Virginia Cooperative Extension district directors have been hard at work filling positions following the departure of 29 Extension agents and 12 Extension specialists in 2010.
Restoration of the cuts made to VCE by the state in 2010 enabled Extension officials to hire more than 25 agents, who will be on staff early this month. In all, 42 agents have been hired since July 2011. Approximately 210 agents will be located in county and city offices by the spring.
Extension recently initiated recruitment for four county-based unit administrative assistants. Three specialist positions will also be filled this year. One will support the field crops industry, and will be located at the Tidewater AREC. Another will support the livestock industry, and will be located at the Southern Piedmont AREC. The third will be a 4-H Extension specialist.
Extension leaders are working with the Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences to fill two positions that will work with youth programming for the equine and livestock programs.
We are also anxiously awaiting approval of the state budget by the Virginia General Assembly. Both the Senate and the House proposed budgets include $500,000 to support Extension. These funds would help to fund an additional 10 to 12 agents in the field.
Stay tuned for more updates in the coming months. We are working to address several of the Secretary of Education’s recommendations.
Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension
FIT Extension is a great opportunity for a fun wellness program that has proven results. This 8 week, team-based, fitness/healthy eating program is easy to get going at your worksite or with family, friends, churches and schools. FitEx encourages all participants to engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity such as brisk walking, running, yoga, or biking on five or more days of the week.
We are excited to let you know we have updated our newsletters with some really great information on the benefits of physical activity and eating fruits and vegetables—and of course some new tips to help you meet your goals.
For more information about FitEx and to register online, visit FIT Extension. The registration deadline is March 26. The program begins on April 1 and runs through May 26 and costs $30 for a team of six. Get some friends and family together and create a FitEx team to be a part of this year’s program! The $30 team registration fee covers the FitEx website and a fitness prize for all teams that complete this program – with a team of 6, that’s only $5.00 per person.
Join us in our mission to create a happier, healthier and more active Virginia! We look forward to walking with you!
Last month Music Biz 4-H Club members from Prince George, Va., released a video examining the issue of teen pregnancy and motherhood, and how important it is for students to “Just Wait.” It tells the story of a teenage girl who had baby while still in high school and how that decision impacted her life. The video was completely created by the students, from the script to the music and camerawork.
Taizhe’ Parson, who wrote the script and stars in the video, said she was glad she had the chance to create something with such a positive impact.
“Things like this shouldn’t be taken lightly,” Parson said. “I’m just glad that I could be the one to actually share a story that I could relate to. It wasn’t acting, it was life.”
The project also allowed the students to showcase their musical abilities. All of the music in the video, with the exception of “Jingle Bells,” was composed and performed by the students. Even “Jingle Bells,” was performed and recorded by students participating in the project. Music Biz Club members wrote “Just Wait,” the last song on the video.
The students worked with several people and groups to complete the project, including Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and Virginia 4-H specialist Kathleen Jamison. From start to finish, the video took about seven weeks for the students to complete.
Watch the video here.