2017 Henderson County Program Impact Report

Approved: February 13, 2018

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 and North Carolina A&T State University to the citizens of Henderson County. Henderson County is located in the mountain region of western North Carolina and has a population of approximately 108,000.

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 299 meetings/programs/activities with 16,627 participants in 2017. Additionally, Extension responded to emails, and phone calls, newsletters, together with the meetings, making 142,734 contacts in both face to face and non-face to face situations. Extension was also represented in the media with 38 print articles, radio and television shows regarding extension programs in agriculture. consumer horticulture and 4-H. Additionally, another 44 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 and EMGV) had over 70,000 hits in 2017 and the Henderson County Center website had in excess of 40,000 page views.

During 2017, 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 recertification programs for private and commercial pesticide applicators, 569 license holders obtained more than 853 hours of recertification credits through meetings and workshops. Additionally, crop protection is critical in Henderson County, as local farmers produce in excess of $400,000,000 of farmgate value each year.

There were a total of 436 agricultural producers that increased their knowledge of Best Management Practices, pest, disease, weed and wildlife management, alternative agriculture and value-added issues. There were over 74,000 individuals who improved their skills through consumer horticulture programs in turf and landscape management, gardening, water conservation, water quality, wildlife management and erosion management. By using extension recommended practices in pest management these individuals experienced a total cost savings of over $63 million in homes, public facilities, business and community pest management programs.

The Henderson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program continued training new Master Gardeners and working with alumni volunteers. Master Gardeners provided 9201 hours of volunteer time ranking 7th in the state among the 67 EMGV programs. Henderson County also had two individuals that ranked in the Top Ten in hours volunteered among NC Master Gardeners. The value of their time based on the Federal Volunteer hourly rate of $24.14 was $222,112. In addition Master Gardeners worked with other volunteers at Bullington Gardens in excess of 4,000 hours for an additional $95,000+ 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.

Henderson County is blessed with many young people and 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 3000 youth in a variety of programs including camps, special projects, clubs and school enrichment. The 4-H program was able to obtain over $19,000 to support programs. Special projects and school enrichment address specific topics, all of which help to increase youth’s success in school. The most successful of these is the embryology program which includes almost all second grade classes in the county. 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. Volunteers are an important part of our successful 4-H program and Henderson County had 417 volunteers contributing 10,433 hours at a value of $251,852.

Henderson County has 8 4-H clubs, with over 130 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 2017 there were a variety of 4-H Special Interest programs locally. These programs require a minimum of 6 hours of learning and this past year included sewing, gardening, art, biotechnology, computer programming and caring for baby goats at the Sandburg historic site. There were 161 youth involved in this programming. Additionally 42 youth participants increased their knowledge in leadership, consensus building and facilitation plus another 2312 young people increased their knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Improving Health and Nutrition was the major priority for the Family and Consumer Sciences Program. Through the Steps to Health in NC, Supplemental Nutritional Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP),Color Me Healthy, and Grow and Go 364 students increased their knowledge of eating more fruits and vegetables, reading food labels, drinking less sodas and the importance of exercise. There were 213 limited resource individuals who learned how to prepare locally grown foods including home food preservation such as canning.

In addition to 4-H and Master Gardener volunteers, there were a total 450 other volunteers working in Henderson County programs contributing 2368 hours for a value of $57,163.

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 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 to their problems.

II. County Background

2017 Extension’s Plan of Work

Henderson County, located in the mountains of North Carolina, is one of the fastest growing counties in the western part of the state, with a 4.2% population change from 2010 to 2014, and a current population of 108,500. In 2014, the total population was 111,149, with 93.0% of these being Caucasian, 3.4% African American and 9.9% Hispanic. Median household income, 2009-2013 $44,815. About 22% of the county’s population is 65 years of age and older and 21% are 18 years of age or younger. The average home sale price is $268,190 and the median household income is $44,815. The poverty rate is 14.1% compared to the state’s 17.5%. The county enjoys a strong economic base with a four-pronged economy, and the leading contributors are Manufacturing, Retirement, Tourism, and Agriculture. There are over 37,947 acres of harvested cropland in the County. Agriculture land lost (2002-2007) 10,672 Acres. Total farm dollar value in 2014 was estimated at $101,725000 (NCDA, 2014 Census Data).

Henderson County, although now considered an urban county, is one of the leading agricultural producing counties in the state. Agriculture is a diverse industry characterized by hundreds of individual businesses varying in size and enterprise spread throughout the county. Though most individual operations may alone appear insignificant, taken together Henderson County’s farms and the businesses they support contribute significantly to the local economy. Farms and agribusinesses provide jobs, generate sales and property taxes and bring revenue to the county that is spent through the households they support. There are over 550 (average size 68 acres) farms that, together, contribute nearly $400,000,000 to the Henderson County economy. Every year agriculture spends over $80,000,000 on expenses, much of it locally. In 2011, Henderson County farms employed over 8,152 workers and had a payroll of over $18,542,000 the share of Henderson County Employment is 17.1% and the share of County “GDP” is 16.7%. In 2011 N.C. Agriculture Statistics, Henderson County, ranked 11th in NC for total crops cash receipts and 3rd in the state for vegetable, fruit and nut cash receipts, contributing nearly $38,000,000. annually. Since 2011 apple prices have increased 21% or $2.00 per bushel. The gross income apple crop in 2014 averaged $39,000,000!

Dr. Michael Walden of N.C. State University used economic data and models from IMPLAN, an economic research firm, to evaluate the economic impact of agriculture on North Carolina counties. In 2006, Henderson County businesses added $2,562,411,000 of value to the economy. This figure reflects the value of sales minus the cost of non-labor inputs and is also called gross product. Farming operations contributed $181,677,795 to the county’s total gross product, representing seven percent of all value added by businesses in the county. Agribusiness includes the manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing of food, fiber and forest products. The combined value of farming and agribusiness in 2006 was $428,516,787, or 16.7 percent of the county’s gross product. In 2006, Dr. Michael Walden , of N.C. State University conducted a Cost of Community Services study for Henderson County and found that agricultural lands contribute $1.03 in property taxes for every $1.00 in County services they receive, even under the Present-Use Value program. In contrast, residential properties contributed only $0.86 in property taxes, while commercial properties contributed $2.52 for every $1.00 in services they receive. The implication is that although residential expansion may be beneficial to the county for many reasons, when evaluating the impacts on the tax base, policy makers need to be aware that agricultural land use provides a net increase, whereas residential land use provides a net decrease.

In 2013 we had very unusual weather conditions, such as record rain fall throughout the Spring and Summer, Spring frost and scattered hail. Agriculture is still trying to recover from a sluggish economy that began in 2007. All of these factors have impacted all agriculture commodities in Henderson County. One of the largest segments effected was our Green Industry with reduced sales of over 25 percent. This down turn effected both groups of the ornamental industries. The recession continues to have a negative impact on most of the Ornamental and Green Industries in Henderson County. In particular, shrubs, trees, and sod are directly tied into the construction industry. The reduction of construction has resulted in reduced sales. In contrast, local sales of bedding plants, vegetable transplants, and most floral goods have remained somewhat stable. (NC Department of Agriculture) ranks Henderson County second in state income for Nursery, Greenhouse, Flori culture and Christmas Trees. The 2011 income was projected to be $42,300,000 for the production sector of the Ornamental Industry and about $25,000,000 for the service sector. Focus on ecosystem services, environmental landscaping, sustainability and site restoration as well as the need for various licenses and/or certification is driving the direction for the program inputs for these audiences.

In 2011 all Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts and Berries income ranked third in the state at $46,600,000. The county produces over 85% of the apples grown in NC on 5,660 acres on 117 farms (USDA, 2012) with an average gross income of approximately $21 million (yearly apple gross income averages $31M). In 2014 the County Apple Gross Income was estimated at $39 million. We have six new Hard Cider producers who are all expanding their operations, most notably,St. Paul Vineyards, Noble Hard Cider and Bold Rock. We have two local wineries: St. Paul Mtn. and Burntshirt Vineyards that total 43 ac. in the county. Most of our vegetables are produced in Mills River in the Western part of the county, on approximately 1,000 acres. Commercial vegetable production generates an average of $12 million in cash receipts each year. Henderson County ranks second in the state in harvested (600 acres) acres of tomatoes (USDA and NCDA). TriHishtle a new 24 ac. plant-grafting operation in Mills River started production in 2016. The company plans to produce 400,000 grafted plants a week with the initial target market in the SE states that produce watermelons. Small fruits, particularly blackberries, have become a new and expanding industry. Presently, we have over 100 acres in commercial blackberry and raspberry production.

Livestock and livestock products provide over $1,600,000 in farm income (USDA, 2010). Henderson County has three remaining dairies, one of which is one of the largest in N.C. The County remains a top producer of dairy products in the state, ranking eight in cash receipts in 2010 with $4,915,000 (USDA and NCDA).

In 2010, there were over 52,000 housing units, most of which have at least 1/2 acre to maintain; in addition there are over 35,000 acres of managed turf grass on golf courses, parks, athletic fields, and commercial landscapes. As an urban county, the local foods market is increasing with several small, part-time farmers producing both fresh and value added products on limited acreage. Because of this, the county has added five county farmers markets to meet the demand for local grown produce and agricultural products. Latino farmers, green industry employees, and agribusiness owners are a rapidly growing demographic groups (10% Hispanic) identified in the county. Programs for both migrant and permanent farm workers are considered to be high priority due to the growth of this population and the need for a dependable work force.

Consumer horticulture information demand continues to grow with our growing retirement population, with over 5,200 face to face contacts. 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 logged in over 5,000 hours, manning 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.

The annual payroll from manufacturing provides the highest income for residents, with income from health and social assistance being second, and tourism third. Henderson County has gone over the 108,450 population mark, and many considered it an urban county. Henderson County is also a popular retirement spot, with 23% of the population age 65 or older. The state average is 13.2%.

While our county residents are affected by a global economy, they live in local communities which have to resolve an array of emerging issues brought about by the recent economic down turn and demographic changes. Community Development programs help local leaders, individual citizens and organizations improve their communities by providing educational programs to improve their quality of life.

Today’s families live in a rapidly changing world and are faced with decisions and choices every day. Family & Consumer Sciences educational programming efforts include foods, nutrition, health, sewing, food preservation, Buy Local 10% Campaign and food safety; human development including child development, aging, and care giving; and financial management, including home making, budgeting, and energy conservation.

Every year the Henderson County Public Education Department publishes a family/children's statistics report. The median county household income in 2011 was $46,789, above the median N.C. household income of $43,916. According to “Fast Facts 2014”, published by Henderson County Public Schools, there were 13,500 public school students in the 2013 – 2014 school year. Ethnic distribution was 71.3% Caucasian, 18.8% Hispanic, 3.7% African American, 3.7% Multiracial, 1.3% Asian, 0.3% Hawaiian Pacific, and 0.2% American Indian. The North Carolina Department of Non-public Education reports that Henderson County had 1575 home school students in the 2012 – 2013 school year, and 839 students in private schools. The NC Department of Public Instruction reports that the Henderson County Public Schools’ 2012-13 four-year cohort graduation rate was 88%, while the state rate was 83%. In the 2011 – 2012 school year, 107 students dropped out.

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.

(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.

Extension Programming Priorities are set forth in this year’s Plan of Work. The emphasis is based on Henderson Counties Agricultural Preservation Plan adopted by the Henderson County Commissioners. The purpose of this plan is to present recommendations to assist County Commissioners, government leaders, NCCES and its advisory groups in preserving agriculture in Henderson County by promoting agricultural and family farms to be sustainable. This plan also includes suggestion for economic development and farmland protection. To accomplish this, an assessment of the agricultural industry in Henderson County was made and its challenges and opportunities identified. The assessment was made by compiling information from statistical reports, by holding a series of five public input meetings held throughout the county and through individual interviews.

Farming and farmland are important to Henderson County for the contributions they make to the economy, rural heritage, the health of the environment and the overall quality of life. There are more than 500 farm businesses and families that utilize 16 percent of the County’s land base. Farms are one of the predominant land uses in the rural areas; they generate income for families, provide scenic beauty for residents and visitors, retain and filter storm water, and harbor wildlife.

Assessment of the Agricultural Industry – Highlight Review:

* Average annual cash receipts of $400,000,000/yr. (16.7% of the county GDP, 2014

* Portion of Henderson Counties Agribusiness Economic Output 20%

* 1,645 employees and $18.5 million payroll in 2007

* Ranked 3rd in the state in 2007 in cash receipts from crops

* 557 farms (280 Full-Time, 277 Part-Time) in 2007

* 37,947 acres of active farmland in 2007 (16% of total county area)

* 10,672 acres of farmland lost (between 2002 and 2007)

* Hired Farm Labor 1,645 Employees and 3,500 added Seasonal/Migrant Workers (Studies indicate 2.8 higher paying jobs are created per farm-worker)

* Total Ag. Employment 8,152

* Share of Henderson Co. Employment 17.1%

* Annual Farm Receipts $400M (2014)

* Total all Ag. Income $400M (source Dr. Mike Walden, NCSU Ag. Econ. Dept. 2008)

Agricultural revenues may appear high at the county level. But, many farmers and their families are operating with high production costs paired with low wholesale prices. Farms in Henderson County face these and other challenges that threaten the long-term viability and sustainability of our industry. The many challenges to the agriculture industry vary within the business enterprise and are depend on the commodity, quality and location within the county.

Highlight Challenges for Agriculture and the Family Farm:

* Low profitability due to ever increasing input costs, weather problems and foreign imports

* Need for infrastructure (machinery, coolers and equipment for the business enterprise) and capital improvements needed for improved productivity and quality.

* Residential growth and demand for farmland to be developed for housing

* Labor shortage

* Aging farmer population and concerns about the lack of future family farming generations

* High land prices and limited land availability for purchase or lease for young family farmers

* Cumbersome and costly food safety rules and regulation requirements

* Unsafe road conditions for farmers and their equipment, because of reckless and speeding vehicles on secondary roads.

NCCES also used an environmental scanning tool that included resident survey responses from a cross section of the population. We use guidance from the County Commissioners plus our advisory leadership system. The most significant need identified in the latest needs assessment was:

* Impact of rapid growth, Henderson County has experienced a 14.9% growth (2007) compared with the regional growth of the Asheville area at 7.2% and, there is an expected growth of over 23,000 people in the county over the next ten years.

* Improved agriculture production and agribusiness sustainability

* Improved natural resource management, and environmental stewardship

* Obesity and chronic disease health issues that impact our residents' health and medical care costs, especially with the county's percentage of overweight children ages 5-11 more than doubling from 2000-2010.

* Jobs/skills preparation is a high priority need for youth and adults. Improved family life skills is critical to the health and well- being of families in this changing and very difficult economy

In response to these significant 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

3. Improving Educational Achievement & Workforce Preparation for youth and adults.

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

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

Value* Outcome Description
436Number 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
4Number of Extension initiated and controlled County demonstration test sites (new required for GLF/PSI reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
81Number 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
150000Net income gains realized by the adoption of best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

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
86Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
700Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
363Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
101Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening, and if also reporting under Urban and Consumer Agriculture Objective, divide up the reported number appropriately between the two objectives to avoid duplication.
14Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
213Number 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
8Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
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
86Number of commercial/public operators trained
10Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
4Number of persons certified in Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) or Good Handling Practices (GHPs)
4Number of participants developing food safety plans
* 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
54Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
16Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
42Number 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.
Value* Impact Description
54Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
16Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
42Number 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.

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.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
12Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
2312Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
1201Total number of female participants in STEM program
29Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
312Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
128Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
58Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
2312Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
312Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
13Number 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.

Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.

Value* Outcome Description
74153Number 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
1066Number 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
225000Total 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
60Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
63415000Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
25Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
* 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
101Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
36Number of participants increasing their physical activity
3Number of participants who consume less sodium in their diet
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Other Objectives

Community, leader and volunteer development Environmental stewardship and natural resources management Sustainable, profitable and safe plant, animal and food System Youth and adults achieve educational success
North Carolina's plant, animal and food systems will become more profitable and sustainable. Educational and training programs for producers of agricultural, horticultural and of forest products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide. North Carolina's producers produce a wide variety of agricultural, food, fiber, and horticultural products that make major contributions to local communities and the states economy. In 2006, the estimated farm gate value of agricultural and horticultural production was $8.2 billion, placing NC as the 8th largest in the nation. The total economic impact of these agricultural, horticultural and food industries accounts for approximately one-quarter of the states economy. North Carolina farm numbers have declined consistently for decades as a result of economies of scale and global competition in traditional agricultural commodities. Producers of traditional commodities have been forced to expand or leave agriculture. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers unable or unwilling to compete in commodity production. North Carolina's rapidly growing population creates competition for resources and the need for well informed and well crafted public policy to resolve conflicts and meet societies goals. New enterprises will develop or agriculturally-based enterprises will add value to and diversify farms by producing energy feedstocks, bioenergy, or other value-added products that will increase rural economic development. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Opportunities for diversification of operations and increased income on North Carolina farms will increase as emerging, alternative and entrepreneurial agricultural business opportunities are created in the marketplace. 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. Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups. 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. Training and educational programs for farmers, agricultural workers, food handlers, and consumers will provide research-based programming, materials, information and expertise to compel these individuals to implement practices relating to the overall safety and security for the food supply and farming systems. Components of this include on-farm, packinghouse, and transportation management, retail and food service establishments, and consumer’s homes. Therefore targeted audiences include farmers and agricultural workers and their families, food handlers and workers (both amateur and commercial), transporters, processors, business operators, food service and retail staff, supervisors of any food facility, long term care facility staff and individuals who purchase, prepare and serve food in their homes. With an estimated 76 million foodborne illnesses annually, costing an estimated $1.4 trillion, food safety highlights a specific area of risk to be addressed by Cooperative Extension. The recent produce-related foodborne illness outbreaks have brought public attention to a problem that has been increasing nationally for the last ten years. The issues of foodborne illness and food safety pose immediate risks for farmers affecting the areas of economics, consumer demand, and market access. Because no processing or kill steps are involved with produce that is typically eaten raw, the best measures to limit microorganisms and fresh produce related illness are to prevent microbes from contaminating the product. Practices like Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Handling Practices (GHPs), and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) represent a systematic preventive approach to food safety, protecting agricultural products as they move from farm to retail and restaurants and finally to families. While there is currently no legal requirements for growers to implement GAPs, buyers have responded to the public concern by requiring their produce growers to adhere to current guidelines and possibly even require GAPs certification. The main areas of concern incorporate production, harvesting, packing, and transporting produce in the areas of water quality, manure management, domestic and wildlife management, worker health and hygiene, transportation, traceability, and documentation. For North Carolina growers to be competitive and produce safe product, it is important that they gain knowledge about and implement food safety programs that minimize physical, chemical and biological hazards Food safety risks do not stop at primary production. As risks associated with pathogens can occur at many junctions between primary production and consumption, food safety is a truly farm-to-fork issue. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined 5 factors that lead to foodborne illness outbreaks: Inadequate cooking or processing procedures; improper storage and holding temperatures, cross-contamination between potentially contaminated raw materials and ready-to-eat foods (either directly or through poor sanitation); and poor implementation of personal hygiene practices. The preventative steps targeting risk reduction taken at each of the components making up the food supply chain are critical in preventing food-borne illness. Educational programs including ServSAFE, School HACCP workshops, food safety at childcare and senior centers, and targeted farm-to-fork food safety inclusion for all food handlers is necessary for important for advances in knowledge and implementation of preventative programs. Equally important is that families and children have a secure food supply. Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released in the report "Household Food Security in the United States, 2004." The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999. The USDA report says that 38.2 million Americans live in households that suffer directly from hunger and food insecurity, including nearly 14 million children. That figure is up from 31 million Americans in 1999. Limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and food-insecure individuals, families and communities will be provided with information and opportunities to enhance household food, diet and nutritional security. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States, and consistently ranks as the first, second or third most deadly industry along with mining and construction. Agriculture is unique in that the work and home place are often the same, exposing both workers and family members to hazards. In the United States on average each year, there are 700 deaths and 140,000 injuries to those who work in agriculture, defined as farming, forestry and fishing. Farmers, farmworkers and their families are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries (primarily from tractor roll-overs, machinery entanglements, and animal handling incidents), musculo-skeletal conditions, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, heat stress and heat stroke, pesticide exposure and illness, skin diseases, behavioral health issues, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. The health and safety of migrant and seasonal farmworkers are complicated by other conditions such as infectious disease, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as cultural and language barriers. Farmers and farmworkers alike are subject to lack of access to health care. Agricultural injury and illness are costly, with total US annual costs reaching $4.5 billion and per farm costs equaling $2,500, or 15% of net income. Median health care coverage for farm families is $6,000 per year. In North Carolina, 27% of farm families do not have health insurance, while 29% of farmers do not have health insurance. Many others have health care coverage with high annual deductibles and high premiums. Agromedicine is a comprehensive, collaborative approach involving both agricultural and health scientists to develop solutions addressing the health and safety issues of the agricultural community through research, education and outreach. The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, a partnership of NC State University, NC A&T State University and East Carolina University in collaboration with others, develops and evaluates effective programs to reduce injury and illness in agriculture, forestry and fishing. One such program is called Certified Safe Farm (CSF) and AgriSafe. CSF and AgriSafe were first developed and researched in Iowa. CSF and AgriSafe are being adapted to North Carolina agriculture by the NC Agromedicine Institute and its Cooperative Extension collaborators. Certified Safe Farm combines AgriSafe health services (wellness and occupational health screenings and personal protection equipment selection and fit services) conducted by trained AgriSafe health providers, on-farm safety reviews conducted by trained Extension agents, and community education and outreach to achieve safety and health goals established by participating farmers and their employees and families. Insurance incentives and safety equipment cost-share programs for participating farmers are still being developed. Other ongoing educational programs addressing agricultural health and safety include farm safety days for children, youth, or families, employee hands-on farm safety training, the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program for youth, and youth ATV operator safety certification programs. Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations. 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. Citizens participating in the 2007 NC Tomorrow survey denoted the importance of leadership by clearly requesting leadership training (54%), social advising, community advising and technical assistance (45%)from their university system. Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism. 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 is poised to support the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Current research suggests that youth and adult participation positively impacts civic engagement and contributes to the development of leadership capacities. With its presence in every county, Cooperative Extension is uniquely positioned to contribute to building a stronger ethic of service among youth and adults. Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce. North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation. The natural resources in North Carolina are an important asset that benefit all citizens, but many citizens are unaware of the consequences of actions and practices they implement. The continued population growth of North Carolina is putting pressure on natural resources in terms of quantity and quality. To have a healthy and productive natural environment, professionals and citizens must be knowledgeable of environmental issues and conservation and management opportunities. Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment. Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed. Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases. 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 long

V. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 37,058
Non face-to-face** 96,777
Total by Extension staff in 2017 133,835
* 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 $27,050.00
Gifts/Donations $5,666.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $866.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $33,582.00

VII. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.69
4-H: 417 10,433 12,325 $ 257,591.00
Advisory Leadership System: 50 68 0 $ 1,679.00
Extension Community Association: 169 483 0 $ 11,925.00
Extension Master Gardener: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Other: 238 1,817 784 $ 44,862.00
Total: 874 12801 13109 $ 316,057.00
* 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: Dunkin FitzSimons, Landscape Service Professional Rep.
2. 1st Vice Chair: Alan Ward, Grape & Apple Rep.
3. Jason Davis, Veg. Rep.
4. Liz Enloe, Community Dev.
5. Chris English, BRCC
6. Steven Godfrey, Apple Rep
7. Briana Gover, 4-H
8. Joellen Johnson, Bullington rep.
9. Dan Poeta, Bullington rep
10. Juan Ramirez, Member at Large
11. Noland Ramsey, CARET Rep.
12. Wells Shealy, Commercial Livestock Rep.
13. Larry Stepp, Jr. Commercial Caneberry Rep.
14. Eric Stoneman, Green Industry
15. Judy Swensen, FCS
16. Hannah Worrell, 4-H rep
17. Juan Ramirez - Mbr at Large
Ken Allison, Kenny Barnwell, Rick Jordan, Theron Maybin, Fred Pittillo,
Tommy Thompson, Chairman, Co. Commissioner
Jonathan Wallin Dir. Soil and Water Con.
Charlie Messer, Co. Commissioner
Bill Lapsley, Co. Commissioner
John Mitchell, Asst. Co. Mgr.
Roger Snyder, Mills River, Board Member
Jeff Chandler, MHCREC
Jimmy Cowan, NC Farm Bureau
Trey Enloe, President BRAG
Kirby Johnson, Flavor 1st

4-H & Youth Advisory Committee
Kate Raevuori-Wilson
John Newcomer
Anna Pereira
Tony Bryant
Kimberly Gage
Hanna Worrell
Donna Dixon
Jenna Brackett

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
Phil Holbert
Kathy Taylor
Lewis Cauble
Chris Aamodt
David Stallings
David Foti
Blue Ridge Apple Growers Advisory Committee
Jason Blackwell, Pres.
Jerred Nix, Vic. Pres
Lola Coston, Sec.
Dawn Creasman Tres.
Nathan Lyda
Hunter Newman
Christen Nix
Trey Enloe
Jason Justice
Doug Marshall
Tony Hill
Richard Staton
Greg Nix, Kenny Barnwell, Geraldine & Bo Lamb, Don Ward, Jack Ruff, Alan Ward and 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
Randy Newman, Pres.
Dawn Creasman
Sonya Holingsworth
Lola Coston
David Butler
Donald Price
Bullington Center Advisory Committee
Bill Burdett, Chair
Jane Davis
Mary Louise Corn
Nancy Gilchrist
Pam Johnson
Joellen Johnson
Juanita Lambert
Larason Lambert
Fritz McCall
Kerrie Roach

IX. Staff Membership

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

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.

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.

Emily Capps
Title: Administrative Support Specialist
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: emily_capps@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 (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.

Sue Janowiak
Title: 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: sue_janowiak@ncsu.edu

Renay Knapp
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: renay_knapp@ncsu.edu

Bill Lord
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Resources
Phone: (919) 496-3344
Email: william_lord@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water quality education and technical assistance

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables & 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.

John Murphy
Title: Bullington Gardens Director
Phone: (828) 698-6104
Email: john_murphy@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Manages Bullington Gardens property, oversees staff and volunteers and leads educational programs for adults and children.

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

Ivy Olson
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: ivy_olson@ncsu.edu

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

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.

Denise Sherrill
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: denise_sherrill@ncsu.edu

Debbie Stroud
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9149
Email: dlstroud@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Specialized Agents in Consumer and Retail Food Safety help to ensure that Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents have access to timely, evidence-based food safety information. This is accomplished by (1) working with FCS Agents in their counties, (2) developing food safety materials and (3) planning and implementing a NC Safe Plates Food Safety Info Center.

Amanda Taylor
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Nursery and Greenhouse, Western Region
Phone: (828) 475-2915
Email: amanda_jo_taylor@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial nursery and greenhouse producers in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.

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 38 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.

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.

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
Henderson County Center
Hendersonville, NC 28792

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