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Local Programs

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.

Programs we offer (FNP)

  • Adult Programs
  • Eating Smart and Moving More
  • Eat Smart, Being Active
  • Cook Smart, Eat Smart
  • Youth Program
  • Organwise Guys
  • Healthy Weights for Healthy Kids
  • Choose Health Fitness and Fun
  • Teen Cuisine
  • Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program
  • Growing Healthy Habits
  • Community Programs
  • Smart Choices in the Grocery Store
  • Food Security
  • Farmers Market Cooking Coaches
  • Faith-based and Community Volunteer Project

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

  • Balanced Living with Diabetes
  • LIFT

The Family Nutrition Program’s mission is to teach limited-resource families and youth how to make healthier food choices and become better managers of available food resources for optimal health and growth. Our programs focus on basic nutrition, physical activity, safe food handling, and thrifty food shopping.

The Family Nutrition Program is offered through Virginia Cooperative Extension, an educational outreach partnership between Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.


Master Food Volunteer Program  

Combine your love of cooking, nutrition, physical activity, and helping others by becoming a Virginia Cooperative Extension Master Food Volunteer.

The Master Food Volunteer Program helps Extension reach more Virginians with up-to-date, research-based knowledge on food preparation, nutrition, food safety, and physical activity.

Who Can Become a Volunteer?
Anyone who has an interest in food preparation, nutrition, food safety, or physical activity can apply.  Applicants should possess a desire to enhance their skills and knowledge and enjoy working with people.  There is no prior educational requirement for those interested in becoming a Master Food Volunteer.

Opportunities for Service
Volunteers help support Extension’s family and consumer sciences agents through education and outreach efforts. There is something for everyone!  

  •        Health Fairs
  •        Food demonstrations
  •        Women, Infants, and Children’s Program (WIC)
  •        Farmers market displays
  •        Grocery store displays
  •        4-H youth programs
  •        Judge at fairs
  •        Food preservation demonstrations
  •        Newspaper or newsletter articles on healthy eating, physical activity, and food preparation
  •        In-school and after-school programs
  •        Assist with education at food distribution sites
  •        Health ministries in your community
  •        Cooking classes
  •        Framers Markets

What is Expected?
Apply for and complete the mandatory 30-hour Master Food Volunteer training course.  To help support program costs and materials, a fee is required to participate in the training.  Identify volunteer opportunities that suit your skills and interests.  Reciprocate with 30-hours of service within one year of training.

Training Includes:

  •        Basic Nutrition
  •        Meal Planning
  •        Cooking Techniques
  •        Food Safety
  •        Exercise and Healthy Lifestyles
  •        Working with Diverse Audiences

Please contact Jane Henderson if you are interested at or 804-561-2481

Other FCS programs this office offers includes:

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

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