2017 Yancey County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 19, 2018

I. Executive Summary

Yancey County Extension continues to make a powerful impact in the County through effective programming, resource development, and successful partnerships.

Yancey Extension in partnership with Mitchell County Extension, and the Yancey County Government has raised over $1,100,000 dollars over 7 years to start the food hub named TRACTOR (Toe River Aggregation Center Training Organization Regional, Inc.) In 2017, Yancey Extension successfully submitted grants for TRACTOR for $175,000. The funds will help bring on a farm manager, a sales director, and fund work with the local FFA.

TRACTOR began operating in August 2012. Extension has helped TRACTOR create five full time jobs and two part time jobs. TRACTOR has had more than $600,000 in sales since 2012. More importantly, TRACTOR has established 54 new markets for small family farms from seven Western North Carolina Counties.

The TRACTOR project has been the starting point for several other major agricultural initiatives in Yancey County in 2017. The project attracted the attention of two philanthropists who purchased 80 acres and have put the land into a conservation easement, protecting it from development. The individuals then leased twenty-five acres to the Extension started food hub, TRACTOR at no cost to TRACTOR for ten years.

Extension helped TRACTOR and the five growers get the land GAP certified. Extension facilitated the FFA re-establishing a school farm for the first time in over twenty-five years on the property. In 2017 the same philanthropists purchased an additional twenty acres for TRACTOR and local growers, the NC A&T Ag Technician was critical in helping find the additional land and working with the FFA. Extension was critical in helping the TRACTOR farm and TRACTOR facility earn its GAP certification. 2017 was the second year of the "Gardens of Opportunity" program. This is a partnership with the local sheriff's department, and TRACTOR to help teach non violent inmates with misdemeanor charges about farming. Inmates help plan a crop and with Extension help raise it and sell through TRACTOR. This is a voluntary project for inmates.

Yancey Extension continues to build and utilize volunteers to extend its programming impact in the community. The Master Gardeners were instrumental in organizing and hosting the first and second Annual Farm to Fork Dinner on the Square in Burnsville. The event has raised $45,000 in just two years for TRACTOR and has become an anticipated community event. The Master Gardeners helped hold two Jr. Master Gardeners Camps this year providing 60 hours of education to 18 youth.

The Family Consumer Agent trained six Master Food Volunteers. These volunteers helped with 4-H camps, food demonstrations for the farmers market and the local community garden. The Master Food volunteers will help extend the programming efforts of the Family Consumer Agent; as well as, other program areas.

Volunteers are driving the success of the 4-H Shooting Sports, Robotics clubs and the creation of a 4-H Dairy Beef Club. The 4-H clubs continue to have success at the district level and state level. The 4-H volunteers and supporters continue to be recognized regional for their impact by 4-H, three Yancey 4-H volunteers were honored for their efforts in 2017. Yancey Extension had over 75 volunteers donate 3181 hours to Extension program and community efforts in 2017. 4-H efforts are handled by the NC A & T Program Associate.

In 2017 Yancey County conducted 135 workshops, and 915 hours of meetings and trainings that enrolled 6896 individuals to address the critical issues facing the county. The number 6896 is not an unduplicated number, as many of those individuals participated in multiple meetings or workshops offered by Yancey Extension. Extension certified 30 local businesses in ServSafe, and 43 commercial and public pesticide users.

Yancey Youth EFNEP program served 1013 children in Yancey County, every Kindergarten through 5th grade. Students have met or exceed all state targets in diet quality (how to choose healthy foods), food safety, and the importance of physical activity. EFNEP is an important part of helping to fight the childhood obesity issues in the county.

II. County Background

Yancey County, located in Western North Carolina, has the highest average elevation of any county in North Carolina. One of its peaks is Mount Mitchell with an elevation of 6,684 feet. The rural county has a total land area of 199,968 acres with 450 farms in 2012 (down from 622 farms in 2002), that average 75 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 17,818 and is made up of approximately two percent Black, eleven percent Hispanic, and eighty seven percent 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. The per capita income in 2008-2012 was $19,404 compared with the state’s $25,285. The 2012 childhood poverty rate is 31% for Yancey and the NC rate is only 25%, he 2006-2010 Elderly poverty rate is 17% while the NC rate is only 11% (www.ncruralcenter.org/databank/profile.php?county.) Additionally, the ‘children in foster care’ rate for Yancey County is 15.5 compared to the North Carolina state rate of 4.7. The average number of students dropping out of high school from 2003-2007 was 44. Many of the children live in remote areas and students may ride the school bus for up to 2 hours each day. In the six elementary schools, and two middle schools, there are six after school programs.

The Yancey County Extension Center and the Advisory Council and 2012 environmental scan identified the top five programming priority issues as: Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems, Local Food Systems, Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems, Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Sustainability. Other data used to establish programming included Yancey County demographic and economic data, the Farm to Fork Report, 2010 Feasibility Study of a Yancey Ag Center and input from the advisory leadership system. The Yancey County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension is committed to provide educational programs that will impact the families and farmers facing economic challenges.

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.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

Value* Outcome Description
87Number 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 (new required for GLF/PSI reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
106Number 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
63000Net income gains realized by the adoption of best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
54Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
20Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
143Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Producers will increase sales of food locally to more agriculturally aware consumers through market development, producer and consumer education, and new farmer and infrastructure support.

Value* Outcome Description
171Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
373Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
177Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
210Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening, and if also reporting under Urban and Consumer Agriculture Objective, divide up the reported number appropriately between the two objectives to avoid duplication.
103Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
13Number 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.).
64Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
46Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
285000Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
15Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
6000Number of pounds of local foods donated for consumption by vulnerable populations.
80Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
36Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden, and if also reporting under Urban and Consumer Horticulture Objective, divide up the reported number appropriately between the two objectives to avoid duplication.
10Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting to raise backyard livestock.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Agricultural producers, workers, food handlers and consumers will adopt safer food and agricultural production, handling, and distribution practices that reduce workplace and home injuries/illnesses, enhance food security, and increase the quality and safety of food that North Carolinians prepare and consume.

Value* Outcome Description
43Number of commercial/public operators trained
16Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
30Number of food service employees receiving ServSafe certification
35TOTAL number of food handlers receiving food safety training and education in safe food handling practices (new required data for federal reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
26Number of participants that have adopted farm safety practices
36Number of persons certified in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) or Good Handling Practices (GHPs)
12Number of participants developing food safety plans
55000Value of reduced risk of farm and food hazards
30Number of participants implementing ServSafe
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
5Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
464Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
223Total number of female participants in STEM program
9Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
197Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
7Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
3Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
232Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
50Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
17Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.

Value* Impact Description
343Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 16,978
Non face-to-face** 8,001
Total by Extension staff in 2017 24,979
* 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 $122,808.00
Gifts/Donations $2,700.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $54,000.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $5,805.00
Total $185,313.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.69
4-H: 257 2,519 2,870 $ 62,194.00
Advisory Leadership System: 41 56 129 $ 1,383.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 47 141 824 $ 3,481.00
Other: 138 465 80 $ 11,481.00
Total: 483 3181 3903 $ 78,539.00
* 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
Elizabeth Gibbs
Gwen Harris
Bill Jones
Eloise McIntosh
Terry Peterson
Walter Savage
Robert Thompson
Susan Ball
Eric Penland
4-H and Youth Committee
Lynne Austin
Allyson Heidenfelder
Chasity Manning
Abbey Varney
Wayne Edwards


Small Farms Committee
Michael Blevins
Josh Blevins
Chris Deyton
Steve Deyton
Keith Hensley
Dillion Carroll
Nicole Robinson
Robin Smith
Ag Advisory Committee
Billy Bryant
Harold Davis
Martin Renfro
Robin Smith
Robert Thompson
Ryan Weibe
Marilyn Cade
Bill Jones
Bryan Hensley
Roger Young
Jim Evans
Beverly Hill
Jeremy Ballard
Jim Phillips

VIII. Staff Membership

Tres Magner
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: tres_magner@ncsu.edu

Brent Buchanan
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (315) 212-1277
Email: brent_buchanan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Dairy Extension Programming in Western North Carolina Counties of Haywood, Madison, Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson, Yancey, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Mitchell, Avery, Burke, Cleveland, Watauga, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Gaston, Ashe, Wilkes, Alexander, Iredell, Alleghany, Surry, Yadkin, and Davie.

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

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

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.

Stanley Holloway
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 682-6187
Email: stanley_holloway@ncsu.edu

Bill Lord
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Resources
Phone: (919) 496-3344
Email: william_lord@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water quality education and technical assistance

Craig Mauney
Title: Extension Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables & 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.

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

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.

Linda Semon
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: linda_semon@ncsu.edu

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 - 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 38 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) 250-1112
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.

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