2017 Iredell County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 17, 2018

I. Executive Summary

Iredell County Cooperative Extension was proud to serve the citizens of Iredell County in 2017 by addressing issues and needs identified by advisory groups, existing clients and community partners in each of the following objectives: Local Food Systems, Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems, Safety and Security of Our Food and Farm Systems, Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Sustainability, Urban and Consumer Agriculture, School to Career, Volunteer Readiness, Leadership Development, Parenting and Caregiver Skills, Family Financial Management Skills and Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Reduction.

Iredell County Cooperative Extension staff served 21,995 citizens through one-on-one interactions, small groups or through one of the 181 educational programs provided. Another 14,377 citizens were reached by telephone, email, and newsletters. In addition, through news articles and the website we were able to provide educational information and resources to an audience of 434,375 people. Iredell County Cooperative Extension has a tremendous volunteer base to assist with programming. In 2017, 792 volunteers contributed 9,598 hours of service to Extension with a value to the county of $231,696. We were also able to obtain $46,853.30 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 every day by providing research-based information:

• During 2017, in Iredell County, fifty (50) aspiring food entrepreneurs attended the “So You Want to Start a Food Business” workshop,” where they had the opportunity to hear presentations from representatives of regulatory agencies, including N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Iredell County Environmental Health. The purpose of the workshop was to help persons interested in starting food businesses to operate legally and safely.

• Nutrition education to reduce the risk of preventable chronic diseases was provided to 448 adults and youth in collaboration with community organizations and businesses. Activities included classes and food tastings/demonstrations. As a result, 174 individuals, indicated that they aspire to consume more fruits and vegetables, which can reduce their risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and conditions that arise from chronic inflammation.

• Cooperative Extension provides many training opportunities for certification. As a result of training in 2017, 46 food service workers completed ServSafe training, passed exams and became Certified Food Safety Managers and 50 food service workers received HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) updates so that their schools can keep federal funding for lunches. Extension provided Playground Safety training and certification for 48 early childhood educators in Iredell County. Thirty-five were certified in Beef Quality Assurance, 563 pesticide applicators were recertified, 93 animal waste operators were recertified and 12 poultry growers were assisted with waste plans for 36 new and expanding operations.

The 4-H program had a very productive year in 2017 with an increase of almost 400 youth in 4-H clubs and programming, 3,556 youth participated in a variety of STEAM activities (science, technology, engineering, art, and math), 1,626 participated in Citizenship and leadership activities, and 2,011 participated in Healthy Lifestyles programs. Iredell 4-H also received approval to begin programming during enhancement periods in the Iredell Statesville Schools. Two new after-school clubs have been formed, focusing on environmental and horticulture projects. The high school Robotics club has formed a separate, younger club, where youth can learn the basics of building and programming a robot. The Robotics and Shooting Sports Clubs competed at regional, state and national competitions. Fourteen Iredell County youth participated in presentations (formal speech using props), with all fourteen qualifying for district competition. Ten went to district, and of those, five competed at the state level. Three youth attended Congress, learning leadership and community service skills. One youth attended Youth Voice, meeting state officials, as well as attending Citizenship Focus. One youth also attended the National Youth Volunteer Leaders Training, held in Tennessee. Iredell 4-H continues to provide many learning opportunities and educational programs to guide our youth into becoming strong, healthy leaders for the future.

• Field crops producers were able to evaluate corn hybrids based on research data from two test plot locations and learn new technologies as well as new production practices that could save money and improve profitability.

• Dairy and livestock producers participated in workshops and individual consultations with a focus 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 $7290.00 in annual salary. Forty participants passed the ornamental and turf exam yielding an estimated salary difference of $291,600.00. This is a tremendous economic impact for this program. 295 continuing education credits were also offered for commercial applicators. Also, with a comprehensive local foods program being a priority, the Horticulture Agent focused on educational outreach and promotional programming for Iredell agriculture. This included Chair of the first annual NC Agritunity Small Farms Regional Conference and Trade Show held in Iredell County. Designed to meet the economic and educational needs of small and large farmers, one hundred and thirty participants attended the event. Seventy-four percent attending pest management focused workshops reported knowledge gained to improve their pest management practices.

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. Total 2016 estimated population is 170,230. There has been a 6.8% 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-two percent of the population was under 18 and approximately fifteen percent were over age 65 in 2015 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, 86.9 percent of people 25 and older in Iredell County had at least a high school education and 25.1 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher. In 2014, 12.7 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 state wide.

In order to determine what issues Cooperative Extension should address in Iredell County; an environmental scan was conducted utilizing a two-round Delphi technique 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 first round of the Delphi technique was targeted to collect current and emerging issues relating to each of the extension program areas and the second round was used to prioritize identified issues. Upon receipt of the surveys that were received, both current and future 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

North Carolina's plant production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
North Carolina's agricultural crops industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of crops was $4.72 billion, placing NC as the 17th largest in the nation. North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state's 50,200 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.4 million of the state's 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber. Tobacco remains one of the state's most predominant farm commodities. North Carolina produces more tobacco and sweet potatoes than any other state and ranks second in Christmas tree cash receipts. The state also produces a significant amount of cucumbers for pickles, lima beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, strawberries, bell peppers, blueberries, chili peppers, fresh market cucumbers, snap beans, cabbage, eggplant, watermelons, pecans, peaches, squash, apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, and grapes. 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. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic and niche market production. Educational and training programs for producers of plant agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
Value* Outcome Description
40Number 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
2Number 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
40Number 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
1000Net 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.
North Carolina's livestock industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of livestock, dairy, and poultry was $8.85 billion, placing NC as the 7th largest in the nation. Hogs & pigs have historically been an important part of North Carolina agriculture. The industry has changed dramatically since the 1980s from the small farm raising a few hogs to large confinement type operations. North Carolina's number of cattle & calves on farms has remained relatively stable throughout time. Milk cow inventory and milk production have continued to decline in the state. Unlike other commodities, broiler production in North Carolina is increasing throughout the state. 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. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Educational and training programs for producers of animal agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
Value* Outcome Description
375Number of animal producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
195Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
361000Net income gains by producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
75Number of animal producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
48500Tons of livestock organic by-products utilized (nutrients from waste, compost, etc)
485000Net income gain by using livestock organic by-products instead of synthetic fertilizers
93Number of waste management certifications gained or maintained due to Extension education efforts
29000Number of acres where Extension-recommended waste analysis was used for proper land application
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Producers will increase sales of food locally to more agriculturally aware consumers through market development, producer and consumer education, and new farmer and infrastructure support.
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.
Value* Outcome Description
113Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
168Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
118Number 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.
48Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
30Number 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.).
53Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
4Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
4000Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
4Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue.
3Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
30Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
180Number of pounds of local foods donated for consumption by vulnerable populations.
* 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.
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.
Value* Outcome Description
291Number of commercial/public operators trained
22Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
46Number of food service employees receiving ServSafe certification
50Number of school personnel trained in School HACCP principles
50Number of participants trained in Good Farmers Market Practices
162TOTAL number of food handlers receiving food safety training and education in safe food handling practices (new required data for federal reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
46Number of participants implementing ServSafe
* 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.
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.
Value* Outcome Description
10Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
3Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
201Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
12Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
12Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
9Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.
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.
Value* Outcome Description
10Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
9Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
45Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
8Number of hours youth volunteer training conducted
11Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
153Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
324Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
10Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
4Number of adult 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.
Parents and caregivers will effectively use recommended parenting, self care practices and community resources.
North Carolina communities are only as strong and viable as the families that reside there. To create and maintain viable communities where children and youth succeed and the elderly are protected and cared for parents and caregivers need knowledge and skills that build their capacity to function effectively and carryout their responsibilities. They need to be equipped to: 1) foster positive parent-child relationships, 2) address anti-social behavior with appropriate disciplinary techniques, 3) implement positive role modeling, child monitoring and supervision strategies and 4) prevent practices that lead to the abuse and neglect of children. State data suggest that strengthening parenting skills could serve as an asset to families and communities. Risk and needs assessment data on 46,041 youth involved in NC courts found that 59% of the youth had problems in school, 40% had relationships with peers associated with gangs and delinquent behavior, 40% had parents who were either unable or unwilling to supervise them, and 68% had parents with either marginal or inadequate supervision skills. A large percentage of NC working families with children under six (63.34%) must rely on child care services. Child care practitioner education and training is key to providing quality childcare. Family members provide care to a rapidly growing aging population that could double, reaching 2.8 million in the next two decades. A majority of elderly North Carolinians suffer from multiple chronic illnesses. Caregiver demands can trigger health problems, financial and emotional stress. Families who provide care and support for elderly family members also need skills to succeed with less stress and financial burden and need to be linked to community resources that provide support for the care and maintenance of elderly family members.
Value* Outcome Description
48Number of parents and other caregivers of children increasing their knowledge of positive parenting practices (such as communication and discipline)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
48Number of professionals granted CEUs, certifications, or other work- or volunteer-related credentials
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Adults and youth will apply financial management practices to increase their economic security, which include to: meet basic necessities, increase savings, reduce debt, and build long-term assets.
North Carolina families are experiencing financial distress. A slowing state economy with depressed incomes, rising interest rates, housing and medical costs and increased living expenses for gasoline and food have strained household budgets. NC households (21%) lack access to enough food for an active healthy life for all household members. Families forced into home insecurity in the state reached 47% because of the inability to pay their rent or increased mortgage payments. Foreclosure starts increased 154% between the third quarter of 2006 and first quarter 2010 with projections of increases in foreclosures through 2012. The loss of housing as a primary asset hurts the family emotionally, psychologically and economically and impacts property values and tax revenue in communities. To avoid negative financial outcomes families need skills to develop and execute spending plans to better manage income to cover monthly living expenses, to evaluate, select and manage financial products, and to increase and protect family assets. Eighteen percent (18%) or 1 out of 5 households are asset poor and lack sufficient net worth to subsist at the poverty level for three months without a job or source of support. Due to inadequate savings 1 out of 3 households reported using credit cards to cover basic living expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, groceries, utilities and insurance. Credit card debt and changes in interest rate policies have forced many families to become delinquent on credit repayment. Families nationwide also report feeling that they have inadequate savings for emergencies, educating their children and retirement. Skills that help families develop and implement debt repayment strategies, make sound consumer decisions to avoid scams and frauds, like predatory lending and identity theft, and create and implement plans to achieve short-term and long-term financial goals like acquiring a home, saving for retirement and education and emergency funds can help families recover from poor financial management practices and become more financially secure. In the context of “the Great Recession” and high unemployment (10.4% North Carolina; 9% National (October 2011)) families need knowledge and skills to access information and programs that support family economic security during periods of unemployment, under-employment and/or retirement.
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.
Value* Outcome Description
680Number 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
610Number 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
8250Total 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
524Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
291600Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
61Number of participants growing food for home consumption
13240Value of produce grown for home consumption
21Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
7750Costs savings from implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualtiy
* 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.
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, greater productivity and improved quality of life.
Value* Impact Description
174Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
40Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
5Number 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* 21,579
Non face-to-face** 14,798
Total by Extension staff in 2017 36,377
* 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 $18,500.00
Gifts/Donations $18,550.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $9,803.30
Total $46,853.30

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.14
4-H: 184 2,180 1,249 $ 52,625.00
Advisory Leadership System: 107 81 335 $ 1,955.00
Extension Community Association: 50 2,654 12,250 $ 64,068.00
Extension Master Gardener: 31 1,533 1,087 $ 37,007.00
Other: 420 3,150 12,293 $ 76,041.00
Total: 792 9598 27214 $ 231,696.00
* 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
Scott Vanhoy
Richard Renegar
Tina Wilson
Chris Campbell
Craig Pugh
Larry Johnson
Marta Koesling
Martha Hazelton
Ben Shelton
Dr. James Rhyne
Melinda Roberts
Linda Marshall
Bryant York
Karen Zika
Grover Lineberger
Dr. Amanda Whitener
Miki Earp
Jeff McNeely, County Commissioner Representative
Beth Jones, Deputy County Manager
Ben Stikeleather
Judy Athey

Farmland Preservation
Daniel Allen
Lisa Valdez
Charles Carter
Jimmy Dobson
Donald Johnston
Jerry Turner
Drew Sherrill
Dairy
Ben Shelton
Jimmy 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
Robbie Kay Taylor
Sam Dobson
Bill Walker
Keith Bryan
Livestock Marketing
Bryan Blinson
Dennis Lutz
Troy Watts
John Rector
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
Poultry
Doug Blankenship
Larry Campbell
Chad Adams
John Ervin
Paula Gerstell
Larry Johnson
Rodney Eller
Travis Love
Kathleen Prevette
Scott Vanhoy
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
Hannah Loftin
Priscilla Bower
CeCe Bower

VIII. Staff Membership

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

Kay Bridges
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 878-3159
Email: kay_bridges@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include youth development through providing programs and leadership. Also, reponsibilities include creating and supporting 4-H clubs, recruiting and training 4-H leaders, reporting, supporting 4-H'ers, overseeing the county, district, and state operations of 4-H in Iredell County, support for specialty clubs, project club, and community clubs

Brent Buchanan
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (315) 212-1277
Email: brent_buchanan@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.

Jane Duncan
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 878-3166
Email: jane_duncan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administrative Secretary, Agriculture, Family & Consumer Science

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

Lauren Greene
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agribusiness - 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.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu

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

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer & Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9155
Email: romcdowe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in NC.

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

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

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.

Ann Simmons
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 878-3157
Email: ann_simmons@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Develop, implement and evaluate educational programs in Health, Nutrition, Food Safety, and Volunteer Leadership Development.

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) 250-1112
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

IX. Contact Information

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