2018 Clay County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 18, 2019

I. Executive Summary

Clay 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 Clay County and Western North Carolina. With face to face and non-face to face contacts exceeding 8000, the county staff is committed to assisting with the issues that face our area. 1061 citizens were impacted by educational programs by gaining knowledge, learning new skills and creating a value of over $59000. Staff spent 337 hours in a nonformal educational setting to assist with families in learning healthy lifestyles, being more productive as a farmer, our assisting 4-H volunteers in being successful mentors to youth.

Healthy Lifestyles:
140 participants were involved in a 5-week program on eating healthy in a busy lifestyle. The Mediterranean was the tool used to provide alternative and healthier eating options. The group committed to replacing butter with olive oil, eat more vegetables, and more whole grains.

Agriculture:
Cooperative Extension works with area farmers through site visits, programs within the community, advertising programs outside of the community and answering any questions via text, email or phone call. In order for farmers to learn the new agriculture agent, Blue Ridge Mountain Cattlemen's Association in GA hosted a Beef Cattle meeting at the Clay County Center in which 55 people attended. That program turned out to be the highest attended program at the extension office within the calendar year. This allowed for more planning of educational programs.

Volunteer Readiness:
With having new staff, meetings have been planned to recruit, market, and train 4-H volunteers. The recruitment efforts are to produce a cloverbud club, 3 special interest clubs, and at least 4 new 4-H volunteers in the next 6 months. in 2018 Clay County had 227 volunteers that worked 3030 hours with client contacts of 2862 for a value of $74811.

Community Development:
Training was provided on how to safely preserve and use herbs as well as safely gifting herbs to others. Ten participants were involved in hands-on activities to teach them about different methods to safely preserve and gift culinary herbs. Nutritional value and benefits of incorporating more herbs into the diet were also covered. Through a pre-post evaluation, it was determined that: 100% increased their knowledge; 80% would preserve herbs; 80% would incorporate more herbs into their daily diet; 90% would attempt to grow or grow more herbs; 90% would use safe preservation methods; 80% would share herbs and information with others.

II. County Background

Clay County is located in extreme Southwestern corner of North Carolina bordering the Georgia line to the south and is one county removed from Tennessee. The county's estimated population is estimated to have grown from 7,155 in 1990 to 10,618 in 2012. This would make Clay County one of the fastest growing counties in North Carolina. The county's topography is characterized by mountain and rolling hills separated by narrow valleys with altitudes ranging from 1500 feet to 5000 feet. With 140,800 acres of land in the county, almost forty-six percent is in US forest, and approximately 75,000 are in private forest and agricultural use. Major commodities produced in addition to timber include beef cattle, horses, forages, hay, small grains, corn, soybeans, and truck crops. There has been an increase of exotic and niche farming operations in the county over the past few years.

An environmental scan was conducted in 2010 to determine the needs facing the citizens of Clay County. Our methods included surveys, individual interviews, and focus groups. The issues resulting from the environmental scan were presented to the Clay County Extension Advisory Council for suggestions.

The assessment has given us the necessary insights to begin to empower people and provide solutions that will enhance the quality of life for citizens of Clay County, North Carolina. NCCE can address these issues through collaborative programming with cooperating partners and agencies and on a regional basis where similar issues were identified.

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. The awareness of local foods has provided more support and networks from other agencies such as the Health Department, Master Gardeners, Senior Centers, local producers and many others. Educational programs will be conducted such as Small Farms Conference, Beef Cattle Management, and Alternative Crops to assist with the profitability of Agriculture.

Youth will receive educational programming opportunities such as Color Me Healthy and Health Rocks to assist youth with healthier lifestyles. Also with the new hire of an agriculture teacher in the school system, the Clay County Center will be planning to provide assistance in the newly emerged interest of agriculture by planning educational activities to enhance the school curriculum.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

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

Value* Outcome Description
75Number 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
35Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
22750Net 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.

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
213Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
213Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

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
10Number of participants developing skills in leading community, economic, and/or disaster planning and change
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
8Number of participants who report new or expanded leadership roles and opportunities undertaken
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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
74Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
30Total number of female participants in STEM program
5Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
11Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
37Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
11Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Consumers, communities, and organizations will become more efficient in their use of energy and increase their proportional use of renewable energy sources (wind/microhydro/solar/landfill gas/geothermal).

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
95Number 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
73Number 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
18250Total 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
33Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
28Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
78Number of participants growing food for home consumption
18252Value of produce grown for home consumption
23Number of participants adopting composting
* 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
210Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
50Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
210Number 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* 2,360
Non face-to-face** 5,925
Total by Extension staff in 2018 8,285
* 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 $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $0.00

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: 78 308 747 $ 7,605.00
Advisory Leadership System: 7 92 92 $ 2,271.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 50 2,428 1,358 $ 59,947.00
Other: 92 202 665 $ 4,987.00
Total: 227 3030 2862 $ 74,811.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Clay County Advisory Council
Tanya Long
Glenda Cheeks
Sarah Smith
Mark Leek
Bass Hyatt
Dorothy Ethridge
Donna Gains
Jan Maddox

Agriculture Program Committee
Bass Hyatt
Charlie Kissling
Bill England
Horticulture Committee
Linda Milt
Jimmy Mixon
Danny Keith
4-H Advisory Committee
May Atkinson
Benita England
Danny Keith

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

Teresa Goley
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 389-6305
Email: teresa_goley@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

Julie Lyvers
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 389-6305
Email: julie_lyvers@ncsu.edu

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.

Kelli Miller
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 389-6305
Email: klmill22@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.

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.

Craig Wininger
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock, Horticulture and Equine
Phone: (828) 389-6305
Email: cpwining@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.

IX. Contact Information

Clay County Center
25 Riverside Cir
Suite 2
Hayesville, NC 28904

Phone: (828) 389-6305
Fax: (828) 389-8872
URL: http://clay.ces.ncsu.edu