4-H Day at the State Capitol provides a real-life civics lesson for members

4-H'ers stand on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol

Several hundred 4-H’ers travel to Richmond to participate in the 4-H Day at the State Capitol each year.

More than 1,000 4-H members and volunteers will visit Richmond on Tuesday, Feb. 16, to meet their legislators and learn about Virginia’s legislative branch of government for the annual 4-H Day at the State Capitol.

Virginia 4-H sponsors the annual trip to Richmond for 4-H’ers across the commonwealth to learn about the legislative process and to express their gratitude to state delegates and senators who support the 4-H youth development programs.

“4-H Day at the State Capitol is a unique opportunity for 4-H’ers to get a first-hand look at how the legislative process works and see our elected representatives in action,” said Cathy Sutphin, associate director of 4-H Youth Development with Virginia Cooperative Extension. “This trip is also an opportunity for lawmakers to put faces to the programming that the funding provides for youth all over the commonwealth.”

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Virginia Cooperative Extension co-hosts the 2016 South Atlantic Hops Conference

Beer brewers, hop growers, and everybody in between is invited to attend the 2016 South Atlantic Hops Conference to be held March 4-5 in Richmond, Virginia, at the Clarion Hotel Richmond Central.

hop yard

Hops are gaining popularity as a niche market crop that could be cultivated to support the burgeoning craft beer industry in the commonwealth.

This year’s expanded conference is a collaboration of faculty from Virginia Tech, North Carolina State University, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia State University, and grower members of Old Dominion Hops Cooperative.

The event is a prime opportunity for beginner and experienced hop growers alike to learn and network. Associated industry stakeholders are also encouraged to attend. Registration and tickets for the event can be found on the conference’s website.

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Helping communities become more sustainable and economically secure

Ten years ago, an endowment was created to help communities across the commonwealth and beyond be more sustainable and resilient through partnerships with Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and local community members.

Since its inception in 2004, the endowment, which has grown to more than $2 million, has provided income to fund numerous projects that foster partnerships and spur creative research at the granular level. It has also provided seed money for an array of projects with wide-ranging impacts.

“A gift like this can get lots of different projects started,” said Rick Rudd, head of the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education and the Virginia Cooperative Extension Professor of Excellence in Community Viability, a position funded by the endowment. “We are helping people leverage resources.”


Workshops teach families the necessary skills to transition land

Fourth-generation farmers Mary and A.C. “Corky” Shackelford Jr. have more than 360 acres of land, and they aren’t getting any younger. With three children as well as farm employees, they needed to figure out how to distribute their assets — a common problem as farm families age.

Agriculture and natural resources Extension agents like Amy Gail Fannon, Adam Downing, and Peter Callan teach land-transitioning workshops to help families pass on their land, whether it’s farmland or forestland.


Woods and Wildlife Conference: Bring out the best in your property

Ellen Powell, left, of the Virginia Department of Forestry talks about creating backyard wildlife habitat to participants at the 11th Annual Woods and Wildlife Conference.

Ellen Powell, left, of the Virginia Department of Forestry talks about creating backyard wildlife habitat to participants at the 11th Annual Woods and Wildlife Conference.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Jan. 15, 2016 – Owners of woodlands large and small are invited to learn how to maximize their property’s potential at the 12th Annual Woods and Wildlife Conference on Feb. 20. The event, hosted by Virginia Cooperative Extension, in collaboration with Virginia’s natural resource agencies, companies, and associations, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Daniel Technology Center at Germanna Community College in Culpeper, Virginia.

This all-day conference welcomes first-time and returning individuals, families, and managers to learn about woods, wildlife, and other natural resources. It will provide multiple links to information, sources of assistance, and a better understanding of natural resources while exploring myriad forest issues relevant to woodland owners.

“This conference will address the latest issues and trends in forest and wildlife management,” said event founder Adam Downing, Virginia Cooperative Extension forestry and natural resources senior agent. Participants can tailor their day by attending sessions targeted to their needs. Sessions include Fighting the Alien Plant Invasion, Deer in the Neighborhood, and Legacy: The Engaged Family.

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