2018 Cherokee County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 18, 2019

I. Executive Summary

Cherokee County is located in Southwestern most portion of Western North Carolina. With abundant natural resources, the area has become a retirement destination in recent years. The current population is 27,300. Agriculture provides receipts of $25,719,000 of which the majority of the receipts are in livestock ($23,081,000). According to most recent census data, the median household income is $27,992. Individuals with substandard income living at the poverty level account for 15.3% of the county population. Census data also indicates that 19.22% of children under age 18 and 23.63% of children under age 6 live in poverty. The CDC reports for obesity indicate that no state met the nation's Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%. While North Carolina reports an average BMI of 29.6, this does not appear to be significantly lower. By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 20.5% in Colorado to 34.7% in Louisiana. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Obesity and related chronic diseases are prevalent among North Carolinian's. With 2/3 of adults overweight or obese, North Carolina ranks 13th in the nation for obesity, and 9th and 17th highest for adult diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Poor eating practices and physical inactivity are not limited to adults. Children are following closely in their footsteps, with only 1 in 4 eating recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables and almost half spending more than 2 hours watching television every day. Some outcomes include 310 adult and youth adopted healthy lifestyle changes, 86 farmers were reached with educational programs and increased profitability, and homeowners saved over $113,000 by using good practices recommended by employees and volunteers. 913 citizens were impacted by gaining knowledge, changing practices, and increasing profitability.

II. Executive Summary
Cherokee County Cooperative Extension staff, volunteers, and advisory committees continue to serve by providing researched-based information from the land-grant colleges to the citizens of Cherokee County and Western North Carolina. With contacts reaching over 19000, the county staff is committed to assisting with the issues that face our area. Over 90 non-degree classes were offered in the area of healthy lifestyles, leadership development, profitable and sustainable agriculture, and disaster preparedness. Cherokee County staff responded by providing educational programs to help gardeners and farmers learn proper techniques and methods to assist farmers to hedge for success, healthy lifestyle, good farmer’s market practices seminars, and beginning farmers workshops. Also, programs such as Master Gardeners and 4-H volunteer training assisted with maintaining a healthy volunteer corp to assist with programming. Some successes include:

Healthy Eating
Obesity and related chronic diseases are prevalent among North Carolinian's. With 2/3 of adults overweight or obese, North Carolina ranks 5th in the nation for obesity, and 18th and 11th highest for adult diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Poor eating practices and physical inactivity are not limited to adults. Children are following closely in their footsteps, with only 1 in 4 eating recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables and almost half spending more than 2 hours watching television every day. NC Cooperative Extension's SNAP-Ed(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education) Program is Steps to Health. Cherokee County 4-H Agent, Shannon Coleman, partnered with Murphy Elementary School 3rd grade teachers and school administrators and provided the 3rd grade with the Steps to Health Program in 2018. Seventy-eight 3rd grade students at Murphy Elementary School participated in the program. There were 657 educational contacts in which there were increases in eating more vegetables, drinking fewer sodas, and playing outside more often.

Community Development
Since the drought and wildfires of 2016 residents have been interested in developing practices to assist with home protection. The Wildland Fire committee has developed a volunteer committee to assist with education in Fire-wise practices. Also, the county commissioners chose Cooperative Extension to collaborate with Emergency Management to assist with public awareness of public safety issues related to county residents. 75% of the participants understood the need for being prepared for an emergency.

Volunteer Readiness
Cherokee county depends upon the use of volunteers to assist us with reaching out to the citizens we serve. In 2018, 72 volunteers volunteered 1629 hours and had 2111 contacts. The value of their work is estimated at over $68,000.

Agriculture
Programs to assist farmers in best management practices in Animal Husbandry assisted 86 farmers with best management practices that improved finances over $39,000.00. Programs and practices were also taught by staff and volunteers that helped homeowners save over $70,000. The savings ranged from participants growing more food for consumption to best management practices in homeowner pest management.

Finally, technology is having a significant impact on how citizens receive information. The staff has adopted practices that involve utilizing webinars, social media, county website, and web-based newsletters to the arsenal of educational programming.

II. County Background

Cherokee County is located in Southwestern most portion of Western North Carolina. With abundant natural resources, the area has become a retirement destination in recent years. The current population is 27,300. Agriculture provides receipts of $25,719,000 of which the majority of the receipts are in livestock ($23,081,000). Public school enrollment was 3905 (K-12) while 312 school age children were enrolled in home schools. According to most recent census data, the median household income is $27,992. Individuals with substandard income living at the poverty level account for 15.3% of the county population. Census data also indicates that 19.22% of children under age 18 and 23.63% of children under age 6 live in poverty.
The CDC reports for obesity indicate that no state met the nation's Healthy People 2010 goal to lower obesity prevalence to 15%. Rather, in 2010, there were 12 states with an obesity prevalence of 30%. In 2000, no state had an obesity prevalence of 30% or more. North Carolina still has a state average of 29.6 with the ideal BMI goal less than 30. While North Carolina reports an average BMI of 29.6, this does not appear to be significantly lower. By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 20.5% in Colorado to 34.7% in Louisiana in 2012. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Obesity and related chronic diseases are prevalent among North Carolinian's. With 2/3 of adults overweight or obese, North Carolina ranks 13th in the nation for obesity, and 9th and 17th highest for adult diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Poor eating practices and physical inactivity are not limited to adults. Children are following closely in their footsteps, with only 1 in 4 eating recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables and almost half spending more than 2 hours watching television every day.

According to Louv, there is a connection between this negative trend and the absence of meaningful and consistent outdoor experiences. The EPA has found that the disconnect between children and nature has a profound impact on our children’s physical and mental health and sense of environmental stewardship. It is our responsibility to introduce children to the outdoor environment. Research has shown that the current generation of children treats nature as an afterthought, choosing to stay indoors playing video games, surfing the internet, and watching television, spending less time interacting with the environment and their families. Research confirms that there is no substitute for being outdoors. According to findings provided by North Carolina 4-H, there are over 1.9 million North Carolina citizens between the ages of 5 and 19 A recent study found that North Carolina employers listed the following skills as critical: basic mathematics, reading comprehension, and the ability to integrate information and communication technology. Because of the new global, knowledge-based economy, there is greater competition for jobs outside of North Carolina and the nation’s borders. With the rise in job competition and the dropout rate in North Carolina being high, youth need a program like 4-H that bridges the school-based career coursework with experiential learning programs and life skill development.
There is also a movement to preserve the family farms through profitability. With the assistance of Ag Options and local groups, new and innovative crops and methods are being introduced to assist landowners in making their land generate profits. Also, the local foods initiative has provided opportunities for producers to market products through local markets. Area farmers have constructed high tunnel greenhouses through the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) cost-share assistance for farmers. In a three-county area, the local NRCS office has helped construct over 40 with 60 more planned. Many of these growers do not have hands on experience growing produce and/or growing in a high tunnel.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

Value* Outcome Description
86Number 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
73Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
38955Net 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.

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

Value* Outcome Description
6Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
3Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
30Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
2Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
6Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
3Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
30Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
3Number 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
71Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
3Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
71Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
95Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
10Number of hours youth volunteer training conducted
16Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
10Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
1649Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
1Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
16Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
1Number of youth volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
36Number 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.

Value* Outcome Description
10Number of participants increasing knowledge and skills in convening and leading inclusive, representative groups (including limited resources, new resident, or immigrant groups) for evidence based community development
62Number of participants developing skills in leading community, economic, and/or disaster planning and change
200Number of residents that increase their knowledge in disaster preparedness planning, mitigation and recovery
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
21Number of participants who adopted disaster preparedness and mitigation practices
8Number of participants who report new or expanded leadership roles and opportunities undertaken
35000Dollar value of in-kind resources (funding, in-kind service or volunteers) contributed to Projects or Programs in which Extension was critically involved by an organization or community to support community or economic development work
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
16Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
166Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
79Total number of female participants in STEM program
15Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
116Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
116Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
12Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
166Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
116Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
116Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
94Number of participants increasing their knowledge about best management practices
8Number of child and youth educators aspiring to implement quality outdoor learning environments for children
394Number of youth and adults demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
166Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
94Number of participants that adopted recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
* 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
393Number 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
336Number 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
7265Total 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
87Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
77Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
36039Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
60Number of participants growing food for home consumption
27118Value 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
73Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
305Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
310Number 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* 8,003
Non face-to-face** 12,033
Total by Extension staff in 2018 20,036
* 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 $1,651.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $400.00
User Fees $5,820.00
Total $7,871.00

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: 156 949 1,148 $ 24,133.00
Advisory Leadership System: 9 192 35 $ 4,883.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 72 1,629 928 $ 41,425.00
Other: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Total: 237 2770 2111 $ 70,441.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Community Development Advisory Committee
Robin Caldwell
Randy Wiggins
Calvin Mashburn
Mike Stiles
Brenda Blount
Don Reynolds
Anita Solesbee



Agriculture Advisory Committee
Burke West
Tim Davis
Eric Carlson
Shawn Johnson

Youth and 4-H Advisory Committee
Leanne Cook
Angie Hopkins
Jan Griggs
Delores Howell
Brenda Blount
Kiffney Griggs
Michael Hopkins
Reagan Lindsay

VIII. Staff Membership

Doug Clement
Title: County Extension Director, Cherokee and Clay Counties
Phone: (828) 837-2210
Email: doug_clement@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The CED administers the operations of the county Extension office. In this role, he/she is responsible for budget preparation, supervision of all professional and clerical staff, relations with public officials, and other typical administrative matters.

Cindy Chastain
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 837-2210
Email: cindy_chastain@ncsu.edu

Shannon Coleman
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 837-2210
Email: shannon_coleman@ncsu.edu

David Cozzo
Title: Area Specialized Agent
Phone: (828) 359-6856
Email: david_cozzo@ncsu.edu

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

Teresa Goley
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 837-2210
Email: teresa_goley@ncsu.edu

Lisa Gonzalez
Title: Regional Area Specialized Agent - Local Foods
Phone: (828) 359-6927
Email: lcgonzal@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.

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.

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.

Skip Thompson
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational opportunities and technical support to the trout and carp aquaculture industries in 42 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in western North Carolina. Fish health, production management, and waste management educational programs will assist trout farmers, fee-fishing pond managers, carp ponds and trout fingerling producers with the management and sustainability of their facilities.

Keith Wood
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 837-2210
Email: keith_wood@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Field crops, commercial horticultural crops, urban horticulture, livestock, alternative energy, Local Food Coordinator

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

Cherokee County Center
40 Peachtree St
Murphy, NC 28906

Phone: (828) 837-2210
Fax: (828) 837-2172
URL: http://cherokee.ces.ncsu.edu