write publications and fact sheets; and to write grant proposals and to successfully implement grant funded programs. Demonstrated ability to effectively network with organizations and agencies in program development and delivery and to present to large and small audiences in a professional manner. Skills in technological communication (Email, Skype, Webinar, Social media applications, Microsoft Office Suite and alike).

HOW TO APPLY: Virginia State University only accepts applications through the online state Recruitment Management System (RMS) at https://jobs.agencies.virginia.gov. Resumes do not substitute for a complete online application. Faxed, e-mailed, or mailed applications will not be accepted. Interested persons must attach a letter of interest, a current resume/vita, and the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and e-mail addresses (if available) of three professional reference.

Copies of transcripts and three (3) letters of reference must be attached to online application or mailed to:

Office of Human Resources
Virginia State University
1 Hayden Drive, Box 9412
Virginia State University, Virginia 23806

Your name and the position number (FO305) must be clearly identifiable on each item submitted. Official transcripts and three (3) letters of reference will be required prior to employment. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Screening of applications will commence immediately.

The selected candidate(s) will be subject to an extensive and complete background check, which may include fingerprinting. The candidate may be required to complete a Statement of Personal Economic Interest as a condition of employment, if applicable.


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2012 District and State VCE Programming Excellence Award winners

The 2012 District and State VCE Programming Excellence Award winners are listed below. Congratulations to all!

The state winners were announced at the 2013 VESA meeting at Virginia State University. District and state award winners were presented their certificates and plaques by Ed Jones at the VESA meeting. Winners also receive monetary awards to be used for program support and/or professional development activities in the amount of $500 for district winners and $1,000 for state winners.

Abstracts of the state winning entries will be posted soon on this page. Thanks to the judges for the state awards: Martha Walker, Melissa Chase, Tonya Taylor, Theresa J. Nartea, Jason Fisher, Hermon Maclin, Linda Cole. Continue reading

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Professional Development Conference Wrap-up

For the first time since 2008, more than 340 Extension faculty members came together in Blacksburg for three days of learning, networking, and celebrating.  The faculty came from unit offices, Agricultural Research and Extension Centers, 4-H Educational Centers, and from the campuses of Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. The group included more than 50 new faculty members hired since Jul. 1, 2011.

Attendees had the opportunity to participate in a selection of more than 31 workshops related to Extension’s core-competencies such as communication skills, program evaluation, and working with stakeholders and elected officials. In addition, participants received six hours of subject matter updates in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, and youth development. More than 60 speakers, including eight from out-of-state, presented workshops.

Keynote speakers included Laura Kalambokidis, from the University of Minnesota, who spoke about understanding and communicating Extension’s public value, and Elizabeth Gregory North of Cynosura Communications, who shared results of a national study of Extension’s brand value and market potential, carried out by Copernicus, a Boston-based marketing and research firm.

In addition to the learning and networking that took place, faculty members had a chance to have their official Virginia Tech photo taken, replace their Hokie Passport I.D., and receive a free health screening as part of the Hokie Wellness program. The Extension group also celebrated its accomplishments by recognizing faculty members and units through various award recognition programs.

Thank you to everyone that attended and helped to make this an outstanding conference!  Planning is underway for next year’s conference that scheduled for January 29-31, 2013.

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