2018 Jackson County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 4, 2019

I. Executive Summary

Jackson County is still mostly rural with many of the same economic and social issues any rural Appalachian county has such as unhealthy lifestyle, disconnect from the land and no future leaders. However, three distinct regions of the county are more developed that offer other extension programming challenges. The central part of the county has an expanding university (WCU) of 11,000 near town of Sylva that helps fuel the economy more so than other mountain counties. Other amenities include a diverse topography and climate as one of the most mountainous counties in Eastern America with high elevations and fertile river valleys to grow specialty horticulture crops such as Christmas trees, specialty crops and pasture for small cow/calf farms. A long standing second home community, which is hard to reach, in the southern part of the county has been developed for well over 100 years for those from the deep south to escape the summer heat and a thriving mainstream tourist community in Cherokee on the northern end of the county. All this makes for programming that must be diverse to serve a rural to semi-urban populations. These populations are in need of a broad range of requests such as second home residents that demand much of commercial landscape companies and rural populations that want traditional agricultural extension programs. The educated populous from university want STEM type programs for their young families. The following 2018 programs tried met these needs.

HORTICULTURE work (nearly 1,453) has been primarily with the Christmas Tree, Landscape Industry, Specialty Crop Producers, Beekeeping and many home gardeners and small farmers in 2018. Agent partnered with Public Works Director to secure an NCDA & CS grant for the Pesticide Container Recycling Program for $3,285 for a holding cargo container for empty pesticide containers that will ultimately be recycled. In addition, metal signage (3x3 ft) was purchased with appropriate instructions on how to recycle.

BEEKEEPERS of Jackson county have successfully established their club as a Chapter of the N.C. State Beekeepers Association. Officers have been elected, bylaws established, and monthly meetings scheduled with varying educational topics to meet the needs of veteran and beginning beekeepers. There are 35 plus members with an average number of 30 attendees per club meeting.

STRAWBERRY and CANEBERRY Training had 100% of the participants stating they gained knowledge about strawberry and caneberry production. 63% indicated they planned to change the way they manage their pests. 79% shared they would change their fertility practices. 63% stated they would switch to organic practices and 8% of those surveyed stated they would establish a commercial strawberry or caneberry operation. As a result, participants increased their knowledge for long term sustainable production at home or as new commercial berry producers.

LANDSCAPE CONTRACTORS CERTIFICATION benefited twenty seven (27) Landscape Contractors in which they were able to obtain the continuing education units needed for re-certification with minimum interruption of their business activities and for a low cost.

4-H and YOUTH DEVELOPMENT has directly worked with 1,878 through 9 active 4-H Clubs including STEM, Leadership and Embryology with schools.

CODING STARTS YOUNG 4-H Program had results show that 57% of the children answered Yes to the question “I know that instructing Dash to move is how computers are programmed (coded).” It was observed that the children made decisions about how to change the robot movements. We extrapolate this to mean they will continue to apply these skills throughout their education and lives.

LEARNING 21st LEADERSHIP SKILLS program by the Jackson County Youth Leadership Council (YLC) is preparing youth for the ever changing world through real world experiences. One member stated “I learned how to be accountable for the direction and focus of an entire group, how to plan meetings, and communicate on behalf of a group.

FCS just started back in October of 2018 after a 10 month FCS coverage lapse, however new FCS Agent did have impact on about 50 residents in Healthy Nutrition Choices, Cooking and Healthful Hints with Shopping. CED did offer a healthy lifestyle walking program (SSS) mentioned below so that a FCS program did occur when office had no FCS Agent the first half of 2018.

The SMOKIES SKI-WALKING SCHOOL (SSS) of Spring 2018 had twelve (12) participants that attended the school with some even purchasing their own ski-walking poles after trying our county extension center's rental ski-walking poles. A few of the participants said "they enjoyed the class" and "could feel the poles working their shoulders and arms" more than just walking. Six (6) of continuing to ski-walk one month after the school concluded June 4, 2018.

The new LIVESTOCK and ANIMAL AGRICULTURE AGENT worked with 793 livestock people, primarily working through the Jackson, Macon and Swain (JMS) Cattleman's Association in herd health, livestock nutrition and new 4-H LIVESTOCK CLUB.

BEEF QUALITY ASSURANCE (BQA) Training provided 16 producers with BQA certifications, had 5 producers utilize our cattle handling/working equipment and corral system, and 25 producers who expressed a better understanding of vaccination and de-worming protocol with plans to utilize what they learned on their own farm operations. Having producers in the 3 county area who have a better understanding of best management practices and with a knowledge of how to use different working facilities and methods, we are able to show the public that our producers are invested in providing the public with a product that they can feel confident and comfortable buying, knowing that the producers have raised that animal in a humane and healthy way.

CRD and NATURAL RESOURCES included work with 816 through Annual Conservation Field Days with the schools, Community Exercise Training, Wildlife and Resource Management.

The ANNUAL CONSERVATION FIELD DAY requested that Jackson Extension be a presenter for 2018 field days and teach "WEATHER" because weather is a Core Curriculum study during 5th grade in NC. CED taught weather forecasting basics to about 350 5th grade students. The teachers were very pleased with the presentation1

ADMINISTRATIVELY it was a big year for Jackson Extension since it moved to a nice new office in May and with the move it required much energy from staff to get settled and to host an open house for public and a "Farmers Breakfast" in June. Jackson ALS met once in April 2018 to have a regular meeting with agents and their work, along with being trained in Civil Rights and to give feedback to the Community Needs Assessment. TEConomy for Jackson was completed in August and the Agents attended the NCCE Annual Conference in Novembers. All Jackson Extension Staff received training in Civil Rights and the Canity Customer Service. CED was trained in Management Essentials in November. VOLUNTEER MANAGEMENT had 108 volunteer 387 hours that benefited 1,670 residents for a value $9,555 to the county.

II. County Background

Jackson County is located in the southwestern mountains of North Carolina in the area known as the Great Smoky Mountains. It is a rural county with abundant natural resources, a mild, but diverse temperate climate with the scenic beauty of the southern Appalachian Mountains. The county is a desirable place to live for native residents and retirees from other areas. Jackson County is a popular tourist destination located 50 miles from Asheville, 150 miles from Atlanta and less than three hours from Charlotte. The county’s 494 square miles encompass elevations from 2000 feet to more than 6,400 feet. Mountain streams, waterfalls and scenic vistas highlight the landscape. Jackson County is both rural and small town with a diversity of programming needs due to it's nature. The county is considered one of the most rugged counties in Eastern America.

The latest population census of Jackson County is currently estimated at approximately 41,265 as of 2015. In addition, over 10,000 students attend Western Carolina University located in Cullowhee, NC which makes Jackson County unique to mountain counties because it brings a collegiate atmosphere and additional opportunities. The population of the county increased over 1% since the 2013 census and tourism and second home owners has decreased and become stagnant due to the economic downturn since 2008-2011, however building permits for homes are increasing again. Unemployment is still one of the lowest in the region at 4.6% as of November 2016. People continue to seek programming and assistance in gardening, youth development, agriculture marketing, soil sampling, wildlife nuisance assistance, livestock needs, food preservation, nutrition, food safety, home economics, Extension and Community Association (ECA) and leadership development. Jackson County has now been identified as Tier 1 County, which classifies it as one of the more poor counties in the state. In late 2015 poverty was at nearly 20.9% in Jackson County.

We are still operating off the 2013 Environmental Scan/Delphi Test. The assessment identified several issues that can be addressed by Cooperative Extension. Information was gathered from the general public, clients, growers, farmers, youth, advisory groups; committees, ECA Clubs and others.

The Delphi Test asked individuals to rank a number of issues according to their importance. The CED analyzed the results and a ranking was developed based on the highest scoring issues/needs. Based on the final scores the Needs Assessment identified several major issues. These included developing strong leaders; helping farmers; health and nutrition (healthy eating and exercise); community development and developing a higher quality of living for people.

Many requests come from the residents of Jackson County, which we treat as an "Needs" of the public and address these requests by either helping the person(s) or directing them to the appropriate entity to help them. There are rare occasions when we are unable to address these requests in which we direct them to the appropriate resources to get them help. We have also determined that "Apathy," "Drugs," "Poor Parenting," Lack of Values," and "Economy" are major issues in county that we want to start addressing with our programs in 2018 with integrating programs. To address this issue, we are planning for a full staff integrated program in "Agriculture/Garden/Food" that strives to help with community pride; self-sufficiency and work ethic, primarily with youth and their parents.

Jackson County Cooperative Extension will address these objectives/issues in numerous ways during 2018. Programs addressing Health and Nutrition will include healthy eating, physical activity, chronic disease prevention, healthy lifestyle choices and Extension Community Association (ECA) Clubs. In the area of Youth Development, programs on life skills, public speaking, developing leadership skills, environmental education, nature study, new youth livestock clubs and critical thinking will be utilized. Needs related to Agriculture and Horticulture will be addressed with programs on cultural practices, master gardener (MG), farm and business management (addressed through the new Appalachian Farm School), livestock, alternative crops, Christmas Trees, marketing and many other topics. Since the 2013 Delphi Test was completed, the Jackson County Cooperative Extension is aiming to meet the needs of our county citizens. Natural Resources will be primarily with conservation education (Conservation Field Day for 5th Grade Students - Weather and Wildlife Education and the Leopold Education Project - (LEP), the Beaver Management Assistance Program (BMAP); wildlife nuisance and pest management education; farmland preservation and forestry. Community Development will include working with the Community Development Clubs (CDC).

Cooperative Extension has the resources and expertise to address these issues in Jackson County. Our educational programs address the needs and issues most important to local citizens. We provide relevant, responsive and inclusive programs that result in positive changes in the lives of our clientele. We utilize advanced information technology for educational program delivery, communications and accessing research-based information. Our staff is committed to lifelong learning, individual and community empowerment and inclusiveness.

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
440Number 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
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
104Number 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
20101Net 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
42Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
14Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
1200Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
174Number 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
27Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
54000Net income gains by producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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
62Number of commercial/public operators trained
15Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
* 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
5Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
951Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
5Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
647Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
* 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.

Value* Outcome Description
12Number of participants developing skills in leading community, economic, and/or disaster planning and change
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
873Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
6Total number of female participants in STEM program
2Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
13Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
13Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
867Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
7Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
7Number 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.

Value* Outcome Description
270Number of child and youth educators aspiring to implement quality outdoor learning environments for children
50Number of youth and adults demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
28Number of participants that adopted recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
1223Number 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
907Number 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
3360Total 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
42Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
221Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
972Number of participants growing food for home consumption
287712Value of produce grown for home consumption
21Number of participants adopting composting
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.

Value* Impact Description
12Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
12Number of participants increasing their physical activity
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Other Objectives

Safety & Security of our Food & Farm Sys
School to Career (Youth and Adults)
Community Development
Urban and and Consumer Horticulture
Profitable & Sustainable Agriculture Sys
Natural Resources and Environmental Sust
Leadership Development
Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Ch
Profitable & Sustainable AG. Animal Prod

V. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 4,786
Non face-to-face** 28,509
Total by Extension staff in 2018 33,295
* 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 $3,285.49
Gifts/Donations $1,400.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $4,685.49

VII. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H: 91 237 1,206 $ 6,027.00
Advisory Leadership System: 8 4 32 $ 102.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 6 134 396 $ 3,408.00
Other: 3 12 40 $ 305.00
Total: 108 387 1674 $ 9,841.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VIII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Jackson County Advisory Council
David Noland
Norma Bumgarner
Anna Lippard
Renee Pierce
Tom Rogers
Al McNeely
Christmas Tree Advisory Committee
Jerry McAbee – Jackson
Tom Waller – Jackson
Sherrie Marsden-Jackson
Scott Pressley – Jackson
Ryan Holquist – Jackson




Urban Horticulture Advisory Committee
Beverly English-Swain
Boyd Wright-Swain
Johnny Sue Henderson-Jackson
Virginia Milligan-Jackson

Commercial Horticulture Advisory Committee
Mike Glover-Swain
Bill Williams-Swain
Kelley Penn-Swain
Nan Balliot-Jackson
Diane Ammons-Jackson
Darren Pressley - Jackson
4-H Program Advisory Committee
Amy Garza
Peter Koch
Luisa Teran

Jackson County Community Development Club (CDC) Advisory Council
Gloria Rogers
Regina Holder
Kristin Stevens
Randy Cabe

IX. Staff Membership

Rob Hawk
Title: County Extension Director, Jackson and Swain Counties
Phone: (828) 586-4009
Email: robert_hawk@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I provide educational opportunities and technical assistance to the citizens in my area to bring about change for better communities and individuals through community and leadership development, livestock and conservation education. I provide administration and leadership for the extension staff of Jackson and Swain Counties as the County Extension Director.

Christy Bredenkamp
Title: Interim County Extension Director, Macon and Area Agent, Horticulture
Phone: (828) 349-2046
Email: christine_bredenkamp@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for public education in commercial and urban horticulture. This includes providing leadership, educational opportunities, training, and technical assistance to beekeepers, Christmas tree, nursery, and vegetable growers in the Smoky Mountains of Jackson and Swain Counties. Additional efforts include pro-active and trouble-shooting workshops and assistance for gardeners in the areas of plant diseases, insects, and cultural problems in landscape and garden settings.

Freda Childers
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant - Administration
Phone: (828) 586-4009
Email: flchilde@ncsu.edu

David Cozzo
Title: Area Specialized Agent
Phone: (828) 359-6856
Email: david_cozzo@ncsu.edu

April Dillon
Title: Area Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: april_dillon@ncsu.edu

Lisa Gonzalez
Title: Regional Area Specialized Agent - Local Foods
Phone: (828) 359-6927
Email: lcgonzal@ncsu.edu

Heather Gordon
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 586-4009
Email: heather_gordon@ncsu.edu

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

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

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

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.

Emily McClure
Title: Family Consumer Sciences Agent
Phone: (828) 586-4009
Email: ekmcclure@ncat.edu

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

Kendra Norton
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (828) 586-4009
Email: kendra_norton@ncsu.edu

Elena Rogers
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety - Fresh Produce Western NC
Phone: (828) 352-2519
Email: elena_rogers@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational programs, training and technical support focusing on fresh produce safety to Agents and growers in Western NC.

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

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

Skip Thompson
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational opportunities and technical support to the trout and carp aquaculture industries in 42 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in western North Carolina. Fish health, production management, and waste management educational programs will assist trout farmers, fee-fishing pond managers, carp ponds and trout fingerling producers with the management and sustainability of their facilities.

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.

X. Contact Information

Jackson County Center
876 Skyland Dr
Suite 6
Sylva, NC 28779

Phone: (828) 586-4009
Fax: (828) 586-5509
URL: http://jackson.ces.ncsu.edu