2018 Catawba County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 24, 2019

I. Executive Summary

Catawba County Cooperative Extension continued to address local issues and assist citizens with sound, research-based information on a variety of topics in 2018. As part of the county budgeting process, Cooperative Extension worked with Program Advisory Committees, County Budget Staff, County Management and County Commissioners to identify key outcomes that are unique to Extension work. In addition, CES continued to make progress in leading the implementation of the Catawba County Farm and Food Sustainability Plan.

A number of workshops were held for farmers working with row crops and livestock including rotational grazing, pasture management, hay management in a drought, pesticide safety, and traditional commodity (soybean, wheat, and corn) programs. The livestock program expanded the use of demonstration sites to further promote recommended techniques. Row crops programs in Catawba County include a Hemp Information Session on Dec 18, 2018. This session was attended by 110 people and offered 2 CEU credits for pesticide licence renewal. Pasture Management Programs in Catawba County include a September 11, 2018 Field Tour of the Big Bluestem grass demonstration site. Twenty-three attended with 100% increasing knowledge. Beef Marketing Programs in Catawba County include a December 11, 2018, meeting where 67 attendees learned about marketing beef as organic or grass-fed meats and the necessary guidelines involved.

Pesticide and NC Landscape Contractor credits were offered at the 12/11/18 class on Sustainable Landscaping Ideas and Turf Weed Management. 24 people were in attendance, and 12 people received 2 credits toward their pesticide license for a total of 24 credits earned. Landscape professionals who are licensed to spray and apply pesticides and controlled chemicals have a median salary in NC of $32,270 (USA Wage, 2018). Landscape workers without licenses receive a median salary of $26,390 (USA Wage, 2018). Ornamental and turf workers need 10 credits per 5-year period to remain licensed. The difference in wages for one year would be $5,880, and the difference over 5 years would be $29,400. With 10 credits, that makes each credit a benefit of $2,940 in salary. The 24 credits earned have a potential increase in salary of $70,560.

Five 'cooking with local food' classes were taught from July to present for a total of seven for 2018. A total of 122 people attended adding $1,212 to local farmer income.

33 presentations were provided at 3 libraries in Catawba County attended by over 1000 people. Of those participants, 98% reported that the presentations have helped them to be more active in their landscape. 27% of all participants reported an increase of 30 minutes or more per day of activity. According to the American Heart Association, this level of activity saves individuals $2500 per year in medical costs. The average reported saving from the landscape and garden management knowledge was $46 per person. Thus the reported savings was approximately $46,000. With health and management savings combined, the total savings from this programming is estimated at well over $100,000. In addition, 91% of all participants reported starting or expanding a garden as a result of the program.

The 4-H program had many hundreds of youth contacts with school programs and clubs. 237 children were enrolled in 15 4-H clubs and groups with leadership primarily provided by volunteer leaders. 319 students have participated in healthy living and STEM programs offered in school classrooms and through 4-H clubs. As a result of participating in Steps to Health, students are eating healthier, consuming more water, reading labels, and increasing their physical activity. Based on the parent feedback forms, 77% of the parents observed their child eating more fruits and vegetables, 71% observed their child drinking more water and less sugary drinks, and 68% observed their child being more active, after participating in Steps to Health. Parent behavior changes were also seen, as a result of the program. 69% of the parents reported eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and being more active. Based on the student pre and post-test, 38% of the students reported trying new fruits and vegetables more frequently and eating more whole grains.

The Eat Drink and Be Local (EDBL) week successfully involved 5 restaurants in the event that committed to serving at least one meal primarily comprised of local food. In addition, the Farm to Fork Feast had over 200 attendees and was supported by a great diversity of community organizations and businesses. EDBL also surveyed over 200 people participating in farmer market cooking demonstrations with over 85% of participants reporting that they were purchasing more local produce as a result of the efforts. The overall impact on increased consumption of local food as a result of EDBL was estimated at over $20,000.

II. County Background

Catawba County is located in the western part of North Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With 58,500 households, the population of the county is nearly 155,000. The largest city is Hickory and the county seat is Newton. Catawba County has a diverse economy and is home to manufacturing including machinery, metalwork, plastics, cable, and furniture; retail, and residential development. Production agriculture continues to be challenged by urbanization, but the county has over 70,000 acres of farmland and over 600 farms. While traditional manufacturing has been negatively impacted by the economic recession recently and unemployment is high, agriculture posted an increase in gross farm income to a new high of $56,217,409 in 2012. In 2014, at over 62%, the majority of Catawba County’s cash receipts from agriculture stemmed from the raising of broilers. The County saw little to no revenue from the cash receipts of hogs, turkeys, cotton, peanuts, and tobacco. Total agricultural revenues amounted to $86,517,688, ranking Catawba County 45th in the State compared to other counties.

In order to determine greatest needs, Cooperative Extension conducts extensive issues identification through the use of multiple advisory committees. Catawba County's priority issues were determined to be (1) increase educational achievement and excellence with programs in 4-H and youth development; (2) local food system development; (3) advancement of the County’s Food and Farm Sustainability Plan; and (4) improve commercial agricultural and home production systems. Catawba County Cooperative Extension utilizes numerous program committees to help identify issues and responses from within a broad range of program areas, while assuring that these issues fit within our restructuring model – Agriculture, Food, and 4-H Youth Development. These committee recommendations are aligned with staff strengths to help ensure the development and implementation of educational programs that will positively impact the health and well-being of our citizens.

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
47Number 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.

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

Value* Outcome Description
112Number 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
80Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
185278Net 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
45Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
939Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
50Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
195Number 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
5Number 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.

Value* Outcome Description
36Number of food service employees receiving ServSafe certification
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
36Number of participants developing food safety plans
36Number of participants implementing ServSafe
* 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.

Value* Outcome Description
14Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
98Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
43Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
15Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
14Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
98Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
31Number of youth 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
3Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
9Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult 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.

Parents and caregivers will effectively use recommended parenting, self care practices and community resources.

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.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
49Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
1710Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
34Total number of female participants in STEM program
95Number of youth (students) participating in 4-H dropout prevention (student at-risk) programs
105Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
192Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
14Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
33Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
249Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
1684Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
12Number of adults gaining career / employability skills
12Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
* 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
1298Number 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
1088Number 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
1823348Total 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
92Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
92Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
1092Number of participants growing food for home consumption
109200Value of produce grown for home consumption
* 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
56Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
941Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
154Number of participants increasing their physical activity
39Number of participants who consume less sodium in their diet
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Other Objectives

Agriculture Development
Agriculture To educate new, beginning, or transitioning farmers on current and alternative enterprises, NC Cooperative Extension will host three field days and/or trainings to demonstrate different sustainable and alternative production techniques including but not limited to livestock production, crop production, best management techniques, soil health and fertility, and season extension techniques. To increase support and further understand production and marketing needs of county row crop producers an initial advisory board of at least 8 producers will be formed in 2015. This advisory board will develop an executive summary of priority areas to guide row crop extension priorities. We will work to continue serving Catawba County horse owners or horse industry users with an increase of knowledge in horse management as a result of participating in educational programs, receiving newsletters/media releases or through personal assistance on weed control and pasture management on small acreage, farm management, disease control and prevention, horse evaluation/selection, hay and feed evaluation and horse waste management. To increase farm sustainability, NC Cooperative Extension will host meetings, workshops, or field days, and will provide one-on-one assistance and informal feedback to 30 beef/dairy farmers or confinement animal operations and animal waste management with a focus on soil testing, soil and pasture conservation practices, forage/feed analysis, and maintenance of waste operator certification.
4-H and Youth Development
4-H and Youth Youth ages 5-18 will develop targeted life skills and gain new subject matter knowledge as a result of participating in volunteer-led 4-H clubs, short-term and skill-building competitive programs. Programming will strive for participants to show an increase in subject matter knowledge and life skill development by a minimum of 20 percent with impact measured using a written evaluation completed by participating families, successful completion of skill building competitive programs, club expansion and development. 4-H activities will include planning for 700 students that will participate in programs focused on healthy lifestyles and/or STEM education, which are key program areas identified for programming through National 4-H council. Programs will be offered through school classrooms and out-of-school settings with the intent to reinforce and extend grade level objectives. Youth participating in the healthy living program will increase their knowledge about and adopt positive healthy living behaviors related to healthy eating, avoiding substance use, and social and emotional development. Youth participating in STEM programs will increase their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and math; show an increased interest in STEM, and improve their understanding of how STEM is used in everyday life. Thirty high school students, reflecting diverse backgrounds, will improve their leadership, citizenship, and college readiness skills participating in teen leadership programs such as Catawba County Youth Council, 4-H Ambassador, 4-H County Council, and college-preparedness programs. 100 percent of the teens will show an improvement in skills in at least one identified area. Skill development will be measured through pre and post training evaluations, completion of leadership portfolios, and the number of youth aspiring to advance to higher education.
Local Food System Development
To increase the capacity of local farmers, restaurants, and individuals to participate in the local food economy, NC Cooperative Extension will hold a local foods awareness week called Eat, Drink and Be Local. This is an annual event that we hope to continue expand participation. In order to promote agricultural literacy within the general public, NC Cooperative Extension will distribute a local food guide with a description of all the ways consumers can access food produced in Catawba County. To address gaps in consumer knowledge of purchasing, preparing, and preserving fresh foods, NC Cooperative Extension will host six events that educate the public on using fresh fruits and vegetables. These events will reach at least 250 consumers that will report via written evaluation a greater understanding of how to grow, purchase, and or cook with fresh fruits and vegetables and 20 percent will report plans for incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into their diets.
Food and Farm Sustainability Plan
Food and Farm Sustainability Plan To promote and support the local agricultural economy, being defined as within 75 miles of the center point of Catawba County, NC Cooperative Extension will provide educational programming that will increase the knowledge of 60 interested producers on different aspects of agricultural production such as fruit and vegetable production, livestock production, best farm management practices, and new direct marketing opportunities, which would enable them to begin/expand production. In collaboration with Catawba County Library and their community garden project, at least 30 landscape management and vegetable gardening classes will be hosted for the general public. The library’s community garden project provides an added community amenity that contributes to building a healthy community by providing opportunities for all ages to learn about gardening and by helping to produce healthy foods that are shared with local people in need of nutritious meals. A total of fifty (50) participants will report knowledge gained in different aspects of fruit and vegetable gardening. Eighty five (85%) percent of the participants will report that they increased their physical activity, learned how to start or improve their gardening skills, or gained a stronger sense of well-being by helping local people have access to healthier foods.

V. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 21,500
Non face-to-face** 39,345
Total by Extension staff in 2018 60,845
* 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.

VI. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $42,500.00
Gifts/Donations $9,955.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $2,500.00
User Fees $8,517.88
Total $63,472.88

VII. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H: 264 1,043 1,222 $ 26,523.00
Advisory Leadership System: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 67 2,334 876 $ 59,354.00
Other: 58 752 128 $ 19,123.00
Total: 389 4129 2226 $ 105,000.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VIII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Catawba County Extension Advisory Council
Russell Hedrick, Chair
Martha Calderon, Vice Chair
Justus Rowe, Secretary
Sue Stulpin
Gene Rice
Marty Rice
Tracy Paul
Austin Pearce
Julie Covington
Andy Bisulca
Susan Bisulca

4-H Advisory Council
Sue and Kat Stulpin
Emily and Joanna Kanupp
Deval Mason
Holly Meier
Amanda Linder
Josh and Amy Wilson
Voluntary Agricultural District Board
Clarence Hood, Chair
Dave McCart, Vice Chair
Ken Arrowood
Jeff Elmore
Jeremy Lee
Susan Proctor
Joe Devine
Small Farms Committee
Karen Coto
Matt - The Bearded Farmer
Justus Rowe
Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Committee
Lisa Adams
Sandra Hunt
Tracey Paul
Loretta Hefner
Ashley Benfield
Jessica Haynes
Karen Martinez
Janice Moore
Amy Bostian
Honey Estrada
Food Safety/Food Policy Council
Scott Carpenter
Tracey Paul
Damaris Chacon

IX. Staff Membership

George Place
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 465-8247
Email: gtplace@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I serve as the director for Catawba County Cooperative Extension Services. I am also the extension agent for programming and consultation in food crops.

Anelle Ammons
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Phone: (828) 465-8240
Email: asammons@ncat.edu
Brief Job Description: Vision: To strengthen the economy and protect natural resources with increased knowledge of sustainable horticulture practices and profitable green industry systems. Goals: To provide CEU credits for Green Industry professionals by conducting classes that provide pesticide and landscape contractor credits To provide classes for the public in sustainable gardening techniques and home horticulture so that communities are enhanced and natural resources are conserved through thoughtful and knowledgeable landscape plantings and designs To support school and community gardens by providing expertise and curriculum building around plants and food production To provide science outreach to the community through public events and schools Read more at: https://catawba.ces.ncsu.edu/catawba-horticulture/

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.

Natalie Cline
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 465-8240
Email: nscline@ncsu.edu

Glenn Detweiler
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (828) 465-8240
Email: Glenn_Detweiler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture-Livestock

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

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 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.

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9155
Email: romcdowe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in NC.

Tina McGillvary
Title: 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 465-8240
Email: tmmcgill@ncsu.edu

Donna Mull
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 465-8240
Email: donna_mull@ncsu.edu

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.

Andrea Sherrill
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences, Iredell and Catawba Counties
Phone: (704) 878-3157
Email: andrea_sherrill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Food & Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Food safety, Food Preservation and Extension & Community Association (ECA) Liaison Agent.

Smith
Phone:
Email: ansmith3@ncsu.edu

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.

April Vigardt
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Local Foods
Phone: (828) 465-8243
Email: alvigard@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.

X. Contact Information

Catawba County Center
1175 S Brady Ave
Newton, NC 28658

Phone: (828) 465-8240
Fax: (828) 465-8428
URL: http://catawba.ces.ncsu.edu