• 52°

Sharpen computer skills at library in Dillwyn

With ever more people wanting to know more about computers and what can be done with them, the Buckingham County Public Library, 1140 Main St. in Dillwyn, is broadening its program to meet these needs.

Beginning July 7, the library will be open Thursdays from noon until 9 p.m. Already there are free computer classes offered at the library. These offerings are being expanded. For example, Wednesday, June 22, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, there will be a class about Using the Internet. In addition, on Wednesday, June 29, from 10:30 a.m. to noon, the focus of the class will be E-books and online features of the library.

In July, intermediate computer basics will be taught Wednesday mornings, ranging from managing files, learning about parts of the computer, page layout as well as tips about using social media, with beginner-level classes being offered Thursdays from 6:30-8 p.m. To reserve a slot in a class and for further information, call the library at (434) 983-3848.

Environmentally friendly energy is on the wish list of many homeowners and businesses in the area. If you would like to explore the possibilities of solar energy, you may want to join the folks of the Central Virginia Solar Co-op. Residents and businesses have formed this co-op to make going solar easier and cheaper.

By using the power of group buying, members can get an installation discount and work with the support of the non-profit VA SUN. Educating participants about solar and acting as a consumer advocate throughout the process, VA SUN brought the first solarize program to Virginia and has helped hundreds of homeowners in the commonwealth. The next meeting of the Central VA Solar Co-op will be at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, at the Farmville-Prince Edward Branch Library, 1303 W. Third St., Farmville. For more information contact Aaron Sutch, aaron@vasun.org.

The Virginia Cooperative Extension Office and the U.S. Department of Agriculture offer a wealth of information for residents in rural areas such as ours. As the average age of the American farmer now exceeds 58 years, and data show that almost 10 percent of farmland in the continental United States will change hands in the next five years, there is no time to lose in helping establish more new farmers and ranchers.

For this reason, the USDA has committed $5.6 billion over the next two years to help build up the next generation of farmers and ranchers. A new, tailored web tool was designed to connect burgeoning farm entrepreneurs with programs and resources available to help them get started. The new web tool is available at www.usda.gov/newfarmers.

The site features advice and guidance on everything a new farm business owner needs to know, from writing a business plan and obtaining a loan to grow their business to filing taxes as a new small-business owner. For more information call the VA Cooperative office at 804-492-4390, email dplumley@vt.edu or visit http://offices.ext.vt.edu/cumberland/

JANET MILLER is a retired educator, poet and writer. Her email address is janet.miller@farmvilleherald.com