Virginia Cooperative Extension - Loudoun

VCE Loudoun promotes healthy living and food systems, stewards the environment, & engages youth. Department of Agriculture, and local governments. and 5:00 p.m.

Virginia Cooperative Extension is a partnership of Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, the U.S. Its 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, military status, or any other basis protected by law. If you are a person

01/10/2024

Eating a balanced diet is an integral part of living well. Here is some cooking inspiration during these winter days!

View more recipes ➡ https://ext.vt.edu/.../family-nutrition-program/recipes.html

This hearty soup is a well balanced meal, perfect for a winter weekend! 🥰 View more recipes ➡ https://ext.vt.edu/food-health/family-nutrition-program/recipes.html

01/09/2024

The 2024 Forage Conference is all about “Forage Strategies for Improved Livestock Performance” Find out more about the Conference or register online at vaforages.org
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Speakers:
Dr. Anibal Pordomingo - Overview of forage-based animal nutrition and how to fill the nutritional gaps
Dr. Richard Watson - Discussing agronomic, grazing and cultural practices to optimize forage quality
Jared Luhman - Highlighting the impacts of livestock genetics on performance and how to develop a herd that can be more productive under your conditions
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Locations:
Jan 23 - Wytheville, VA,
Jan 24 - Chatham, VA
Jan 25 - Warrenton, VA
Jan 26 - Weyers Cave, VA
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01/08/2024

Congratulations to our 2023 graduating class of VCE Loudoun Master Gardeners! 19 Master Gardener Interns completed 75 volunteer hours of serving Loudoun County residents through programs like our Virtual Help Desk, Garden Clinics, Demonstration Garden, Healthy Virginia Lawns, and more!

Applications for the 2025 class will open in mid-September. https://loudouncountymastergardeners.org/become-a-master-gardener/

The Thriving Farmer Vegetable Summit 01/04/2024

Join this free, three-day summit to gain knowledge about how to plan, grow, and market your vegetables. This event will feature over 27+ success growers and sellers.

The Thriving Farmer Vegetable Summit Join us for the Thriving Farmer Vegetable Summit to learn all about growing, marketing, and selling vegetables fresh from your farm! You’ll learn f...

01/02/2024

The Veterans Business Outreach Center of New England, in partnership with the USDA, invites veterans, service members, and military spouses to Boots to Business Reboot for Veteran Beginning Farmers and Ranchers. Register at: https://bit.ly/b2b_jan22

This full day workshop will aid those interested in exploring agriculture-based business ownership by leading participants through the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan. Participants are introduced to a broad spectrum of entrepreneurial business concepts and resources, from experts across the industry, to access start-up capital, technical assistance, and more.

January 22, 2024
10:00am – 5:00 pm EST
Virtual

Topics will include: What is Entrepreneurship?; Homestead vs. Business Opportunity?; Doing Your Market Research – who is buying what you are growing/raising?; Financing Your Venture – short term and long range; Selecting the Correct Legal Structure for your Farm/Ranch; The Economics of Agriculture; Business Planning – from idea to roadmap; and SBA/USDA Resources for You.

12/22/2023

Loudoun County Teens: This winter break, consider applying to be a Camp Counselor or Counselor-in-Training! VCE Loudoun 4-H is actively seeking teens to support campers and help run 2024's Loudoun-Fauquier 4-H Junior Camp.

Camp will be held from June 30 - July 4, 2024. Sign up at: bit.ly/4-HCounselor24

We are seeking:
- Teens who are positive role models and enjoy working with children ages 9-13
- Teens who like to have fun and help others
- Teens who want to become better leaders and improve skills for the future

Have any questions? Reach out to Kim Monroe at [email protected] or 703-737-8880.

Camp Counselor & Counselor-in-Training applications are open! VCE Loudoun 4-H is actively seeking teens to support campers and help run 2024's Loudoun-Fauquier 4-H Junior Camp. Camp will be held from June 30 - July 4, 2024. Sign up at: bit.ly/4-HCounselor24

We are seeking:
- Teens who are positive role models and enjoy working with children ages 9-13
- Teens who like to have fun and help others
- Teens who want to become better leaders and improve skills for the future

Have any questions? Reach out to Kim Monroe at [email protected] or 703-737-8880.

12/22/2023

VCE Loudoun will be closed starting at 12 p.m. Friday, December 22 through Tuesday, December 26, 2023, in observance of the holidays.

County government administrative offices will be closed starting at 12 p.m. Friday, December 22 through Tuesday, December 26, 2023, in observance of the holidays.

12/21/2023

How does one measure and monitor what's happening below the ground in the soil food web? 4 the Soil interviewed Dr. Stuart Grandy, of the University of New Hampshire to discuss the diversity of soil life and emerging sensor technologies to probe soil organic matter, soil carbon, and overall health. bit.ly/3thSats

Dr. Grandy outlines why core soil health principles are essential for encouraging fungal hyphae, increasing the diversity of habitats, and enhancing food substrates needed to build a robust soil food web. He emphasizes how important the power of observation is and how he is constantly inspired by farmers' observations and their ongoing on-farm research for increasing productivity and reducing environmental impacts.

12/20/2023

Thank you for your contributions to VCE Loudoun's sock drive. Together, we donated over 380 pairs of socks to Loudoun County's Hypothermia Prevention Shelter! We couldn't have done this without you.

12/18/2023

The Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) offices will be closed to in-person services Thursday, December 21, 2023, for an all-day staff training. The office will reopen Friday, December 22. Details here: https://bit.ly/4aETlUH

The Virginia Cooperative Extension - Loudoun offices will be closed to in-person services Thursday, December 21, 2023, for an all-day staff training. The office will reopen Friday, December 22. Details here: https://bit.ly/4aETlUH

In need of custom disking and drilling of cover crops 12/13/2023

Ben Turner is looking for someone he can hire to spread manure, disk and drill sorghum sudan grass cover crop across 12 acres in May. To learn more about this opportunity, visit: https://loudounfarm.exchange/listing/in-need-of-custom-disking-and-drilling-of-cover-crops/

You can create your own listings or 'help wanted' posts on the Loudoun Farm Exchange, https://loudounfarm.exchange

In need of custom disking and drilling of cover crops Category: Seeking Farm Services or Consulting; Vendor: [email protected].

Grazing through Snow 12/12/2023

Are you and your herd ready for winter grazing? In this video, Extension Agent Carl Stafford explains how to plan for winter grazing & occasional snowstorms.

This is a Graze 300 Virginia video, part of a Virginia Cooperative Extension initiative to enable Virginia farmers to achieve 300 days of livestock grazing by facilitating better pasture management and environmental stewardship.

Grazing through Snow This Graze 300 Virginia video is part of an Extension initiative to enable Virginia farmers to achieve 300 days of livestock grazing by facilitating better p...

12/08/2023

VCE Loudoun is hiring an Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent that specializes in Animal Science! For more details and to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/3RiJ2O6

VCE Loudoun is hiring an Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent that specializes in Animal Science! For more details and to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/3RiJ2O6

Are you passionate about agriculture and animal science, and want to make an impact here in Loudoun County? You could be VCE Loudoun's next Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) Agent! ANR agents serve as educators, communicators, connectors, and subject-matter experts – identifying local agricultural needs and seeking to address them.

The Animal Science ANR Agent will:
- Work closely with livestock producers, agents, and specialists to identify and prioritize local needs related to agricultural production, marketing, and environmental protection.
- Foster communication between livestock producers, marketers, processors, and consumers.
- Provide research-based information on agriculture to Loudoun County farmers & residents.

Please share this message with your networks.

12/07/2023

This , we're highlighting what shrubs and trees to prune this month. Check out Virginia Cooperative Extension's guides: 🌲⬇
- Shrub guide: https://bit.ly/426-701
- Deciduous tree pruning guide: https://bit.ly/SPES-403P
- Evergreen pruning guide: https://bit.ly/SPES-402P

Happy December! It's time to prune these shrubs and trees: 🌲⬇

Shrub guide: https://bit.ly/426-701

Deciduous tree pruning guide: https://bit.ly/SPES-403P

Evergreen pruning guide: https://bit.ly/SPES-402P

12/04/2023

If you’re reading this thinking “Lime? I’ve never applied that!” it’s time for a soil test.

If you're thinking "I apply lime every year no matter what!" ... it's also time for a soil test!

With only a few exceptions, the climate in Virginia causes unlimed soils to be moderately to strongly acidic. Acidic soil can reduce a plant’s ability to use nutrients, especially phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and nitrogen 👎 (which are vital for plants to grow!). Acidic soil can reduce the yield from your garden and make it difficult for turfgrass to grow, which can make your lawn extra w**dy.

The only way to know how much lime you need to apply is to get a soil test. You can swing by VCE Loudoun's Office at 750 Miller Dr. SE, Suite 161, Leesburg, VA, to pick up your own testing kit.

To learn more about lime and acidity in VA soils: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/.../en/452/452-510/452-510.html

To learn more about what your soil test results mean: https://youtu.be/re9v0lJ_yMA

If you’re reading this thinking “Lime? I’ve never applied that!” it’s time for a soil test.

If you're thinking "I apply lime every year no matter what!" ... it's also time for a soil test!

With only a few exceptions, the climate in Virginia causes unlimed soils to be moderately to strongly acidic. Acidic soil can reduce a plant’s ability to use nutrients, especially phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and nitrogen 👎 (which are vital for plants to grow!). Acidic soil can reduce the yield from your garden and make it difficult for turfgrass to grow, which can make your lawn extra w**dy.

The only way to know how much lime you need to apply is to get a soil test.

Fall and winter is the ideal time to get a soil test. If you get your test results and apply any recommended lime now, your soil will have all winter to absorb it and will be ready for planting in spring.

A routine soil test from costs $10. You can get one from your local office! To get a soil test:
1. Go to https://ext.vt.edu/offices.html and click your county
2. Look on your county’s Extension office website for any instructions about soil testing. In most counties you can pick up soil testing boxes and info at the local office. You can call them and ask where to pick up a soil test kit.
3. Pick up a soil testing kit.
4. Collect and package your soil sample (follow the instructions the Extension office gives you).
5. Mail your soil sample & wait for your results including recommendations for application of lime.

Learn more about lime and acidity in VA soils: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/content/pubs_ext_vt_edu/en/452/452-510/452-510.html

If you want to learn more about what your soil test results mean, we have a webinar with in-depth info: https://youtu.be/re9v0lJ_yMA

Image text/description:
A large bag labeled garden lime with text reading "When was the last time you applied lime? With only a few exceptions, the climate in Virginia causes unlimed soils to be moderately to strongly acidic.
Regular soil testing and lime application are an important part of lawn and garden maintenance BUT don’t apply without getting a soil test first!"

12/01/2023

Camp Counselor & Counselor-in-Training applications are open! VCE Loudoun 4-H is actively seeking teens to support campers and help run 2024's Loudoun-Fauquier 4-H Junior Camp. Camp will be held from June 30 - July 4, 2024. Sign up at: bit.ly/4-HCounselor24

We are seeking:
- Teens who are positive role models and enjoy working with children ages 9-13
- Teens who like to have fun and help others
- Teens who want to become better leaders and improve skills for the future

Have any questions? Reach out to Kim Monroe at [email protected] or 703-737-8880.

11/30/2023

VCE Loudoun is offering a Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification Training on December 14th, 2023! Join us from 2:00pm - 5:00 pm at our office, 750 Miller Dr. SE, Suite 161, Leesburg, VA.

To register, email Beth Sastre at: [email protected].

This session will provide recertification credit for all private pesticide applicators in categories 90 (Food, Fiber, and Forestry, Crops and Commodity Production) and 91 (Ornamental Production).

11/30/2023

for the Holidays this year and support local farms and businesses! Visit https://hubs.li/Q029jMhS0 and get tree farm hours, directions, an interactive map, and more.

🎄
🎁
🎅

📷: Blue Ridge Tree and Berry Farm

11/28/2023

VCE Loudoun is hiring an Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent that specializes in Animal Science! For more details and to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/3RiJ2O6

Are you passionate about agriculture and animal science, and want to make an impact here in Loudoun County? You could be VCE Loudoun's next Agriculture & Natural Resources (ANR) Agent! ANR agents serve as educators, communicators, connectors, and subject-matter experts – identifying local agricultural needs and seeking to address them.

The Animal Science ANR Agent will:
- Work closely with livestock producers, agents, and specialists to identify and prioritize local needs related to agricultural production, marketing, and environmental protection.
- Foster communication between livestock producers, marketers, processors, and consumers.
- Provide research-based information on agriculture to Loudoun County farmers & residents.

Please share this message with your networks.

11/28/2023

Spondylolisthesis, often called “kinky back,” is a deformity that affects broiler chickens’ spines. The deformity occurs in the fifth and/or sixth vertebrae (T6) and leads to spinal cord compression, making it hard for birds to walk.

This article describes some characteristics of this disorder and some preventive methods to reduce the prevalence of this condition in a broiler chicken flock.

https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/APSC/apsc-189/apsc-189.html



Photo: Step platforms and laser lights can be resources to stimulate exercise and strengthen broilers’ bones and muscles. (Photo courtesy of Lourenco-Silva et al. 2023.)

11/27/2023

It's the last week to donate to VCE Loudoun's Sock Drive! We are accepting donations through Thursday, November 30.

All types of socks are welcome! We ask that you donate new, unworn sock at our office, 750 Miller Dr. SE, Leesburg. Donations will go directly to Loudoun County's Hypothermia Prevention Shelter. To learn more about their programs, visit https://bit.ly/3MCatQb.

VCE Loudoun is organizing a sock drive, and we're asking for your help! All types of socks are welcome! We ask that you donate new, unworn sock at our office, 750 Miller Dr. SE, Leesburg. We will be accepting donations through November 30th.

Donations will go directly to Loudoun County's Hypothermia Prevention Shelter.

11/27/2023

You can make a holiday wreath with plants in your landscape! Many conifers and even some broadleaf evergreens are great to use for holiday greenery.

Pines, firs, and cedars are good to use for indoor decoration since they dry out slowly and hold their needles best at warm interior temperatures. They may last for several weeks if properly treated and cared for.

Hemlock, spruces, and most broadleaf evergreens will do better when used for outdoor decorating.

Boxwood, cedars, firs, hollies, junipers, pines, spruces, mountain laurel, and magnolia can also be used in decor.

For more greenery ideas: bit.ly/410mCVq

You can make a holiday wreath with plants in your landscape! Many conifers and even some broadleaf evergreens are great to use for holiday greenery.

Pines, firs, and cedars are good to use for indoor decoration since they dry out slowly and hold their needles best at warm interior temperatures. They may last for several weeks if properly treated and cared for. Hemlock, spruces, and most broadleaf evergreens will do better when used for outdoor decorating.

Boxwood, cedars, firs, hollies, junipers, pines, spruces, mountain laurel (a traditional evergreen in the South for wreaths and garlands) and magnolia can be used in decor.

More greenery ideas: https://hgic.clemson.edu/factsheet/holiday-decorating-with-fresh-greenery/

Image description:
Grid with nine closeups of green foliage and labels. Greenery with small leaves labeled boxwood; bough of needle leaf evergreen with pinecones labeled cedar; cloueup of branch of needleleaf evergreen labeled fir; pointy broadleaf evergreen leaves with red berry covered branch labeled holly; lush, needle leaf evergreen shrub with blue berries labeled juniper; closeup of broadleaf evergreen with large damp leaves labeled magnolia; bough of broadleaf shrub with medium sized lush leaves labeled mountain laurel; closeup of branch with long needles labeled pine; closeup of brown branch with small sparse needles labeled spruce.

11/22/2023

Enjoy the good eating this Thanksgiving! And keep in mind these food safety tips from U.S. Department of Agriculture.
https://bit.ly/3Rb3ctz

¿Pavo? Listo. ¿Relleno? Listo. ¿Mantener los hábitos riesgosos fuera de la cocina este Día de Acción de Gracias? Márcalo de tu lista visitando la guía para unas fiestas infalibles en U.S. Department of Agriculture https://bit.ly/47xGYqY

11/21/2023

Poultry flocks that are allowed to range outside are at risk of being preyed upon by domestic and wild animals. What preventative measures can we take to limit this risk? Professor Leonie Jacobs of Virginia Tech shares her tips.

https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/APSC/apsc-192/apsc-192.html



Photo by Leonie Jacobs

11/21/2023

County government administrative offices will be closed starting at 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, November 22 through Friday, November 24, 2023, in observance of .

11/20/2023

As freezing weather approaches, make a plan to mulch any susceptible plants you have! Newly planted trees and shrubs may require a layer of mulch to persist through winter. Mulch provides insulation for the soil and plant roots.

For more information on winter mulching: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-326/426-326.html

In the summer, mulch helps reduce w**ds growing in your garden, but in the winter, mulch acts as insulation for the soil and plant roots (which are more sensitive to cold than stems).

Newly planted trees and shrubs may require a layer of mulch to help survive winter.

As freezing weather approaches, make a plan to mulch any susceptible plants you have after the soil cools off but before it's frozen.

For more information on winter mulching: https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/426/426-326/426-326.html

Image text:
Winter Mulch 101

WHAT: Winter mulches are used primarily to protect shrubs and flowers from severe winter temperatures and frost heaving. They are laid down in late fall and serve as insulation during the winter.
WHEN: Winter mulches should be laid down in early winter, once the soil has cooled but before it has frozen.
Mulch made from organic materials:
Straw makes a good winter mulch or mulch for the vegetable garden. It is inexpensive, suppresses w**ds, conserves moisture, and insulates well. But it's not very attractive, may contain seeds, & extremely flammable.
Purchase “straw” rather than “hay,” as hay contains many w**d seeds. Mulch 6 to 8 inches deep
Bark mulches resist compaction, will not blow away, are very attractive, and are readily available. Some shredded barks, such as cypress, decompose slowly.

Pine needles are attractive, decompose slowly, resist compaction, and are easy to work with. They are often available commercially or are free if you have pine trees on your property.

Leaves that have been shredded with a composting mower are sometimes used as a summer mulch, although they decompose very quickly. Whole leaves can be used instead, but they tend to mat together and block water movement into the soil.

11/16/2023

The fall season is an important transition period of turfgrass growth and development, and the management of your warm- and cool-season grasses at this time of year means a great deal in terms of anticipated success in your lawn the following spring. Glean some fall lawn care tips from some of Virginia Cooperative Extension's leading turfgrass experts.

https://www.pubs.ext.vt.edu/430/430-520/430-520.html

ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan | Loudoun County, VA - Official Website 11/16/2023

ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan | Loudoun County, VA - Official Website The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandates that all State and Local Government agencies (referred to as Title II agencies) employing 50 or more individuals must undertake an ADA Self-Evaluation and Transition Plan. This requirement extends to all public entities, regardless of their size. 

11/15/2023

Thank you so much to those of you who have donated to VCE Loudoun's Sock Drive. We will continue to accept donations through the end of the month.

All socks will be donated directly to Loudoun County's Hypothermia Prevention Shelter. To learn more about their programs, visit https://bit.ly/3MCatQb.

VCE Loudoun is organizing a sock drive, and we're asking for your help! All types of socks are welcome! We ask that you donate new, unworn sock at our office, 750 Miller Dr. SE, Leesburg. We will be accepting donations through November 30th.

Donations will go directly to Loudoun County's Hypothermia Prevention Shelter.

11/14/2023

The 2024 Virginia Tech Beef Cattle Health Conference will be held on January 27, 2024 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Register online at: tinyurl.com/2024BeefHealth

The day will be filled with lectures and labs on topics that benefit all producers! The topics include nutritional forages, pre-conditioning, bull selection, reasons cows are open, emergencies, and smart farming. The day will conclude with the labs: BBSE, hay loss, BQAT, and treating pinkeye. Lunch and educational materials will be provided; registration fee is $15.

You may contact Lisa McCormick at (540) 231-2792 if you have any additional questions.

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The Loudoun County office of Virginia Cooperative Extension is your local connection to Virginia's land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.

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750 Miller Drive SE, Suite 161
Leesburg, VA
20175

Opening Hours

Monday 8:30am - 5pm
Tuesday 8:30am - 5pm
Wednesday 8:30am - 5pm
Thursday 8:30am - 5pm
Friday 8:30am - 5pm

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