Agriculture and natural resources (ANR) programs help sustain the profitability of agricultural and forestry production and enhance and protect the quality of our land and water resources. We help the agriculture industry use the most current technology and management practices to develop strong businesses that prosper in today's economy. We deliver programs that help put research-based knowledge to work for Virginia's agriculture industry.

ANR programs are directed toward a broad range of needs associated with the production of livestock, food crops, greenhouse and nursery products, turf, and forests; the financial management of agricultural enterprises; and the protection of the environment.

Crop and Soil Environmental Science

Pesticide Applicator Education

Brown Marmorated Stinkbug Information

The services available through this office include:  

Insect Identification Laboratory

Homeowners and farmers can submit insect samples for identification by bringing a live or dead insect sample (well preserved) to the Extension Office. Bring sample in a zip lock plastic bag. The Extension Agent will try to identify and make a recommendation if insect is a pest. If we are not able to identify, we will mail your insect sample to the Insect ID lab at Virginia Tech. You should have an answer in about 10-days.

Plant Disease Laboratory

Homeowners and farmers can submit plant samples for disease identification by bringing a plant sample with root intact in a ziplock bag with one pint of moist soil to the Extension Office. If Extension Agent is not available or able to identify disease, we will mail to the Plant Disease Laboratory at Virginia Tech. You should have an answer in about 10-days.

Weed Identification Laboratory

Homeowners and farmers can submit weed samples for identification by bringing freshly dug weed with root wrapped in a moist paper towel inside a ziplock bag to the Extension Office. If Extension Agent is not available or able to identify weed, we will mail to the Weed ID Laboratory at Virginia Tech. You should have an answer in about 10-days.

Soil Testing

Homeowners and farmers can submit soil samples to the Soil Testing Laboratory at Virginia Tech by picking up soil sample boxes at the Extension Office. We will provide you with the application form and instructions for taking the soil sample and mailing to the lab. A report will be mailed to you from the Soil Testing Lab with recommendations for the plant/crop you plan to grow. Soil samples generally take two weeks to receive a report back in the mail.

Youth in Highland County have many ways to become involved in 4-H such as being members of a 4-H Community or Special Interest Club, participating in our Junior 4-H Camp, competing in Presentations, Educational Exhibits and Share-The-Fun Contests at local and district levels, traveling internationally to the Dominican Republic, attending State 4-H Congress and National 4-H Congress, as well as various day camps. Highland County 4-H has a strong focus on community club participation, in-school programming, natural resource education, leadership and citizenship projects.

4-H Image Gallery

Highland County School Garden Newsletter

Upcoming Events

  • July 15 – Highland 4-H/FFA Livestock
  • July 24-28 – Junior 4-H Camp week, W.E. Skelton 4-H Center, Wirtz, VA

Meeting Schedules

  • 4th and 5th Grade In-School 4-H Clubs – 2nd Fridays, monthly
  • High School and Middle School In-School 4-H Clubs – 2nd Fridays, monthly
  • HES 1st & 2nd Grade Cloverbuds – 2nd Wednesdays
  • Busy Bee 4-H Club - 2nd Thursdays, Doe Hill United Methodist Church
  • Highland 4-H Horse Club – 2nd Thursdays, Monterey area
  • SHOOTING SPORTS 4-H CLUB – 1ST AND 3RD MONDAYS, HCPS Health Trailer
  • STEM 4-H Enrichment at the Library – Tuesday, once monthly, Highland Co. Public Library

If you are interested in seeing a 4-H Community Club created in Highland County, please contact Kari Sponaugle, 4-H Agent at 540-468-2225 or karis@vt.edu to help get this group started for youth ages 5-18.

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.

Community Viability Specialists

See a list of our Community Viability Specialists