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Our Virginia Cooperative Extension programs play a critical role in the department's translational mission.

Eat Smart Move More Virginia Cooperative Extension

Extension specialists put “knowledge to work” by reaching out to communities and extending resources through educational programming that solves public needs. In addtion, students have excellent opportunities to get real world experience through:

  • Developing, designing, and delivering research- and evidence-based educational handouts, modules, and programs in foods, nutrition, and exercise for diverse audiences.
  • Conducting research related to food, nutrition, and exercise education, behavior, and policy.

Meet our extension faculty and staff

Our extension faculty and staff are dedicated to extending the department and university's collective knowledge and resources to serve communities in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

History of Extension

Congress created the extension system over a century ago to address rural agricultural issues. At that time, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas, and 30 percent of the workforce was engaged in farming. Extension's engagement with rural America helped make the American agricultural revolution possible, which dramatically increased farm productivity.

Today, extension extends beyond agriculture and covers six major areas:

  • 4-H youth development
  • Agriculture
  • Community and economic development
  • Family and consumer sciences
  • Leadership development
  • Natural resources

Additional Resources


  • Bio Item
    Elena Serrano, MS, PhD , bio

    Professor, Extension Specialist, and Director of the Virginia Family Nutrition Program: Effectiveness of food and nutrition programs and initiatives to promote nutrition security; examination of contributors to food and nutrition security

  • Bio Item
    Sarah Misyak, PhD, MPH , bio

    Research Assistant Professor and Assistant Director and Program Manager for Research and Evaluation for the Virginia Cooperative Extension Family Nutrition Program (EFNEP and SNAP-Ed): Food Access; food and nutrition security; public health nutrition; program evaluation; health disparities