Gone are the days when residents had to visit their local Virginia Cooperative Extension office to obtain a copy of the latest publication. Today, the entire publication library is available at everyone’s fingertips on the VCE website. Although the mode and distribution method of these materials has evolved, VCE publications remain a popular go-to source for research-based information.
Today, VCE’s library comprises more than 3,000 publications on everything from growing apples to protecting groundwater. Last year the VCE publication website received more than 4.6 million page views, and more than 1.8 million VCE publications were downloaded.
“Many things have changed over the years with Extension, but our publications continue to be very popular,” said Robert Grisso, associate director of agriculture and natural resources for VCE. “They are just one of the many ways that we provide the public with information to help them solve problems.”
Since its humble beginnings in 1914, Extension’s goal has remained consistent — to put knowledge into the hands of the community to better the livelihoods of its residents. Although the pioneer publications were crafted on typewriters, typeset, and printed on a press, their subjects were similar to what one might find today. Topics including improved agriculture practices, nutrition and health tips, food preparation, lawn and garden advice, and 4-H projects are all represented in both early and modern materials.
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The state’s big trees might seem even a little “bigger” on the Virginia Big Tree Program’s newly redesigned website.
“The website lists information about the largest trees in Virginia,” said Eric Wiseman, associate professor of urban forestry and arboriculture and a Virginia Cooperative Extensionspecialist in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. He serves as coordinator of the Virginia Big Tree Program.
“We hope this redesign will encourage even more individuals to use the website,” Wiseman said. “We aimed for a simpler, intuitive layout that will be easier to use on mobile devices.” He added that updating the website in time for Arbor Day, celebrated this year on April 29, seemed appropriate.
Virginia’s big trees are those that are the largest of their species, measured by height, trunk circumference, and crown spread. The website lists the five largest trees of more than 300 different species and includes photographs of the honored trees as well as their location, the names of the individuals who nominated them, and in some cases, the name of landowner.
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Raymond Comer, a 40-year veteran of the coal mines, points out a petrified tree in a darkened mine in Pocahontas, Virginia, to student and Save Our Towns field reporter Hannah Samlall of Warrenton, Virginia, a senior majoring in communications.
Virginia Tech’s Save Our Towns, an online video series released in monthly episodes, haswon first place in Best Community Affairs in PR Daily-Ragan’s 2015 worldwide Corporate Social Responsibility Awards competition.
Ragan Communications provides conferences and online training to public relations, media relations, and other communications professionals.
Virginia Tech and other award winners produced “incredible initiatives that rocked the world with transformative change,” judges said. Runners-up in the Best Community Affairs category included a project by MasterCard that paired science-and-technology mentors with hundreds of schoolgirls around the world.
Winners in other categories included Ketchum, one of the world’s largest public relations agencies, with a ConAgra Foods-sponsored project involving children against hunger; and Teva Pharmaceuticals for its three-year partnership with Volunteers in Medicine to offer free medical care to the uninsured.
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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.”
The Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Experts Directory
Need to find an expert on agricultural productivity or animal genetics? Bioengineering or bioluminescence? Climate change or community development? Diabetes or drought?
Look no further than the new Experts Directory that contains detailed descriptions of nearly 300 authoritative sources from the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Virginia Cooperative Extension.
Members of the media, fellow scientists, and others can easily find the expert they are searching for using keywords, departments, subject area, or names.
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