2017 EBCI Program Impact Report

Approved: January 25, 2018

I. Executive Summary

Program Areas of Responsibility:
North Carolina Cooperative Extension is an educational partnership helping people put research-based knowledge to work for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and an improved quality of life. We are your direct access to North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University, along with all UNC School System Extension Participants, and the National Network of Extension Programs, including Indian Country Extension Programs. We strive to do the following:
● Enhancing Agriculture, Forest, and Food Systems
● Developing Responsible Youth
● Strengthening and Sustaining Families
● Conserving and Improving the Environment and Natural Resources
● Building Quality Communities
● Preserving and Protecting Cherokee Culture

Program Annual Goals: (Goals beyond areas of responsibility)
• Provide agricultural and natural resource education to community farmers, gardeners, and those who just want to learn more about their surroundings.
• Creation of opportunities for youth in Cherokee Communities.
• Preserve traditional Cherokee Crop Seed for Cherokee People at the Center for Cherokee Plants.
• Provide educational opportunities for adults to learn about home food production and self-sufficiency.
• Provide educational opportunities for adults to learn about native plants.
• Provide financial education and information to the local community.
• Provide tax preparation through the VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) Program.
• Provide focused financial education opportunities for Cherokee Youth.
• Tribal Cannery: We provide food preservation for community members.
• Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources (RTCAR).
o This initiative is a multi-year grant making program whose purpose is to assist the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in restoring the traditional Cherokee balance between maintaining and using natural resources. Funded by the Cherokee Preservation Foundation and housed at the Cherokee Extension Center, RTCAR has been developed to teach, protect, and promote Cherokee traditional art, resources, and land care for present and future generations. RTCAR focuses on identifying grant applicants and other partners with whom we can collaborate, these are groups wanting to undertake habitat restoration projects, conduct environmental research projects concerning sustainable harvesting techniques, and develop cultural preservation projects that will provide Cherokee artisans with access to natural resources essential to their art.
• 6 of 9 staff are funded by either State, Federal, or grant funding. This includes but not limited to: North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, USDA, BIA, and the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. Three full-time staff and 1 intern position receives EBCI Tribal Funding.
• Operational funds are distributed across the same funders listed above.

Annual Programs, Events, or Initiatives beyond daily service to the Cherokee Community
• VITA Tax Preparation – we house, facilitate, and take the community’s calls and establish appointments. For 2017 there were 565 people served.
• Backyard Ramp Patch Project – we give out ramp bulbs to the community to establish their own resource and lessen the impact on native stocks. For 2017 over 14000 ramp bulbs were given out.
• Chief's Community Harvest Garden Kits – 850 kits (8500 individual seed packets) were given out in 2017.
• Garden Judging – visit and review community member, family, and cooperative gardens, to be recognized at the Fall Community Awards Banquet. For 2017, 51 Community Members participated.
• Grow and distribute Traditional Cherokee Seed from the Center for Cherokee Plants, along with providing educational classes and tours of demonstration gardens.
• Work with other Tribal Programs to provide services to their clients or staff.
• Cannery open May to October. In 2017 the Tribal Cannery has served more than 60 families. The Tribal cannery has provided these families and the community with over 2000 jars of food.
• Community Awards Banquet – recognize garden winners, community club achievements, and community initiatives. In 2017 we recognized garden judging winners and 9 community clubs.
• Indian Fair – Extension is responsible for the exhibit hall portion except for the Qualla Arts & Crafts Section. This includes setup, intake, judging, displaying, prize awards, and much more. In the Fall of 2017, there were over 350 fair entries.
• Community Christmas Lighting Contest – organize and provide judging for Community Christmas Lighting Contest.
Any Other Highlights:
1. Staff works consistently with other Tribal departments and national and regional agencies on community defined needs.
2. Many organizations and institutions contact our office prior to working with the Cherokee Community. We give guidance on where to begin and with whom to speak to.
Works very closely with Cherokee Central Schools, as well as all schools in the area who have EBCI Enrolled Members attending.

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 Patrick Lambert and Vice Chief Richard Sneed, 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

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.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
Value* Outcome Description
34Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
20Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
54Number 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.
39Number 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
521Number 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.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
North Carolina's plant production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
North Carolina's agricultural crops industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of crops was $4.72 billion, placing NC as the 17th largest in the nation. North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state's 50,200 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.4 million of the state's 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber. Tobacco remains one of the state's most predominant farm commodities. North Carolina produces more tobacco and sweet potatoes than any other state and ranks second in Christmas tree cash receipts. The state also produces a significant amount of cucumbers for pickles, lima beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, strawberries, bell peppers, blueberries, chili peppers, fresh market cucumbers, snap beans, cabbage, eggplant, watermelons, pecans, peaches, squash, apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, and grapes. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic and niche market production. Educational and training programs for producers of plant agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.
Leadership is important to every level of a community sharing in the creation of wealth and well-being. Youth and adult leaders must be capable of motivating groups to achieve common goals that impact North Carolina families and communities.They will need the confidence and skill to guide and support North Carolina community and state organizations. Citizens participating in the 2007 NC Tomorrow survey denoted the importance of leadership by clearly requesting leadership training (54%), social advising, community advising and technical assistance (45%)from their university system.
Community members, organizations and local government will engage in collaborative dialog and decision-making to build economically, socially and environmentally resilient communities. This will be done through inclusive engagement, partnership building, and/or community planning.
Throughout North Carolina, communities that come together to collaboratively address issues and/or interests are enhancing the community's quality of life and its economic, social and environmental resiliency. The state's growing population and economy is producing significant changes in its communities and in some cases resulting in the emergence of new communities. The perspectives, capacity and skills of all community members are essential to aligning community decisions and actions with local needs, assets and priorities. NC Cooperative Extension has an important role in engaging and supporting the ongoing work of citizens, organizations, and communities in decision-making, and strategic dialog to influence positive public policy, foster development of partnerships, create empowered communities, be prepared to address the high potential for natural and human-caused disasters.
Value* Outcome Description
186Number of participants increasing knowledge and skills in convening and leading inclusive, representative groups (including limited resources, new resident, or immigrant groups) for evidence based community development
221Number of participants developing skills in leading community, economic, and/or disaster planning and change
10Number of communities that have included agricultural and food system considerations into disaster preparedness plans or procedures due to Extension’s involvement
150Number 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)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
3Number of businesses created, retained, or expanded due to Extension’s community and economic development programming
2Number of local food councils in which Extension is involved
36Number of participants who report new or expanded leadership roles and opportunities undertaken
573828Dollar value of in-kind resources (funding, in-kind service or volunteers) contributed to Projects or Programs in which Extension was critically involved by an organization or community to support community or economic development work
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Adults and youth will apply financial management practices to increase their economic security, which include to: meet basic necessities, increase savings, reduce debt, and build long-term assets.
North Carolina families are experiencing financial distress. A slowing state economy with depressed incomes, rising interest rates, housing and medical costs and increased living expenses for gasoline and food have strained household budgets. NC households (21%) lack access to enough food for an active healthy life for all household members. Families forced into home insecurity in the state reached 47% because of the inability to pay their rent or increased mortgage payments. Foreclosure starts increased 154% between the third quarter of 2006 and first quarter 2010 with projections of increases in foreclosures through 2012. The loss of housing as a primary asset hurts the family emotionally, psychologically and economically and impacts property values and tax revenue in communities. To avoid negative financial outcomes families need skills to develop and execute spending plans to better manage income to cover monthly living expenses, to evaluate, select and manage financial products, and to increase and protect family assets. Eighteen percent (18%) or 1 out of 5 households are asset poor and lack sufficient net worth to subsist at the poverty level for three months without a job or source of support. Due to inadequate savings 1 out of 3 households reported using credit cards to cover basic living expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, groceries, utilities and insurance. Credit card debt and changes in interest rate policies have forced many families to become delinquent on credit repayment. Families nationwide also report feeling that they have inadequate savings for emergencies, educating their children and retirement. Skills that help families develop and implement debt repayment strategies, make sound consumer decisions to avoid scams and frauds, like predatory lending and identity theft, and create and implement plans to achieve short-term and long-term financial goals like acquiring a home, saving for retirement and education and emergency funds can help families recover from poor financial management practices and become more financially secure. In the context of “the Great Recession” and high unemployment (10.4% North Carolina; 9% National (October 2011)) families need knowledge and skills to access information and programs that support family economic security during periods of unemployment, under-employment and/or retirement.
Value* Outcome Description
19Number of people gaining basic financial management knowledge and/or skills (such as; budgeting, record keeping, goal setting, writing goals, consumer decision-making)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation.
The natural resources in North Carolina are an important asset that benefit all citizens, but many citizens are unaware of the consequences of actions and practices they implement. The continued population growth of North Carolina is putting pressure on natural resources in terms of quantity and quality. To have a healthy and productive natural environment, professionals and citizens must be knowledgeable of environmental issues and conservation and management opportunities.
Value* Outcome Description
1418Number of participants increasing their knowledge about best management practices
9Number of child and youth educators aspiring to implement quality outdoor learning environments for children
1586Number of youth and adults demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
256Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
56Number of participants that adopted recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
350Number of acres under recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
56Number of participants that adopted recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint.
350Number of acres under recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint.
* 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.
Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.
Value* Impact Description
5Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
5Number of participants increasing their physical activity
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 8,734
Non face-to-face** 5,531
Total by Extension staff in 2017 14,265
* 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 $247,934.00
Gifts/Donations $0.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $247,934.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.14
4-H: 6 144 78 $ 3,476.00
Advisory Leadership System: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Community Association: 144 468 2,550 $ 11,298.00
Extension Master Gardener: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Other: 230 5,248 6,856 $ 126,687.00
Total: 380 5860 9484 $ 141,460.00
* 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
Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources Advisory Board
Roseanna Belt
Tom Hatley
TJ Holland
David Lambert
Bobby Raines
Russ Townsend
Tammy Jackson
Tommy Cabe

VIII. Staff Membership

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

Maddie Ciszewski
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 359-6939
Email: mqciszew@ncsu.edu

David Cozzo
Title: Area Specialized Agent
Phone: (828) 359-6856
Email: david_cozzo@ncsu.edu

Sally Dixon
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 359-6939
Email: srdixon@ncsu.edu

Tracie Edwards
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 359-6939
Email: tracie_edwards@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.

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

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

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

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: (910) 814-6033
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 - 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

EBCI Center
876 Acquoni Road
Cherokee, NC 28719

Phone: (828) 359-6939
Fax: (828) 497-6811
URL: http://ebci.ces.ncsu.edu