2019 Iredell County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 17, 2020

I. Executive Summary

Iredell County Cooperative Extension was proud to serve the citizens of Iredell County in 2019 by addressing issues and needs identified by advisory groups, existing clients and community partners in each of the following objectives: Plant Production Systems, Animal Production Systems, Food Safety and Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H and Youth Development, and Consumer Horticulture.

Iredell County Cooperative Extension staff served 25,552 citizens through one-on-one interactions, small groups or through one of the 172 educational programs provided. Another 144,552 citizens were reached through telephone, email, and newsletters. In addition, through news articles, social media, and the website, we were able to provide educational information and resources to an audience of 135,053 people. Iredell County Cooperative Extension has a tremendous volunteer base to assist with programming. In 2019, 1,281 volunteers contributed 6,714 hours of service to Extension with a value to the county of $170,736. We were also able to obtain $52,266.00 from outside resources to assist with the cost of programming for the citizens of Iredell County.

These are just a few examples of how Cooperative Extension in Iredell County improves the quality of citizens’ lives everyday by providing research-based information:

• During 2019, nutrition education and outreach were provided to approximately 1,900 adults and youth, in partnership with community organizations and businesses. Topics focused on helping to reduce the risk of preventable chronic diseases through nutrition. As a result, 750 individuals expressed a desire to increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables, which can help reduce their risk of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.

• Cooperative Extension provides many training opportunities for certification. As a result of training in 2019, 40 food service workers completed ServSafe or Safe Plates training and 37 passed exams and became Certified Food Safety Managers. Forty-two were certified in Beef Quality Assurance, 335 pesticide applicators were recertified and 77 received new certifications, 33 animal waste operators were recertified and 5 producers received initial animal waste operator certification.

• Iredell County 4-H had a very successful 2019: 7,963 youth participated in a wide variety of STEAM activities (science, technology, engineering, art, and math); 1,649 youth participated in Citizenship and leadership programming; 1,716 youth participated in Animal Science programming, and 637 youth participated in Communications and Expressive Arts programming. The 2019 Annual Report showed 264 youth in organized community clubs, 11 in organized in-school clubs, 2,040 participating in special interest/short term programs such as embryology and forensics, 1,939 participating in-school enrichment programs, and 592 in afterschool care programming. Science enhancement programs have grown, meeting with educators in three additional schools with 4-H presenting educational programs. Iredell 4-H partnered with the Iredell County Health Department to present the 4-H alcohol, drug, and tobacco prevention program “Health Rocks” for 28 troubled teens during the Mooresville Police “PALS” program. The “Health Rocks” program was also presented through a partnership with Iredell-Statesville Schools and North Middle School for 40 students.

• Field crops producers were able to evaluate corn and soybean hybrids based on research data from test plot locations and learn new technologies as well as new production practices that could save money and improve profitability. Workshops were held to update producers on research information during the fall/winter crop planning months. Topics included weed management, crop production and environmental conservation topics such as cover crops. Farmers present managed a total of 5275 acres. To deliver timely information on crop production issues to farmers and agents, six educational videos on small grains and soybeans were developed and released online. The weekly videos feature a problem NC farmers may expect to face during the growing season, along with prevention and control recommendations from NC State Agents and Specialists that will reduce crop losses and increase farm profitability. During 2019, videos have been viewed a total of 901 times and were sponsored in part by the NC Small Grain Growers Association.

• Dairy and livestock producers participated in workshops and individual consultations. These focused on practices for improving forage production, harvesting and storage for a higher quality feed as well as working with farms to increase milk quality; thus increasing milk production and health of animals. All programming was to work with producers to implement more practices to become more efficient and ultimately more profitable while dealing with extremely low farm gate prices.

• The Horticulture Agent worked closely with the commercial pesticide applicators and provided a class for new certification of landscape professionals. Landscape professionals who are licensed have higher annual income than those without licenses. The average difference between an applicator compared to a non-applicator is an estimated $5620.00 in annual salary. Seventy-seven participants passed the ornamental and turf exam, yielding a potential salary difference of $314,720.00 This is a tremendous economic impact for this program and the region. Three hundred forty continuing education credits were offered for commercial applicators. In addition, with a comprehensive local food program being a priority, the Horticulture Agent focused on educational outreach and promotional programming for Iredell agriculture. This includes the Chair of the annual NC Agritunity Small Farms Regional Conference and Trade Show held in Iredell County. Designed to meet the economic and educational needs of small farmers, 116 participants attended the event. Eighty-eight percent attending workshops indicated they will improve a best management practice from knowledge gained at this program.

II. County Background

Iredell County is situated in the Piedmont section of North Carolina bordering on the Charlotte metro area. Iredell County is experiencing rapid growth as are many counties near an urban area. In 2017 the estimated population was 175,711. There has been an 8.4% increase in population since 2010. By 2019, Iredell County is projected to have a population of 182,508, for an increase of about 16 percent in 10 years or an average of 2,550 people each year. Twenty-three percent of the population was under 18 and approximately fifteen percent were over age 65 in 2017 according to estimates. African Americans are the largest minority group with about twelve percent of the population and about seven percent of the population was Hispanic.

According to census.gov, 88.7 percent of people 25 and older in Iredell County had at least a high school education and 27 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 2017, 11.3 percent of Iredell residents were in poverty with 15.9 percent of children under 18 living below the poverty level. In addition, 10.2 percent of people 65 and older were below the poverty level.

Manufacturing employs around 18.6 percent of the employed population with another 14 percent working in retail. Agriculture and forestry employ seven percent of the working force but provides farm income of over 156 million dollars in Iredell County. The total economic impact of agriculture to Iredell County is approximate $662 million. This is actual money from agriculture that remains in the county. Dairy, poultry, and beef cattle comprise 75 percent of farm income. There are 1,203 farms (93 percent family owned) covering 152,385 acres, which is 41 percent of the county land area.

As with many areas, Iredell County residents face health challenges. The infant mortality rate of 9.8 deaths within one year per 1,000 births is above the state average of 7 deaths per 1,000 births. Statewide, the percent of residents living without health insurance has increased in recent years. Again, Iredell County is below the state average with 15.3 percent uninsured versus 17 percent statewide.

In order to determine what issues, Cooperative Extension should address in Iredell County; a needs assessment was conducted where issues were prioritized with citizens in the areas of 4-H and Youth, Community and Rural Development, Family and Consumer Sciences and Agriculture. The assessment was targeted to collect current and emerging issues relating to each of the extension program areas. Upon receipt of the assessments that were received issues were ranked accordingly. The top five current issues in each program are as follows:

4-H Current Issues:
- Educate local industry how youth can become a valuable asset to their company
- Make 4-H program more relevant to today's youth
- Greater promotion of 4-H in the county
- Improve life skills to compete in the world economy
- Increase the importance of agriculture to youth

Community and Rural Development Current Issues:
- Health and Wellness (Obesity and Nutrition)
- Job education for technical certification
- Local farmers keeping up with local demand for food
- Education about local resources
- Farmland preservation

Family and Consumer Sciences Current Issues:
- Buying local - support local farmers
- Food safety and farm to table
- Food safety for restaurants and others
- Food preservation
- Obesity

Agriculture Current Issues:
- High input cost of production
- Urban sprawl
- Farmland preservation
- Land cost inflation
- Educate non-farm citizens

Cooperative Extension can provide educational programs to help address Iredell County goals in Education, Public Safety, Economic Vitality, Land Use/Environment, Collaborative Government, and Comprehensive Health Care. Extension will provide interactive workshops and classes, demonstrations, field days, and tours, to help residents gain new knowledge and skills. In addition, seminars, client visits, fact sheets, newsletters, and study kits will help educate residents. In addition to the Iredell Agricultural Resource Center, educational programs will be delivered online, in community centers, on farms, and other locations to help make the programs available and accessible to Iredell County residents.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
50Number of adults increasing knowledge of life skills (such as goal setting, stress management, self-care and healthy relationships)
53Number of adults increasing their knowledge of community resources
25Number of adults and professionals increasing their knowledge of human development over the life course and emerging best practices in parenting and caregiving
75Number of parents and other caregivers of children increasing their knowledge of positive parenting practices (such as communication and discipline)
113Number of people gaining basic financial management knowledge and/or skills (such as; budgeting, record keeping, goal setting, writing goals, consumer decision-making)
90Number of people gaining knowledge and/or skills in managing financial products and financial identity (such as; credit, debt management, identify theft, credit reports and scores, scams, banking skills)
150Number of people gaining knowledge and/or skills to increase family economic security (such as; how to access: SNAP benefits, SHIIP Medicare Part D; food cost management, cost comparison skills, shop for reverse mortgages, select long term care insurance, etc.)
28Number of participants increasing knowledge of best management practices related to reducing energy use/increasing energy efficiency
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
38Number of adults using effective life skills (such as goal setting, stress management, self-care and healthy relationships)
160Number of adults increasing their use of identified community resources
15Number of professionals using learned best practices with children/youth/adults/older adults
18Number of professionals granted CEUs, certifications, or other work- or volunteer-related credentials
113Number of people implementing basic financial management strategies (such as; developing a budget, keeping records, etc.)
50Number of people accessing programs and implementing strategies to support family economic well-being
28Number of participants engaging in best management practices related to reducing energy use/increasing energy efficiency
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
143Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
143Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
722Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
92Number of pesticide credit hours provided
4Number of Certified Crops Advisors receiving continuing education credits
1183Number 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
11Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
10Number of Certified Crops Advisors credit hours provided
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
3Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
2Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period)
4Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
129000Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
120Number 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
19678Tons of feedstock delivered to processor
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
125Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
228Number of animal producers who increased knowledge of farm business management, business planning, financial management, marketing, or estate planning.
152Number of animal producers who learned how to develop a management plan (i.e. grazing plan, feeding plan, drought plan, business plan, disaster plan, etc.)
167Number of producers who increased knowledge of pasture/forage management practices (field improvement, herbicide management, grazing season extension, weed control, forage quality, haylage production, nitrate testing, etc.)
93Number of producers who increased knowledge of nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplements, breeding, and reproduction
159Number of producers who increased knowledge of the strategies to promote animal health and welfare and reduce the potential for infectious diseases through proper use of vaccines, biosecurity, detection and identification of common diseases, appropriate use of animal medications, and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance transmission
23Number of producers who increased knowledge of animal waste management practices
96Number of animal waste management credits earned through Extension programs
8Number of Extension conducted on-site sludge surveys or equipment calibrations
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
207Number of producers adopting extension-recommended practices related to planning, marketing, and financial management
20Number of producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
107Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to quality assurance (vaccinations, castration, culling techniques, etc.)
4Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to genetic improvement (AI, heifer/bull selection)
43Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition (mineral, feed rations)
10Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to internal parasite management (fecals, deworming)
64Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices related to pasture management
52Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplement, breeding, and reproduction
20Number of producers using improved biosecurity practices
5Number of waste utilization/waste management plans developed or updated
* 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
87Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
1680Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
817Total number of female participants in STEM program
49Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
2621Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
145Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
87Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
540Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
45Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
2621Number of youth using effective life skills
25Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
2Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
1Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Impact Description
163Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease, wildlife) and soil management
* 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
135Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
38Number of participants who increase their knowledge of Good Farmers Market Practices
68Number of food handlers who increase their knowledge and skills in safe food handling practices
216Number 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
25Number 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.).
38Number of participants developing food safety plans
340Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
130Number of participants increasing their physical activity
152Number of participants who consume less sodium in their diet
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 25,637
Non face-to-face** 144,562
Total by Extension staff in 2019 170,199
* Face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make directly with individuals through one-on-one visits, meetings, and other activities where staff members work directly with individuals.
** Non face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make indirectly with individuals by telephone, email, newsletters, news articles, radio, television, and other means.

V. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $23,500.00
Gifts/Donations $21,058.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $7,708.00
Total $52,266.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H 769 2764 4815 $ 70,289.00
Advisory Leadership System 16 36 75 $ 915.00
Extension Community Association 20 183 0 $ 4,654.00
Extension Master Gardener 235 1808 586 $ 45,977.00
Other: Agriculture 235 1433 12213 $ 36,441.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 6 490 0 $ 12,461.00
Total: 1281 6714 17689 $ 170,737.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Council
Kelly Clontz
Mike McLain
Mary Lou Goodman
Neal Loftin
Cindy Hardin
Paula Gertsell
Richard Renegar
Tina Wilson
Chris Campbell
Craig Pugh
Larry Johnson
Marta Koesling
Paulette Kenley
Ben Shelton
Dr. James Rhyne
Melinda Roberts
Linda Marshall
Bryant York
Karen Zika
Grover Lineberger
Dr. Amanda Whitener
Jeff McNeely, County Commissioner Representative
Susan Robertson, Deputy County Manager
Judy Athey

Farmland Preservation
Daniel Allen
Lisa Valdez
Charles Carter
Jim Dobson
Donald Johnston
Jerry Turner
Drew Sherrill
Dairy
Ben Shelton
Jim Dobson
Andy Gray
Ethan Myers
Jeff McNeely
John Ervin
Amanda Baldwin
Dennis Leamon
Dr. Amanda Whitener
Livestock
Kelly Clontz
Mike Christopher
Nicole Mills
Harry Myers
Dennis Overcash
Larry Edwards
Ken Robertson
Susan Robertson
Ray Anderson
Sam Dobson
Bill Walker
Keith Bryan
Livestock Marketing
Bryan Blinson
Dennis Lutz
Troy Watts
Brooke Harward
Eddie Leagans
Dennis Overcash
Nursery & Landscape
Joel Parlier
Bob Brawley
Danny Allen
Fruit & Vegetable
Melinda Roberts
Doug Prevette
Brian Howard
Beekeepers
Sam Frogge
John Redmond
Brenda Bradshaw
David Little
Bob Doty
Janie Stephens
4-H Leadership Advisory Committee
Elizabeth Bustle
Cindy Hardin
Bobbi Peters
Randy Billings
Neal Loftin
Tonya Loftin
Karen Zika
Ada Graham
TJ Melvin
Selena Goodin
Chuck Gallyon
Marvin Norman
Nakayla Griffin
Food Safety Advisory Committee
Linda Marshall
April Donalds
Darlene Kent
Sylvia Plaza-Garcia
Barbara Johnson
Marta Koesling
Lisa Nesbitt
Tina Wilson
Juanita Norman
Yolanda Johnson
Mark Wilkinson
Diane McCoy
Jackie Negley
Bill Johnson

Consumer Horticulture
Martha Hazelton
Brenda Bernhardt
Lynn Davis
Pam Aman
Paulette Kenley
Lisa Delano
Field Crops
Phil McLain
Trent Cloninger
Jimmy Howard
Brian Pope
Ralph Renegar
4-H Youth County Council
Meredith Hinson
Hannah Loftin
Priscilla Bower
CeCe Bower

VIII. Staff Membership

Nancy Keith
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (704) 878-3165
Email: nancy_keith@ncsu.edu

Jenny Carleo
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain Crops
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: jscarleo@ncsu.edu

Beth Cloninger
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 878-3166
Email: beth_rogers@ncsu.edu

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

Laura Elmore
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Field Crops
Phone: (704) 878-3155
Email: laura_elmore@ncsu.edu

Lauren Greene
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (336) 651-7347
Email: lauren_greene@ncsu.edu

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety (FSMA Programs)
Phone: (919) 515-5396
Email: marissa_herchler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marissa is an Area Specialized Agent for animal food safety, with emphasis on the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules, as they apply to feed mills in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any FSMA related questions, or PCQI training inquiries.

Taylor Jenkins
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development - 4-H
Phone: (704) 878-3159
Email: taylor_jenkins@ncsu.edu

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with commercial greenhouses and nurseries to help them with growing related issues. These issues range from pests (insect, disease, and weeds), substrates, nutrition, and other miscellaneous topics.

Matt Lenhardt
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: matt_lenhardt@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.)

Kelly Pierce
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (704) 878-3151
Email: kelly_pierce@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Youth Development

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.

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

Stephanie Watts
Title: Program Assistant
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: stephanie_watts@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.

IX. Contact Information

Iredell County Center
444 Bristol Dr
Room 110
Statesville, NC 28677

Phone: (704) 873-0507
Fax: (704) 878-3164
URL: http://iredell.ces.ncsu.edu