2018 Caldwell County Program Impact Report

Approved: February 7, 2019

I. Executive Summary

The Caldwell County Cooperative Extension staff, its volunteers, and advisory leaders are proud to provide researched based information, educational programs, and on-farm demonstrations for the citizens of Caldwell County and the foothills region of North Carolina. During 2018, the Caldwell Extension Center assisted 2847 citizens through educational programs and face to face contacts. Beyond face to face contact, educational outreach was also provided through monthly radio programs with WJRI, monthly television programs broadcast on cable Channel 190, a weekly article published in the NewsTopic, Caldwell Journal, NCCE website, and social media. These efforts helped accomplish three main objectives;

1 - To strengthen the economy through profitable, sustainable and safe food, forest and green industry systems.
2 - To protect the environment and natural resources.
3 - To empower youth and families to lead healthier lives and become community leaders.

To support the green industry and to help protect natural resources (objectives 1 & 2) the Caldwell County Cooperative Extension held our third annual Landscapers Workshop. There were 104 participants from 21 counties. Combined, this group managed 4,000 acres of landscape and 2,300 acres of turf. To learn the impact from the workshop a survey was given to participants. There were 74 surveys returned. We learned 74 participants experienced a knowledge gain from attending the sessions. 65 intend to select recommended plants for landscapes, and 59 said they would change forest pest management practices. 63 said they would reduce water and pesticide use as a result of what they learned, and 58 said they would reduce fertilizer use. Participants estimated a $48,050 income gain and a $51,800 savings from adopting new practices. Over half expressed appreciation for the high quality, low cost, and convenience of the event.

Caldwell County 4-H summer youth programs were designed to help empower the next generation (objective 3) and to teach them about the natural environment (objective 2). This was accomplished through summer day camping experiences such as the four day 4H2O summer day camp. During this water focused adventure youth visited local streams and assessed the water quality by taking measurements of temperature, turbidity, pH, and nitrate concentration. Youth also collected and identified the living creatures in the stream. The fish collection was performed with electroshock. This was done by the NC Regional Fish and Wildlife Biologist. Benthic organisms (insects and crustaceans living in the stream bed) were also collected and identified. Other water quality indicators were also identified. This included stream bed structure; sand, gravel, cobbles, or boulders; stream shading; and stream bank stability. Based on the species collected the youth classified the streams as Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor.

Through efforts of our Food and Nutrition program we help youth lead healthier lives (objective 3). 315 third graders from 7 schools learned about healthy eating in a 9 week structured program. The youth sampled foods and learned to read food labels. All this helps them learn healthy habits that will be with them for their entire lives.

Research and demonstration trials are essential activities for county extension agents to assist cutting edge clients. This year Caldwell Extension Center staff were involved with an industrial hemp grower conducting on-farm research. The trial was to examine the feasibility of industrial hemp as a potential crop providing economic sustainability (objective 1). In addition there were several trials at the Unity Park and Community Garden. These trials included garlic, sweet potato, greens, ginger, and turmeric. These efforts helped empower families lead healthier lives by including fresh vegetables into their diet (objective 3). Also, a herbicide trial was conducted in Caldwell County to explore the use of the herbicide Chaparral as a growth regulator in tall fescue (K-31) pastures. This study showed how controlling fescue seedheads can improve cattle performance and thus economic sustainability (objective 1).

It is through these efforts and many more summarized below that the Caldwell Extension Center helped produce positive changes in the three main focus areas of agricultural businesses, natural resources, and families in 2018.

II. County Background

Caldwell County North Carolina is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The 2013 county population estimate is 81,990. Caldwell County has the greatest elevation range (900 to 5,964 feet above sea level) of any county in North Carolina. There are seven incorporated municipalities in the county: Lenoir, Granite Falls, Hudson, Cajah Mountain, Gamewell, Sawmills, and Cedar Rock.

Caldwell County ranks 83 in North Carolina for total cash receipts from agriculture. This totals $19 million in farm income. The Green Industry accounts for over 60% of the agricultural income in Caldwell County.

The Caldwell County Extension Center is committed to developing and delivering research, education, and demonstration programs that will improve the lives and prosperity of the people of Caldwell County. Over the past year, the Caldwell County Extension Center, and its Advisory Councils, have been involved in identifying the needs of the citizens of Caldwell County. By networking and partnering with volunteers, from both the private and the professional sectors, the Center has identified county needs through the use of surveys and personal interviews. These needs have been filtered through the programming areas of Agriculture, Food, and 4-H Youth to create a plan of work targeted at addressing these identified needs. We believe through this dynamic process, we can provide the greatest service to the people of Caldwell County and make the best use of the resources entrusted to us.

In 2018 our educational programs will focus on three strategic priorities:

1 - To strengthen the economy through profitable, sustainable and safe food, forest and green industry systems.
2 - To protect the environment and natural resources.
3 - To empower youth and families to lead healthier lives and become community leaders.

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
62Number 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
23Number 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
59240Net 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
1Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
75Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
1Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
54Number 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
44Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
68000Net income gains by producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
* 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
41Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
61Number 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.
67Number 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 farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
14Number 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.
50Number of pounds of fresh produce donated for consumption by vulnerable populations.
* 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.

Value* Outcome Description
40Number of commercial/public operators trained
444Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

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
124Number 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
72Number 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
51800Total 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
72Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
48080Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
5Number of participants adopting composting
1200Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
72Number of participants 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
24Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
63Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
65Number 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* 2,832
Non face-to-face** 20,927
Total by Extension staff in 2018 23,759
* 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 $0.00
Gifts/Donations $0.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $15,000.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $15,000.00

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: 32 94 237 $ 2,390.00
Advisory Leadership System: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 126 1,042 1,377 $ 26,498.00
Other: 51 120 58 $ 3,052.00
Total: 209 1256 1672 $ 31,940.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Livestock Committee
Jack Adams
John Cassavaugh
Ronnie Holman
Jim Munday
Bryan Reid
Dewey Reid
Lee Vines
Phillip Wike
Michael Willis
4-H and Youth Development Committee
Pete Walser
Robbie Denning
Lisa Deal
Dana Snyder
Urban Horticulture Committee
Paul Derelia
Jane Duralia
Allen Caldwell
Charles Beck
Lee Cox
Marsha Holden
County Advisory Council
Libby Brown
Jane Chandler
Lee Cox
Dr. John Dockery
Toney Helton
Ronnie Holman
Pete Kidder
Wesley Looper
Kim Siddons
Gerald Sprinkle

VIII. Staff Membership

Seth Nagy
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 757-1290
Email: seth_nagy@ncsu.edu

Brent Buchanan
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (315) 212-1277
Email: babuchan@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.

April Dillon
Title: Area Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: april_dillon@ncsu.edu

Diana Ford
Title: Receptionist
Phone: (828) 757-1290
Email: diana_ford@ncsu.edu

Lauren Greene
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - 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

Tina Lovejoy
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 757-1290
Email: tina_lovejoy@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support

Margie Mansure
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences - Nutrition and Foods
Phone: (828) 264-3061
Email: margie_mansure@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Teach children and general public good nutrition and health practices through a variety of methods, including cooking skill development, gardening and food preservation. Promote consumption of locally grown food by working with many community partners.

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.

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

Eli Snyder
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Commercial and Consumer Hort.
Phone: (828) 757-1290
Email: elina_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.

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

Caldwell County Center
120 Hospital Ave NE
Suite 1
Lenoir, NC 28645

Phone: (828) 757-1290
Fax: (828) 757-1251
URL: http://caldwell.ces.ncsu.edu