The funds were used to purchase a Cannon Vixia HF G20 digital video camera, an SD memory card, and a tripod. Our expected outcome for the use of the camera is an increased positive awareness of VCE in New Kent County by communicating in a method not previously used to reach a diverse audience. Simply stated, the camera will allow us to market our programming efforts to a broader audience via the New Kent County cable channel, and via streaming video on social media sites and the ext.vt.edu website. Not only will we be able to better market our programming, we will also be able to potentially reach underserved audiences with programming they may not have had access to due to any number of limiting reasons.
We applied for the award funds to assist in rebuilding the Lancaster/Northumberland ELC, as we have lost several members over the last couple of years, including most recently, our ELC chair. With the addition of new extension faculty and staff in the units, we are working to plan an ELC event, where we can invite community stakeholders and organization leaders to learn more about the work of VCE and invite them to join the ELC.
Some of the funds were used to offset the cost of materials and activities for a VCE booth at the Richmond County Fair, the only county fair on the Northern Neck. ELC members and VCE staff members staffed this booth.
During 2015, the Buckingham ELC has enjoyed many successes. One of the most exciting successes is that we have added eight new members. With those whose term had ended this brings total membership to sixteen community members plus five staff members.
ELC members recognized Extension Volunteers in all program areas during National Volunteer Week in May, providing them with a nice meal and a small token of appreciation.
Members have also taken advantages of opportunities that arise to thank members of the Board of Supervisors and our state elected officials for supporting Virginia Cooperative Extension. This was accomplished through phone calls, personal visits to Richmond, and when elected officials came to Buckingham for the grand opening of the Buckingham Agricultural Resource Network (BARN).
One planned project has not yet come to fruition. ELC members had planned a booth at Buckingham’s Fall Fest. Teams of members were going to take shifts manning the booth and promoting Extension. We used grant funds to purchase double-sided teaspoon/tablespoon combinations with the Virginia Cooperative Extension logo to use as a give-a-way at the table. We also had recruited 4-H teens to offer free face painting and lead spontaneous gau-gau games in a portable pit beside our booth. Unfortunately, the rain and winds from Hurricane Joaquin combined with the other weather systems cancelled the event. We are currently deciding whether to wait to do the promotion at next year’s Mayfest celebration or to hold our own open house this fall.
In November, Buckingham 4-H’ers are speaking to the Board of Supervisors, and the members of the ELC plan to be present to show their support. This presentation was actually a product from an ELC meeting where we felt the need to recognize three 4-H teens for their outstanding work in the area of leadership during 2014-2015. To piggyback on this presentation made this fall to the outgoing board, the ELC plans to make a presentation in February to the incoming board — complete with a welcome packet about Virginia Cooperative Extension.
The Buckingham ELC appreciates the support of the State Extension Leadership Council in helping us to grow stronger and make VCE more visible in our community.