Virginia Cooperative Extension to provide nutrition education as part of project to fight hunger

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 6, 2015 – Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family Nutrition Program will provide nutrition education as part of an $8.8 million demonstration project to be conducted in schools with high poverty rates in Richmond and Southwest Virginia to reduce childhood hunger among low-income families.

Virginia’s First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe will spearhead the Virginia Hunger-Free Kids Act Demonstration Project. McAuliffe has dedicated her time and energy to eliminating childhood hunger and improving access to fresh, Virginia-grown agricultural products.

“This project is about breaking down the barriers that separate hungry children and families from the good food they need,” McAuliffe said in a news release. “We will build on successful local and regional efforts and pilot innovative models for reducing hunger and food insecurity.”

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Diverse communities connect through community gardens in Arlington

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Arlington County may just be one locality in the heavily populated area of Northern Virginia, but this relatively small spot of land that borders the District of Columbia is home to a population that hails from all regions of the globe including Asia, Central and South America, Africa, and the Middle East.

In addition, many residents of Arlington County are classified as having low English proficiency, so unifying this diverse population through Extension programming can be challenging.

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Virginia Tech to research production, use, and economic impact of industrial hemp

BLACKSBURG, Va., March 19, 2015 – Virginia Tech will be able to begin research on growing industrial hemp in the commonwealth as a result of a new state law and the establishment of an industrial hemp research program by the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

The bill Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law on Monday states that Virginia institutions of higher education can grow industrial hemp for research purposes. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will issue the growing licenses. The law does not take effect until July 1.

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Energy Masters Program energizes Arlington County

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There are more than 125 trained volunteers in the program.

Written by Emily Halstead, a junior in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a communications intern for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

The Energy Masters program, funded by the Arlington County Community Development Fund, has made strides in improving energy efficiency for residents in affordable housing units within Arlington County neighborhoods. The program is a collaboration between Virginia Cooperative Extension in Arlington County, and two county non-profits: Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment and Arlington Thrive.

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Virginia Household Water Quality Program has helped improve private water systems for 25 years

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Water quality analysis for the Virginia Household Water Quality Program takes place in the Biological Systems Engineering Water Quality lab on campus.

 Written by Emily Halstead, a junior in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences and a communications intern for Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Since 1989, the Virginia Household Water Quality Program has been educating homeowners about their responsibility for and maintenance of private water systems. A collaborative effort among Virginia Cooperative Extension’s family and consumer science agents, agricultural and natural resource agents, and 4-H agents, the program is offered annually in more than 50 counties throughout the state.

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