2017 Jackson County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 3, 2018

I. Executive Summary

The Jackson County Cooperative Extension identified eleven (11) major program areas to work in during 2017: Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Sustainability; Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction; Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems; Urban and Consumer Agriculture; Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems; School to Career (Youth and Adults); Volunteer Readiness; Family Financial Management Skills; Leadership Development and Community Development. Educational programs in these objectives led to significant impacts for the citizens of Jackson County during 2017. Several of the major accomplishments in 2017 included the 4-H Gardening program and the new Horse Club, along with new cattle equipment for the producers. A new customer service and hospitality initiative was started at Jackson Extension Center called "Passive Programming - Pop-Up" which is essentially extension educational small pop-up exhibits either at extension office or other sites in the county were public could learn from without an agent being present. We are practicing more customer service and hospitality at the extension center with such amenities such as free healthy snacks like apples and hand-made granola with recipes.


In 2017 The Jackson County Extension Advisory Leadership Council (ALS) meet once (1) with an attendance of seven (6) ALS members. This meeting occurred on August 29, 2017 This ALS meeting provided an excellent time to allow the Jackson Extension staff to share with the community leaders our extension work within the county for the past six months and what lies ahead for the next 6 months in regards to programming. Staff listened to feedback from the leaders of how else Jackson Extension can help further with educational programming and technical assistance. The council members really liked the work that the Jackson Extension center has accomplished the first half of 2017. They stated that we are meeting the demands of the public with our extension programming and were pleased with the programming efforts.

AGRICULTURE and HORTICULTURE:

Agriculture and Horticulture Extension Agent Christy Bredenkamp continued doing an outstanding job in 2017 providing 56 major educational programs, while also providing technical assistance in the areas of profitable and sustainable agriculture systems; local food systems; safety and security of our food and farm systems; urban and consumer agriculture and school to career objectives. Her programs in these areas impacted 2,769 and 51 Latinos (28,842 non face-face) individuals directly by increasing their working knowledge of best agricultural and horticulture production practices to increase net farm incomes and help build the local food systems for Jackson County, along with good horticulture practices. The numbers included 1,475 for profitable and sustainable agriculture systems ($20,101 net 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); 73 for local food systems; 270 for safety and security of food and farm systems; 940 for urban and consumer agriculture ($225,000 in value of profitable and sustainable plant production was estimated, mostly with home gardening consumption). Christy worked with the new 4-H Gardening Program in both counties and helped 632 4-H Youth in how to plant a garden. Her programs ranged from Master Gardener (MG), Christmas Trees, blueberry and grapes beginner bee; home orchard, growing ginseng, pesticide certifications, pests of trees and shrubs;composting; soil testing; fall gardening and many other subjects related to agriculture and horticulture. One hundred forty-two(142)) pesticide applicators trained, 142 certified with 28 of these re-certified. Twenty-nine (29) re-certified as "Licensed Landscape Contractors with all 29 of these re-certified.. CED Robert Hawk helped provide 7 livestock educational programs for 80 producers in herd health and pasture management through the Jackson, Macon and Swain (JMS) Cattlemen's Association, which he served as the Co-Chair of the Education Committee in 2017. Christy had 15 MGs donate 654 hours for 1,293 clients valued at $15,788 in 2017. The Cattle Equipment ($22,500) from the TVA and Agriculture and Forestry Grant through our Regional Resource Conservation and Development (RC & D) was brought into Jackson County during the first of 2017, which included Squeeze Chute; Corral System; Trailer; Palp/AI Table and Calf table, along with temporary electric fencing for amazing grazing pasture management demonstration projects. This was successful due to the partnership between Jackson Extension and the regional RC & D. The new equipment has been out in the county about 6 times since July 2017. All the producers have commented how useful the new equipment has been.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT:

In the area of Community Development 145 community leaders gained assistance from the Jackson Extension Center, which was included work through extension programs; extension clubs; working committees and technical assistance. In November 2017, Savannah, Balsam, Caney Fork and Pumpkintown Community Development Clubs (CDCs) participated in the Annual Jackson CDC Awards program. A total of $1,200 Award Monies were granted to these 4 CDCs to help with their programming and building needs. First place was awarded - Caney Fork, 2 - Balsam, 3 - Savannah and 4 - Pumpkintown. Jackson Extension worked closely with the CDCs in 2017 to provide educational support as well with FCS and Home Horticulture Programs. The Qualla - T Customer Service and Hospitality certified 36 people during 2017, which included training at the Bryson City United Methodist Church - Restoration Mission House for 33 Volunteer Leaders and 1 major real estate business and 1 major retail business in Swain County. The "Smokies Ski Walking School" had 30 participants during the Spring and Fall school.

NATURAL RESOURCES and CONSERVATION:

Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Sustainability programs through the Jackson Extension impacted nearly 350 residents, which was primarily 5th grade youth through educational programming during the Annual Soil and Water Conservation (SWCD) Conservation Field Days (April 2017); Leopold Education Program Training-(LEP) (August 2017); "Spruce - It - Up Conservation Christmas Tree" (November 2017) and 6 landowner for the Beaver Management Assistance program (BMAP), along with technical assistance on wildlife nuisance questions. These programs taught youth and teachers about conservation stewardship and how to appreciate and enjoy their natural environment such as weather forecasting from field observations, which was part of the 5th Grade Core Curriculum. Provided 3 major educational programs in this area of natural resource conservation, which included the School Conservation Field Days (CED taught Weather Forecasting and 4-H Agent shared knowledge of wildlife education); LEP (certified 7 teachers) and "Spruce - It - Up Conservation Christmas Tree (provided 100 free Norway Spruce seedlings to public to plant at home for conservation practices and community beautification).

4-H YOUTH DEVELOPMENT:

4-H Agent Heather Gordon provided many diverse programs (109 educational activities) under the "Leadership" philosophy of building youth to become effective citizens and community leaders for the future. Her programs directly provided leadership and empowered 1,816 youth in Jackson County in 2017. Jackson 4-H worked with 3 objectives Leadership Development (impacted 939 youth); Local Food Systems, inlcuding the new 4-H Garden program (99 Cloverbuds) and 125 impacted with School to Career programs. The 4-H program in 2017 included 5 - 4-H Clubs maintained, which were 4-H Cloverbuds; 4-H Explorers Club; Home-school STEM; new Horse/Equine Program and Youth Leadership Council. Twelve (12) went to 4-H Summer Camp; 432 increased their knowledge in science and math through STEM; 100 increased knowledge in home gardening and food and 1,284 in leadership development skills. In 2017, Heather had 4 adult 4-H Volunteer Leaders. Heather managed WCU Parks and Recreation Students to provide wildlife education program for the Annual Soil and Water Conservation Field Day in April 2017.

FAMILY and CONSUMER SCIENCE:

Family and Consumer Science (FCS) Agent Sherrie Peeler has worked with 2,680 individuals with 1,702 individuals benefiting from programs on healthy eating, physical activity and chronic disease risk reduction); 352 in family financial management; 4 with Local Food Systems; 451 in Leadership Development and 158 in Volunteer Readiness/ECA during 2017. Sherrie has held 180 educational activities and programs ranging from quilting; exercise; NC SafeServe (24 trained: 18 certified and 6 re-certified) 4-H sewing bee; ;cooking; sewing; ECA Clubs; food preservation; SNAP ED; recipes; family financial management and volunteer readiness. Fifty-Six (56) ECA Volunteers donated 3,377 hours for 2,289 clients for a total value of $81,521, which is a major increase from 2016. CED provided "Skiwalking" exercise demonstration to ECA Club Members and others as a new fitness alternative.

OVERALL SUMMARY:

Jackson County Cooperative Extension had a total of 6,180 face-to-face contacts and 127,065 non-face-to-face contacts. Nearly 335 educational activities/programs came from the Jackson Extension Staff in 2017. Mass Media (weekly newspaper; weekly radio and daily social media) is a large part of the Jackson Extension marketing and educational process, in which ninety - seven (97) newspaper articles had a circulation of 1,271,350; thirty - six (36) radio programs reached about 38,000 people; twelve (12) county website articles were written and about 85,000 hits on our county website.

Volunteer activity in 2017 included 69 volunteers with 3,635 volunteer hours benefiting 2,489 individuals totally a dollar value of $87,749. Total Economic Impact was over $250,000+ for the county from extension programming efforts.

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 6000 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 2017 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 2017. 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 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.
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
436Number of crop (all plant systems) producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
* 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
13Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
1100Number 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.
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* Impact Description
8Number of animal 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.
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
100Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
93Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
* 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
142Number of commercial/public operators trained
24Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
11Number of participants participating in AgriSafe personal protective equipment (PPE) selection or fit testing
* 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
1284Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
660Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
* 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.
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.
Value* Outcome Description
432Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
367Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
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.
Value* Outcome Description
268Number of child and youth educators aspiring to implement quality outdoor learning environments for children
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
31Number of participants that adopted recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
66Number 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.
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
771Number 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
771Number 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
32Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
215Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
978Number of participants growing food for home consumption
225000Value of produce grown for home consumption
15Number 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.
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
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

V. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 6,005
Non face-to-face** 121,063
Total by Extension staff in 2017 127,068
* 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 $0.00
Gifts/Donations $0.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $0.00

VII. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.14
4-H: 4 12 12 $ 290.00
Advisory Leadership System: 1 26 12 $ 628.00
Extension Community Association: 50 3,303 2,230 $ 79,734.00
Extension Master Gardener: 9 246 188 $ 5,938.00
Other: 5 48 47 $ 1,159.00
Total: 69 3635 2489 $ 87,749.00
* 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
Jane Hipps
Peter Koch
Luisa Teran

Jackson County Community Development Club (CDC) Advisory Council
Gloria Rogers
Andy Beck
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: Area Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (828) 586-4009
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.

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

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.

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

Kerri Rayburn
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 586-4009
Email: kerri_rayburn@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: (910) 814-6033
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 - Aquaculture
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational opportunities and technical support to the trout and carp aquaculture industries in 38 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in western North Carolina. Fish health, production management, and waste management educational programs will assist trout farmers, fee-fishing pond managers, carp ponds and trout fingerling producers with the management and sustainability of their facilities.

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 250-1112
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

X. Contact Information

Jackson County Center
538 Scotts Creek Rd
Suite 205
Sylva, NC 28779

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