Carrie Swanson is the Animal Science Agent for Albemarle County and your first point of contact for general questions and information relating to livestock, pastures and horses. She also serves the neighboring counties of Nelson, Louisa, Fluvanna and Greene. Carrie’s specialty is in horse management and nutrition, but she has a broad background in production livestock species as well. 

Other agents (along with their specialties) who also serve Albemarle County residents include:

While viewing the family unit as the cornerstone of a healthy community, Family and Consumer Sciences Extension Agents and volunteers work in Charlottesville and Albemarle County with a focus on improving wellness for individuals and their families.  There are many aspects of overall wellness including nutrition, health, financial management, and family dynamics throughout the life span.  As educators, community resources, and links to professionals throughout the community, their goal is to implement effective educational and outreach programs that provide people with the life skills needed to make positive changes, and improve their overall sense of well-being.

Resources

The Albemarle/Charlottesville 4-H Program offers many exciting activities for kids! Join a local club and work on hands-on projects; join us for one of our camping experiences; participate in a workshop or contest; enjoy programs offered through our local schools; or contact us with suggestions of other ways we might bring 4-H to your neighborhood!

More specifically, youth can be involved in Albemarle 4-H in four ways:

Join a 4-H CLUB

4-H Clubs are ways for kids to get together with others who have similar interests. We have clubs available for youth ages 5-18. We offer a variety of clubs from which to choose and all are located in either the city of Charlottesville or surrounding Albemarle County.

To join a club, visit our blog to see the current club listings and contact the leaders of the clubs that interest you for more information. It is suggested that you attend a meeting or two first to decide if the club is a good fit for you. If not, try another or speak to the 4-H Extension Agent about starting your own club!

Upon deciding which club to join, you will need to fill out the 4-H member enrollment forms found on the blog. Parents who wish to volunteer with the club will need to fill out the volunteer forms. It is free to join, and all of our programs are either free or as low cost as possible.

4-H International Exchange Opportunities  

We have a number of families hosting 4-Hers from around the world AND a number of our 4-Hers traveling abroad for an exchange program. Some of our students have gone to Costa Rica and Japan and other students from Japan and Norway have been hosted by our families here.  

For more specific details you may visit our 4-H International Exchange website. Feel free to contact any of our volunteers listed with questions.

Participate in a Unique CAMPING Experience

Virginia 4-H specializes in the camping experience. 4-H day camps and overnight camps focus on developing leadership and life skills - social, mental and physical. We offer a number of camps all year long! Some are held locally in Charlottesville and others are at our Holiday Lake 4-H Center or other 4-H Educational Centers in Virginia.

In-School Programming

We offer programming and support in all ten 4-H Curricular areas: Animal Science; Citizenship; Communication and Expressive Arts; Natural Resources and Environmental Education; Family Sciences; Foods, Nutrition and Health; Careers and Economic Education; Leadership and Personal Development; Plants, Soils and Entomology; and Science, Engineering and Technology.

More specifically we offer direct instruction in the following each year:

  • 4-H Public Speaking (February-March) lessons on how to research, write and deliver a speech. Program begins in February and ends in March with a County and District wide Public Speaking Contest open to all youth ages 5-19. Current membership in 4-H is not required.
  • 4-H Tree Programs (March-April) with tree orders, tree identification lessons and tree planting projects. Project Learning Tree training is offered a few times a year in partnership with Virginia Tech's Department of Forestry, the Virginia Department of Forestry and the American Forest Foundation.
  • 4-H Embryology Program (April). Order fertilized avian eggs and incubate them in your classroom or organization setting.  Complete instructions, curriculum materials, guidance and agent support provided.
  • School/Community Garden Education Project (year-round) in partnership with local Master Gardeners and Master Naturalists. For information about assistance we can provide please contact us.  
  • Watershed programs (April-May and Sept.-Oct.) - assistance with local 4th grade watershed curriculum at Camp Albemarle in Free Union, VA.  Partners include Thomas Jefferson Soil and Water Conservation DistrictAlbemarle County SchoolsCharlottesville City Schools and the Rivanna Master Naturalists.

To learn more about Albemarle/Charlottesville 4-H, visit our blog!

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 Expertsystem. 

Community Viability Specialists