2019 EBCI Program Impact Report

Approved: February 27, 2020

I. Executive Summary

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Extension Program strives to understand the needs of the Cherokee people and address those needs by providing research-based knowledge for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and an improved quality of life while respecting the cultural integrity of the Cherokee people. There are more than 15,000 enrolled members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

The EBCI NC Cooperative Extension Program receives funding from many different sources. Beyond the staffing funds provided by NCSU and NCA&T, the office is heavily grant funded. The grant funds received and a short description are as follows:
•Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operational funds contributed toward Cooperative Extension. These funds come from the EBCI General Fund Operating Budget
•Bureau of Indian Affairs operational and staffing funds toward Agricultural Education
•Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program – FRTEP - (4-year Grant) for staffing
•Indian Country Extension Fund one-time grant award for expenses of FRTEP Programming. This is one time only funding.
•Cherokee Preservation Foundation grants for Community & Rural Development Area Specialized Agent for administering the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources
•Cherokee Preservation Foundation grants for Local Food Systems Area Specialized Agent for 50% match of position working on the Empowering Mountain Food Systems – EMFS - grant working in the 7 western most NC Counties.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians NC Cooperative Extension Office staffing is as follows:
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Tribal Staff (3) – Community Development Coordinator, Cannery Operator, and Financial Skills Educator
North Carolina State University Staff (6) – County Extension Director, Administrative Assistant, 4-H Agent, Agricultural Agent, Area Specialized Agent Local Foods (EMFS), and Area Specialized Agent Community & Rural Development (RTCAR)
North Carolina A & T State University (1) – Family Consumer Science Agent

2019 Program Goals and accomplishments
The EBCI North Carolina Cooperative Extension Program's main goals for 2019 are to increase the number of community members gardening and farming and to increase our community members knowledge in the importance of smart food choices and how their cultural history can help them. In order to accomplish these goals, our focus areas will do the following:
•(4-H) For 2019 the EBCI North Carolina Cooperative Extension 4-H Program we focused on youth gardening, youth leadership development, and youth entrepreneurship. Target audiences was the Kituwah Academy, Cherokee Children's Home, Youth Center, and Cherokee Central Schools elementary and middle school. The junior master gardener curriculum was used for gardening instruction.
•(FCS) For 2019 the EBCI North Carolina Cooperative Extension FCS Program we focused on better nutrition options for adults, food safety, and youth life skills. Target audiences will be adults (typically evening classes), Cherokee Central Schools Nutrition and Life Skills Classes, the Women's Shelter, and Cherokee Children's Home.
•(Ag) For 2019 the EBCI North Carolina Cooperative Extension Agricultural Program we focused on preservation of culturally significant natural resources, alternative farming & gardening methods, pasture management, home orchard management, and agri-business opportunities.
•(Community Development-Emergency Operations) The EBCI Cooperative Extension Office has established consistent communication with all 12 Tribal Communities. When emergencies or critical communications are needed, the office can organize or facilitate operations between local, county, regional, state, and federal agencies. The Tribal Community Clubs have facilities for use, free labor groups for assistance, and detailed knowledge of their specific community members and logistics.

2019 Program Highlights
•364 youth increased knowledge of life skills
•240 1st and 2nd grade students at Cherokee Central Schools have learned about agriculture by hatching chicks in their classroom
•175 youth increased their fruit and vegetable consumption
•800 adults demonstrated increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
•1150 participants who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems
•$518,830.00 in Contracts/Grants secured to support the program in 2019
•531 Volunteers contributed 5397 volunteer hours in support of the EBCI NC Cooperative Extension Office
•5000 jars of food were canned for our community through our program.

2019 Success Stories
4-H Youth Development
Title-Indigenous Youth Explore Traditional Cherokee Gardening
A common stereotype of Native people is that they all possess a great deal of cultural knowledge, when in many cases, cultural knowledge loss has occurred in many ways and has affected different populations. For Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) youth, an understanding of Cherokee culture surrounding food is an area where cultural loss is happening rapidly. Engaging youth in hands-on gardening that is rooted in Cherokee culture and language is necessary to ensuring a healthy generation of Native farmers in the future.
Our 4-H program has been able to respond to this issue by supporting volunteer teachers at New Kituwah Academy, a Cherokee language immersion school located on the Qualla Boundary, in implementing Junior Master Gardener (JMG) curriculum as in-school enrichment. Six 3rd grade students participated in the JMG Literature in the Garden curriculum during the spring of 2019. These students read six picture books about gardening and completed 12 activities, a service project, and a leadership activity to gain certification in this curriculum. They maintained two raised beds at their school filled with traditional Cherokee crops such as: sunflowers, sochan (green-headed coneflower), strawberries, mustard greens, and squash. Students were able to garden with fluent Cherokee language speakers and learn the Cherokee names for all crops in their raised beds.
100% of youth involved in this project increased their knowledge of plant science, gardening, and traditional Cherokee foods. A 4-H volunteer has been cultivated through this project and has recruited another teacher to serve as a 4-H volunteer at their school as well. This program has been very impactful towards having future Junior Master Gardener projects at New Kituwah Academy.

4-H Youth Development
Title - Cherokee Youth Showcasing Culture through Cultural Presentation Team
62% of Americans have not met a person who identifies as Native American. Additionally, we were struggling with our 4-H members when they would go to district or state events and be unprepared to answer cultural questions posed to them by attendees. We wanted to cultivate a public speaking program that would allow our 4-H members to be prepared to tactfully answer questions about Cherokee culture from non-Native audiences.
We created our 4-H Cultural Presentation Team in order to give 4-H youth an opportunity to learn about various aspects of Cherokee history, language, and culture that interested them, and then present workshops to non-Native youth audiences. Our Cultural Presentation Team has a lead 4-H volunteer who is an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), and they meet twice a month to learn and hear from community members. Currently, there are about 15 EBCI youth (ages 8-18) involved in this program.
During 2019, over 90 youth were taught about the Cherokee language or the Trail of Tears (Cherokee Removal). 30 youth were taught at West District 4-H Teen Retreat in April and 60 were taught at NC 4-H Congress in July. Of these youth, 100% stated that their views of Native Americans were significantly changed from these workshops. Of our EBCI youth, 100% reported increased public speaking skills, cultural knowledge, and interest in making friends from diverse backgrounds. Additionally, the EBCI was represented by 7 youth completing 4-H presentations at District Activity Day in June, and 2 youth both winning bronze (3rd place) in their respective categories at the State 4-H Presentations competition in July. This Cultural Presentation Team program has done wonders in its first year to increase cultural awareness in our 4-H youth.

Other items to note:
Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program
North Carolina State University and North Carolina Cooperative Extension receive funds from the Federally Recognized Tribes Extension Program (FRTEP). This is a USDA NIFA Program. The purpose of this program is to establish an Extension presence and support Extension outreach on Federally Recognized Indian Reservations and Tribal jurisdictions of Federally Recognized Tribes. This program seeks to continue the Land Grants mission of inclusion - providing education and research-based knowledge to those who might not otherwise receive it.
The EBCI Cooperative Extension Office was awarded $79,000 a year for 4 years beginning in 2017. This funding pays one position at 100% and a portion of 2 other positions. The EBCI NC Cooperative Extension Program is one of only a handful of Federally Recognized Tribes East of the Mississippi to receive this grant. Nationally there are 36 Tribes that receive funding. The grant process is competitive and open to all 573 Federally Recognized Tribes. The EBCI Extension Office is proud to have received this funding over several four-year cycles. It is a critical funding source to allow the continued service provided to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. In 2021, the competitive grant application will also be open to the 1994 Land Grant Tribal Colleges for possible funding.
Empowering Mountain Food Systems
EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems (EMFS) is a three-year project focused on bringing expanded opportunities & capacity to food and farm businesses across the southwestern NC region.
Programs focus on the seven counties of Western North Carolina (Jackson, Macon, Haywood, Swain, Cherokee, Clay, and Graham) and is based at the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Cooperative Extension Office in Cherokee through a partnership between the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Cooperative Extension.
The program, funded by the Appalachian Regional Commission, brings together producers, food businesses, schools, and regional partners to increase business opportunities that support the expansion of the food supply chain. Diverse program elements focus on leveraging regional collaboration to enhance the local food economy, including infrastructure development, marketing, business assistance, land matching, training, and other resources to support food & farm entrepreneurs.
The initiative is focusing on several priority areas over the next three years, including promoting job creation and infrastructure development, providing business development and training, and growing local food entrepreneurs. A comprehensive food system assessment, directed by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, was completed in November 2019 and highlighted the regional need for increased training, local food promotion programs, farmer cooperatives, and other EMFS focus areas.
Workforce development and technical training are provided through the Mountain Food & Farm Apprenticeship Program, a collaborative partnership between EMFS and Haywood Community College, Southwestern Community College, Tri-County Community College, and Western Carolina University.

II. County Background

The land owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is located in the Appalachian Mountains of Western North Carolina. EBCI lands are fragmented into numerous parcels scattered across four of the most remote and mountainous counties in North Carolina. These counties are Swain, Jackson, Graham, and Cherokee. The United States Government holds the land in trust for the EBCI. The largest tract is the Qualla Boundary, where the town of Cherokee is located. Cherokee is a gateway community to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Tribal government, tribal services and the Cherokee Extension office are centered in the town of Cherokee. The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians operates under a corporate charter granted by the State of North Carolina.

EBCI Extension receives guidance from Tribal Leadership which includes: Principal Chief Richard Sneed, Vice Chief Alan B. Ensley, and Tribal Council (12 elected officials, two from each of the 6 main Tribal Communities). This Tribal Leadership, along with Tribal Program Directors and Managers also participate in USET(United Southeastern Tribes). This group has an Agricultural Committee. The Committee's Priorities included the following: a desire to re-establish knowledge of traditional agricultural skills, crops, and native plants resources; leadership, personal development and citizenship skills for all ages; education about the current agricultural trends and new marketing opportunities; food and nutrition decisions; education about home maintenance, home improvement, energy conservation and alternative energy; and financial education. The priorities address tribal issues and concerns.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
33Number of adults increasing knowledge of life skills (such as goal setting, stress management, self-care and healthy relationships)
20Number of adults increasing their knowledge of community resources
33Number of people gaining basic financial management knowledge and/or skills (such as; budgeting, record keeping, goal setting, writing goals, consumer decision-making)
27Number of people gaining knowledge and/or skills in managing financial products and financial identity (such as; credit, debt management, identify theft, credit reports and scores, scams, banking skills)
11Number of people gaining knowledge and/or skills to increase family economic security (such as; how to access: SNAP benefits, SHIIP Medicare Part D; food cost management, cost comparison skills, shop for reverse mortgages, select long term care insurance, etc.)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
33Number of adults using effective life skills (such as goal setting, stress management, self-care and healthy relationships)
9Number of adults increasing their use of identified community resources
11Number of people implementing basic financial management strategies (such as; developing a budget, keeping records, etc.)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
1150Number of participants who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems
77Number of participants who developed new jobs skills
79Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
40Number of participants who increased their awareness, knowledge or skill in business related topics (e.g., management, product development, marketing, business structure options, business law and/or liability)
40Number of participants that increase their knowledge of disaster preparedness planning, mitigation and recovery
40Number of participants acquiring knowledge and skills to convene and lead inclusive groups
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
3Number of local food value chain businesses created due to Extension’s programming or technical assistance
300000Dollar value of in-kind resources contributed by organizations or community
221871Value of grants received by organizations, communities, or Extension where Extension was instrumental in initiating, facilitating, or providing technical assistant in the development of the grants to support community or economic development work
9Number of (eg., community and economic development, land use, disaster, etc.) new, revised or adopted plans that have begun to be implemented in communities, organizations, local governments, or businesses
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
1Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
51Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
20Total number of female participants in STEM program
3Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
364Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
22Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
42Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
38Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* 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
27Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
10Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
74Number of youth using effective life skills
60Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
15Number of youth increasing their physical activity
7Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
1Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
175Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
6Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
* 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.

Value* Outcome Description
55Number of participants willing to participate in conservation actions (such as rain gardens, wildlife management, conservation easements, land trusts, generational planning, etc.)
800Number of participants increasing their knowledge about best management practices (including storm water systems, septic system maintenance, erosion control, rain gardens, forestry, etc.)
36Number of child and youth educators aspiring to implement quality outdoor learning environments for children
800Number of adults demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
55Number of participants that adopted recommended agroecosystem adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
280Number of acres under recommended agroecosystem adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 14,724
Non face-to-face** 210,106
Total by Extension staff in 2019 224,830
* 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 $518,830.00
Gifts/Donations $250.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $8,000.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $395.00
Total $527,475.00

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 172 1033 3270 $ 26,269.00
Advisory Leadership System 9 54 36 $ 1,373.00
Other: Agriculture 120 760 1590 $ 19,327.00
Other: Community, Family & Individual Development 204 3456 1504 $ 87,886.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 18 62 575 $ 1,577.00
Other: Forestry & Natural Resources 8 32 300 $ 814.00
Total: 531 5397 7275 $ 137,246.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Advisory Council
Committee is being restructured

VIII. Staff Membership

Chumper Walker
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 359-6930
Email: chumper_walker@ncsu.edu

Benjamin Collette
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 359-6928
Email: bjcollet@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture agent for Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians

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

Sally Dixon
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 359-6936
Email: srdixon@ncsu.edu

Tracie Edwards
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant - COSS
Phone: (828) 359-6939
Email: tracie_edwards@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Assist all programs within the Extension, Assist in budgeting, billing, and ordering.

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

Adam Griffith
Title: Area Agent, CRD
Phone: (828) 359-6935
Email: adgriff5@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.

Janet Owle
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 359-6937
Email: janet_owle@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: EBCI-Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences

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!

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.

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.

IX. Contact Information