2017 Macon County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 29, 2018

I. Executive Summary

Macon County Cooperative Extension is pleased to have had a successful year of educational program delivery to the citizens of Macon County. Nine specific objectives were addressed by agents, program assistants and volunteers in the areas of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Family and Consumer Science, Community Development and 4-H-Youth Development. The following paragraphs describe some of the highlights of our programs and their impacts on Macon County in 2017.

Family and Consumer Science Programming focused on two Food Safety areas; NC Safe Plates Food Manager Food Safety Certification and Safely Preserving Food at Home. 34 food service employees participated in 14 hours of NC Safe Plates class instruction gaining skills and knowledge on preventing food borne illness. The food service employees received their National Registry of Food Safety Professionals certification. Economic value for food safety education programs for the employees of food service establishments can be viewed in terms of increased job skills which in turn increases their employment opportunities. While the economic value of preventing a food borne illness is difficult to quantify, experts estimate the US societal cost of food borne illness at $36 billion per year and the average cost burden per illness of $3630.00
A total of 43 participants attended six food preservation classes focusing on Safely Preserving Food at Home. While Botulism occurrences are rare, it is estimated that each botulism case costs the taxpayer over $725,000.
In the Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction program area 6 participants increased their fruit and vegetable consumption as a result of the "Med instead of Meds" cooking classes which taught Mediterranean style cooking.

Macon County 4-H focuses on positive life skills for youth. Our goals are to help youth build independence, be generous citizens, master important skills and build belonging in their community. We partner with club volunteers, community businesses and parents to provide learning activities throughout the year. In 2017, Macon County 4-H provided youth with over 250 hours of after-school learning and 78 hours of summer experiential learning. As a result, Macon County 4-H'ers were able to demonstrate life skills by volunteering over 310 hours to the community. Twenty-two youth represented Macon County in regional, state and national 4-H events. By participating in 4-H, Macon County youth are not only able to increase their overall school success but are able to increase their future employability, civic-mindedness and citizenship.

Animal agriculture adds over nine million dollars of value to the Macon County economy. Approximately 4000 acres of hay is produced in Macon County. Other agronomic crops, including corn, soy beans, and wheat are also produced on approximately 600 acres. Cooperative Extension supports these producers with individual consultations, workshops and through participation and support of the JMS Cattleman’s Association, the Macon County Poultry Club, and the Macon County Beekeepers Association. Youth are the future of agriculture and the Macon County 4-H Youth Market Steer Club continues to grow with eight youth participating and learning valuable husbandry, life and leadership skills.

Extension provided producers with training and re-certification opportunities in pesticide application. Extension personnel taught 5 classes in pesticide education and re certified 57 pesticide applicators. One license exam was held resulting in 18 new certifications.

In 2017, forty seven Macon County Master Gardeners donated over 2000 hours of volunteer service to assist the educational efforts of Cooperative Extension. Donations to the program and Master Gardener fundraisers yielded over $14,500 to support their work. Association members also donated more than two hundred, seventy five hours of volunteer service to the Macon County Fair.

Macon County Extension teamed with Jackson and Buncombe County Extension to provided licensed Landscape Contractors with the opportunity to earn the continuing education credits required to maintain their license. Seven hours of credit classes were provided to meet the required instruction. Twenty five persons attended four hours of technical training and twenty four attended 3 hours of business training over a two day period.

The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) taught 908 limited resource youth in Macon County basic nutrition concepts and food safety skills. Pre and post evaluation data from 908 of those youth indicate that approximately 93% either gained knowledge or improved their abilities to choose foods according to Federal Dietary Recommendations; 67% increased their knowledge or now use safe food handling practice more often; and 53% gained knowledge or improved their physical activity practices; and 89% gained knowledge or improved in their ability to prepare simple, affordable and nutritious food.

The following are also results of Cooperative Extension's programming efforts in Macon County:

• Staff members of the Macon County Center conducted or participated in 270 meetings, workshops, demonstrations, lectures and tours in the delivery of educational information to the citizens of Macon County. Six thousand, seven hundred and ten people attended one thousand, one hundred and twenty one hours of classroom and field instruction.

• Extension personnel in Macon County reported 22,600 face to face educational contacts.

• Macon County Cooperative Extension received $48,423.83 from supporters through donations, fund raisers, user fees and in-kind donations.

• Five hundred one volunteers assisted with Cooperative Extension Programming giving 4,507 volunteer hours with a value of $108,799. This is the equivalent of more than two full time employees. Volunteers also reported 9942 client contacts.

II. County Background

Macon County is located in southwestern North Carolina bordering Georgia to the south, touching South Carolina in the southeast, and is two counties east of Tennessee. The US Census Bureau estimates Macon County's population at 33,922 in 2010, an increase of 13.8% in 10 years. Since 2010, the population has barely increased. Current population is estimated at 34,201.

Macon County is considered a Tier 1 county. An estimated 16.9% of the population lives below the poverty level. Median household income is $39,133. This remains under the 2009 level of $42,186. Unemployment is at 4.9%. Economic growth remains slow. Housing starts increased from 75 in 2013 to 85 in 2015. There has been an increase in small businesses in the last year. Three 'Dollar General' retail stores and a micro brewery (Macon County's second) have been built. Tektone, a small electronics company, has expanded with plans to hire an additional 35 employees. Harmony House, a seller and distributor of dehydrated foods, both domestically and internationally will be expanding from an 8500 square foot facility to an over 32,000 square foot location with intentions to expand employment.

The county's topography is characterized by mountains and rolling hills separated by narrow valleys with altitudes ranging from 1500 feet to 5000 feet. The soils are primarily clay, clay loam or loam and only a small percentage of the land is suitable for commercial agriculture. Of the 140,800 acres of land in the county, more than forty-six percent is US Forest Service, leaving approximately 75,000 acres in private, forest and agricultural use. Major commodities produced in addition to timber include beef cattle, horses, forages, hay, corn, Christmas trees, ornamental plants, trellised tomatoes, small fruits, vegetables, and truck crops.

In 2015, the Macon County Center conducted a needs assessment. Information from this assessment combined with feedback from the county Advisory Leadership System identified priority needs.

The top needs and issues to address in agriculture are:
1. Education on new technology, varieties and practices.
2. Alternative agriculture opportunities (syrup making, mushroom production, grass fed beef etc.).
3. Home horticulture assistance (landscapes, vegetable gardens, pest control).

Under 4-H and Youth, needs identified were:
1. Volunteer leader training and support.
2. Educational activities and clubs.
3. Youth concerns (drugs, bullying, alcohol, education)
4. 4-H camp.

Community and Resource Development (CRD) needs were:
1. Community Organization Support.
2. Education and meeting facilities (Ag Center).
3. Macon County Fair Support.

Family and Consumer Education needs that were identified were:
1. Healthy food choices (shopping, meal planning, eating out).
2. Food preservation.
3. Chronic disease prevention (heart disease, obesity, diabetes, cancer, stroke).

County programs will address these identified issues and others as needed under North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s statewide program objectives listed below.

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 animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

Value* Outcome Description
139Number 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
10Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
125350Net 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.

Producers will increase sales of food locally to more agriculturally aware consumers through market development, producer and consumer education, and new farmer and infrastructure support.

Value* Outcome Description
20Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
1000Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
86Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
125Number 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.
20Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
54Number 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.).
73Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
15Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
40Number of individuals who grow food in community 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.

Value* Outcome Description
49Number of commercial/public operators trained
66Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
17Number of food service employees receiving ServSafe certification
43Number of participants trained in safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
68TOTAL 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
1336435Value of number of non-lost work days
10Number of participants developing food safety plans
24Number 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.

Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.

Value* Outcome Description
15Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
15Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
45Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
15Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
20Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

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

Value* Outcome Description
250Number 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
250Number 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
1000Total 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
100Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
500Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
100Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
1000Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
200Number of participants growing food for home consumption
120000Value of produce grown for home consumption
50Number of participants adopting composting
2Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
200Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
1000Costs 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.

Value* Impact Description
6Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
666Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
214Number of participants increasing their physical activity
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 22,601
Non face-to-face** 7,150
Total by Extension staff in 2017 29,751
* 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 $0.00
Gifts/Donations $42,697.83
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $5,726.00
Total $48,423.83

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.69
4-H: 307 1,590 8,503 $ 39,257.00
Advisory Leadership System: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 47 2,010 1,397 $ 49,627.00
Other: 147 907 42 $ 22,394.00
Total: 501 4507 9942 $ 111,278.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Macon Advisory Council
Susie Beasley
Pam Bell
Mike Breedlove
Warren Cabe
Dorothy Crawford
Charles Deal
Claudette Dillard
Sheila Southard
Gwen Taylor
Alan Marsh
Susie McCoy
Chris Stahl
Claire Suminski
Jerry Sutton
Roberta Swank
Kathy Tinsley
Ronnie Beale


Livestock Advisory Committee
Roger Seay Jr.
Jim Ledford
Steve Ledford
Jamie Brooks
Warren Cabe
Pam Bell
Field Crops and Forages Committee
Charles L. Deal
Mark Bell
Harold Huscusson
Everardo Ortiz

Community Development Committee
Nikki McCall
Jerry Sutton
Claudette Dillard
Gail Stiwinter
Dale Cobb
Kathy Kahler
Suzanne Williams


Horticulture Committee
Roger Beattie
Cindy Powell
Belinda Anderson
Don Martin
Nolan DeWitt
Jean Hunnicutt
Mike Breedlove
Joyce Haas
FCS Advisory Council
Kathy Tinsley
Pat Wilcox
Betty Cabe
Macon County 4-H Committee
Jamie Brooks
Noreen Cyphers
Cliff Cyphers
Pat Wilcox
Dorry Forrester
Linda Kocur
Jenny Collins
Taira Lance
Pam Owens
Shannon West
Gabrianne Ivey
Lindsay Wood
Emily Phillips

VIII. Staff Membership

Alan Durden
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 349-2049
Email: alan_durden@ncsu.edu

Marilyn Bradley
Title: Admin and Business Support
Phone: (828) 349-2046
Email: mmbradle@ncsu.edu

Joe Deal
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock, Forages and Pastures
Phone: (828) 349-2046
Email: joe_deal@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.

Deborah Hunter
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 349-2046
Email: debbie_hunter@ncsu.edu

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

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables & Fruits
Phone: (828) 684-3562
Email: craig_mauney@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities, training and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in Western NC.

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

Carol Pitts
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 349-2046
Email: carol_pitts@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides youth with nutrition, food safety, food resource and management knowledge in an effort to make positive change behaviors.

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.

Julie Sawyer
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: julie_sawyer@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Duties and responsibilities include: Food Safety, Food Preservation, and other Family and Consumer Sciences.

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.

Tammara Talley
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 349-2226
Email: tammara_cole@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Youth Development

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

Skip Thompson
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational opportunities and technical support to the trout and carp aquaculture industries in 38 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in western North Carolina. Fish health, production management, and waste management educational programs will assist trout farmers, fee-fishing pond managers, carp ponds and trout fingerling producers with the management and sustainability of their facilities.

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

IX. Contact Information

Macon County Center
193 Thomas Heights Rd
Franklin, NC 28734

Phone: (828) 349-2046
Fax: (828) 349-2405
URL: http://macon.ces.ncsu.edu