Virginia Tech teams up to advance coastal and marine science in the commonwealth

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 27, 2015 – Today, Virginia Tech President Timothy D. Sands will sign the Virginia Sea Grant charter and in doing so will join the presidents of five other universities to advance marine and coastal science in the commonwealth. The charter will be the first in Virginia Sea Grant’s 30-year history and formalizes a commitment among partners toward collaboration on the challenges that face Virginia’s coasts and oceans.

“Virginia Sea Grant and Virginia Tech have a long history of collaborating with the Virginia Cooperative Extension seafood safety and development programs in Blacksburg and Hampton and have new emerging activities with the Departments of Fish and Wildlife Conservation and Civil and Environmental Engineering,” said President Sands. “The future is very bright for Virginia Sea Grant at Virginia Tech.”

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Application process open for new Stronger Economies Together regions

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 14, 2015 – Virginia was selected as a Stronger Economies Together (SET) Phase V state for 2015. This designation creates an opportunity for two rural Virginia regions to receive economic development coaching and technical assistance.

SET is a high-quality regional economic improvement program that strives to strengthen the capacity of communities and counties in rural America by developing and implementing economic advancement blueprints for the multicounty regions.

Virginia regions are invited to apply to the SET project. Two multicounty regions in rural Virginia will be selected to participate in the 2015 initiative.

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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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