VSU & USDA Offer Farmer Field Day Focused on Technology/Innovations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  May 25, 2017

Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, wgee@vsu.edu

Innovations For Small Farmers Theme Of Annual USDA/VSU Field Day

  
Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture will hold its annual Agriculture Field Day on Thursday, June 15, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Randolph Farm, located at 4415 River Road, Petersburg.

Free and open to the public, the field day will highlight agricultural innovations for small farms. Small, limited-resource, urban and beginning farmers will be able to interact with USDA representatives about available resources, services and support. Participants will also be able to learn about the latest innovations and technology for small farmers from Virginia Cooperative Extension Specialists at VSU and other industry leaders.

Tour stops will feature information and demonstrations on:

• USDA resources for farm financing, risk management, advocacy and outreach, accepting SNAP EBT cards, and more
• Rain simulator demonstration from USDA Department of Natural Resources and Conservation
• Mobile meat processing unit, courtesy of Delaware State University Cooperative Extension
• Raising chickens and rabbits in backyards
• Berry production, management and marketing

• New equipment, tools and technology demonstrations, including drones
• Introduction to aquaculture practices and production
• Hops research and production
• High tunnel growing practices and specialty crops
• Hikes on the new nature trail at Randolph Farm

New this year will be a dedicated bilingual Small Farm Outreach program representative who will lead a guided walk through and translation services of the day's events in Spanish. Para más información en español, favor llamar a Mery Caldwell al número (804) 481-0425.

Register online at www.ext.vsu.edu.  

For more information, contact the Small Farm Outreach Program Office at (804) 524-5626. If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact the Small Farm Outreach office at (804) 524-5626 /TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

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Farmers invited to learn how to raise fish in cages for added income

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  March 29, 2017

Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, wgee@vsu.edu

VSU Offers Free Workshop on Raising Fish in Pond Cages

The Aquaculture Program at Virginia State University has scheduled a fish cage-building workshop on April 27 from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at VSU’s Randolph Farm, located at 4415 River Road, Ettrick.      

Free and open to the public, the workshop is designed for anyone with a farm pond who is interested raising fish in cages for profit or personal consumption.      

Participants will learn the basics of cage aquaculture and construct a fish cage. Cage-building materials will be provided but participants are encouraged to bring leather gloves, tin snips, a tape measure, cutting pliers and protective goggles.       

Registration is limited to 20 and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, visit VSU's Cooperative Extension events calendar at www.ext.vsu.edu. For more information or for persons with a disability who desire assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Debra B. Jones at dbjones@vsu.edu  or call (804) 524-5496/ TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments.  Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.  An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating.  Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie,  Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.                                                                       

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New leader named for VSU Hospitality Management Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  March 23, 2017

Contact: Michelle Olgers, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-6964, molgers@vsu.edu

Virginia State University Selects New Leader for Hospitality Management Program

Dr. Berkita Bradford, who has been serving as the interim chairwoman of Virginia State University’s Hospitality Management Department, has been formally appointed to the position. The appointment is effective immediately.

Bradford, who arrived at VSU in fall 2015 to serve as an associate professor and program coordinator, stepped into the interim chairman position January 2016 after Dr. Dianne Williams left the university for a position at Bethune Cookman University, in Daytona Beach, Fla. She managed the unit for more than 10 years.

As chairwoman, Bradford will provide the department with administrative oversight and manage the day-to-day operations.

"Dr. Bradford’s passion for the hospitality industry and wealth of experience in the field have positioned her to be an ideal fit to lead VSU’s Hospitality Management Department into the future,” said Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, dean of VSU’s College of Agriculture, which houses the Hospitality Management Department.

In accepting the position, Bradford said, “I’m both honored and humbled to serve the VSU family. I look forward to the hard work, numerous challenges and working with the wonderful faculty and staff in the department.”

VSU's hospitality management program is one of only five Historically Black College and University (HBCU) programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA), which proves the program exceeds standards in educational quality. The objective of the program is to provide students leadership and managerial training with real world hospitality educational experiences. The curriculum is designed to develop students’ focus on operations management at the property level and prepare them for management careers in the hotel and restaurant industry, food and beverage industry, convention and event planning, as well as at resorts, casinos and more.

Recent VSU hospitality management graduates have been hired by top national and international companies, including: Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, Marriott International, Inc., Thompson Hospitality®, Sodexo, Aramark, U.S. Omni, Hilton, Four Seasons, Outback, Darden, and Loews® Hotels & Resorts, among many others.

Founded in 1882, Virginia State University is one of Virginia’s two land-grant institutions and is located 20 minutes south of Richmond in the village of Ettrick.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.                                                               

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VSU To Hold 9th Annual Berry Production and Marketing Conference

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 22, 2017 

Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, wgee@vsu.edu

Berry Health is Conference Focus

Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture has scheduled its ninth annual Berry Production and Marketing Conference on March 9 from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. in the Gateway Dining Hall on campus.
 

Keynote speaker Dr. Britt Burton will discuss berry health. She is director of the Illinois Institute of Technology’s Center for Nutrition Research.

Conference topics include blackberry/blueberry weed control; blackberry/raspberry production; blueberry production/management; and berry marketing. A $20 per person registration fee includes lunch. To register, visit VSU’sevents calendar at www.ext.vsu.edu.

For more information or for persons with a disability who desireassistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Mollie Klein at mklein@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-6960 / TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 am. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/ affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.
                                                                              

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VSU Makes It Easier for Urban Farmers to Get Certified

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 20, 2017

 Contact: Michelle Olgers, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-6964, molgers@vsu.edu

New Program Provides Academic-Based Urban Agriculture Certification To Want-To-Be Urban Farmers or Educators

Urban agriculture is hot. And for good reason. It can help alleviate urban food deserts, make our food as "local" and fresh as possible and decrease the "food miles" associated with long-distance transportation. From rooftop gardens and aquaponics centers in converted warehouses, to growing crops on abandoned properties, urban agriculture provides a wide range of community benefits, including closer neighborhood ties, reduced crime, education and job training opportunities, and healthy food access for low-income residents.

“That’s why,” say’s Dr. Leonard Githinji, Virginia State University’s Urban Agriculture Extension Specialist, “It’s no wonder we’re seeing a huge increase in the number of urban farms from Brooklyn to Boise and everywhere in between.”

But training hasn’t kept up with demand for these urban cowboys. As Githinji explains, a lot of non-profits, churches, businesses and municipalities are putting a great deal of resources into getting urban farms up and running. So much so that last year the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published an Urban Agriculture Toolkit to provide informational resources to these group leaders, many of whom have never farmed before or know a nematode from a horned toad. (For the record, a nematode is parasitic worm that often causes damage to garden crops like tomatoes and peppers. A horned toad is actually a desert lizard.)

But there’s a lot to learn, he explains, from business planning, legal issues and market development to soil quality, pest management and plant health. And while an online tool kit is a great resource, we need more science-based, boots-on-the-ground training for these urban pioneers.

To help meet the demand for academically trained urban agriculture professionals, Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture is offering an Urban Agriculture Certificate Program this spring. Designed for anyone charged with starting or managing an urban farm or who wants to increase their marketability to do so, the course provides a curriculum rich in the science-based knowledge needed to successfully and safely grow produce in an urban environment. Courses include: plant propagation and nursery management, plant disease and pest management, sustainable soil management, greenhouse production (hydroponic and aquaponic), animal husbandry (chickens and rabbits), and more. All courses will be taught by Virginia State University (VSU) and Virginia Tech professors.

Each of the 10 sessions includes classroom work, plus hands-on lab and field work at VSU’s Randolph Farm. Small class sizes allow for personalized attention for each student to master the foundational principles to plan, manage and profit from an urban farm business.

The course is suitable even for those who have had gardening training before, such as Master Gardeners, as it will contribute to their continuing education credits.

The 10-week course begins March 11 and ends May 13. Classes will be conducted Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. on VSU’s Randolph Farm located at 4415 River Road, Petersburg, VA. Instruction will consist of morning lectures and afternoon hands-on outdoor and lab activities. Each student must also complete by the end of July 80 hours of volunteer work at an approved urban farm in order to successfully graduate from the program with full certification.

Applicants are required to pay a $190 one-time fee that will cover registration, instructional materials and lunch. Registration and a limited number of full and partial scholarships are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is limited and closes March 3. To apply for a scholarship or to register, visit www.ext.vsu.edu/urban-agriculture-certificate-program.

If you need further information or are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Mollie Klein at mklein@vsu.edu or call (804) 524-6960/TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. to discuss accommodations no later than five days prior to the event.

This program is supported in part by the USDA/NIFA grant # 2015-38821-24339 Entitled “From Food Deserts to Agrihoods: Transforming Food Insecure Neighborhoods with Comprehensive Urban Agriculture Education.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.                                                                          

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Chesterfield County Resident Named Volunteer of the Year by VSU Cooperative Extension

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 08, 2017

Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, wgee@vsu.edu

Volunteer Says Farming Builds Self-Reliance
 

Chesterfield County resident Barbara Booker has been named 2016 Volunteer of the Year by Virginia State University’s Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP).

Nominated for this award by Susan Cheek, SFOP volunteer coordinator, Booker has been volunteering the past two years on VSU's 416-acre Randolph Farm demonstration/research facility in Ettrick. Booker asserts that Randolph Farm is a valuable community resource where volunteers can learn about food as a basic need and about farming, which she considers a “self-reliant” skill that should be passed down to today’s youth.

Cheek said Booker’s dedication, determination and eagerness to learn make her a “wonderful asset” to Randolph Farm operations. She said Booker is one of several farm volunteers who give of their time twice weekly planting, irrigating, harvesting and testing soil on SFOP demonstration plots. Volunteers also assist with delivering harvested produce to local charities and food banks. Cheek reports that more than 6,000 pounds of produce were distributed last year to help feed the hungry.

“It’s nice being recognized for your volunteer work,” said Booker, a retired environmental/occupational health and safety professional. “Gardening relaxes me,” added Booker, who grows a smorgasbord of vegetables and herbs in her home garden for personal consumption.

Cheek said new farmers, as well as persons interested in becoming farmers, are encouraged to volunteer first to get some helpful hands-on experience. She said several former SFOP volunteers have subsequently pursued their own farming ventures.

It appears Booker, who said she’s “re-imagining” herself, will soon be following suit. She’s planning to start a vegetable project, a market garden or small farm containing multiple crops. Anyone interested in becoming a SFOP volunteer should contact Cheek at (804) 720-5539 or email scheek@vsu.edu.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia CooperativeExtension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Dean/Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.                                               

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Small Farmer of the Year Named by VSU Cooperative Extension

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 11, 2017

Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, wgee@vsu.edu

VSU's Small Farm Outreach Program Names King and Queen County Charlie Maloney “Small Farmer of the Year”

Charlie Maloney, a small farmer in King and Queen County, is the 2016 recipient of the Andy Hankins’ Small Farmer of the Year Award. Maloney was recognized during Virginia State University’s Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP) annual symposium held in November in Danville.

“I am honored and excited to receive this award, especially since I worked directly with (the late) Andy Hankins years ago,” Maloney said. “I proudly accept this award on behalf of all small Virginia farmers.”

SFOP agent Patrick Johnson, who works directly with Maloney and other small farmers in King and Queen, said he nominated Maloney for this distinction because he’s truly deserving. “Charlie is the epitome of a successful small farmer who’s innovative, eager to learn and willing to share his knowledge with others,” said Johnson.

Maloney said his affiliation with VSU’s program dates back to the early 90s. He describes this alliance as personally gratifying for him and acknowledges that the support and encouragement he’s received has been priceless.

The youngest of six siblings raised on a small diversified farm on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, he recalls noticing as a youngster that small farms were being displaced by larger operations. This made it extremely difficult for small-scale producers to adequately provide for their families, he conceded. “Today, I’m thrilled to witness and be part of a resurgence, a regeneration of the small-scale farm operation,” Maloney said.

A minister and licensed professional counselor, Maloney retired from his psychotherapy practice in 2001, opting to pursue farming full time. He and his wife Miriam use ecological growing methods on their 18-acre farm to produce a variety of fruits and vegetables as the mainstay of their agricultural enterprise called Dayspring Farm. They have marketed their produce through a 175-member CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for the last 26 years and also sell to several restaurants and produce stores. 

Notwithstanding his full-time farming obligations, Maloney has devoted a portion of his time to teach asustainability and agriculture course each spring semester for the past 12 years at the College of William and Mary.

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1st Virginian To Be Inducted Into George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 16, 2016

Contact: Michelle Olgers, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-6964, molgers@vsu.edu

First Virginian To Be Inducted Into Nationally Renowned George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame

Dr. Clinton V. Turner, an alumnus and former Associate Vice President for Agriculture and Extension at Virginia State University College of Agriculture, has been nationally recognized for his public service and contributions to rural and disadvantaged communities. He received the accolades when he was inducted into the George Washington Carver Public Service Hall of Fame on December 6. The honor is given in recognition of individuals, like Turner, whose work mirrors the philosophy of the world-recognized scholar, George Washington Carver, and who have made significant accomplishments in the areas of teaching, research and outreach designed to improve the quality of life for the clientele served by 1890 land-grant universities such as Virginia State University (VSU). The award ceremony is part of the annual Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (PAWC) in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Turner is the first recipient of the prestigious award from Virginia State University and the first in Virginia. The award was established in 1984.

Turner, now retired, said, “To receive an award that carries the name of such a distinguished man as George Washington Carver, who dedicated his life to the welfare of the people, is more than humbling.”

M. Ray McKinnie, Dean of the VSU’s College of Agriculture, explained, “This is a double honor for Virginia State University.  Dr. Turner is not only a VSU Trojan, but he returned to his alma mater after graduation in a number of leadership positions to help the university fulfill its land-grant mission.”

“We are proud and grateful,” continued McKinnie, “that Dr. Turner’s strong ties and dedication to VSU and the 1890 land-grant mission over his lifetime have been recognized by an organization as revered as PAWC.”

Turner began his career in 1976 as an extension specialist. In 1980 he became the first black district director for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, where he represented both Virginia Tech and VSU in working with local governments, state agencies, regional community groups and other public and private organizations to fulfill the extension mission.


In 1984 Turner became VSU’s Administrator of Cooperative Extension and was promoted in 1988 to Associate Vice President for Agriculture and Extension. In 1991 Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder appointed Turner as Virginia’s and the nation’s first black Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, where he served as chief spokesperson for agriculture within the commonwealth.

Turner has served as chairperson for many state and national committees that made policy for the agricultural industry and has received many awards and recognitions for his service to the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

The 1890 land-grant universities are a network of 19 historically black colleges and universities, including VSU, dedicated to providing educational opportunity for all through innovative scientific research and community-minded extension programs. They provide teaching programs, address health disparities, conduct cutting-edge research to generate solutions to global challenges, engage young people through 4-H, provide assistance for agricultural enterprises for small and limited resource operations, and more to improve the quality of life for all.

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VSU Announces New Dean of Agriculture College

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 16, 2016

Contact: Michelle Olgers, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-6964, molgers@vsu.edu

Virginia State University Has New College of Agriculture Dean

Dr. M. Ray McKinnie, who has been serving as the Interim Dean and 1890 Extension Administrator of the College of Agriculture at Virginia State Universityhas been formally appointed to the position. The appointment is effective immediately.

McKinnie, who arrived at VSU in July 2015 to serve as assistant administrator of Extension programs in the College of Agriculture, stepped into the interim dean position two months later after the resignation of Dean Jewel Hairston.

"Dr. McKinnie’s outstanding leadership during this past year that he’s served as interim dean has already benefited Virginia State University as a whole and its College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Research Station in particular,” said Dr. Donald Palm, VSU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He has left no doubt in my mind he will continue to direct the college to even greater accomplishments and help VSU embrace its role as a top land-grant university."  Palm also cited McKinnie’s vision for the department, his passion for student success and his commitment to faculty and staff development as key factors in the selection process.

As dean, McKinnie will provide administrative oversight for the college’s academic departments, and its agricultural research and Cooperative Extension programs.  He brings a wealth of educational and professional experiences to his new position, including service as interim associate dean for agricultural research and associate dean and Extension administrator at North Carolina A&Tthat spans more than three decades in higher education and other national organizations.

In accepting the position, McKinnie said he was thankful to have the opportunity to serve the university and the Commonwealth. “Agriculture is a critical component of the global economy and is Virginia’s number one industry,” he said. “VSU has a long tradition of training students to be valuable contributors of that industry, as well as of developing solutions for better food security, safety and sustainability with its cutting-edge research.”

He added that one of his goals in his new position is to help change the image of the agriculture industry. “There are tremendous opportunities in the job market for dynamic, exciting and engaging careers in agriculture and natural resource,” he said, adding that few of these jobs involve the old notion of agriculture just being “cowsplows and sows.”

According to a research study conducted by USDA NIFA and Purdue University, between 2015 and 2020 in the U.S. there will be 57,900 annual job openings for graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in agriculture and related fields, with almost half of those in management and business and another 27 percent in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. But, says McKinnie, the study states on average only 35,400 are expected to graduate each year in these fields, resulting in an annual shortage of 22,500 agriculture graduates to fill the industry’s needs.

McKinnie added, “That’s why last year USA Today wrote that careers in agriculture and natural resources are among the top 10 paying jobs in the country, and the public needs to understand that these jobs represent a new era of agriculture.”

After earning his bachelor’ degree in animal science from North Carolina A&T, his master’s and doctorate degrees in animal science/reproductive physiology from Ohio State University and North Carolina State University, respectively; McKinnie began his career as an assistant agricultural agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension.  Later as an extension specialist and researcher working with small, part-time, limited-resource farmers, he focused his efforts on the development of economical systems of production for pasture-based pork, commercial rabbit and meat goats.

Founded in 1882, Virginia State University is one of Virginia’s two land-grant institutions and is located 20 minutes south of Richmond in the village of Ettrick. It is one of only three colleges or universities in Virginia to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture.

 

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Free Program for Those At Risk For Diabetes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 25, 2016

Contact: William Gee, Marketing & Communications Dept., 804-524-5005, wgee@vsu.edu

Learn About Lifestyle Changes to Help Prevent Diabetes


Petersburg area residents who’ve been informed they’re at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes can attend a 16-week educational program to learn about lifestyle changes that can help prevent the onset of the disease.

Sponsored by Virginia Cooperative Extension, the group sessions are free and open to the public.  Upon completion of the regular sessions, follow-up sessions will be conducted by trained lifestyle coaches.

To enroll, contact Debra S. Jones, Virginia State University human health extension specialist, at (804) 524-5966 or dsjones@vsu.edu.

If you are a person with a disability and desire any assistive devices, services or other accommodations to participate in this activity, please contact Katrina Kirby at (804) 733-1880 /TDD (800) 828-1120 during business hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to discuss accommodations five days prior to the event.

Extension is a joint program of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and state and local governments. Virginia CooperativeExtension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Interim Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

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