Tag Archives: economy

Chesterfield financial planning classes pay off for local residents

Economic woes and balancing personal finances can be challenging for anyone, but it can be doubly hard when someone is living in poverty or doesn’t speak the native language.

So the local Virginia Cooperative Extension offices in Chesterfield, Virginia, are equipping people with knowledge that helps them create a better economic future.

More than 6 percent of Chesterfield County lives below the poverty line. In homes where a single mom is raising kids, that number creeps as high as 31 percent. People living in these situations are especially vulnerable to losing control of their finances.

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Save our Towns: Citizen voices help save a mountain and a town

While many Southwest Virginia towns historically have depended on the coal industry for jobs, residents of one small town fought a permit that would have allowed mining of more than 1,200 acres on nearby Ison Rock Ridge. In a new episode of Save Our Towns, former Virginia Tech alumnus Jessica Snead reports from the town of Appalachia to show how town residents made their voices heard after the tragic death of a child and how their subsequent actions may have helped preserve their town.

This month’s expert tip comes from Appalachian Voices staff member Adam Wells who offers explanations about why many granting agencies won’t consider an application that lacks evidence of community involvement.

This episode also includes coverage of the annual CityWorks Expo in Roanoke and it features valuable project information from Elizabeth Gilboy of the Community Design Assistance Center in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, and Carl Zipper, an  Extension specialist with the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

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Northern Shenandoah Valley selected for Stronger Economies Together initiative

U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development and Virginia Cooperative Extension announced today that the Northern Shenandoah Valley region has been selected for the 2015-16 Stronger Economies Together (SET) initiative.

The region, which includes Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties and the city of Winchester, will benefit from a focused initiative to explore regional economic advantages and to formulate economic blueprints for the region.

“The blueprints we help the region to construct will strategically build on the current and emerging economic strengths in the region,” said Basil Gooden, Ph.D., state director of USDA Rural Development for Virginia. “The Northern Shenandoah Valley has tremendous potential for economic growth, and through the SET process we will facilitate key discussions that lead to a high-quality economic plan that is mutually beneficial for all the counties and the city involved.”

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Agritourism can boost farmers’ revenue, Virginia Tech study finds

A recent Virginia Tech study found that agritourism, from pick-your-own apple orchards to pumpkin patches, can help boost profits.

A recent Virginia Tech study found that agritourism, from pick-your-own apple orchards to pumpkin patches, can help boost profits.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 11, 2015 – From pick-your-own strawberry operations and winery tasting rooms to pumpkin patch fields and cut-your-own Christmas tree farms, agritourism is growing in the commonwealth and across the country. A recent statewide study by Virginia Tech found that it’s not just a pleasant way to spend a Sunday — it’s also a viable way for farmers to supplement their income.

The commonwealth’s top two industries, agriculture and tourism, were evaluated using a survey-based study by a team from Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciencesand Virginia Cooperative Extension.

In Virginia, both the number of midsize farms and the revenue of those farms have been declining. The study found that agritourism could be a viable option for farm managers to diversify and augment income.

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Wine industry workforce center could boost economic development, Virginia Tech study shows

Research vineyard at the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester, Virginia.

Research vineyard at the Alson H. Smith Jr. Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Winchester, Virginia.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 2, 2015 – A workforce education center would give a needed boost to the wine industry in Loudoun County, near Washington, D.C., a Virginia Tech study confirms.

The Virginia Tech team surveyed owners and managers of more than 100 wineries and vineyards in Northern Virginia who identified a need for better marketing acumen to promote the industry. The industry representatives also wanted to see improved quality of grapes to boost Virginia wines’ appeal to aficionados beyond the commonwealth.

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