Virginia Cooperative Extension launches language interpretation service for clients

Virginia Cooperative Extension has initiated a free language interpretation service in order to better serve Virginia’s increasingly diverse population. The service provides telephone-based interpretation by a human operator in 200 different languages.

The new translation service is aligned with Extension’s mandate to serve underrepresented populations and meet civil rights compliance laws.

Nearly 500,000 Virginians have limited English proficiency.

“If you have limited English skills, there is no reason to let that stop you from visiting an Extension office,” said Joe Hunnings, director of planning and reporting, professional development and civil rights compliance. “Virginia Cooperative Extension can serve you by connecting you to one of our Extension agents through a telephone-based interpreter. This service is free to our clients.”

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4-H conducts world’s largest science experiment on National Youth Science Day

Hundreds of thousands of youth across the world will participate in the eighth annual 4-H National Youth Science Day experiment on Oct. 7. This year’s experiment, “Motion Commotion,” will combine a speeding car collision and a distracted driving demonstration in an activity that investigates the physical and human factors of motion.

4-H NYSD is the world’s largest youth-led science experiment. This national rallying event is an interactive learning experience that gets youth excited about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM subjects, and spotlights the many ways youth around the nation are engaging in 4-H science programs year-round.

Youth will conduct the two-part Motion Commotion experiment using everyday materials, including a toy car, modeling clay, ruler, calculator, and cellphone, to explore physics in the real world. In the first phase, youth will construct a simulated runway to analyze the speed, momentum, and kinetic energy of a car in motion and will explore the science behind collisions. In the second phase, they will lead an experiment that uses the same physics principles to demonstrate the consequences of distracted driving.

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Hokie BugFest 2015

Hokie Bugfest logoTake a peek into the fascinating world of entomology at the fifth annual Hokie BugFest! This unique festival will happen on Saturday, Oct. 17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech (Latham Ballroom). The Inn is on the edge of the Virginia Tech campus off Price’s Fork Road, close to the 460 Bypass and near downtown Blacksburg. Free parking is available.

Activities and exhibits include a live Bug Zoo, Roachzilla! (giant cockroaches), luminescent and cave-dwelling bugs, ant colonies, games, and crafts. Arthropod enthusiasts can admire giant “bird-eater” tarantulas, observe bright-blue death-feigning beetles, see a working beehive, and visit departmental research displays. The themes of science and discovery are interwoven into all activities.

This year we are pleased to welcome David George Gordon, a renowned bug chef from Seattle who will prepare insect delicacies several times during the day. Come find out why eating bugs may be good for you.

Also new this year are a pollinators exhibit from Bayer Bee Care Center and a professional face painter. A member of the Virginia Tech Police Department will host a display on forensics and insects in crime solving. Continue reading

Virginia Cooperative Extension Day at state fair to feature food safety demos, activities for families

Look for the Virginia Cooperative Extension tents on Sunday, Sept. 27 at the State Fair to learn more about Extension.

Look for the Virginia Cooperative Extension tents on Sunday, Sept. 27 at the State Fair to learn more about Extension.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 21, 2015 – Virginia Cooperative Extension Day at the State Fair of Virginia will be held Sunday, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Meadow Event Park in Doswell. The event will feature educational exhibits on food safety, 4-H youth development programs, gardening, emergency preparedness, nutrition, aquaculture, and much more.

“During Virginia Cooperative Extension Day, fairgoers will be able to see a sampling of what Extension has to offer in communities across Virginia,” said Lori Greiner, chair of the Virginia Cooperative Extension Day. “Extension has a lot of offer, and we want to encourage the public to take advantage of these programs.”

Fairgoers will be encouraged to visit the Extension exhibits located around the fairgrounds. Each area has information, free giveaways, and hands-on activities for all ages. Those who visit at least five exhibits will receive a Virginia Cooperative Extension drawstring backpack, while supplies last. Maps and more information will be available at the fairground entrance.


Virginia Cooperative Extension offers assistance before and after disasters strike

Virginia Cooperative Extension offers several publications to help the public prepare for and deal with emergencies.

Virginia Cooperative Extension offers several publications to help the public prepare for and deal with emergencies.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 18, 2015 – Virginia is no stranger to natural disasters. In 2011 alone, Virginia experienced snowstorms, tornadoes, Hurricane Irene, and remnants of Tropical Storm Lee. These events caused losses of life and property and millions of dollars in damage. Even a summer thunderstorm can create unexpected emergency situations, from water contamination to power outages.

Virginia Cooperative Extension offers resources for planning for emergency situations, as well as resources for those in need when disaster strikes.

“It’s out of sight, out of mind,” said Michael Martin, Virginia Cooperative Extension emergency response and preparedness coordinator. “We haven’t had a tropical storm for a few years, so people don’t think about it.”