2019 Madison County Program Impact Report

Approved: February 4, 2020

I. Executive Summary

In 2019 a total of 145 educational activities and hundreds site visits resulted in over 3,660 individual client contacts made by Madison County Extension staff and the volunteers they trained. A total of $315,897.00 in grants and other fund development activities were managed by the Extension Center and over $53,000 in volunteer services were reported by program activities involving 350 volunteers.

Specific programs and their impacts include:

4-H Youth Development
Madison County 4-H offers numerous school enrichment program opportunities to teachers/students in public schools as well as a club program and summer day camps. In 2019 38 Teachers were trained in STEM curriculum with 18 using 4-H STEM curriculum in their classrooms resulting in 210 students gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math);. Teaching youth to understand where their food comes from is accomplished through programs focused on on 2nd and 3rd grade. All 2nd graders participate in the 4-H Embryology program and 3rd graders learn how to grow a garden through a program called Soil Solutions. As a result: 572 students increased their knowledge of local food and agricultural systems. 168 increased their fruit and vegetable consumption, and 276 participated in growing their own food in school gardens.


Plant Production Systems
This program area captures an array of programming activities that impacted the farming industry in Madison County. 574 farmers increased their knowledge, attitudes and skills in best practices and financial/business mgt. through a number of programs including: Landscape Pesticide Education, Winter Vegetable Conference, Beekeeping, Commercial production of vegetables, nursery, timber, Christmas tree test plots, Wildlife management, Local food initiatives, Value Added Center, Sustainable Ag classes, and greenhouse production. The WNC Ag. Options program funneled $230,000 to farmers in WNC to offset risks as they tried alternative farm enterprises. There were 36 new farms that are selling into local markets.

Animal Production Systems
Animal Agriculture dominates much of Madison County's landscape. The majority of the farmers and the majority of the agricultural land in this county is devoted to some sort of livestock production or forages to feed those livestock. Over 320 livestock producers are actively farming. 240 of those indicated an increased knowledge of animal agriculture production or forage/feed production or management in 2019. 93 indicated an increase in knowledge of animal health including infections disease management. 180 increased their knowledge of rations, feeding, supplements, breeding, and reproduction.

Food Safety and Nutrition:
Madison County Extension is home to an “inspected” value added kitchen. Workshops were conducted on: food safety 101, kitchen policies and procedures, NCDA regulatory requirements, a facility tour and an overview of the many unique equipment items (grain grinder, commercial dehydrators to name just a few). In 2019, 40 individuals were trained in the food safety component of this program allowing them to utilize the value added kitchen. Twenty-five percent of those individuals use the kitchen commercially. Pesticide education is a focused program designed to train farmers how to handle pesticides safely with 115 farmers receiving pesticide education in 2019. As part of a local Venison donation program 2,800 lbs of venison was donated to local food banks.

Community Development
Developing community is a result of many of Extension’s initiatives and partnerships. Included in these activities are: The seven Madison County Community Clubs. The Appalachian Barn Alliance and the Madison County Fair. 38 community members increased knowledge and skills in community development. Additionally, there are food insecurity programs that Extension assisted resulting in tons of food being supplied to needy families in Madison County.

Urban and Consumer Agriculture
This program includes the responsive actions of Cooperative Extension to the consumer horticulture clients in the county. Phone calls, walk ins, and site visits provide a valuable service to the residents of the county contributing to their quality of life and saving them money they would have had to spend if they sought this advise from a private company. The Master Gardener Volunteer program provided intensive training resulting in significant volunteer hours contributed to the work of NC Cooperative Extension. In 2019 144 indicated an increase in knowledge of vegetable/fruit gardening. the Master Gardener Volunteer Program taught 11 new volunteers.

Local Food
235 farmers were involved in selling local farm products or services in direct market systems i.e. tailgate markets, on farm sales, restaurants and local distributors, CSA's etc.. Extension initiatives that contribute to this impact include: the Extension value added center, organic amendment program, various presentations, on farm heirloom tomato trial, and one-on-one farmer interaction. Thirty-eight new farmers were assisted throughout the year in starting a farming business. 325 participants increased their knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.

II. County Background

Madison County has a population of roughly 21,000. Hard working people with close knit families and communities are the backbone of this county. Rural and primarily agrarian, this county boasts over 1000 active small and medium size farms. The farming profile is transitioning from a century long history of wholesale production and now has adopted a direct market approach to sales of farm products. This fundamental change increases the need for education on marketing, distribution, packaging, processing and food safety as well as a campaign to educate the local consumer. Cooperative Extension is poised to provide educational programming that address many aspects of this transitioning food culture. This focus on local food has implications that affect every program area of Extension including: Youth, Families, Communities and Farmers.

Three small towns make up the urban climate: Mars Hill, Marshall and Hot Springs. The largest of these towns is populated with just over 1000. Half the County's working population leave the county for employment while many of those that remain own small businesses which adds to the rural, wholesome flavor of the county.

One county High School and one Middle School are supported by three elementary schools located in each of the county’s three towns. Extension programming in all of these schools is essential to the growth of our youth. A focus on teaching life skills and developing leaders for the future is evident in this Plan of Work.

The following is a list of primary objectives that will direct the Madison County Extension Center in 2018:

1) Family and Consumer Sciences
2) Plant Production Systems
3) Animal Production Systems
4) Community Development
5)4-H Youth Development
6) Consumer Horticulture
7) Food Safety and Nutrition

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Our family and consumer sciences programs improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

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

Value* Outcome Description
49Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
41Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
76Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
12Number of pesticide credit hours provided
574Number 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
1Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
33Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
123Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
36Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period)
41Number of farmers, employees or family members adopting regular use of appropriate PPE following AgriSafe or Certified Safe Farm participation
750Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
200Number 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
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
63Number of animal producers who increased knowledge of farm business management, business planning, financial management, marketing, or estate planning.
162Number of animal producers who learned how to develop a management plan (i.e. grazing plan, feeding plan, drought plan, business plan, disaster plan, etc.)
240Number of producers who increased knowledge of pasture/forage management practices (field improvement, herbicide management, grazing season extension, weed control, forage quality, haylage production, nitrate testing, etc.)
180Number of producers who increased knowledge of nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplements, breeding, and reproduction
93Number of producers who increased knowledge of the strategies to promote animal health and welfare and reduce the potential for infectious diseases through proper use of vaccines, biosecurity, detection and identification of common diseases, appropriate use of animal medications, and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance transmission
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
30Number of producers adopting extension-recommended practices related to planning, marketing, and financial management
20Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to quality assurance (vaccinations, castration, culling techniques, etc.)
30Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to genetic improvement (AI, heifer/bull selection)
20Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition (mineral, feed rations)
15Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices related to pasture management
25Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplement, breeding, and reproduction
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
325Number of participants who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems
35Number of participants who developed new jobs skills
84Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
39Number of participants who increased their awareness, knowledge or skill in business related topics (e.g., management, product development, marketing, business structure options, business law and/or liability)
4Number of participants acquiring knowledge and skills to convene and lead inclusive groups
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2500Dollar value of in-kind resources contributed by organizations or community
4500Value of grants received by organizations, communities, or Extension where Extension was instrumental in initiating, facilitating, or providing technical assistant in the development of the grants to support community or economic development work
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

Value* Outcome Description
38Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
210Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
122Total number of female participants in STEM program
8Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
15Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
572Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
173Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
320Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
18Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
15Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
15Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
15Number of youth using effective life skills
14Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
4Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
162Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
276Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
144Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
3Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden
7Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
7Number of participants growing food for home consumption
3Number of participants adopting composting
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our food safety and nutrition programs create a safer and more sustainable food supply and improve the health and nutrition of individuals, families, and our communities.

Value* Outcome Description
100Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
68Number of food handlers who increase their knowledge and skills in safe food handling practices
110Number of individuals who learn how to prepare local foods, including through use of home food preservation techniques.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
54Number of participants increasing their physical activity
2800Number of pounds of local food donated for consumption by vulnerable populations
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 9,758
Non face-to-face** 290,393
Total by Extension staff in 2019 300,151
* 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 $264,600.00
Gifts/Donations $6,549.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $1,000.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $43,748.39
Total $315,897.39

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H 179 709 374 $ 18,030.00
Advisory Leadership System 20 48 17 $ 1,221.00
Extension Community Association 22 71 33 $ 1,806.00
Extension Master Gardener 12 480 150 $ 12,206.00
Extension Master Food Volunteers 3 387 1330 $ 9,841.00
Other: Agriculture 51 172 1334 $ 4,374.00
Other: Community, Family & Individual Development 3 4 60 $ 102.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 60 247 458 $ 6,281.00
Total: 350 2118 3756 $ 53,861.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Madison County Extension Advisory Council
Jackie Burkhardt
Meg Chamberlain
Melissa Harwin
Knowledge Burkhardt
Pat Jenkins
Tommy Justice
Francis Ramsey
Veda Davis
David Wyatt
Caroline Davis
Rob Kraft
Melanie Kraft
Grainger Caudle
Laura Ponder
Kristen Vann
Deana Stephens
June Trevor
4-H Advisory Council Members
Laura Ponder
Caroline Douglass
Jacki Burkhardt
Knowledge Burkhardt
Donna Yost
Dorothy Crowell


Foods and Nutrition/ Health/ Food Safety Program Committee
Deana Stephens
Sharon Norton
Pat Jenkins
Laura Downing

Alternative Ag. Program Committee
Aubrey Raper
Melissa Harwin
Luther Ball
John Kunkle
Linda Raper
4-H School Enrichment
Caroline Davis
Lindsay Montgomery
Jennifer McHone
Nicole Norton
Waynette Wilson
Family and Consumer Sciences Sub ALS
Jodi Brazil
Deana Stephens
Pat Jenkins
Melissa Harwin

General Agriculture committee
Tyler Ross
Chad Ayers
Brandon Young
Jess Hocz
Molly Nicholi
Charlie Zink
Chris Leek
Bill Glenn
Spencer Blevins
Livestock/Forage/Row Crop committee
Wendy Brugh
Anna English
Stuart Murray
Jamie Jenkins
Austin Wyatt
Commercial Horticulture committee
Michael Boone
Carson King
Edward Jones
Michael Coates

VIII. Staff Membership

Ross Young
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: ross_young@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 20% Administration 20% Comercial Ag. Production 20% Facilities management 20% 4-H 20% Community Development

Elizabeth Ayers
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: etayers@ncat.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture Extension Agent

Cathy Brackins
Title: County 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: Cathy_Brackins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Program assistant and 10 hours support staff.

Rebecca Bradley
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock, Agronomy and Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: rebecca_bradley@ncsu.edu

Magen Caldwell-Woody
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: magen_caldwell@ncsu.edu

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

Sue Estridge
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: sue_estridge@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.

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (828) 684-3562
Email: craig_mauney@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities, training and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in Western NC. (My office is located at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center not the Henderson County Extension Center as is noted by IT on this website. Please do not contact the Henderson County Extension Center as I am not located there.)

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

Misty Varnell
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: misty_varnell@ncsu.edu

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 414-3873
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

IX. Contact Information

Madison County Center
258 Carolina Ln
Marshall, NC 28753

Phone: (828) 649-2411
Fax: (828) 649-2020
URL: http://madison.ces.ncsu.edu