2019 Cabarrus County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 30, 2020

I. Executive Summary

Cabarrus County Cooperative Extension enriches the lives and economy by connecting land‐grant university research to the public. Our staff and volunteers deliver timely, relevant programs in the areas of agriculture, food and youth development.

In 2019, the Cabarrus Cooperative Extension staff delivered programs involving Cabarrus citizens in direct services, educational programs, and activities. Informal educational opportunities were provided through 149 non-credit classes. Cabarrus Cooperative Extension program efforts were multiplied and enhanced by 483 trained volunteers giving 70,484 volunteer hours. Their gift of hours is the equivalent to $1,792,407 in savings for Cabarrus County and the State of North Carolina. Through program evaluations administered by Cooperative Extension staff, participants in our programs and classes reported a 94% satisfaction rate.

Beef cattle production can be quite complicated and costly, especially when best management practices are not followed. Traditionally, and in Cabarrus county, beef cattle production in many instances still follows old production practices that are not cost-effective. This is why the Cattle College program in Cabarrus County was created. The program is led through Extension, with the help of two local producers. Cattle College participants meet monthly, allowing producers to fully learn, discuss, and understand the financial benefit of best management practices and why they are emphasized.

Understanding the importance of physical activity for the overall health and well-being of the students in the Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program is key to the program's success. Students are reinforced on how important being physically active is to their quality of life at their age as well as into adulthood. 66% or 311 of 471 students have improved their physical activity practices or gained knowledge about how important movement is to good health!

Cabarrus County 4-H recognizes the importance of science and made it a goal to reach at least 7,000 students with the 4-H National Youth Science Day experiment in 2019. Students from two middle schools, nine elementary schools, and twenty afterschool sites participated in the Game Changers experiment. The experiment connected computer science to agriculture, healthy living and civic engagement. This approach to computer science helped youth understand the many ways science can be applied to the world around us. 8,000 students in Cabarrus County took part in the experiment. Students are more knowledgeable about computer science and coding. Students created games, solved problems and worked together as a team to solve real world problems in agriculture, healthy lifestyles, and civic engagement.

Cabarrus Cooperative Extension volunteers continue to play a major role in successfully implementing large-scale programs and events. Two hundred volunteers from across all Extension program areas organized and taught sessions at the 2019 Agribusiness and Environmental Sciences Conservation School Days, reaching over 2500 middle school students. The Extension Master Gardener volunteers in Cabarrus County planned and implemented a continually growing Spring Herb and Plant Festival, seeing almost 8,000 citizens come through this full-day event. School teachers and after-school care providers worked together through the facilitation of Cabarrus 4-H staff to implement the 2019 National 4-H Science Day project involving over 8,000 students.

These are just a few examples of how Cooperative Extension in Cabarrus 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 Cabarrus County. For additional program impacts in Cabarrus County, contact our office at 704-920-3310.

II. County Background

Cabarrus County, just east of Charlotte, has seen tremendous growth in the past 15 years. The county’s population is now over 192,000. While the county contains Concord and Kannapolis, two very populated municipalities, it also includes a longstanding rural agricultural community in its eastern reaches.

Cabarrus County is rapidly urbanizing with a high cost of living and a very technological and service driven economy. Also, there has been an increase in the Hispanic population in the county due to the availability of jobs in the building and green industry, as well as service-oriented jobs.

In the last decade, subdivision development has mushroomed in this area, altering the agricultural landscape. Cabarrus County’s eastern region has seen tremendous growth in new housing. As farmland is converted to other uses, the county suffers a loss of open space, increased environmental degradation and a loss of the social fabric and values characteristic of rural communities. Historically, Cabarrus County depended upon the traditional North Carolina industries - textiles, and later, tobacco - for their employment. Opportunities in these areas are rapidly decreasing as the nature of industry in the county becomes much more technologically driven.

Local, natural, and wholesome food is becoming important to people within our community and is considered safer and more flavorful by many. The proximity of locally produced food will reduce fuel consumption, vehicle emissions, costs and travel time, benefiting the whole region, not just the producers. Targeted counties (those surrounding Cabarrus) have a combined population of over 1.3 million generating considerable demand and economic opportunity. Currently, the unemployment rate in Cabarrus County is higher than the statewide rate due to prevailing economic conditions and the closing of the Philip Morris USA plant in Concord. The larger effort to more fully develop a local food economy will lead to additional economic opportunities and should lead to additional acreage in food production, benefiting the whole region economically, as well as environmentally. Additionally, since production, processing, sales and consumption will all occur in the same local region, all the money spent will recirculate through the local economy, making it stronger and more resilient. This is an extremely important initiative within Cabarrus County.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

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

Value* Outcome Description
565Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
37Number of pesticide credit hours provided
253Number 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
11Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
5Number of crop (all plant systems) producers adopting best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
55Number of producers who increased knowledge of pasture/forage management practices (field improvement, herbicide management, grazing season extension, weed control, forage quality, haylage production, nitrate testing, etc.)
38Number of producers who increased knowledge of the strategies to promote animal health and welfare and reduce the potential for infectious diseases through proper use of vaccines, biosecurity, detection and identification of common diseases, appropriate use of animal medications, and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance transmission
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
12Number of producers adopting extension-recommended practices related to planning, marketing, and financial management
3Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to quality assurance (vaccinations, castration, culling techniques, etc.)
6Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to genetic improvement (AI, heifer/bull selection)
5Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices related to pasture management
2Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplement, breeding, and reproduction
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
12Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
45Number of participants acquiring knowledge and skills to convene and lead inclusive groups
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
1Number 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
326Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
6218Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
2881Total number of female participants in STEM program
65Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
2985Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
907Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
31Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
376Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
25Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
18Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
1385Number of youth using effective life skills
2Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
1265Number of youth increasing their physical activity
25Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
30Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
30Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
1600Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
35Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
16Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
61Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
205Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease, wildlife) and soil management
51Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
13Number of participants growing food for home consumption
16Number of participants adopting composting
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
385Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
70Number 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
323Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
433Number of participants increasing their physical activity
73Number 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* 26,758
Non face-to-face** 121,710
Total by Extension staff in 2019 148,468
* 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 $20,760.00
Gifts/Donations $3,040.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $500.00
Total $24,300.00

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 779 20808 17603 $ 529,147.00
Advisory Leadership System 42 58 61 $ 1,475.00
Extension Community Association 237 42742 0 $ 1,086,929.00
Extension Master Gardener 394 6542 4191 $ 166,363.00
Other: Agriculture 50 175 4500 $ 4,450.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 26 159 1172 $ 4,043.00
Total: 1528 70484 27527 $ 1,792,408.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Extension Advisory Council
Darrell Furr, Chair
Leslie Cook, Vice Chair
Nanci Furr
Gerri Harris
Candy Hooker
Joyce Kluttz, Secretary
Barbara Looney
Scott Maxwell
James Polk
Tommy Porter
Gary Ritchie
Pat Wickliff
Diane Honeycutt - Board of Commissioners Liason
Cabarrus 4-H Foundation, Inc.
Philip McAuley, President
Leslie Cook, Treasurer
Denise Cooper
Princess Gray
Kim Law
Jo Ann Lowder
Genie Lowe
Joe Lowe
Lynne McAuley
Darren Purser
Casi Shepardson
John Shepardson
Alisa Wickliff
Jean Thomas
Consumer Horticulture Advisory Committee
Mitchell Hagler
Scott Maxwell
Gerri Harris
Karen Lankheet
Phillis Puttnam
Cabarrus Agribusiness Council
Randy Fisher
Marvin Bost
John Cline
Ned Hudson
Louis Suther
Jerry Pless
Tommy Porter
Vicky Porter
Larry Taylor
Agricultural Advisory Board
Leslie Cook, Vice Chair
Bob Blackwelder
Tommy Porter, Chair
Louis Suther
Eddie Moose
Tommy Barbee
Wendy Sellers
Aaron Ritchie, ex-officio for County Planning and Zoning Board
Family and Consumer Science Committee
Ann Benfield
Maria Curan
Kathleen Tucker
Joyce Kluttz
Judy Furr
Theresa Smith
Livestock Advisory Committee
Darrell Furr
John Cline
Gary Ritchie
Tommy Porter
Extension & Community Association Leadership Team
President: Dorothy Anthony
Vice President: Michelle McDonald
Sec: Debbie Mullis
Treas. : Bobbie Sheperis
Advisor: Pat Wickliff
County Wide Issue Coordinators:
Barbara Looney
Judy Furr
Suzanne Whitmore
Linda Black
Kathleen Kent
Janet Stancil
Barbara Vehmann
Rose Freeman
Michelle McDonald
Linda Cordell
Gail Linker
Brian Stancil
Nancy Carlson

VIII. Staff Membership

Robert Furr
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (704) 920-3319
Email: rbfurr@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide direction and leadership to the Cooperative Extension program in Cabarrus County. Certified facilitator providing assistance with staff development, team building, strategic planning, process management and group facilitation

Christine Barrier
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: christine_barrier@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administrative assistant for the County Extension Director and performs routine-to-difficult administrative support tasks and related functions. Greets customers and general public, in person and via telephone, and serves as first point of contact for entire county agricultural building.

Frankie Bogutsky
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: ftboguts@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work part time from 10 to 2 Monday through Friday in a support role which involves assisting staff and volunteers with mailings, correspondence, pamphlet/brochure generation/distribution, calendar entries, answering phones, greeting customers, registration for events, copying, etc.

Beverly Bollenbecker
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: beverly_bollenbecker@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Program Associate provides Cabarrus County afterschool children with a 4-H experience during afterschool time. Afterschool students elect officers, have a club meeting and participate in many different 4-H projects each week in afterschool care. Develops program kits, training sessions for teachers, and conducts programming and special events for children using 4-H curricula. Currently serving all 20 Cabarrus County schools Kids: Plus afterschool programs.

Jenny Carleo
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain Crops
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: jscarleo@ncsu.edu

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9148
Email: cadescha@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The overall goal of the Area Specialized Agents (ASAs) in Consumer & Retail Food Safety is to provide North Carolinians with technical food safety information and to support Family and Consumer Sciences agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders.

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.

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (910) 893-7530
Email: richard_goforth@ncsu.edu

Renee Goodnight
Title: EFNEP Youth Educator
Phone: (704) 920-3321
Email: renee_goodnight@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program) is part of the United Sates Department of Agriculture. The curriculum is based around MyPlate and incorporates areas of nutrition and exercise. EFNEP youth educators spend most of their time working with schools and summer camps to deliver healthy lifestyle choices.

Mackenzie Hall
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Field Crops
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: mackenzie_hall@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include livestock (cattle, poultry, swine, sheep & goats) and field crops.

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.

Lauren Hill
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (704) 920-3320
Email: lauren_hill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Horticulturalist assisting Cabarrus County residents with Consumer Horticulture: Fruit, vegetable, flowers, shrubs, mole, vole, insects, and soil sample kits. ( Limited ability to answer questions pertaining to trees.) Commercial Horticulture for fruit and vegetables.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with commercial greenhouses and nurseries to help them with growing related issues. These issues range from pests (insect, disease, and weeds), substrates, nutrition, and other miscellaneous topics.

Peggie Lewis Joyce
Title: Area 4-H Agent - Central Region
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: peggie_lewis@ncsu.edu

Tracy LeCompte
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 920-3318
Email: tracy_lecompte@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Manages Cabarrus County 4-H community program serving through community 4-H clubs, in-school curriculum enrichment, and a variety of camps and classes. Responsible for adult and youth 4-H volunteer training and management. Works with local educators to bring 4-H materials, curriculum and professional development for hands-on science and agriculture based activities into the classroom. Collaborates with volunteers to implement 4-H classes throughout the year to enhance youth personal development. Connects youth and adults to 4-H programming at the county, district, state and national level.

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

Pamela Outen
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: pamela_outen@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Food preparation,food preservation, and food safety. Extension Liaison Agent with the Cabarrus Extension and Community Association, ECA.

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.

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

Cabarrus County Center
715 Cabarrus Ave W
Concord, NC 28027

Phone: (704) 920-3310
Fax: (704) 920-3323
URL: http://cabarrus.ces.ncsu.edu