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Extension encourages residents to plan ahead during National Hurricane Preparedness Week

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 21, 2015 – Virginia Cooperative Extension is encouraging residents to plan ahead during National Hurricane Preparedness Week, which is May 24-30.

Hurricanes are one of the most common natural disasters in Virginia. In addition to high winds, other hazards also follow hurricanes including storm surges, heavy rainfall, inland flooding, and tornadoes. Hurricane season begins June 1, so begin planning now. To help individuals with planning, the Virginia Department of Taxation is having a Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday from May 25-May 31. Many items needed for emergency planning are exempt from sales tax including batteries and flashlights, bottled water, tarps, first aid kits, portable radios, and more. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has a complete list of eligible items.

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For Virginia Tech scientists, saving the Chesapeake Bay is all in a day’s work

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 1, 2015 – More than 150 major rivers and streams flow into the Chesapeake Bay, Virginia’s most well-known estuary. This historically significant body of water has also provided livelihoods for fishermen, recreation for locals and visitors that flock to the region, and of course has been a vital water source for residents for hundreds of years.

The environmental woes of recent decades, however, have made the bay more memorable for the major challenges that have been foisted upon its delicate ecosystem.

Virginia Tech researchers in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have been working on several fronts to develop novel strategies to preserve the Chesapeake Bay while also implementing ways to balance population growth with sustainable uses of the bay, including as a water, food, and recreation resource.

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Edwin J. Jones recognized for his service to agribusiness

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 17, 2015 – Edwin J. Jones, director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and associate dean of the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, recently was recognized by the Virginia Agribusiness Council for his outstanding service to the agribusiness industry.

Jones received the 2015 Land-Grant University award last month at the 2015 Virginia Cooperative Extension Professional Development Conference in Blacksburg. The council presents awards annually to faculty, staff, and administrators of the commonwealth’s land-grant universities, which include both Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, for meritorious or exemplary services to the industry of agribusiness during their careers.

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Grants help high school teachers promote agricultural education

BLACKSBURG, Va., May 7, 2015 – The Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech is awarding $60,000 to three high school agriculture teachers to develop programs that prepare students for 21st century agriculture careers.

“We are excited to be able to work with agriculture teachers that are pushing traditional boundaries to broaden students’ education and career opportunities,” said Donna Westfall-Rudd, an associate professor and Virginia Agricultural Education Centers of Innovation project leader.

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