2017 Burke County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 2, 2018

I. Executive Summary

Burke County Cooperative Extension Staff were proud to serve the citizens of Burke County in 2017 by addressing issues and needs as identified by advisory groups, existing clients and community partners. Following is a summary of some of the ways citizens received services and were impacted by the programs offered by Extension Staff.   

Burke County Cooperative Extension Staff connected with 166,348 citizens through one-on-one interactions, small groups, or through one of the educational programs provided. In addition, with the use of radio, news articles, and the website we were able to provide educational information and resources to an audience of more than 300,000 people.

Below are some programming highlights:   

• The investment of approximately $265,000 to the Burke Extension program resulted in an Economic Impact from programs totaling more than $5.5 million.   

• 1,255 youth gained additional knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) through hands-on experiences provided through 4-H.

• In 2017, producers put 814 acres in conservation tillage and/or used best management practices realizing a net income gain of $10,000.

• Through the “More in My Basket” program, staff provided information and outreach to 1,600 families.

• 1,320 citizens received training in landscape management and pesticide application.

• Farm Animal Day was held at two elementary schools, with approximately 800 students being introduced to animal agriculture.

• Through youth leadership training, hands-on workshops, and experiences in multifaceted project areas, 268 youth have increased knowledge, career skills and entrepreneurship ideas.  

• 755 residents participated in a Successful Gardener Workshop. Plus, Extension Master Gardeners reached another 14,600 people through additional programming and activities.


These are just a few examples of how Cooperative Extension in Burke County improves the quality of citizens’ lives every day by providing research-based information. Our grassroots approach to programming allows citizens to influence the program areas our agents address in daily programming efforts. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the citizens of Burke County.

II. County Background

We are delighted to introduce you to the magnificent beauty, hospitality, cultural diversity and business resources of one of the most vibrant areas in Western North Carolina.

Burke County nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with Morganton as its county seat, is the perfect place to live, work, play, raise a family, retire, and most of all, enjoy life. It is that special place where you can enjoy living at your own pace. There are entrepreneurial opportunities for those wishing to operate their own businesses, a four season climate with mild year-round temperatures, and unlimited recreational opportunities that range from leisurely walks on the Catawba Greenway, boating and sailing on the pristine waters of Lake James, to strenuous rock climbing in the Linville Gorge.

Burke County has about 324,320 acres and has a population of 90,912 (census 2010). The largest landowners in Burke County are the U.S. Government, Crescent Resources (Duke Energy Co.), and the State of North Carolina.

Burke County is ranked 64th in the state regarding agriculture with over $45 million in cash receipts. Shrubbery and Ornamentals continues to be the leading crop, ranking 8th in the state.

Burke County Cooperative Extension conducted an extensive environmental scan utilizing surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews and advisory committee meetings. The Advisory Leadership Council then prioritized the needs of the county citizens and selected to continue to address the following objectives with an addition to address a growing interest in local foods:

• Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems
• School to Career (Youth and Adults)
• Urban and Consumer Agriculture
• Community Development
• Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction
• Volunteer Readiness
• Local Food Systems

Burke County Cooperative Extension staff will design, implement and evaluate educational programming in the identified areas to bring about positive change for the citizens of Burke 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
94Number 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
52Number 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
18260Net 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
62Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
43Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
1122Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
603Tons of feedstock delivered to processor
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
191Number of animal 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
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
92Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
138780Net income gains by producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
18Number of animal producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
2351Tons of livestock organic by-products utilized (nutrients from waste, compost, etc)
116000Net income gain by using livestock organic by-products instead of synthetic fertilizers
1038Number of acres where Extension-recommended waste analysis was used for proper land application
* 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
98Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
227Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
279Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
299Number 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.
16Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
128Number 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
3Number 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.).
59Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
5Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
41Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue.
5Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
132Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
48Number 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
40Number of participants developing skills in leading community, economic, and/or disaster planning and change
5Number of communities that have included agricultural and food system considerations into disaster preparedness plans or procedures due to Extension’s involvement
100Number of residents that increase their knowledge in disaster preparedness planning, mitigation and recovery
142Number 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
10Number of businesses created, retained, or expanded due to Extension’s community and economic development programming
1Number of local food councils in which Extension is involved
23Number of participants who adopted disaster preparedness and mitigation practices
73Number of participants who report new or expanded leadership roles and opportunities undertaken
45000Dollar 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.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
15Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
855Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
419Total number of female participants in STEM program
5Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
58Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
24Number of adults increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
48Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
22Number of adults increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
18Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
1200Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.

Value* Outcome Description
910Number of participants improving knowledge, attitude, skills and aspirations regarding gardening and landscape practices including plant selection and placement, turfgrass management, soil management, growing food, water conservation and water quality preservation, storm water and erosion management, green waste management, pest and wildlife management
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
521Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
46244Total cost savings from the use of extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
192Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
90000Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
120Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
12100Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
377Number of participants growing food for home consumption
2510000Value of produce grown for home consumption
63Number of participants adopting composting
7Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
79Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
5500Costs savings from implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualtiy
* 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
244Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
441Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
275Number of participants increasing their physical activity
158Number of participants reducing their BMI
88Number of adults who reduce their blood pressure
68Number of adults who improve their blood glucose (A1c.)level
59Number of adults who reduce their total cholesterol
168Number of participants who consume less sodium in their diet
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 31,051
Non face-to-face** 137,540
Total by Extension staff in 2017 168,591
* 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 $240.00
Gifts/Donations $12,900.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $8,850.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $14,075.00
Total $36,065.00

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: 263 1,798 7,497 $ 44,393.00
Advisory Leadership System: 113 530 450 $ 13,086.00
Extension Community Association: 8 16 0 $ 395.00
Extension Master Gardener: 289 1,178 1,188 $ 29,085.00
Other: 324 1,998 18,098 $ 49,331.00
Total: 997 5520 27233 $ 136,289.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Burke County Extension Advisory Council
Greg Craver
Todd Shuping
Scott Carpenter
Johnny Yancey
Susan Smith
Andrea Gladden
Richard Evey
David Berry
Krista Lail
Teresa Adkins
John Coburn
Carol Lamb
Ben Crawley
Kenneth King
Jason Carswell
Jackie Batts
Chuck Schlein
Rebecca Shuping
Robert Lowman
Charles Wilson
Nick Thompson
Burke County 4-H Foundation
Gail Lail
Lou Ella Daniels
Judy Benfield
Suzy Fitzgerald
Kermit Holshouser
FCS Program Committee
Susan Smith
Jackie Batts
Betty Bellas
Judy Phillips
Gail Waycaster
Mary Lou Furr
Horticulture Program Committee
Denise Cannon
Krista Lail
Johnny Yancey
Charles Wilson
Kenneth King
Livestock, Field Crops & Forestry Program Advisory Committee
Robert Lowman
Billy Parton
Doug Pitts
Larry Buff
Gerald Allen II
Trossie Wall
Phillip Houk
Rebecca Shuping

VIII. Staff Membership

Spring Williams-Byrd
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: spring_williams@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.

Glenda Burgess
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: glenda_burgess@ncsu.edu

Nicki Carpenter
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: nicki_carpenter@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.

Virginia Lopez
Title: Nutrition Educator, SNAP-Ed
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: virginia_lopez@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.

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

Damon Pollard
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Field Crops, Forestry
Phone: (828) 439-4460
Email: damon_pollard@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.

Dawn Snyder
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: dawn_snyder@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.

Donna Teasley
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (828) 439-4460
Email: Donna_Teasley@ncsu.edu

Emily Troutman
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: emily_troutman@ncsu.edu

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

Burke County Center
130 Ammons Dr
Morganton, NC 28655

Phone: (828) 764-9480
Fax: (828) 764-9481
URL: http://burke.ces.ncsu.edu