Friday, 22 July 2016

USVI AgDiscovery Camp 2016 Update

By Hope Thomas, UVICES Summer Intern under the direction of DaraMonifah Cooper, UVICES Communications Agent

Agriculture Youth Camp 2016 Highlights

By Hope Thomas, UVICES Summer Intern under the direction of DaraMonifah Cooper, UVICES Communications Agent
(Please note that an updated version will be uploaded by Wednesday 7/25/2016)

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Agriculture Nutrition & Sewing Camps Update

By Hope Thomas, UVICES Summer Intern under the direction of DaraMonifah Cooper, UVICES Communications Agent

Friday, 8 July 2016

Bordeaux Farmers Market Construction Caution

VI Consortium Photo
Listen as Commissioner of Agriculture Carlos Robles announces that the Bordeaux Farmers Market will be open for business this Sunday 10am to 5pm for the biweekly farmers market.

“We are attempting to find a workable solution to make the market accessible to the vendors and patrons during the non-construction days.” 
Patrons are asked proceed to the market with caution avoiding the areas under construction.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

160601 Radio Show | Agriculture Camp, Small Biz Week & United Way Collab

CES Communication Agent DaraMonifah Cooper
with John Osoinach and Mary Joe Williams of SBDC on 06/02/2016.
Photo by D'Ajahni M. Estrada-Petersen.
On this edition of our weekly radio show, 'What's Going on @UVICES', we spoke about our upcoming Agriculture Camp, SBDC's Small Biz Week and our recent Service Saturdays partnership with the United Way USVI. Visit: for details Visit our blog for info about the Ag Enrichment Summer Samp.

Listen weekly, Wednesdays from 3-4pm on WUVI 1090 AM/97.3 FM or streaming live on to our weekly radio program co-hosted by UVI Extension Staff DaraMonifah Cooper and Christina Chanes. We share lively interviews with UVICES Community Partners, Stakeholders, Administrators, Staff or Current and Past Clients as we discuss experiences and examples of how we all work together eXtending Knowledge and Changing Lives in, “Responding to the needs of the community.”

JUNE 2, 2016 GUESTS & TOPICS: John Osoinach, Mary Joe Williams of SBDC

  1. Small Business Week | More info
    Our involvement with collaborating on communications/PR
    What you can expect at the awards ceremonies and workshops 
  2. Agriculture Enrichment Summer Camp at UVICES | 2015 Camp | Application
    Application is available on the CES website
    Who the partners are and how we are collaborating
    Summer camp 2015 & what you can expect during summer 2016 
  3. United Way USVI’s Service Saturdays | Pictures
    Our involvement 
Listen below to the interview and tune in weekly from 3pm - 4pm on WUVI (1090 AM/97.3 FM, via live stream or use the app on your smart device). 
Up Now or Up Next @UVICES
· Agriculture Enrichment Summer Camp | Application
· Farmers Marketing Course
STT or STX campus
Computer Trainings: Classes & Workshops
Call (340) 693-4090 (STX) or (340) 693-1081 (STT)


· Tropical Fruits of the VI Book | Book Cover

Listen in to our What’s Going on @UVICES weekly radio show
3-4pm Wednesdays on WUVI AM 1090, FM 97.3 or via online stream!

eXtending Knowledge; Changing Lives! Connect with us online:

2016 Agriculture Enrichment Camp Taking Applications

Applications are available for the 2016 Agricultural Enrichment Summer Camp which will be conducted June 27 – July 22, 2016 on the St. Thomas campus of the University of the Virgin Islands. The goal of this four week program is to increase knowledge and create awareness of career and work opportunities in the field of agricultural science. The second objective of this initiative was to equip the participants with job preparation skills through classroom presentations, practical exercises and field activities. The Agricultural Enrichment Summer Camp represents a partnership between the Department of Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Virgin Islands University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, and the UVI Cooperative Extension Service (UVICES). The students will participate in numerous field trips and engage in a wide variety of learning and fun-filled activities to stimulate their interest in the various fields of agricultural science. They will work directly with a diversity of agriculture professionals, including crop and livestock producers, landscapers, agricultural instructors, inspectors, enforcement officers, etc.

Exploratory exercises of career topics in agriculture will include:
  • Horticulture
  • Veterinary medicine
  • Livestock and poultry science
  • Landscaping 
  • Irrigation Technology

Field trips and hands-on activities will include:
  • Ivanna Eudora Kean High School aquaponic farm
  • two local landscaping & plant nurseries
  • tool safety & usage demonstrations
  • Introduction to 4-H & FFA Organizations
  • UVI Marine Science Center
  • US Customs and Border Protection canine inspection demonstration
  • plant propagation (e.g. grafting, air layering)
  • local farms
  • plant Identification
  • seedling production
  • irrigation system assembly

Learn what the students were taught from their various experiences in 2015 shown in these facebook pictures and this video collage:

Some of the areas taught to youth had to do with fruit production (horticulture) and veterinary science. We also exposed them to livestock production, poultry production and landscaping. They even got to do to lots of hands on activities such as putting together irrigation systems, planting their own seeds, starting their own seedlings and transplanting. Other skills that the campers picked up last year had to do with grafting. They learned how to graft plants properly and how to prune trees. We also got support from We Grow Food, Inc., as one of the field trips that we took was to Estate Bordeaux and Sister Benita gave us a really good presentation. Additionally, one of the farmers Charles Leonard and his daughter Brittany came in and spoke to the topic of agri-business.

It was a very dynamic and successful venture and we intend to do so again this year. The age range last year was from 14 – 18 years old and we intend to keep that in place for the next time. We are looking forward to another program this summer and are informing the public that if they know youngsters interested in being a part of this summer camp, please let us know.

Farmers WIC Voucher Acceptance Meeting

Local farmer Ras Amaha selling produce at their monthly farmers market in Bordeaux, St. Thomas, USVI.
Photo by: DaraMonifah Cooper
The WIC Farmer's Market Nutrition Program Training was held on Thursday, June 9, 2016 from 6-8pm on St. Thomas in the Neil Weiss Hall of the University of the Virgin Islands. At this training and authorizing process, farmers were able to complete the required application and sign the agreement. Farmers were encouraged to attend and, if available, brought their photo ID, health card, farmer’s license, or business license, tax clearance letter and the schedule F tax document. VIDOA Director of Marketing Services, Billy Abraham, visited St. Thomas to share a presentation on the program, explained how farmers can participate, entertained a question and answers segment then authorized farmers to accept WIC Cash Value Vouchers.

New Ag Marketing Director Billy Abraham facilitated WIC Training
According to the USDA, the WIC FMNP was established by Congress in 1992, to provide fresh, unprepared, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants, and to expand the awareness, use of, and sales at farmers’ markets. The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) is associated with the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, popularly known as WIC. The WIC Program provides supplemental foods, health care referrals and nutrition education at no cost to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding post-partum women, and to infants and children up to 5 years of age, who are found to be at nutritional risk.

The goals of the USVI WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) are: Farmers market setting

  1. To provide WIC participants with checks to purchase locally-grown fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs at farmers markets.
  2. To provide WIC participants with nutrition education and the resources to encourage the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs.
  3. To increase the awareness and use of farmers markets.

For more information: 
Virgin Islands Department Of Agriculture
RR1 BOX 10345
Kingshill, VI 00850
Ph: (340)778-0997/8 ext. 256