Growing produce from seed to harvest, local children learn the value of nutrition through Market Kids program

Recently wrapping up its third season, the health district’s Market Kids program engages families of children ages 6 to 13 in horticulture, nutrition, and entrepreneurship as a way to improve health outcomes. Master of Public Health students served as co-coordinators of the program for their practicum. 

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Market Kids program at the Blacksburg Farmer's Market
Farmacy Garden sign

Virginia Cooperative Extension forms key partnerships to tackle the state’s opioid epidemic

In June, Virginia Cooperative Extension was awarded a $1.28 million grant for collaborative opioid work through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The grant was one of only six conferred nationally for addressing community needs.

Pictured left to right: Maurice Smith, Crystal Tyler-Mackey, Bonita Williams, and Kathy Hosig. Williams serves as national program leader with the NIFA division of youth and 4-H.
Pictured left to right: Maurice Smith, Crystal Tyler-Mackey, Bonita Williams, and Kathy Hosig. Williams serves as national program leader with the NIFA division of youth and 4-H.

“The rates of death as a result of opioid overdose are climbing, and they are over 50 percent greater in rural Southwest Virginia than for the state,” said Kathy Hosig, director for the Virginia Tech Center for Public Health Practice and Research and a specialist with Virginia Cooperative Extension, the outreach program for the state’s two land-grant universities: Virginia Tech and Virginia State University. “There is a clear role for Virginia Tech and Virginia Cooperative Extension to provide safety education and training at the community level to help stop the cycle of abuse.”

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