2019 Yancey County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 17, 2020

I. Executive Summary

Yancey County Extension focused on seven key state and county objectives in 2019. Some of the highlights are listed below. The full impact report is available for a more in-depth look at the work Extension has conducted.

Yancey county is a small rural, Tier I county (economically distressed) and agriculture is one of the legs of the Counties, three prong approach to Economic development (Arts and Tech being the others). Yancey focused on these three agricultural objectives to strengthen this important sector.

1. Profitable and Sustainable Plant Production: 174 producers increased their knowledge about best management and production practices, 84 reported increased dollar return per acre, and 35 reduced a reduction in fertilizer used.

2. Local Foods: 1260 youth and adults improved their knowledge of local foods and our agricultural system, TRACTOR the food hub created by Extension had 50 new and existing markets for consumers and producers. 11,000 pounds of food was donated to local to local food banks.

3. Safety and Security of Food and Farm Systems: 10 hours of pesticide application credit hours were provided to growers. 38 individuals in the restaurant industry received training in ServSafe 18, were recertified, and 8 more were new certifications.

Volunteers have played a key role in Extension ability to expand its program impacts. Volunteer development will continue to be a point of emphasis moving forward.

4. Volunteer readiness: In Yancey County 381 plus volunteers donated 1524 hours to the community, including Master Gardeners, Master Food Volunteers, 4-H Leaders , and 4-H youth, and FFA students, creating a value of $38,755 dollars back into the community.

Parenting has become a critical county focus for a number of reasons including the opioid epidemic, and a need for more parenting education for the families seeking help in raising their children. Extension has helped fill this void and has had success in reaching out to families. Extension trainings do not carry the stigma associated with programs offered by DSS and Mental Health. Participants are more willing to attend Extension based parenting & family programs.

5. Parenting & Caregiving: 30 adults increased their knowledge of community resources, 38 adults and professionals increased their knowledge of best practices in parenting and caregiving, and 18 professionals earned CEUs

6. The School to Career pathway covers a majority of the Yancey 4-H programs. Yancey uses summer camps, school enrichment, and the traditional 4-H clubs to make a broad and deep impact for the youth in Yancey County. 62 youth participated in a variety of activities that increased their life skills.

Healthy eating and lifestyles is the emphasis of 4-H , FCS and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) programs. In 2019, 1,029 citizens participated in EFNEP training increasing their knowledge of healthy eating.

7. Healthy eating, physical activity and Chronic Disease reduction: 51 youth increased their fruit and vegetable consumption, 32 participants increased their physical activity, and 25 reduced their sodium intake.

Extension was directly responsible for $32,020 in grants and funding to help extend the programing efforts and impacts.

II. County Background

Yancey County, located in Western North Carolina, is home to Mount Mitchell with an elevation of 6,684 feet. There with 450 farms in 2012 (down from 622 farms in 2002), that average 69 acres in size. Yancey County has experienced loss of over half of its manufacturing jobs including the loss of much of its textile industry. Economic leaders see the arts, entrepreneurship, and agriculture as important sectors of the changing economy. Yancey County is a Tier I county.

The current population estimate is 17,744 and is made up of approximately 1% Black, 5.2% Hispanic, and 92.5% White. Yancey County has an aging population. The 55 plus age group is almost 50% larger than the state average according to the Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group strategic plan.

The school age population of approximately 2300 has declined slightly for the past ten years, 55% of the children are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
The average income per capita (2015) was $31,481 compared with the state’s average $35,761, only 12 counties had a lower average than Yancey. The 2017 childhood poverty rate is 29% for Yancey and the NC rate is only 27%, the (2015) Elderly poverty rate is 16% while the NC rate is only 12% , and only 7 counties having a higher rate.

The emphasis on farms and agriculture as an important opportunity in the economy, the concerns toward farmland preservation, the growing “buy local” movement, food safety and security issues, and entrepreneurship opportunities will be a part of the educational programming to address the Agriculture and Foods issue. Youth Life and Academic Skills development will be addressed with educational opportunities through 4-H school enrichment, community clubs, and after-school programming, as well as, programs targeting high risk youth. The youth programs will focus on life skills, especially in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Cooperative Extension will be a significant partner with communities to deliver education and technology that can enrich the lives, land and economy of the residents of Yancey County.

Yancey Extension used the 2017 County Map Book, from the NC Association of County Commissioners as a primary data source. The 2016 Yancey County Agricultural Task Force report is still a vital resource driving programming efforts.

Major focus areas under the NCSU State Objectives in 2019 will be:

Family & Consumer Sciences: will be emphasis parenting and best practices with caregivers and professionals through classes, and workshops. Will also be coordinating a county wide effort to create a calendar of all classes and a "one stop" registration system for the county.

Plant Production Systems: Continue to help growers address growing and marketing through workshops, farm visits, and phone support.

Animal Production Systems: Goal is to establish a Cattle Association and have them design trainings that Extension can conduct, and delivery best practices trainings , AI, Feed, forage workshops, vaccinations and more), help cattlemen design appropriate marketing strategies based on their scale of operation.

Community Development: Will work to establish a county wide Parenting Collation, Pollinator Partners, and take an active roll in the developing volunteer leadership. We will partner and submit appropriate grants to benefit our county.

4-H Youth Development: expand 4-H clubs by developing additional adult volunteers, continue partnering with schools to provide Extension STEM and Health enrichment programs. Expand summer programming to low income areas.

Natural Resources & Environmental Systems: Create a working VAD board to implement the County VAD and farm land preservation plan.

Consumer Horticulture: expand youth and adults home gardeners.

Food Safety & Nutrition: continue to offer food-safety programs to local restaurants and institutions, and use 4-H, EFNEP and FCS to delivery programs designed to increase physical activity and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Our family and consumer sciences programs improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Our plant production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Value* Outcome Description
109Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
64Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
47Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
10Number of pesticide credit hours provided
174Number of crop (all plant systems) producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
2Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
44Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
84Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
13Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period)
35Number of participants that have adopted farm safety practices
35Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
222Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
113Number of crop (all plant systems) producers adopting best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our animal production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Value* Outcome Description
26Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
247Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
18Number of animal producers who increased knowledge of farm business management, business planning, financial management, marketing, or estate planning.
24Number of animal producers who learned how to develop a management plan (i.e. grazing plan, feeding plan, drought plan, business plan, disaster plan, etc.)
192Number of producers who increased knowledge of pasture/forage management practices (field improvement, herbicide management, grazing season extension, weed control, forage quality, haylage production, nitrate testing, etc.)
156Number of producers who increased knowledge of nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplements, breeding, and reproduction
150Number of producers who increased knowledge of the strategies to promote animal health and welfare and reduce the potential for infectious diseases through proper use of vaccines, biosecurity, detection and identification of common diseases, appropriate use of animal medications, and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance transmission
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
9Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
4Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period)
9Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
30Number of producers adopting extension-recommended practices related to planning, marketing, and financial management
395Number of acres where Extension-recommended nutrient applications were used
118Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to quality assurance (vaccinations, castration, culling techniques, etc.)
18Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to genetic improvement (AI, heifer/bull selection)
140Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition (mineral, feed rations)
109Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to internal parasite management (fecals, deworming)
120Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices related to pasture management
285Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplement, breeding, and reproduction
21Number of producers using improved biosecurity practices
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Our 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

Value* Outcome Description
2Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
57Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
15Total number of female participants in STEM program
9Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
87Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
37Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
6Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
15Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
25Number of youth using effective life skills
12Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
12Number of youth increasing their physical activity
1Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
37Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our natural resource and environmental programs conserve our precious natural resources and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Our consumer horticulture programs teach families and communities about environmentally friendly methods for gardening and controlling pests.

Value* Outcome Description
248Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
28Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
35Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden
18Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting to raise backyard livestock.
85Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease, wildlife) and soil management
58Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
206Number of participants growing food for home consumption
15Number of participants adopting composting
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our food safety and nutrition programs create a safer and more sustainable food supply and improve the health and nutrition of individuals, families, and our communities.

Value* Outcome Description
444Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
75Number of individuals who learn how to prepare local foods, including through use of home food preservation techniques.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
6Number of new and existing access points for consumers that expand or improve their offering of local fruits and vegetables. Access points include farmers markets, retail stores, school food programs, community gardens, institutions other than schools (e.g. hospitals, universities, etc.), and other systems/access points not noted (e.g. restaurants, etc.).
244Number of participants developing food safety plans
3Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
287Number of participants increasing their physical activity
85Number of pounds of local food donated for consumption by vulnerable populations
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 12,042
Non face-to-face** 149,676
Total by Extension staff in 2019 161,718
* Face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make directly with individuals through one-on-one visits, meetings, and other activities where staff members work directly with individuals.
** Non face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make indirectly with individuals by telephone, email, newsletters, news articles, radio, television, and other means.

V. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $16,600.00
Gifts/Donations $7,650.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $7,770.00
Total $32,020.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H 291 1182 2123 $ 30,058.00
Advisory Leadership System 9 9 0 $ 229.00
Other: Agriculture 10 79 25 $ 2,009.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 71 254 820 $ 6,459.00
Total: 381 1524 2968 $ 38,755.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Yancey County Extension Advisory Council
Jim Parlier
David Autrey
Nicole Robinson
Jeremy Ballard
Rita Earley
Gwen Harris
Bill Jones
Eloise McIntosh
Terry Peterson
Walter Savage
Susan Ball
Eric Penland
4-H and Youth Committee
Laney Heidenfelder
Abbey Varney
Wayne Edwards



Small Farms Committee
Lynn Austin
Robin Smith
Chris Deyton
Brian Hensley
Keith Hensley
Current FFA President
Dillion Carroll
Nicole Robinson
Robin Smith
Ag Advisory Committee
Billy Bryant
Harold Davis
Martin Renfro
Robin Smith



Bill Jones
Bryan Hensley
Roger Young
Jim Evans
Beverly Hill
Jeremy Ballard
Jim Phillips

VIII. Staff Membership

David Davis
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 682-1874
Email: dhdavis2@ncsu.edu

Peirce Bingham
Title: Program Coordinator, Mountain Challenge Coordinator
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: psbingha@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Programming for At Risk Youth with referrals coming from Juvenile Court, DSS, School Guidance Counselors, and Mental Health providers.

Marti Day
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: marti_day@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for educational programs for dairy farmers, youth with an interest in dairy projects and the general public with an interest in dairy foods and the dairy industry.

April Dillon
Title: Area Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: april_dillon@ncsu.edu

Sue Estridge
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: sue_estridge@ncsu.edu

Lauren Greene
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (336) 651-7347
Email: lauren_greene@ncsu.edu

Arnicia Gudger
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (336) 285-4651
Email: arnicia_gudger@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Teach the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) to limited resource adults, pregnant & parenting teens, and youth.

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety (FSMA Programs)
Phone: (919) 515-5396
Email: marissa_herchler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marissa is an Area Specialized Agent for animal food safety, with emphasis on the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules, as they apply to feed mills in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any FSMA related questions, or PCQI training inquiries.

Vivian Hollifield
Title: Administrative Support Specialist/SHIIP Coordinator
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: vhhollif@ncsu.edu

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (828) 684-3562
Email: craig_mauney@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities, training and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in Western NC. (My office is located at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center not the Henderson County Extension Center as is noted by IT on this website. Please do not contact the Henderson County Extension Center as I am not located there.)

Adam McCurry
Title: A&T Agriculture Technician
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: adam_mccurry@ncsu.edu

Currey Nobles
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9520
Email: canobles@ncsu.edu

Ashley Robbins
Title: Area Specialized Agent - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8203
Email: ashley_robbins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marti Day and I are the Area Specialized Dairy Agents - the county-based arm of the Cooperative Extension Dairy Team. We are out here in the counties to help you set and reach your farm, family and business goals. We have collaborative expertise in the areas of Waste Management, Udder Health, Cow Comfort, Nutrition and Forage Management with specialties in (Ashley)Reproduction, Records Management, Animal Health and (Marti)Alternative Markets, Organic Dairy, Grazing Management, and On-farm Processing. We hope to provide comprehensive educational programs for our farmers, consumers and youth for every county across the state. We are here for you by phone, email or text and look forward to working with you!

Christina Robinson
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: cmrobin3@ncsu.edu

Elena Rogers
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety - Fresh Produce Western NC
Phone: (828) 352-2519
Email: elena_rogers@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational programs, training and technical support focusing on fresh produce safety to Agents and growers in Western NC.

Debbie Stroud
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9149
Email: dlstroud@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Specialized Agents in Consumer and Retail Food Safety help to ensure that Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents have access to timely, evidence-based food safety information. This is accomplished by (1) working with FCS Agents in their counties, (2) developing food safety materials and (3) planning and implementing a NC Safe Plates Food Safety Info Center.

Amanda Taylor
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Nursery and Greenhouse, Western Region
Phone: (828) 475-2915
Email: amanda_jo_taylor@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial nursery and greenhouse producers in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.

Glenna Taylor
Title: JCPC Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: glenna_taylor@ncsu.edu

Skip Thompson
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational opportunities and technical support to the trout and carp aquaculture industries in 42 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in western North Carolina. Fish health, production management, and waste management educational programs will assist trout farmers, fee-fishing pond managers, carp ponds and trout fingerling producers with the management and sustainability of their facilities.

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 414-3873
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

Jessica Zucchino
Title: EFNEP Educator
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: jessica.zucchino@ncsu.edu

IX. Contact Information

Yancey County Center
30 E US Highway 19E BYP
Burnsville, NC 28714

Phone: (828) 682-6186
Fax: (828) 682-7680
URL: http://yancey.ces.ncsu.edu