Virginia’s National Champion Food Challenge Team; pictured from left to right: Luke Jennings, Jordan Strickler, Madeline Rothwell, and Ryan Sensabaugh.
The Augusta County Food Works team took home top honors at the National 4-H Food Challenge, held Oct. 4 in Dallas. The team topped a competitive 11-team field to be crowned 2016 national champions.
The four-member team included:
- Luke Jennings of Staunton, Virginia;
- Madeline Rothwell of Staunton, Virginia;
- Ryan Sensabaugh of Greensville, Virginia; and
- Jordan Strickler of Staunton, Virginia.
Exposure to fruits and vegetables was all it took for one student at a recent 4-H Healthy Lifestyles and Food and Nutrition program to make her diet healthier.
“One student went home and requested that her mom purchase some of the things we tasted in class,” said Jocelyn Pearson, 4-H youth development Virginia Cooperative Extension agent for the City of Chesapeake. “Often we find that if we can expose kids to new fruits and vegetables they end up liking them and wanting to learn more about nutrition and how to live healthier.”
The students tasted a wide array of fruits and vegetables during the programming including Asian pears, Fuji apples, sweet potatoes, broccoli, bok choy, red potatoes, collard greens, rutabaga, tangerines, green beans, winter squash and spaghetti squash.
Virginia 4-H addresses the state’s childhood obesity problem by exposing kids to good exercise and eating habits. In Chesapeake second graders at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School participated in a bi-monthly program that introduced them to one fruit and one vegetable per session, which they then learned how to prepare, as well as the food’s nutrients and health benefits.
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Virginia’s first lady Dorothy McAuliffe (center) stopped by National Health Outreach Conference to underscored the importance of healthy habits. McAuliffe is flanked by Crystal Tyler-Mackey, VCE community viability specialist and Eric Bowen, VCE area food safety agent.
Health professionals, educators, and policymakers gathered in Roanoke in April to learn more about building partnerships in communities to promote physical and mental wellness.
The 2016 National Health Outreach Conference, hosted by Virginia Cooperative Extension, was grounded in the theme “All Aboard: Building Partnerships for a Healthy America.”
“This conference brings many different individuals together from fields as varied as nutrition and exercise, mental health, and community viability,” said Crystal Tyler-Mackey, community viability specialist with Extension. “By using a comprehensive approach to address the needs of often underserved populations, we are able to not only be concerned with marginalized populations, but also with providing culturally relevant programming and solutions to the groups that we serve.”
Indeed, Extension is often the crux of relationships in communities that strive to be leaders in wellness and seek out many different partners to achieve health and wellness goals.
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Extension, research and hospitality management faculty in Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture have partnered in efforts to increase consumer awareness of lamb meat including its local availability and ways to prepare it.
Small ruminant extension specialist Dr. Dahlia O’Brien says the month of January is being called Lambuary, a project which also aims to connect Virginia sheep producers with potential customers.
BLACKSBURG, Va., Sept. 1, 2015 – While “take two kale and call me in the morning,” is not exactly the prescription you would receive from a doctor at most health clinics, patients at the New River Valley Community Health Center do indeed receive a prescription to the New River Health District’s Farmacy Garden for doctor’s ordered physical activity and an injection of fresh fruits and vegetables.
The garden, encircled by a white picket fence and located directly behind the center, is a collaboration of Virginia Cooperative Extension, the supplemental nutrition assistance programs’ Women, Infants, and Children program, and the New River Health District.
On a recent Thursday evening community members gathered for a potluck at the garden where Extension agents were on hand for cooking and planting demos.
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