Friday, August 29, 2014

Cool opportunity for bug lovers!

Hokie BugFest
Take a peek into the fascinating world of entomology at the fourth annual Hokie BugFest! This unique festival will take place on Saturday, October 11, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech (Latham Ballroom). The Inn is on the edge of the Virginia Tech campus off Price’s Fork Road, close to the 460 Bypass and near downtown Blacksburg. Plenty of parking will be available.

Activities and exhibits include a live Bug Zoo, a haunted Bug House, luminescent and cave-dwelling bugs, an ant farm, silkworm cocoons, games, and crafts. Bug enthusiasts can admire a giant bird-eating tarantula and a Formosan forest scorpion, watch cockroach races, see a working beehive, and meet the HokieBird. The themes of science and discovery are interwoven into all activities. 

New this year is a bee-waggle dancing contest. We will also feature an insect collection contest for individuals or groups. Other new attractions include a pumpkin patch (with pumpkins for sale) and the well-known Bo-Ty Dawgs. 

Don’t miss the Bug Zoo – your chance to view exotic arthropods from North America, South America, Central America, Africa, and Asia. The zoo’s residents include a black widow spider, hundreds of tarantulas, death-feigning beetles, scorpions, hissing cockroaches, several species of millipedes, and vinegaroons (cave-dwelling whip scorpions that squirt vinegar from their tail).

Enter the Luminous Cave and see glow-in-the-dark millipedes and other arthropods. Want more spooky fun? Try the haunted Bug House – a fun house with an insect theme. 

Everyone’s heard of the “bad guys” of the insect world, pests such as bed bugs, gypsy moths, stink bugs, mosquitoes, and termites. But what about insect “heroes”? Those include honey bees, which help make agriculture possible by pollinating crops. Check out the apiculture exhibit and learn how important bees are.

Stop by the Bug Creations room, where kids can make “buggy” crafts, get their faces and fingernails painted, and design a t-shirt. Children can also earn a junior entomologist certificate by visiting eight exhibits at the festival. Older kids will enjoy testing their wits at the Bug Jeopardy booth.

Another featured attraction of the Hokie BugFest is the Alberti Flea Circus. Jim Alberti’s troupe of performing fleas has charmed audiences from coast to coast. The flea circus will appear several times during the day.

For more details and a schedule of events, go to

The Hokie BugFest was inspired by William B. Alwood, Virginia’s first entomologist. Alwood, an early pioneer of pest management and fruit culture, was one of Virginia Tech’s greatest scientists. The W.B. Alwood Entomological Society, a graduate student organization, helps host the Hokie BugFest as part of its outreach mission.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Completed 4-H Record Books Need to Be Turned In This Week!

It's the last week of summer, and also the time to turn in completed 4-H record books. Everyone ages 9-19 who showed an animal at the county fair (beef, dairy, sheep, goat, swine) needs to submit a completed record book by September 1 annually. This year the first is on Labor Day, and the building will be closed, so make sure you submit your book by 5:00 p.m. this Friday!

CHARACTER COUNTS! in Virginia 4-H. Be RESPONSIBLE by getting your book done on time and be CARING by calling a friend and reminding them of the deadline, too.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Southern Regional Teen Leadership Conference

The 9th annual Southern Regional Teen Leadership Conference (SRTLC) will take place September 25-28, 2014 in Crossville, Tennessee.  The SRTLC is a first-of-its-kind, multi-state 4-H conference created to bring together 4-H teens and adults to empower and inspire them to make positive change across the southern region through youth-adult partnerships.

The event is open to teens 14-18 years of age.  The cost of the event is $180.00.  It is the responsibility of the participant to pay the registration fee as well as transportation to/from the event.  The state 4-H office will attempt to assist in securing an adult chaperone if the youth delegate doesn’t have one. 

The registration deadline for Virginia 4-H is August 21.  Items to be returned by deadline:
·         Registration form
·         Activity and Event Acceptance Form (F600-A for youth/F600-B for adults)
·         Registration fee (Checks made payable to the Virginia 4-H Foundation) – no refunds will be issued after the registration deadline of August 21.

Registration should be mailed to:
State 4-H Office
Attn: Katie Lafon
107 Hutcheson Hall (0419)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

For more information please visit: