2019 Henderson County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 24, 2020

I. Executive Summary

North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Henderson County is a partnership between county, state and federal government. As an extension of the land grant university system, it is the mission of Cooperative Extension to transfer research-based knowledge and information from North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University and a network of other land grant institutions to the citizens of Henderson County.

Henderson County is located in the mountain region of western North Carolina and has a population of approximately 117,000 with a median household income of just over $53,000.

Henderson County Cooperative Extension uses an Extension Advisory Council as well as input from stakeholders, county leaders and other clientele to establish the priority programs and services offered by this office.

Henderson County Extension held 1.903 meetings/programs/activities/consultations with 20,917 participants in 2019. Additionally, Extension responded to emails, texts and phone calls and sent newsletters making 88,751 contacts. Face to face contacts were made through educational programs, meetings, consultations, etc for a total of 32,019 contacts. Through digital media, Extension made 135,802 contacts and through mass media (print, radio, tv) made an additional 2,493,656 contacts. These mass media contacts were through 78 print articles, radio and television shows regarding extension programs in agriculture. consumer horticulture and 4-H. Additionally, posts/articles in newsletters on websites, Facebook and twitter were made to promote and report on Extension events in 4-H, agriculture, consumer horticulture and FCS. Our Facebook pages (county, 4-H, Farm City Day and EMGV) had 38,275 post reaches in 2019 and the Henderson County Center website had in excess of 21,000 page views from 133 posts. Henderson County is the largest Agricultural County in WNC and the nearby Asheville ABC affiliate, WLOS-TV often comes to Henderson County Extension for updates on agricultural issues and situations. They have a viewing audience of over 206,000.

During 2019, one of the goals of Henderson County Cooperative Extension was to enhance the profitability and sustainability of agriculture while promoting environmental stewardship. As a result of certification and re-certification programs for private and commercial pesticide applicators, 639 license holders obtained more than 700 hours of re-certification credits through meetings and workshops. Another reason crop protection is critical in Henderson County, is that local farmers produce in excess of $115,000,000 of farm gate value each year.

Henderson County Cooperative Extension played a pivotal role in one special program this past year. In 2018, Henderson County agricultural producers lost approximately 50% of their farm income to flooding due to several storms. Henderson County was left out of the initial disaster relief program instituted by the state. However, local growers worked with their state legislators and Extension provided information to the legislature to support need for disaster relief. A bill was passed in September to add Henderson and four other counties to the program. While FSA would usually handle these applications, Henderson County Extension promoted the program and processed the applications for this program. Of the 116 applications filed in Henderson County, the Extension office filed 92 of these for local growers. Payments were made in December and Henderson County received $5.9 million of the $8.55 million distributed in the five-county area.

There were a total of 1,114 agricultural producers that increased their knowledge of Best Management Practices, pests, diseases, weeds, wildlife management, alternative agriculture and value-added issues. There were 383 individuals who improved their skills through consumer horticulture programs in turf and landscape management, gardening, water conservation, water quality, wildlife management and erosion management.

The Henderson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program continued training new Master Gardeners and working with alumni volunteers. There were 23 new EMGV interns in 2019 in addition to another 80+ veteran EMGVs. Master Gardeners provided 9,366 hours of volunteer time ranking 4th in the state among the 73 EMGV programs. Henderson County also had two individuals that ranked in the Top 11 in hours volunteered among NC Master Gardeners. The value of their time based on the Federal Volunteer hourly rate of $25.43 was $238,177. In addition Master Gardeners worked with other volunteers at Bullington Gardens in excess of 9.200 hours for an additional $234,948 value. These volunteers helped with upkeep of the gardens as well as implementing programs at the Gardens including the Bullington Boost program for all special needs school children in the county as well as Horticulture Therapy and several other programs.

Over 19% of the population of Henderson County is under 18 years old. Henderson County Cooperative Extension is also fortunate to have a strong 4-H presence in the county. The 4-H/Youth Development Program strives to help the youth develop skills that will help the throughout their lives, with a emphasis on leadership, citizenship and responsibility. Extension 4-H programs reached over 9,700 youth in a variety of programs including camps, special projects, clubs and school enrichment. One of the most successful of these is the embryology program which includes all second grade classes in the county and had 1,066 participants in 2019. Clubs work more towards developing life skills such as goal setting, decision making, leadership, work-force development, and accountability. Other programs such as the shooting sports, sewing, and livestock programs teach goal setting in a competitive environment and a sense of fair play. Bullington Gardens also offers several programs that involve our youth. Volunteers are an important part of our successful 4-H program and Henderson County had 507 volunteers contributing 8,443 hours at a value of $214,705.

Henderson County has ten 4-H clubs, with over 190 members. Developing leaders is a major focus through the Advisory Committee, school enrichment classes and 4-H clubs who send representatives that make up the County Council.

In 2019, there were a variety of 4-H Special Interest programs locally. These programs require a minimum of six hours of learning and this past year included sewing, mini-gardening, Ag Day Camp, knitting and crocheting, bake-off, Mountain Community School and FRESH (caring for baby goats at the Sandburg historic site). There were over 110 youth involved in this programming. Additionally 1,679 youth participants increased their knowledge in leadership, consensus building and facilitation and other life skills. Plus, 1,868 young people increased their knowledge in science, technology, engineering, arts and math (STEAM). Our 4-H special programs also took the lead in our annual agricultural field trip for 8th graders. This year, 348 students participated in that event.

Improving Health and Nutrition is a major priority for the Family and Consumer Sciences Program. Through a special grant from Healthy Families Healthy Carolinas and NC State's EFNEP program, Henderson County Extension was able to add an EFNEP Program Assistant that began in August 2019. Since that time the EFNEP Program Assistant has been able to begin classes in two elementary schools and completed the EFNEP curriculum with 179 fourth and fifth graders at one of those schools and continues classes with 22 students at Mountain Community School. These students were able to increase their knowledge of eating more fruits and vegetables, reading food labels, drinking less sodas and the importance of exercise.

Other FCS programs concentrated on several other areas including Food Preservation, Med Instead of Meds, sewing, safe plates, community development and the initial class of Extension Master Food Volunteers that were trained and certified. Altogether, these programs reached 229 individuals with over 80 hours of training. Additionally, Henderson County FCS hosted its state meeting in August and hosted the state ECA meeting in October.

In addition to 4-H and Master Gardener volunteers, there were a total 845 other volunteers working in Henderson County programs contributing 10,098 hours for a value of $256,792.

These are but a few examples of programs and events conducted by Henderson County Cooperative Extension to improve the quality of life for Henderson County clientele in 2019.

In keeping with the NCCES strategic vision, the Henderson County Center will continue to monitor its on-going needs assessment process by involving the County Commissioners, County Manger and his staff, NCCES Henderson County Advisory Council and Extension's Specialized Committees, along with the general public. This will insure changing community needs are met with timely, relevant, researched-based educational programs, helping citizens by providing solutions.

II. County Background

Henderson County, located in the mountains of western North Carolina, is one of the fastest growing counties in the western part of the state, with a 8.4% population change from 2010 to 2017, and a current population of 115,708. Henderson County ranks 26th in the state in population. In 2017, the county's population consisted of: 92.6% Caucasian, 3.4% African American and 10.3% Hispanic. Median household income, 2013-2017 was $50,454. About 25% of the county’s population is 65 years of age and older and 19.2% are 18 years of age or younger. The poverty rate is 10.7% which is lower than the state average of 14.7%. The county consists of 375 square miles which include mountains, valleys, lakes and streams, fertile bottom land and several floodplains. It straddles the Eastern Continental Divide which provides a diversity of topographic, temperature and precipitation conditions. Hendersonville, Mills River, Laurel Park and Fletcher are the county's incorporated areas with Saluda shared by Henderson and Polk Counties. The Village of Flat Rock also lies within Henderson County.

Henderson County has a diverse economy which includes several sectors that contribute significantly to the county's overall economic makeup. Some of these include agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, education services and tourism. Agriculture makes up 20% of the Henderson County Economy with 468 farms. The green industry, apples, and vegetables and small fruits make up the primary crop commodities in the county. Over 85% of the apples grown in NC come from Henderson County and the crop has a value of over $30 million. There are almost 7,000 jobs tied to agriculture in Henderson County.

There are 13 traditional and two charter elementary schools in the county as well as four traditional and one charter middle school and six high schools including the career academy and early college schools. There are three private schools in the county as well. Additionally, Blue Ridge Community College offers a wide array of career tracks including collaborative Bachelor's degrees in medically related curricula with Wingate University.

Consumer horticulture information demand continues to grow with our growing retirement population. Henderson County Master Gardeners logged almost 9,000 volunteer hours in 2018 which was 7th statewide. The Master Gardeners program helps local homeowners with, proper plant selection and planting techniques, soil testing and nutrient management, pest/disease management, vegetable gardening, and environmental stewardship. The volunteers man the Master Gardener "Info. line", handling walk-in clients, and working on projects within the county. All agricultural programs provide information to help the agribusiness industry stay profitable and help landowners make good economic decisions in planning for land use, farmland preservation, and agricultural sustainability.

4-H Youth Development programs help youth with educational achievement and excellence in areas like public speaking, project records, leadership experiences, community service and citizenship. 4-H clubs and classes provide adult mentors and role models who enjoy helping youth learn skills they can use throughout their lives. 4-H teens help to teach younger members skills they have learned.

Youth educational programs at Bullington Gardens reach elementary school students to teach various elements of plant science, help high school sophomores to develop necessary job skills to become successful citizens and help students with significant developmental and physical disabilities to have a better quality of life. Additionally, as a complement to Urban Horticulture efforts, Bullington offers workshops throughout the year to adults on gardening, landscaping, soils, and other pertinent topics.

Nutrition and healthy eating are a focus of the Family and Consumer Science program along with Local Foods. Programs are conducted at several schools and at tailgate markets in the community to increase awareness of these issues.

(NCCES) North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, Henderson County also utilizes an ongoing needs assessment process, which involves Henderson County Commissioners, County Extension Advisory Council and Specialized Committees as well as the general public, to ensure that educational programs are meeting the people's educational needs.

In response to identified local needs, NCCES Henderson County set the following top three priorities for local long-range programming efforts:

1. Improving Agricultural Production, Sustainability and Natural Resource and Environmental Stewardship

2. Improving Health & Nutrition and promoting Local Food Systems

3. Leadership Development and School to Career Preparedness.

In keeping with the NCCES mission, the Henderson County Center will continue to monitor its ongoing needs assessment process by involving the County Commissioners, NCCES Henderson County Advisory Council and its Specialized Advisory Committees, along with the general public. This will insure changing community needs are met with timely, relevant, researched based educational programs, empowering people by providing solutions to their problems.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Our family and consumer sciences programs improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Our plant production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Value* Outcome Description
196Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
126Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
147Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
294Number of pesticide credit hours provided
1114Number 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
10Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
11Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
10Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
6Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period)
5Number of farmers, employees or family members adopting regular use of appropriate PPE following AgriSafe or Certified Safe Farm participation
75Number of participants that have adopted farm safety practices
2Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
25Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
93Number 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
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our animal production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
87Number of participants who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems
84Number of participants who developed new jobs skills
24Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
14Number of participants who increased their awareness, knowledge or skill in business related topics (e.g., management, product development, marketing, business structure options, business law and/or liability)
73Number of participants acquiring knowledge and skills to convene and lead inclusive groups
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

Value* Outcome Description
19Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
1868Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
937Total number of female participants in STEM program
200Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
1679Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
814Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
200Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
1679Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
64Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
200Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
200Number of youth using effective life skills
1441Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
14Number of youth increasing their physical activity
5Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
5Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
65Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
31Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our natural resource and environmental programs conserve our precious natural resources and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Our consumer horticulture programs teach families and communities about environmentally friendly methods for gardening and controlling pests.

Value* Outcome Description
383Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
37Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our food safety and nutrition programs create a safer and more sustainable food supply and improve the health and nutrition of individuals, families, and our communities.

Value* Outcome Description
33Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
159Number of participants who increase their knowledge of Good Farmers Market Practices
11Number of food handlers who increase their knowledge and skills in safe food handling practices
26Number 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
1Number of new and existing access points for consumers that expand or improve their offering of local fruits and vegetables. Access points include farmers markets, retail stores, school food programs, community gardens, institutions other than schools (e.g. hospitals, universities, etc.), and other systems/access points not noted (e.g. restaurants, etc.).
77Number of participants developing food safety plans
123Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Other Objectives

Community, leader and volunteer development Youth and adults achieve educational success
Leadership is important to every level of a community sharing in the creation of wealth and well-being. Youth and adult leaders must be capable of motivating groups to achieve common goals that impact North Carolina families and communities.They will need the confidence and skill to guide and support North Carolina community and state organizations. Youth and adult volunteers in North Carolina contribute thousands of hours each year to strengthen communities and create strong foundations for the future. As these individuals engage in service, they are gaining new skills, generating new programs to serve their communities, building successful organizations, and fostering an ethic of service. Cooperative Extension supports the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity and a better quality of life. HCCE will conduct programs to this end.

V. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 34,094
Non face-to-face** 2,718,209
Total by Extension staff in 2019 2,752,303
* 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 $65,570.00
Gifts/Donations $66,778.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $2,743.00
United Way/Foundations $1,650.00
User Fees $147,210.00
Total $283,951.00

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 507 8443 8000 $ 214,705.00
Advisory Leadership System 109 151 0 $ 3,840.00
Extension Community Association 236 73 1425 $ 1,856.00
Extension Master Gardener 64 9366 8752 $ 238,177.00
Extension Master Food Volunteers 3 30 364 $ 763.00
Other: Agriculture 322 10743 6471 $ 273,194.00
Other: Community, Family & Individual Development 104 12 358 $ 305.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 25 19 761 $ 483.00
Total: 1370 28837 26131 $ 733,325.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VIII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Henderson County Advisory Council
Henderson County Advisory Council
1. Chairman: Gary Steiner, Grower/Beekeeper
2. 1st Vice Chair: Bryson Nix, Apple Rep.
3. Dunkin FitzSimons, Landscape Service Professional Rep.
4. Jason Davis, Veg. Rep.
5. Liz Enloe, Community Dev.
6. Chris English, BRCC
7. Briana Gover, 4-H
8. Joellen Johnson, Bullington rep.
9. Dan Poeta, Bullington rep
10. James Cantrell, Green Industry/Row Crops
11. Noland Ramsey, CARET Rep.
12. Dalton Rhodes, Small Fruit
13. John Shepard, Education
14. Judy Swensen, FCS
15. Ditta Hess,EMGV
Ken Allison, Kenny Barnwell, Rick Jordan, Fred Pittillo,
Rebecca McCall, Co. Commissioner
Jonathan Wallin Dir. Soil and Water Con.
Charlie Messer, Co. Commissioner
Bill Lapsley, Co. Commissioner
John Mitchell, Business and Community director
Roger Snyder, Mills River, Board Member
Jeff Chandler, MHCREC
Jimmy Cowan, NC Farm Bureau
Kirby Johnson, Flavor 1st

4-H & Youth Advisory Committee
Pat Newcomer
Tony Bryant
Donna Dixon
Jenna Brackett
Jordan Jakubielski
Cayden Brackett
Dave Bowen
Emily Capps
Polly Simmons
Weston Simmons
Rob Queen
Haley Hargus

Green Industry Advisory Committee
Ken Allison
Tim Boone
David Bradley
Sotero Estrada
Bill Glenn
Alan Johnson
Anthony LeBude
Bert Lemke
Jamie Lopez
Joel McCraw
Dennis Neimeyer
Brian Crisp
Dunkin Fitzsimmons
Joey Galloway
John Wayne Hardison
Hope Janowitz
Livestock/Field Crops Advisory Committee
Tony Carland
Joe Taylor
Dickie King
Jimmy Cowan
Noland Ramsey
Beverly Hargus
Family and Consumer Science Advisory Committee
Jill Geis
Rosie Blackwell
Marilyn Duggins
Roxanna Pepper
Valerie Sen
Urban Horticulture Advisory Committee
Nancy Gilchrist
Joellen Johnson
Betty Lockwood
Kathy Connors
Sharon Mendelsohn
Jane Grossman
Deb Daniel

Beekeeping Advisory Committee
Pat Roe
Padma Dyvine
Gary German
Jim Poe
Michael Gecewicz
Tim Tankersly
Patrice German
Blue Ridge Apple Growers Advisory Committee
Jerred Nix, Pres.
Mike Stepp, Vic. Pres
Lola Coston, Sec.
Dawn Creasman Tres.
Marvin Owings
Johnny Pace
Trey Enloe
David Butler
Doug Marshall

Greg Nix, Kenny Barnwell, Jack Ruff, Tony Haywood, JD Obermiller, Juan Ramirez

Henderson County Vegetable Advisory Committee
Jason Davis, Chair
Danny McConnell
Randy Edmunson
Kirby Johnson
Esmeralda Sandoval
Theron Maybin
Mary Maybin
Blue Ridge Farm Direct Marketing Committee
Lola Coston, Pres.
Dawn Creasman
Colby Buchanan
Mike Stepp
Rita Stepp
Deb Lyda

Bullington Center Advisory Committee
Bill Burdett, Chair
Andrea Corn
Mary Louise Corn
Wendy Frye
Joellen Johnson
Ray McKenzie-Wilson
Becky Polonsky
Constance Smith

IX. Staff Membership

William Kelley
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, Agriculture - Tree Fruit
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: wtkelley@ncsu.edu

Ty Ancrum
Title: EFNEP Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: tpancrum@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I am the EFNEP Program Assistant of Henderson County. I will recruit and enroll adult and school-aged youth participants into the EFNEP program, make regular teaching visits to enrollees either in the home or in group settings, teach basic principles of nutrition and food preparation skills, and recruit volunteers from within the community involving them in leadership roles.

Karen Blaedow
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Vegetable and Small Fruit
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: karen_blaedow@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for providing educational programs in vegetable and small fruit horticulture as well as technical assistance to commercial farmers.

Marti Day
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: marti_day@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for educational programs for dairy farmers, youth with an interest in dairy projects and the general public with an interest in dairy foods and the dairy industry.

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

Noah Henson
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock, Dairy, Equine, Forages
Phone: (828) 255-5522
Email: nbhenson@ncsu.edu

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety
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, pet food and ingredient facilities in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any animal food safety-related questions, or Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PCAF/PCQI) training inquiries.

Anne Higgins
Title: Administrative Director for Bullington Gardens
Phone: (828) 698-6104
Email: aghiggin@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Direct the administration of Bullington Gardens, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that serves Henderson County and surrounding communities as a botanical garden and a center for horticultural education. Coordinate all administrative duties at the gardens including meeting with the Board of Directors and carrying out the vision for the garden, leading fundraising efforts and grant submission, maintaining and adhering to budget, keeping all fiscal records current, coordinating volunteers, overseeing the maintenance and development of the property, and working closely with the Educational Administrator to conduct effective programs for schools and public.

Renay Knapp
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: renay_knapp@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. (My office is located at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center not the Henderson County Extension Center as is noted by IT on this website. Please do not contact the Henderson County Extension Center as I am not located there.)

John Murphy
Title: Bullington Gardens Education Director
Phone: (828) 698-6104
Email: john_murphy@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Develops and implements educational programs to children and adults.

Steve Pettis
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Consumer and Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: steve_pettis@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Commercial and Consumer Horticulture Agent

Ashley Robbins
Title: Area Specialized Agent - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8203
Email: ashley_robbins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marti Day and I are the Area Specialized Dairy Agents - the county-based arm of the Cooperative Extension Dairy Team. We are out here in the counties to help you set and reach your farm, family and business goals. We have collaborative expertise in the areas of Waste Management, Udder Health, Cow Comfort, Nutrition and Forage Management with specialties in (Ashley)Reproduction, Records Management, Animal Health and (Marti)Alternative Markets, Organic Dairy, Grazing Management, and On-farm Processing. We hope to provide comprehensive educational programs for our farmers, consumers and youth for every county across the state. We are here for you by phone, email or text and look forward to working with you!

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.

Keai Tilly
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: keai_tilly@ncsu.edu

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 414-3873
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.

Hannah Worrell
Title: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: hlworrel@ncsu.edu

X. Contact Information

Henderson County Center
100 Jackson Park Rd
Hendersonville, NC 28792

Phone: (828) 697-4891
Fax: (828) 697-4581
URL: http://henderson.ces.ncsu.edu