The Floyd County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is your local connection to Virginia's land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.
Through educational programs based on research and developed with input from local stakeholders, we help the people of Floyd County improve their lives.
We provide education through programs in Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth Development, and Community Viability.
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Future 4-H programs and events:
October 6 & 7 – Floyd County Arts and Crafts Festival (Concessions in the High School Cafeteria )
Family Consumer Sciences
A Meal Planning Formula
This year I purchased a tool to use with health fair attendees, participants of classes, etc. It is a large placemat with a divided plate pictured in the center and comes with an assortment of cards designed to visualize the ‘My Plate’ concept.
A quick review – Choose My Plate is a USDA nutrition guide designed to help us develop a healthy eating pattern. The general formula to follow is ½ plate fruits and vegetables, about ¼ of plate is grains (make ½ of those grains whole grains), about ¼ plate is protein (vary your choices to include beans, nuts, seeds, eggs, seafood along with the meat and poultry) complete the meal with a dairy choice. There are also the reminders to reduce sodium, saturated fats and added sugars.
Now back to that teaching tool I purchased. During a recent conversation, I was reminded that the bigger picture for the meal preparers is ‘my meal’. // It contains grain, protein and vegetables but is missing fruit and dairy so, to complete our meal what could we add? A quick check of the refrigerator and pantry reveals some canned pineapple, a bowl of apples, cheddar cheese, yogurt, ½ gallon of milk and frozen mixed berries. The cheddar cheese and a bowl of warm mixed berries for dessert sounds good to me.
Nebraska Cooperative Extension’s ‘formula’ method for making a casserole uses what’s on hand vs. having to make grocery run for that one item you are missing (https://food.unl.edu/making-casserole-whats-hand). In addition, Tennessee suggests a formula to use when making salad dressings (https://ag.tennessee.edu/fcs/Documents/SaladDressings.pdf).
To access more Choose My Plate information, tip sheets and recipes check out https://www.choosemyplate.gov/
Get creative, start experimenting with foods and flavors maybe creating your own formulas. There are a lot of tools and resources to help make eating healthy fun. Challenge yourself….
Dawn Barnes Family Consumer Sciences Agent
4-H Youth Development
May 17th marked the end of Floyd County 4-H’s 2017-2018 in-school programming year. In total, we facilitated more than 225 monthly programs throughout all 4th – 7th grade classrooms, as well as select programs within the Career and Technical Education Program at Floyd County High School. The success of these programs is in large part due to support we receive from Floyd County Public Schools.
Floyd County 4-H’s annual residential summer camp was held during the week of June 25-29 at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Educational Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake. Campers from Floyd, Giles, and Montgomery Counties enjoyed a week of fun and education while making lifelong memories. In total, there were over 380 campers, teen leaders, and adult volunteers that attended, included 135 attendees from Floyd County.
The 4-H program is excited to announce the formation of the ‘Floyd County 4-H Clover bud Livestock Club’, that began holding meetings in the late spring. This club is open to youth ages 5-8 and introduces them to concepts relating to the care of livestock animals, as well as showmanship techniques. These youth members will display their knowledge and skills during the annual Floyd Livestock and County fair which will be held on Saturday, September 8th at Chantilly Farm.
The 4-H Teen Club will be busy in the coming months, as they assist with the Floyd Livestock and County Fair and will serve refreshments during the county’s annual Arts and Crafts Festival on October 6th and 7th at Floyd County High School. The arts and crafts festival serves as the biggest annual fundraiser for Floyd County 4-H and operates with many volunteers of the 4-H program, including the Teen Club.
The 4-H Teen Club plans to have an active 2018-2019 year with the aforementioned events as well as reviving the Floyd 4-H Cloverbud Club. Plans for this club will include monthly meetings for youth ages 5-8. Information for this club will be released at a later date. If you would like more information about any of our club opportunities, please contact our office at 745-9307.
Finally, in-school programs will kick off during the first week of September and we are already looking forward to a busy and exciting year. Programs begin for the 7th grade students in September with an election program that will utilize guest speakers that are elected officials within the county. The students will learn about the election process and be prepared for officer elections that will take place the following. The remaining in-school programs for 4th – 6th grade students will resume in October and we are eager to see what the new programming year will bring!
4-H Youth Development Agent
Agriculture & Natural Resources
What is the difference between ppm and ppb mentioned in my recent test report?
Understanding the data measurements for lab test results is often difficult for the average consumer. While recent publicity regarding food and water contamination tends to raise public awareness, it also generates a host of questions that may or may not accurately relay how data measurement has changed.
Recently, I overheard a statement mentioning a vast increase in contamination of food and water by pesticides. The speaker went on to mention that they would no longer be consuming their favorite breakfast cereal, and they urged others to follow in response. This morning as I enjoyed my favorite “O’s” cereal, I thought back to the inaccuracy of the speaker’s comment. The US Food Supply is by far, one of the safest and most regulated industries in the world, and it has NOT seen an increase in contamination through the use of pesticides - in fact we have seen the opposite.
What we have experienced however, in an effort to produce the safest food possible, is the development of more accurate scientific data collection and measurement devices. These tools assist doctors, researchers, and government agencies to make informed decisions regarding our food and water consumption. I’m not going to argue the potential presence of contaminants. Contaminants are present whether I’m pushing a shopping cart, grabbing my steering wheel, or playing in the yard (once field) of a new home. What I’m simply saying is that science has improved various measurement devices, and in this modern day, data is measured in “parts per billion” (ppb) as opposed to the older science of detecting in “parts per million” (ppm).
The University of Minnesota has provided some analogies that may help us visualize the scale involved with regards to ppm (old) vs. ppb (new). For instance…
One ppm is similar to:
• one inch in 16 miles,
• one second in 11.5 days,
• one minute in two years, or
• one car in bumper-to-bumper traffic from Cleveland to San Francisco
Alternatively, ppb is an even smaller concentration measurement. One ppb is one part in 1 billion. One drop of food coloring in one of the largest tanker trucks used to haul gasoline would be a colorant concentration of 1 ppb. Additional analogies include:
• one silver dollar in roll stretching from Detroit to Salt Lake City,
• one sheet in a roll of toilet paper stretching from New York to London,
• one second in nearly 32 years, or
• one pinch of salt in 10 tons of potato chips.
A common mistake is to assume a concentration as ppm when it is really ppb. This is a big difference, such as the difference between $1 and $1,000. Many scientific lab analysis will have the concentration reported in ppm or mg/L and/or ppb or μg/L. It is up to us to be careful readers. When reading any lab results, be aware as they may switch the measurement units based on the different contaminants that are being examined. Until next time, I’ll say read carefully, examine the scientific fact, and enjoy making informed decisions.
Jon Vest Floyd County Extension Agent, ANR
Virginia Food Access Network (VFAN)
The Virginia Food Access Network (VFAN) accelerates efforts, connects partners, and shares resources to solve child hunger in Virginia and create nutritious food access for all Virginians.