Agriculture and Natural Resources programs assist citizens, agricultural producers, and green industry professionals with many issues affecting their homes, lawns, landscapes, commodities, and livelihoods. From safe and effective pest management to the proper culture of plant materials, the efforts of this program combine to protect water quality across the 15 watersheds located within Henrico County.

The family is the cornerstone of a healthy community. Virginia Cooperative Extension strives to improve the well-being of Virginia families through programs that help put research based knowledge to work in people’s lives. Family and Consumer Sciences educators help Virginians learn to make good choices for themselves and their families. This, in turn, strengthens their communities and the state.

A Vision for a Stronger Commonwealth

Our Extension agents teach Virginians how to improve their quality of life by giving them the skills to: 

  • Prevent chronic disease with a healthy diet 
  • Identify quality childcare 
  • Plan for home ownership 
  • Make good parenting decisions 
  • Handle and preserve food safely 
  • Be a wise grocery shopper 
  • Handle credit wisely 
  • Plan for elder care needs 
  • Manage finances successfully 
  • Prepare for and cope with disasters 
  • Manage home-based businesses 

We work with other state and local agencies for many of our programs, and through these partnerships we maximize the impact and quality of our resources. Our staff and trained volunteers help build and strengthen these collaborations and extend our resources to more Virginians.

Developing Life Skills

We help Virginians develop wellness life skills in our three pillar program areas: 

  • Food, nutrition, and health 
  • Family financial management 
  • Child development and parenting 

Whether preventing chronic disease with a healthy diet, purchasing a family home, or identifying quality childcare, Virginians benefit from the comprehensive education in these three areas.

Making an Impact

Our programs reach tens of thousands of families across the commonwealth each year.The Virginia Family Nutrition Program offers numerous nutrition education programs to low-income adults, youth, and families, on how to make informed, healthy food purchases on limited budgets for overall health. Every $1 spent on quality nutrition education saves as much as $10 in long-term healthcare costs. The program also uses multiple-pronged strategies to help make policy, systems, and environmental changes to promote access to safe, affordable, and nutritious foods. 

The Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids curriculum promotes positive attitudes and behaviors toward diet, physical activity, and body image in youth ages 7 to 14. These programs and others like them successfully teach adults and children how to make wise nutritional choices, prevent chronic disease, and stay on a budget. 

Our family financial management programs help Virginians learn how to establish spending plans and create goals. Programs on budgeting, improving credit score, planning for home ownership, reducing debt, and preventing identity theft help secure healthy financial futures for Virginia families. 

Our programs for families teach helpful parenting techniques, how to strengthen parent-child relationships,and ways to encourage families to eat nutritious meals together. These skills help parents raise healthy children who are ready to succeed in school and life.

What is 4-H?

4-H is the comprehensive youth development program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. 4-H provides “learn by doing” opportunities for young people to receive hands-on experiences through work or activities from the latest research knowledge generated at Virginia Tech and Virginia State Universities.  

Developing Confident Leaders

Standing for head, heart, hands, and health, 4-H uses more than a century of experience in youth development programming to build strong, confident leaders. Young people in the 4-H community learn leadership, citizenship, and a vast array of life skills that benefit them for the rest of their lives. Through school-based, after-school, and community clubs as well as camp settings, 4-H members pledge to build a better community, country, and world.  

Ready for the Future

4-H participants are youth, ages 5 to 19, taking part in programs provided as the result of actions planned and initiated by Extension personnel in cooperation with volunteers. With a direct connection to research at Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, 4-H is the first experience many young people have with higher education. 4-H is characterized as being community-centered, volunteer-led, Extension-staff supervised, research-based, home- and family-oriented, publicly and privately funded, and responsive to change.  

Age Eligibility

The five through 18 years of age designation includes youth who will turn five during the 4-H year (October 1 through September 30). Eligibility for 4-H membership terminates on December 31 of the year the member has his or her 19th birthday.  

Fees

Membership in 4-H is free – it costs nothing to join. 4-H youth are not required to purchase uniforms and member expenses are kept to a minimum.

Engaging with Communities

Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists in community viability work with Extension agents, campus-based faculty, organizational partners, communities, and individuals to further opportunity and build capacity in five program areas:   

Examples of our work include training county elected officials, educating entrepreneurs, facilitating collaborative projects, supporting the growth of community food systems and local economies, enhancing agent skills and community capacity in facilitation and leadership, conducting problem-driven research, and creating publications and tools that address critical community needs.

Do you have a question about Community Viability?

Perhaps one of the Community Viability specialists below can help you. Contact a Community Viability specialist or direct a question to them using our Ask an Expertsystem. 

Community Viability Specialists