Family and Consumer Sciences programs improve the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities, and support economic self-sufficiency and family stability and emphasize appropriate and safe food and nutrition choices, encourage physical activity, and improve health literacy.

Use our new Ask-an-Expert system if you have questions about food, nutrition and health, family financial management, and family and human development.

Ask an Expert - Patrick Family and Consumer Science

For questions on Family and Consumer Sciences, Ask an Expert

The family unit is the cornerstone of a healthy community. Virginia Cooperative Extension strives to improve the well-being of Virginia families through programs that help put research-based knowledge to work in people's lives. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) educators help Virginians learn to make good choices for themselves and their families. This, in turn, strengthens their communities and the commonwealth.  

A Vision for a Stronger Commonwealth

Our Extension agents teach Virginians how to improve their quality of life by giving them the skills to:

  • Prevent chronic disease with a healthy diet and physical activity
  • Identify quality childcare
  • Plan for home ownership
  • Make good parenting decisions
  • Handle food safely
  • Be a wise grocery shopper
  • Handle credit wisely
  • Plan for elder care needs
  • Manage finances successfully
  • Prepare for and cope with disasters
  • Manage home-based businesses

FCS programs reach tens of thousands of families across the commonwealth each year. We work with other state and local agencies for many of our programs, and through these partnerships we maximize the impact and quality of our resources.  Our staff and trained volunteers help build and strengthen these collaborations and extend our resources to more Virginians.

Developing Life Skills

We help Virginians develop wellness life skills in our three pillar program areas:

  • Food, nutrition, and health
  • Family financial management
  • Family and human development

Whether preventing chronic disease with a healthy diet, purchasing a family home, or identifying quality childcare, Virginians benefit from the comprehensive education in these three FCS areas.

ServSafe Food Protection Manager Training and Exam

  • Revised Virginia food regulations require at least one employee with supervisory and management responsibility be a certified food protection manager through passing a test that is part of an accredited program. The Patrick County Extension Office offers this training and related exams during each year. Please click here for current course offerings.

Related Links

The youth development education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension, 4-H is rich with learning experiences in which young people partner with caring adults and volunteers in a fellowship unlike any other program available to youth today. Through 4-H, young people are encouraged to participate in a variety of activities that emphasize 4-H's "learning by doing" philosophy of youth development


Patrick County Marksmen Shooting Team


School Enrichment Club

Teen Council Club

Junior 4-H Camp


4-H School Enrichment Program: Handouts

Engaging with Communities

Virginia Cooperative Extension specialists in community viability work with Extension agents, campus-based faculty, organizational partners, communities, and individuals to further opportunity and build capacity in five program areas:   

Examples of our work include training county elected officials, educating entrepreneurs, facilitating collaborative projects, supporting the growth of community food systems and local economies, enhancing agent skills and community capacity in facilitation and leadership, conducting problem-driven research, and creating publications and tools that address critical community needs.

Do you have a question about Community Viability?

Perhaps one of the Community Viability specialists below can help you. Contact a Community Viability specialist or direct a question to them using our Ask an Expert system.

Community Viability Specialists

See a list of our Community Viability Specialists

The Family Nutrition Program’s mission is to teach limited-resource families and youth how to make healthier food choices and become better managers of available food resources for optimal health and growth. Our programs focus on basic nutrition, physical activity, safe food handling, and thrifty food shopping.

The Family Nutrition Program is offered through Virginia Cooperative Extension, an educational outreach partnership between Virginia Tech and Virginia State University.

Our funding comes from the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) to offer the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and from the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to offer Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) in Virginia.

Join us and start your journey to better living.  In our program you will learn how to:

        • Be active with the whole family

        • Plan meals, shop, and save money

        • Fill half of your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables

        • Find out why you need fiber and how to get enough

        • Discover why you still need dairy foods as an adult

        • Choose lean protein foods, including vegetarian options

        • Make small changes that will lead to healthier living

        • Prepare new recipes your kids will love


The Family Nutrition Program offers a range of programs to teach the basics of healthy eating, active living, food safety, and menu planning on a budget.

Adult Programs

Youth Program

Community Programs