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All residents of Fairfax County are eligible to enroll in the Master Gardener Volunteer Training. This is an internationally recognized program of horticultural excellence. Trainees receive  hands-on and classroom education from Extension agents and specialists, university faculty, and green industry professionals.   Newly graduated Master Gardener Interns then receive training:  work on class projects such as Plant Clinics, Demonstration Gardens, Horticulture Help Desk, Workshops and Community Special Events. After completing the requirements: Interns become Certified Master Gardeners.  We have daytime and evening classes available for participants.

In Fairfax County there are two Master Gardener Programs:

Fairfax County Master Gardener Association

Green Spring Master Gardeners Program

The objective of the Virginia Household Water Quality Program (VAHWQP) is to improve the water quality and health of Virginians using private water supplies. Initiated in 1989, VAHWQP drinking water clinics have been conducted in nearly every county across Virginia, and 22,000 samples have been analyzed and results confidentially returned to participants. The best part: your water test results are explained in a helpful meeting, where ways of preventing contamination and treating water quality problems are also addressed.

Drinking water clinics are organized by your local Extension Agent and Virginia Tech faculty in the Biological Systems Engineering Department. Participation is voluntary and all information is kept strictly confidential. Anyone with a private water supply system (including wells, springs, and cisterns) may participate.

For more Information, Click here.

What's New


Registration for our 2019 clinic is NOW CLOSED. 

Virginia Household Water Quality Program  

Drinking Water Clinic 2019_final.pdf

We provide educational opportunities and information to people who use pesticides as part of their livelihood, to consumers with questions about the use and impact of pesticides in their everyday lives,  and to policy makers such as local, state, and federal government regulators and legislators.

People who apply pesticides professionally need to obtain a Pesticide Applicators Certificate.  Through education and examination, the certified applicator must maintain their certificate by attending re-certification classes every two years.

For more information please visit the Virginia Tech Pesticide Program.

Pesticide Certification and Recertification information below

Recertification for Private Applicators
Recertification for Commercial Applicators



A routine soil test package includes analysis for soil pH, P, K, Ca, Mg, Zn, Mn, Cu, Fe, and B, along with fertilizer and lime recommendations for the specified crop. Soluble salts and organic matter tests are also available. To obtain a Virginia Tech Soil Test Kit please visit the Virginia Cooperative Extension Office in Fairfax at the address below, or any Fairfax County Public Libraries.

Virginia Cooperative Extension
Fairfax County Office
12011 Government Center Pkwy, 10th floor
Fairfax, VA 22035

We also stock soil test kits at :
Merrifield Garden Center (Gallows Road and Fair Oaks Locations)
Burke Nursery 
Twins Ace Hardware (Fairfax City)
Campbell and Ferrara Nursery

  • Once you get the box and form, follow the directions for sampling on the back of the form.  You will need to take about 12-15 scoops of soil or more to make a composite sample representative of your test area.
  • You mail the soil and payment directly to the Soil Testing Lab at the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, VA for analysis.  A routine test is $10.  It typically takes about 10-14 days for a response.

For more Information, Click here.

Today’s families find themselves wanting to keep up with changes in their world; changes that happen at a faster and faster pace. Whatever your stage of life, Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Family and Consumer Sciences programs bring you knowledge you can use to make better decisions and improve your life. We bring you proven, reliable, non-biased information to help you with raising kids, eating right, spending smart and living well.


Virginia Cooperative Extension is looking for qualified applicants to become Master Food Volunteers!



Participants receive 30 hours of training over four days:

  • Basic nutrition
  • Meal planning
  • Cooking techniques
  • Food safety
  • Working with diverse audiences

At the end of the training, participants are equipped with the knowledge and skills to confidently help others improve their lives through balanced eating and healthy living. In return, participants commit to 30 hours of volunteer service within one year of the training.

Opportunities for service include health fair displays, food demonstrations at farmers' markets, teaching food safety classes, submitting articles to the media on nutrition and wellness, assisting with Extension nutrition programs for youth and adults, and much more!

Extension offers spring and fall training sessions for new Master Food Volunteers in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax. 

Participants are required to attend all four training dates and complete homework to fulfill the 30-hour training requirement.

Fall 2020 training in Arlington - Fridays- September 11, 18, 25 and October 2
9:00 am to 2:00 pm 
Snow date: TBA
Application deadline: TBA   

Training location:
Fairlington Community Center
3308 S. Stafford Street
Arlington, VA 22206

Fee of $120 will cover lunch, training materials, apron, tote bag and supplies.

1.    Download and complete the Master Food Volunteer Application.
2.    Return the completed application by the application deadline.
By email:
By mail:
Virginia Cooperative Extension 
Attn: Katie Strong 
12011 Government Ctr Parkway, 10th floor
Fairfax, VA 22035

3.    Applicants will be interviewed to determine their interest and availability. Applicants will    complete a criminal background screening, which is required for all VCE volunteers. 
4.    Payment is due two weeks prior to the first class day. 

Kirsten Kelley
Alexandria City, Arlington County, Fairfax County and Loudoun County

Katie Strong
Fairfax County
Aisha Salazar
Alexandria City & Arlington County


The Family Nutrition Program's mission is to teach limited-resource families 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.

Program coordinators for limited income families in Fairfax County may contact our local FNP team to learn more. For food, nutrition, and health programming for other audiences, please contact Kathryn Strong.


Vacant, Extension Agent
Collaborates with school teachers, school nurses, school food service staff, county agencies, and other partners to deliver research-based nutrition curricula to limited income families. This program teaches families and youth how to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals.

Vacant, Program Assistant (Spanish speaking)
Delivers comprehensive programs--primarily in Spanish--designed for parents of young children and adults of limited income families. Her programs teach skills to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals.

Shumaila Inayat, Program Assistant (English speaking)
Shumaila delivers comprehensive programs--primarily in English--designed for parents of young children and adults of limited income families. Her programs teach skills to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals. 

Saroj Khurana, Program Assistant
Saroj delivers comprehensive programs--primarily in English--designed for parents of young children and adults of limited income families. Her programs teach skills to buy and prepare healthy, affordable meals.

Vacant, Program Assistant
Delivers programs in English to youth of limited income families. This fun, interactive program teaches children skills to make healthy choices, handle food safely, and enjoy physical activity. 

The number of consumers preserving foods at home continues to increase, as more consumers emphasize greater control over what they eat and where their food comes from. Failure to adequately preserve foods in the home can result in foodborne illness. Many families don’t have the knowledge to safely preserve their food at home. Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agents provide a variety of opportunities to fill this educational need.

Extension routinely holds in-service training for FCS agents and food safety educators on canning and food preservation, in order to meet the demand for food preservation information. Throughout the state, FCS agents also provide a variety of home food preservation workshops designed to teach participants how to safely can, freeze, or dry their own foods. The types of food preservation support provided include:

  • General informational canning classes
  • Canning demonstrations at community events
  • Hands-on boiling water bath canning classes to teach how to safely can high acid foods
  • Hands-on pressure canning classes to teach how to safety can low acid foods
  • Pressure dial gauge inspections
  • Individualize home preserver support via phone/e-mail

4-H is the youth development education program of Virginia Cooperative Extension. 4-H is rich with learning experiences where 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.

Fairfax County 4-H offers programs for youth in a variety of delivery modes. 4-H clubs are led by caring adult volunteers and are open to all youth who wish to participate.

Our clubs fall under two categories:
Project clubs (focusing on a specific project area such as animals)
Community clubs (focusing on various projects)

Our most popular annual events include a 4-H junior camp-a residential camp held in July at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center in Front Royal, and the 4-H Fair.

For the most up-to-date information on upcoming programs, to find out more about clubs or to get most recent updates on events, visit our site at  or find us on social media.

Learn more about clubs in our county visit our website

Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria

Counselor Applications Open: October 16th, 2023
2024 FAA 4-H CAMP registration will open Feburary/March 2024.  

Camp Dates: June 23 - 27, 2024
Click Here for more information

Fill out our interest form to be the first to know when registration opens. 

The Fairfax, Arlington, and Alexandria (FAA) 4-H Junior Camp will be held at the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational Center . Camp is open to youth age 9-13. The camp fee includes transportation from camp, meals and lodging for five days and four nights, a camp t-shirt, and class supplies. Campers have the opportunity to pick their roommates if they like, and are then placed in a room with campers of similar age. Each morning, campers attend three different activities from options that include activities such as fishing, archery, horseback riding, or a ropes challenge course, plus much more. Lunch is followed by free recreation and swim time, and every evening campers enjoy a campfire, snack, and an evening program. For more information, please contact the Fairfax Cooperative Extension Office.

Registration will be completely online for both Campers and Counselors. Checks must be mailed to the Fairfax Cooperative Extension Office located at 12011 Government Center Parkway, 10th floor, Fairfax, VA 22035. Campers are not considered fully registered until all required paperwork and camper fees are received. Camper spaces and class selections are filled in the order they are received. 

74th Annual 4-H Fair

August 1 -4, 2024

4-H Fair Video

Register your entries online at

For more information click here

CLICK HERE for information on 2024 program 

The Embryology Program is an exceptional curriculum enrichment program that is designed to help students obtain a better understanding of life and embryonic development.  The bird egg is an excellent educational subject for the study of embryology. 

This program will teach students responsibility and caring for a living animal, teach respect for life and the value of all living organisms.  There will be an emphasize on a “hands-on” experience with a live animal, that will help students grasp developmental processes and stages of growth.  This program will also introduce and explain the topic of reproduction and its scientific processes, as well as other areas of science to the students. In addition, this program addresses several Standards of Learning.  If you would like to see the list of Standards of Learning addressed by the Embryology Program, please let me know.


There will be a $12 fee per dozen of eggs (plus cc fee if paid online). This fee will cover the cost of delivering the eggs to Fairfax County, 12 chicken eggs, and one copy of Beginning of Life Lesson Plans (comes with six lesson plans), and relocation of chicks after the program.  Checks can be made out to Treasurer, Virginia Tech (there will be a fee of $50.00 charged for all returned checks).

Registration has CLOSED ... 

Pennino Building, 10th Floor
12011 Government Center Parkway
Fairfax, VA 22035-1111

Pick-up: TBD
Drop-off: TBD

You as the teacher can also decide to keep the chicks if you have a safe and sustainable environment for them. Please note, if you need to borrow an incubator from the Extension Office, supplies are limited and it will be a first come, first serve basis.      

Deadline to register: TBD
Egg pick-up: TBD
Chick drop-off: TBD