Cooperative Extension


The mission of the Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE) is to improve the lives of citizens in Stafford County through an educational, research-based process that uses scientific knowledge focused on issues and needs.

Who Are We?

VCE is a dynamic organization that stimulates positive personal and societal change, leading to more productive lives, families, farms and forests, and a better environment in semi-urban and rural communities. VCE provides information to county residents and assists them in applying the results of scientific research and technological development in agriculture/horticulture, including water quality; 4-H youth development; food, nutrition, and health; and family and consumer sciences.

4-H Youth Development

  • Engages youth (ages 5-18) in learning leadership, citizenship, and life skills.
  • Programs include: overnight and day camps, in-school and homeschool enrichment programs, community-based clubs and county, district, state, and national competitions and events.

Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) SNAP-Ed

  • Enhances and supports BOTH the community AND the individual by focusing on the family system.
  • Programs focus on how to make healthier food choices and become better managers of available food resources for optimal health and growth
  • Implement policy, system, and environmental changes in schools, retail stores, and farmers' markets that accept SNAP benefits.

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR)

  • Program educates the public by focusing on sustainable agriculture and landscape management in an environmentally friendly manner.
  • Offers pesticide applicator certification classes.
  • Master Gardener course is offered to educate and equip volunteers with the knowledge, skills, and ability to serve others in the community better.
  • The Smart Green Lawns program provides an individualized report to county homeowners on specific steps to improve their lawns in an environmentally responsible way.
  • Water Quality Programs to support the Chesapeake Bay Act.

Community Viability (CV)

  • Partners with Virginia communities to promote and sustain vibrant economies, healthy and safe environments, and social well-being. We engage diverse audiences to deliver client-centered education, connect resources, and build partnerships.

Budget Summary

Funded Positions

Notable Changes


  • 4.5% Pay Scale Adjustment
  • 2.0% Salary Increase

  • Restore FY21 budget reductions (COVID)
  • Increase in Virginia Cooperative Extension local support


  • Provide educational programs in Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) – ANR programs help sustain the agricultural and forestry production profitability while protecting, preserving, and enhancing the quality of land and water resources. (Service levels 2 and 3)
  • Provide information and educational programs promoting environmentally sound landscaping and gardening practices. This includes Water Quality Programs that support the Chesapeake Bay Act. (Service levels 2 and 3)
  • Educate families to stretch tight budgets, how to buy nutritious food options and how to prepare healthy food, to create a culture of health. (Service level 1)
  • Provide learning experiences that meet the needs of youth, families, and communities through 4-H Youth Development. (Service levels 2 and 3)
  • Expand all virtual programming to meet the needs of our diverse community. (Service levels 1, 2, and 3)

Service Levels for Cooperative Extension