In Prince Edward County, agriculture and natural resources not only has a historical past, but is critical in present day economics and daily living. With the growing town of Farmville centered around farmland, the county has diverse agricultural needs, ranging from vegetable gardening and landscaping to beef cattle production and pasture management.  

See below for more information regarding specific programs areas:

Whether it is an agricultural plant, houseplant, or favorite shrub, residents of Prince Edward County can contact the Extension Office for help in diagnosing a plant problem. Samples of the plant or insect pests affecting it can be brought into the office. If the agent cannot diagnose the problem then, he or she will confer with specialists at the land-grant universities to figure out the problem. Once an accurate diagnosis is made, proper treatment can be made.

Having your soil tested is essential for any farmer or homeowner. Done at the Virginia Tech Soil Testing Lab, the soil test calculates the pH and available nutrients in your soil. From these results, the lab recommends the necessary fertilizer and lime additions that your soil needs to grow a specific crop/plant.

The soil test not only can save you money in fertilizer and lime, but also reduce excess nutrients that may leach or runoff into our precious watersheds.

Please come into the extension office for a soil box and form. The homeowner/lawn test costs $10.00. The farmer/commercial operator soil test is free of charge. In both cases, you are responsible for shipment to the soil testing lab in Blacksburg.

Private Applicators

In Virginia, anyone who wants to apply restricted-use pesticides on their property needs a private applicators pesticide license. To obtain that certification, one must study for and take a private applicators exam.

The extension office serves as a test location for those interested in obtaining a private pesticide applicator license. Please contact the office if you are interested in obtaining studying material and/or taking the test.

In addition to initially passing the exam, applicators must obtain educational credit on an annual or biennial basis to maintain their certification. Extension offers pesticide classes every winter in order for private applicators to maintain these credits.

Commercial Applicators

For anyone applying pesticides (restricted or not) for hire is required to have a commercial applicators license. For more information on obtaining a commercial license, see the VDACS website. The office has applications for commercial licenses but does NOT proctor the exams. 

Because of the small size of Prince Edward County, re-certification courses are not currently offered for commercial applicators in the Farmville area. A calendar of nearby classes can be found here: VDACS.

Family and Consumer Sciences programs in Prince Edward County provide education to help people increase knowledge and make informed decisions about healthy lifestyles, parenting, food safety and a variety of other issues.  This education is offered in a variety of ways including: in school programs for youth, mail out courses, workshops, newsletters, mass media and publications. 

Pressure Canner Gauge Testing: The dial gauge on your pressure canner lid should be checked at least every 2 years, preferably every year. Bring your canner lid with a dial gauge by the Extension Office to have the gauge tested. There is no fee for this service.  

Food Preservation Questions? Call the Prince Edward Extension Office or your local office for information.

Nutrition and Fitness programs offered in Prince Edward County are designed to help individuals increase their daily activity and also to make healthy food and lifestyle choices. Programs address both adult and youth audiences.

Programs we offer

Adult Programs

  • Steps to Healthy Habits
  • Steps to Family Fitness
  • Cooking For Diabetics
  • Monthly Activity Calendars

Youth Programs

  • Fun With Foods
  • Food Fundamentals
  • Cooking with Cloverbuds

FNP or Family Nutrition program is an educational food, nutrition and health program that is operated by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and the Virginia Department of Social Services. Objectives of the program are to help families and individuals by teaching nutrition information and food related skills, encouraging healthy eating habits, and teaching skills to stretch food dollars.

Pauline Stokes is our Family Nutrition Outreach Instructor serving, Prince Edward County and the Central District. Her responsibilities are to train and manage volunteers to deliver appropriate lessons to adults and youth with limited resources. She teaches volunteers to assist in various activities, such as smart choices in the grocery stores, farmers markets, DSS waiting rooms, health fairs and preschool parents’ outreach.

Collaboration with FNP faculties, program assistants, VCE Agents and other Extension program areas are on-going through open communication. She also focuses on partnerships with other agencies, community organizations and educational groups that reach the underserved.

Other FCS programs this office offers includes:

  • Food Safety
  • Parenting
  • Child Care Provider Training's

Prince Edward 4-H programs are designed to meet the identified needs of youth in our community. Most local programs focus on the following 4-H curriculum areas:

  • animal science
  • communication and expressive arts
  • foods, nutrition, and health
  • science, engineering, and technology
  • leadership and personal development
  • and 4-H camping.

Delivery modes include school enrichment programming, after-school programming, summer camps, and special interest clubs.

Jennifer Bowen is the contact person for 4-H in Prince Edward County. Jennifer may be reached by calling the Extension Office at (434) 392-4246 or through email at jebowen1@vt.edu.  

Local Programs

Each year, Prince Edward 4-H works with fourth grade students at PECES through monthly in-school 4-H Club meetings.  Students elect officers and run their meetings using parliamentary procedure.  The program portion of each meeting is dedicated to science enrichment.  Each activity supports the science SOL that is being studied that month.  Each spring, students have the opportunity to participate in the 4-H Presentations Contest.  Each child is required to give a demonstration to his or her class.  Volunteers judge the presentations and each participant receives a ribbon.  Purple ribbon winners are invited to participate in the Central District 4-H Presentations and Public Speaking Contest in Appomattox each April. 

Six and seventh graders at PECMS will again participate in the 4-H Science Fair program.  Each student receives a science fair project booklet with information on the scientific method and instructions on how to conduct an experiment.  Students submit proposals to their science teachers and work with the Extension Agent each month as projects progress.  Judging takes place in March, with winners invited to participate in the district contest in April.

Students enrolled in Fuqua School’s 7th Grade Consumer Math class participate in a series of money management classes designed to teach the basics of budgeting, banking, and investing.  Students learn to write a check, balance a checkbook, and calculate interest.

Prince Edward County is home to the Riding Star 4-H Horse and Pony Club led by Cathy Duker.

The Prince Edward 4-H Shooting Education Club is led by Dr. Dan Kingsley.  Focusing on safety and basic marksmanship skills, this club is open to youth ages 11 and older with some riflery experience.  The club uses both air rifles and .22 rifles.   Periodic practices are held at the 4-H Center.  For more information, please contact the Extension Office at 392-4246.

The Buckingham and Prince Edward 4-H Teen Club focuses on the development of leadership skills through community service.  Meetings are usually held on Friday evenings, with members giving direction to the club’s work for the year.  Last year, members organized a Parents’ Night Out program as a fundraiser for a young girl with cancer.  For more information on this club, please contact the Extension Office at 392-4246.

Start your own 4-H Club.  Our local 4-H program cannot grow without the assistance of dedicated adult volunteers.  Do you have an interest or a talent that you would like to share with youth in your community?  Were you a member of a 4-H Community Club as a child?  Do you have a few hours a month to volunteer?  If you answered yes to any of these questions, please contact the Extension Office to discuss the possibilities.

Cooking with Cloverbuds is an after-school program for youth ages 5 – 8.  Similar to Fun with Foods for older youth, participants learn through hands-on experience in the kitchen.  Cost is $28 for the series to cover food and supplies.  Maximum number of participants is 12.  

Club BTP (Between the Pages) - Between the Pages is a program developed by extension educators from the University of Wisconsin.  It is designed to help develop a love of books in young readers.  Campers will read a different story each day.  Games, crafts, and snacks all relate to the day’s book.  Cost for Between the Pages is $15 for materials and snacks.  This program is open to youth who are currently enrolled in kindergarten through second grade.  Leader is Madeline Buczek.

Junior Master Gardener:  Literature in the Garden - Prince Edward 4-H is excited to offer a new Junior Master Gardener after school program for youth in grades 3 - 5.  This program is based on the JMG curriculum Literature in the Garden, published by Texas A & M.  Leaders use quality children’s literature to connect kids to gardening and the natural world.  This fun, hands-on curriculum includes activities designed to strengthen skills in math, science, language, and social studies.   The JMG class will be led by Josie Fletcher and Chris Bianca, members of the Heart of Virginia Master Gardeners.  Literature in the Garden will meet on the first and third Mondays of each month. Cost of the program is $40 to cover snacks, and supplies. 

Fun with Foods is our popular after-school cooking class for youth ages 9 – 13 (as of Sept. 30, 2013).  Participants learn to read and follow a recipe while making a dish to take home.  Cost for the series is $28 to cover food and supplies.  Maximum number of participants is 15.  

S3 – Saturday Science Series – Former VCE Intern and senior biology major from Longwood, Jesse Schrader has volunteered to lead this exciting new program designed to bring science to life through fun, messy, hands-on experiments that will really make you think!  How do you turn a simple demonstration into a real experiment?  What are variables, again??  Have a science project due at school and need some help? This program is appropriate for youth ages 9 and older.

Prince Edward 4-H relies on volunteers to help our program grow.  Volunteers are needed to assist with all after school programs.  There are also opportunities to volunteer with in-school programs:  judges are needed for the science fair and for 4th grade presentations contests.  We could also use volunteers to assist with science fair instruction for 7th graders.  Volunteers are needed to lead new after school programs and clubs.  Training is provided.  Call the Extension Office at 392-4246 to discuss the possibilities.

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