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

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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.

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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