Tag Archives: international

Virginia Cooperative Extension launches language interpretation service for clients

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.”

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International experience inspires student to focus on household water quality issues in Virginia

Jacob Cantor (right) presents a poster to Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands (left), Provost Mark McNamee (center), and Erin Ling (background), coordinator of the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, illustrating the results of his outreach on the Eastern Shore.

Jacob Cantor (right) presents a poster to Virginia Tech President Timothy Sands (left), Provost Mark McNamee (center), and Erin Ling (background), coordinator of the Virginia Household Water Quality Program, illustrating the results of his outreach on the Eastern Shore.

BLACKSBURG, Va., Feb. 10, 2015 – Jacob Cantor’s path to educating residents on Virginia’s Eastern Shore about household water quality started in faraway Oaxaca, Mexico.

A senior from Fairfax, Virginia, majoring in biological systems engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cantor became interested in how his academic training could benefit international development projects. So he volunteered south of the border at the Hunger Project working with clean cookstoves and water quality issues in a small village.

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Cameroon forests, wildlife being preserved by farmers using agroforestry

John Munsell (right) interviewed Cameroonian farmers about the benefits of integrating trees into their farms. The farmers included men and women in about equal numbers.

John Munsell (right) interviewed Cameroonian farmers about the benefits of integrating trees into their farms. The farmers included men and women in about equal numbers.

Nov. 15, 2014 – Agroforestry has been introduced in the African nation of Cameroon as a way to enhance agricultural productivity and financial gain, with a side effect of being good for the environment. It turns out that farmers value its environmental benefits foremost.

Associate Professor and Extension Specialist John Munsell conducted a study of Cameroonian farmers who have used agroforestry practices for at least three years. “I wanted to know whether and why they have adapted their practices, what their needs are for continuing, and the impacts of agroforestry farming at the village scale,” he said.

Agroforestry is the integration of tree crops into crop and livestock agricultural systems. Examples include using trees as “live fences” around production sites and as windbreaks, and growing crops in large alleys between rows of trees. Species that provide medicinal products, nuts, food, or livestock fodder often are used. Some tree varieties can increase soil nitrogen, and several provide pollen, enabling farmers to raise bees for honey.

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Bedford Master Gardeners recognized internationally

BLACKSBURG, Va., Nov. 14, 2013 – The Bedford County Master Gardeners group placed third in the International Master Gardener Search for Excellence contest.

Their project, “Therapeutic Gardening,” won third place in the Special Needs Audiences category — one of seven project categories. Winners were announced in September at the 2013 International Master Gardener Conference in Alaska.

Virginia Master Gardeners are volunteer educators with Virginia Cooperative Extension who work within their communities to encourage and promote environmentally sound horticulture practices through sustainable landscape management education and training.

“It was very exciting to have the work we do recognized by this group,” said Phyllis Turner, a Master Gardener involved in the therapeutic gardening project.

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Character counts — here and abroad

Teachers put together a puzzle

Teachers and community leaders learn about trustworthiness, deception, and lies by completing puzzles.

Since 1994, Virginia 4-H has provided training and support for CHARACTER COUNTS!, an education program developed by the California-based Josephson Institute of Ethics, which promotes character education throughout the country.

In 2004, Glenda Snyder, senior Virginia Cooperative Extension agent emeritus, introduced CHARACTER COUNTS! to schools in Brazil. She was invited by Partners of the Americas, a humanitarian organization, to train school personnel and implement character education. At the time, Brazilian school systems were characterized by high rates of violence and crime. Read More

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