Pesticide Education

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.

Master Gardener Programs

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

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.

Master Food Volunteer Trainings

Come join Extension as a Master Food Volunteer! We have two upcoming opportunities to train as a Master Food Volunteer in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William.

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!

Training Dates and Locations

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

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

OUR FALL 2017 TRAINING HAS BEEN SCHEDULED! Submit your application today!

Fridays, October 6, 13, 20 & 27, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. - Application deadline August 25th

Fairlington Community Center
3308 S Stafford St
Arlington, VA 22206

Training Cost

Fee of $100 will cover lunches, training materials, apron, tote bag, and supplies.


A limited number of scholarships are available. Recipients commit the bulk of their volunteer hours to programs in the county providing the scholarship. 

Arlington County: Complete this scholarship form and submit it along with your application

Fairfax County: Contact Katie Strong for opportunities in Fairfax. 

How to Apply

1. Download and complete the Master Food Volunteer Application.

2. Return the completed application by the application deadline.

By email: and


By mail:

Virginia Cooperative Extension Arlington Office
Attn: Jennifer Abel and Katie Strong
3308 S. Stafford St.
Arlington, VA 22206

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. 

Contact your local FCS Agents with questions:

Jennifer Abel
Arlington County and Alexandria City

Nancy Stegon
Prince William County

Katie Strong
Fairfax County and Arlington County

Financial Management, Housing, and Consumer Education Programs

Programming in this area is currently limited due to local staffing patterns.

Youth Financial Education Programs - Katie Strong

Food, Nutrition and Health Programs

Katie Strong, M.S., R.D., provides food, nutrition and health programs in Fairfax and Arlington counties. Her programs help youth, individuals and families make wise nutritional choices, prepare food safely, prevent chronic disease, and make the necessary lifestyle changes for optimal wellness. You can e-mail Katie at

Saroj Khurana, Patty Reyes, and Ellen Mathis provide free nutrition education opportunities for families and individuals with limited resources, through the Virginia Family Nutrition Program and SNAP-Education. Read more.

Food Safety Workshops - Katie Strong

Food Preservation and Cooking Workshops - Katie Strong

Child Development and Parenting Programs 

Programming in this area is currently limited due to local staffing patterns.

Home Food Preservation

2016 Workshops

Learn the basics of home food preservation with hands-on experiences and demonstrations. Science-based methods focus on food safety and quality. Workshops are perfect for beginners and those looking to brush up on their skills.

This year, workshops are being offered in:

  • boiling water canning - overview of canning basics & drying foods, hands-on workshop for jams, jellies & pickled products
  • pressure canning - overview of canning basics & freezing food, hands-on workshop for canning low-acid foods such as vegetables, beans and meats
  • food fermentation - overview of concepts and equipment for fermenting food (beer & wine not covered), hands-on workshop for fermenting fruits & vegetables

Register using the form below or download, print and return the registration form available at the right. Please remember that your space is not reserved until we receive your payment.

Food Preservation Workshops 2015 brochure (PDF | 202KB)

2015 workshop payment instructions (PDF | 140KB)

For the most up-to-date information on upcoming programs, visit our site at:

Fairfax County 4-H offers programs for youth in a variety of delivery modes.  Our 4-H clubs meet monthly and are either project clubs (focusing on a specific project area such as animals) or community clubs, which vary their projects and learning.  All 4-H clubs are open to all youth who wish to participate.  Most 4-H clubs are open to youth ages 9-18, but our Cloverbud clubs serve youth ages 5-8.  4-H clubs are led by caring adult volunteers.

Special interest workshops such as cooking, veterinary science, leadership, technology, and more are offered at various times depending on community needs. We also host our 4-H junior camp, a residential camp held in July at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center in Front Royal. State 4-H Congress is a residential program for teens 14-19 held in June on the Virginia Tech campus.

To find out more about our clubs, and the most recent updates on workshops, events, and other programs, visit our Blog, or find us on social media!

Picture of Fairfax 4H

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.

See a list of our Community Viability Specialists