Tag Archives: education

Cooking and nutrition programming engages Fairfax and Arlington seniors

Kathryn Strong, family and consumer sciences Extension agent for Fairfax County, believes in the value of independent and health-conscious senior residents. To aid the growing population of seniors in their quest for healthier lifestyles, Strong has spearheaded senior cooking and nutrition programming in Fairfax and Arlington.senior-cooking

Strong’s senior cooking and nutrition workshops are held at senior centers and at faith-based and civic organizations around the community. Workshops incorporate cooking demonstrations, lectures, and discussions on a variety of topics. The programming emphasizes the benefits of healthy eating — particularly for seniors — which include reduced risks for heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, bone loss, cancer, and anemia. Eating well and being physically active also help to manage chronic diseases and can reduce high blood pressure, lower high cholesterol, and control blood glucose.

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Education is paramount for York/Poquoson Master Gardener volunteers

The York/Poquoson Master Gardeners are helping area residents take an active role in improving the region’s environment through community collaboration and educational outreach.

Master Gardener volunteers Merrilyn Dodson and Pete Peterman measure lawns for homeowners for the Healthy Virginia Lawns Program.

Master Gardener volunteers Merrilyn Dodson and Pete Peterman measure lawns for homeowners for the Healthy Virginia Lawns Program.

“The Master Gardener Program brings scientific-based education to the public to help improve lives through citizen outreach. Our program focuses on the needs of citizens in York and Poquoson based on resident input, environmental assessments, and innovation,” said Megan Tierney, a Virginia Cooperative Extension agriculture and natural resources agent.

For the York/Poquoson Master Gardener Program, community education is key to sustaining environmental responsibility. The program hosts several events throughout the year at which guest speakers and Master Gardener volunteers educate homeowners on topics including landscaping, pruning, beekeeping, lawn care, and native plant care.

Gwen Harris, who has been a Master Gardener in the community since 2012, explained that each program’s responsibilities and educational efforts differ depending on the region they serve.

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Virginia Cooperative Extension boosts county business by connecting communities

When a local landscape business owner was looking to train someone to work and assist in her business, she tapped into Virginia Cooperative Extension’s expertise for help.

Franklin County Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent Carol Haynes helped a local high school student find a job — which helped the student as well as a local business.

Franklin County Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent Carol Haynes helped a local high school student find a job — which helped the student as well as a local business.

Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agent Carol Haynes in Franklin County knew exactly where to turn to accommodate the request. Haynes drew on Extension’s close relationship with the school system and contacted Diana Cannaday, the FFA and horticulture teacher in the county.

Cannaday recommended one of her students who was looking for an opportunity to learn and grow. She facilitated the connection between the student and the business owner.

“This had a very real impact for the business owner and my student’s employment,” said Haynes. “Virginia Cooperative extension has a good working relationship with Franklin County high school students and teachers. This was a great opportunity to foster our relationship with the county school system and provided added value to a thriving horticulture program within the school system.”

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Virginia Household Water Quality Program broadens impact through youth initiative

water running our of a kitchen facet

Through the program students learn how to collect and analyze water samples.

More than 60 high school students and 4-H members from Carroll, Floyd, and Amherst counties had an opportunity to spend a day at Virginia Tech to expand their understanding of water quality, its associated health factors, and water sampling through the youth component of the Virginia Household Water Quality Program.

The program, a collaborative effort between Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech, provides a hands-on learning experience in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering’s Water Quality Laboratory. Students analyze water samples, learn how to interpret the data collected, and review the results from a health perspective. In addition, guest lecturers address related topics such as groundwater, well construction, food safety related to water quality, and the many career opportunities in fields related to water.

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Virginia Tech hops into the farm-to-glass craft beer movement

While the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has long been a steward of viniculture in the commonwealth, the advent of a state-of-the-art brewhouse and malting system at Human and Agricultural Biosciences Building 1 now allows the college to shepherd fermentation research for another lucrative market — craft beer.

A student spoons spent grain from the brewhouse container into a trash can while classmates look on. The professional-grade brewhouse is similar to what most craft-beer-making facilities use, but it is optimized for teaching.

A student spoons spent grain from the brewhouse container into a trash can while classmates look on. The professional-grade brewhouse is similar to what most craft-beer-making facilities use, but it is optimized for teaching.

The recently installed system lets students learn the latest in malting, brewing, and fermenting techniques and simultaneously fosters the university’s land-grant mission by supporting industry research in fermentation and brewing among faculty members. The announcement by Deschutes Brewery that it will anchor its East Coast location in Roanoke means the facility at Virginia Tech will also likely be integral to building industry partnerships between the university and commercial brewers.

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