Virginia Cooperative Extension to showcase research and new technology at the Virginia Ag Expo

farmers on a field tour stop looking at a poster.

Ames Herbert, Extension specialist and professor of entomology at Virginia Tech’s Tidewater Agricultural Research and Extension Center, discusses how to combat pests. Ag Expo will feature demonstration plots where visitors can see technologies being developed to increase yield and get information about techniques to control pests.

The Virginia Ag Expo, the state’s largest annual agricultural field day, will take place Aug. 6 at Brooke Farms in Locust Grove, Virginia.  The event is free and open to the public.

The event is a joint project of the Virginia Grain Producers Association and the Virginia Soybean Association and is being held in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

“Events such as the Ag Expo help us fulfill our land-grant mission to teach and inform our constituents,” said Bobby Grisso, associate director of agriculture and natural resources for Virginia Cooperative Extension. “Ag Expo provides an ideal opportunity to highlight the latest technology in crop production and current research findings from faculty members in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, and Virginia Cooperative Extension.”

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New Dairy Science Complex – Kentland Farm bolsters program, contributes to the land-grant mission

silo and barns

Virginia Tech Dairy Complex – Kentland Farm

Virginia Tech is celebrating the grand opening of its new Dairy Science Complex – Kentland Farm on Friday, July 17.

The state-of-the art facility bolsters the long-term success of Virginia Tech’s award-winning dairy science program and contributes to the land-grant mission of the university.

In the new complex, students will examine modern issues in dairy science alongside researchers who are working on solving challenges and then sharing those solutions with Virginia Cooperative Extension.

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Virginia Cooperative Extension launches portal to help agricultural producers and buyers connect


BLACKSBURG, Va., June 10, 2015 – One of the many important parts of making a living as an agricultural entrepreneur is not only being a successful producer, but also finding markets for your goods.

An online tool called MarketMaker now offers a portal to a virtual marketplace that will provide increased access and acquisition of Virginia products, further connecting the farm to the fork. Farmers and ranchers, fisheries, farmers markets, processors and packers, wineries, restaurants, and individual consumers can benefit from the online resource.


4-H students honor history while working toward a better future at 2015 State Congress

4-H clover on the Virginia Tech Drillfield

4-H members stand in the organization’s signature clover formation on Virginia Tech’s Drillfield.

BLACKSBURG, Va., June 10, 2015 – More than 500 teens, volunteer leaders, and Virginia Cooperative Extension agents will gather on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus next week for the 95th annual Virginia 4-H State Congress. This year’s theme, “Living the Legacy – 4-H Forever,” draws on the history of 4-H and demonstrates the power of 4-H to assist teens in developing leadership, citizenship, and life skills through hands-on educational programs.

A special guest during the June 15-18 congress is Taylor Ray Holbrook, a singer who competed on the popular TV shows “The Voice” and “American Idol.” Holbrook, a former 4-H’er from Lee County, Virginia, began pursuing a music career after he was seriously injured on the job as a lumberjack. After achieving Internet fame on the social media platform Vine, Holbrook competed on season 14 of “American Idol” and season eight of “The Voice.” Since then, he’s spent time in Nashville writing and recording songs.


Virginia Cooperative Extension provides tips on protecting bird flocks from avian flu


BLACKSBURG, Va., June 1, 2015 – Virginia Cooperative Extension is reminding people with backyard chickens and small commercial flocks to remain vigilant to protect their animals from the avian flu.

To date the current outbreak includes two strains of the virus known as H5N2 and H5N8, neither of which has spread to Virginia. Its closest proximity to the commonwealth has been in wild birds in Kentucky and a backyard flock in Indiana. It is not thought to be a threat to human health.

However, agricultural authorities are requesting that backyard, hobbyist, and small, local poultry producers take precautions to prevent the flu from spreading to Virginia.