Cooperative Extension

The Nelson 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 Nelson 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.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) programs help sustain the profitability of agricultural and forestry production and enhance and protect the quality of our land and water resources. We help the agriculture industry use the most current technology and management practices to develop strong businesses that prosper in today’s economy. We deliver programs that help put research-based knowledge to work for Virginia’s agriculture industry. ANR programs are directed toward a broad range of needs associated with the production of animals, seafood, food crops, greenhouse and nursery products, turf, and forests; the financial management of agricultural enterprises; and the protection of the environment.

Grace Monger serves as the Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent in Nelson County. She was raised on a small beef cattle operation and is a product of the Rockingham County 4-H and FFA programs. Even though she comes from a long line of cattle and dairy farmers, Grace has a horticulture background and a passion for plant health. She is responsible for the Agriculture and Natural Resources Program and Extension Master Gardener Program in Nelson County. Grace is a resource for all landowners in Nelson County and especially enjoys connecting farmers to other farmers!

4-H Youth Development

4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills. 4-H, the largest comprehensive youth development program in the nation, educates young people, ages 5 to 18, through a variety of experiential techniques that encourage hands-on, active learning. More than 20,000 adults and teens volunteer their time and energy annually to help youth experience 4-H. Our programs assist more than 170,000 Virginia youth discover and build on their own ability to make good decisions, manage resources wisely, work effectively with others, and communicate successfully. Our 4-H camping program is one of the largest in the country and provides character-building experiences to participants at our six 4-H educational centers.

Erin Harris serves as our Extension Agent for 4-H Youth Development in Nelson County. She is a Pittsylvania County native who has called Nelson County home since 2018. She graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal and Poultry Sciences in 2017. Erin served as Program Assistant in Nelson County 4-H from 2018 to 2019 and is excited to be back. She has a passion for youth development and looks forward to growing the Nelson County 4-H program.

Community Viability

Community viability programs are dedicated to strengthening communities and their economic viability by creating innovative programs that allow citizens and local governments to respond to local issues. Our faculty can assess community needs, design a plan of action, and determine the appropriate delivery method suitable for various programs.

By matching local needs with resources available through the land-grant universities as well as other governmental and nonprofit agencies, we address problems unique to particular communities across the commonwealth. Our programs deal with leadership, entrepreneurship and small business development, land use and community planning, and economic opportunity development.