2017 Cabarrus County Program Impact Report

Approved: February 8, 2018

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 2017, the Cabarrus Cooperative Extension staff delivered programs involving 90,806 Cabarrus citizens in direct services, educational programs, and activities. Informal educational opportunities were provided through 158 non-credit classes. Cabarrus Cooperative Extension program efforts were multiplied and enhanced by 372 trained volunteers giving 52,217 volunteer hours. Their gift of hours is the equivalent to $1,260,518 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 93% satisfaction rate.

Cabarrus County is experiencing a health crisis that can cause catastrophic effects; for youth, these effects are often the result of smoking and illegal drugs as well as peer pressure, stress and lack of physical activity. Collaborating with the Cabarrus County Schools Kids:Plus Program, the Cabarrus County 4-H Afterschool Program provided 18 afterschool sites with 10 hours of Health Rocks curriculum instruction. A total of 1,250 afterschool children were reached. Families also participated in a hands-on Family Fun Night where they could see first-hand how Health Rocks was making a difference in their child's life. A pre and post evaluation was given to each student. All 550 third through fifth graders completed the evaluation. 85% said they increased their knowledge about health risks associated with smoking and other drug use. They also feel they have the skills and knowledge to lead healthier lives. After completing the 10-hour course, youth feel better about taking tests, have found positive ways to reduce stress and many have started an exercise program to gain more physical fitness.

Research studies show that Cabarrus County older adults are not consuming enough fruits and vegetables, and they are concerned that their food budget will not stretch to cover their monthly needs. NC State Extension, Cabarrus County Center, partnered with the Active Living and Parks and Logan Senior Nutrition Site to offer the 8-session Better Choices Nutrition Program during May 2017. The program focused on the health benefits of consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, money saving strategies for stretching limited food dollars and the importance of physical activity. Each enrolled senior adult completed a pre and post survey to measure behavior change. Also participants completed a My Action Plan to capture behavioral intentions at the conclusion of the series. Fifty-one percent increased their fruit and vegetable consumption and reported selecting foods with less salt more often and selecting food with less added sugar. Forty-seven percent of the adults are now shopping with a grocery list to save money and cut back on impulse purchases. Forty four percent think about healthy food choices more often, and forty two percent are more active daily. Eighty five percent started or plan to start eating more fruit and vegetables each day.

The demand for research based horticultural information and home food production is growing across the state. Citizens are becoming more interested in food production, native plants and the different methods of gardening including entomology, propagation and pathology. A 17-week North Carolina Extension Master Gardener class was held in 2017. Each week's class was held for 3 hours and a lecture or field trip were presented. Topics covered included botany, plant pathology, integrated pest management, fruits, vegetables, natives, plant propagation, floriculture, woody ornamentals, soils, landscape design, lawns, wildlife and compost. Students attended hands on demonstrations with specialist from NC State University and were able to practice the demonstrated skills. An exam was given at the end of the course to examine the students' knowledge. Students are required to complete 40 volunteers hours.

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 2017 Agribusiness and Environmental Sciences Conservation School Days, reaching over 2,500 middle school students. The Extension Master Gardener volunteers in Cabarrus County planned and implemented a continually growing Spring Herb and Plant Festival, seeing almost 9,000 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 2017 National 4-H Science Day project, "Incredible Wearables", involving over 7,000 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

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

Value* Outcome Description
80Number 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
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
60Number 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
40000Net 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
6Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
10Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
18000Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
58Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
58Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
28Number 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.
28Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
58Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
4000Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
4Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue.
1Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.

Value* Outcome Description
240Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
45Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
240Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
18Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
570Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
16Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
6Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
420Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
92Number of hours youth volunteer training conducted
60Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
537Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
3368Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
14Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
12Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
7Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
40Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
4Number of youth volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
1Number of adult volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
288Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
19695Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
10691Total number of female participants in STEM program
72Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
121Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
405Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
19695Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation.

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

Value* Outcome Description
29Number 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
29Number 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
9Number of participants adopting composting
29Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
* 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
227Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
552Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
284Number of participants increasing their physical activity
7Number of adults who reduce their blood pressure
59Number 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* 35,954
Non face-to-face** 54,852
Total by Extension staff in 2017 90,806
* 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 $24,500.00
Gifts/Donations $3,400.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $27,900.00

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: 1,177 14,839 24,144 $ 366,375.00
Advisory Leadership System: 9 21 57 $ 518.00
Extension Community Association: 1,608 31,107 1,385 $ 768,032.00
Extension Master Gardener: 182 4,040 1,011 $ 99,748.00
Other: 166 2,210 4,485 $ 54,565.00
Total: 3142 52217 31082 $ 1,289,238.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Extension Advisory Council
Tommy Porter, Chair
Leslie Cook
Steve Christy
Candy Hooker
Jo Ann Lowder
Joyce Kluttz, Secretary
Barbara Looney
Darrell Furr
James Polk
Gary Ritchie
Wendy Tate
Ellen Vanderburg
Pat Wickliff
Diane Honeycutt - Board of Commissioners Liason
Cabarrus 4-H Foundation, Inc.
Philip McAuley, President
Judy Furr, Treasurer
Leslie Cook
Denise Cooper
Kim Law
Jo Ann Lowder
Lynne McAuley
Vickie Porter
Alisa Wickliff
Jean Thomas
Consumer Horticulture Advisory Committee
Wendy Tate
Ellen Vanderburg
Scott Maxwell
James Polk
Mary Quay
Cabarrus Agribusiness Council
Randy Fisher
Marvin Bost
John Cline
Janie Furr
Ned Hudson
Louis Suther
Jerry Pless
Tommy Porter
Vicky Porter
Larry Taylor
Agricultural Advisory Board
Leslie Cook
Bob Blackwelder
Tommy Porter
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: Pat Wickliff
Vice President: Dorothy Anthony
Sec: Debbie Mullis
Treas. : Bobbie Sheperis
Advisor: Joyce Kluttz
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) 920-3310
Brief Job Description: Provide direction and leadership to the Cooperative Extension program in Cabarrus County.

Christine Barrier
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: christine_barrier@ncsu.edu

Frankie Bogutsky
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: ftboguts@ncsu.edu

Beverly Bollenbecker
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: beverly_bollenbecker@ncsu.edu

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

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.

Email: nafurr2@ncsu.edu

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (704) 283-3801
Email: richard_goforth@ncsu.edu

Renee Goodnight
Title: Nutrition Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 920-3321
Email: renee_goodnight@ncsu.edu

Email: lgheenan@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.

Lauren Hill
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (704) 920-3320
Email: lhdunca3@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for Master Gardener program, consumer and commercial horticulture.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu

Nathan Kiger
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops and Livestock
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: nathan_kiger@ncsu.edu

Tracy LeCompte
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: tracy_lecompte@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: 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

Pamela Outen
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: pamela_outen@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.

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

Cabarrus County Center
715 Cabarrus Ave W
Concord, NC 28027

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