2017 Avery County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 29, 2018

I. Executive Summary

Introduction to Extension

In 2017, the Avery County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service worked daily to improve the lives of the Avery County citizens through multiple methods, strategies, and activities.

Through our office and staff, citizens have access to the resources and expertise of the North Carolina University system and the world. We measure our impacts one citizen and one issue at a time. This document is not inclusive of all that the Avery County Cooperative Extension Center does, but rather a brief concise snapshot of the breadth and depth of our total work.

The Avery County Cooperative Extension Center partners with groups, associations, organizations, and individuals within our different communities to develop, implement, and evaluate educational opportunities, that will provide solutions to the very important issues facing the lives of the Avery County citizens. Our programs enrich the lives, land, and economy of Avery County specifically and North Carolina, in general. These programs are developed through listening to our advisory leadership council, programmatic advisory committees, government officials, commodity stakeholders, volunteers, youth leaders, and citizens. These issues and needs have been identified through different listening sessions such as; one on one conversations, surveys, meetings, phone conversations, and other feedback. Once the broad topics have been determined, we prioritize the issues, develop, and implement programs to answer those needs. We also have the capability to address issues that may arise during the year after all of the original priorities are set.

However, another parameter that affects our ability to change the lives of our friends and neighbors is funding. This cooperative effort between county, state, and federal monies allow us to reach out to our clients. The Avery County Cooperative Extension Center Staff is responsive to the needs of all of our clients as based upon our staffing and financial parameters. The staff works diligently to ensure all programs possible are available and accessible to all citizens, no matter their specific situation. We embrace the diversity of people, ideas, and cultures found in Avery County.

Avery County Cooperative Extension programs are diverse both in scope and in demographics. We serve all of the citizens of Avery County, regardless of any type of classification. Historically, there have been four main program areas that North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service has offered to the citizens. In order to serve our clients more effectively and efficiently, in this new era, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service has restructured staffing and program implementation based upon these parameters.

In Avery County, we strive to work as an integrated team, not allowing historic program delineations to reduce our effectiveness. By focusing on voiced concerns and needs facing Avery County’s citizens, it allows our staff, volunteers, partners, and cooperators to utilize synergy and bring all available resources on a given issue. By networking and collaborating with our partners, it allows our staff to present a high-quality total program that truly impacts the lives of Avery County’s citizens. In many of the programs, the staff and program partners, work tirelessly across their specific disciplines to provide the necessary solutions to today’s problems. By listening to our citizens and striving to understand their needs first, the Avery County Cooperative Extension Center Staff can more efficiently and effectively answer our clients’ educational needs.

In 2017 Avery County’s, the issues that were determined to be of high priority were:

1. All agricultural operations need pertinent and relevant researched based information to effect positive change.

2. Issues facing communities will be specifically identified and solutions will be implemented by concerned youth and adult volunteer groups.
3. School to career issues that face youth.
4. Chronic disease risk reduction for youth and adults.

Additional Funding

The Avery County Cooperative Extension Center was able to leverage over $378,760.00 in grants, in kind contributions, and gifts to enhance our programming effort. This money was leveraged through partnership grants with WAMY, a local action group, private individuals, in kind donations, one time grants, NCDA Block Grant, and gifts. The monies have been used in our 4-H youth development programs, and our agricultural programs.


The role, as a county agent is to effect positive change. Change is a word that is simple to pronounce, but yet difficult to accomplish. Many times, when change occurs, it is viewed as negative. It is our responsibility in this non-formal educational system to show that change is not negative, but rather positive. This type of change cannot occur without some form of contact, and usually multiple times. In Avery County, we strive to meet the public one on one, email, social media, correspondence, phone calls, newsletters, and class settings. We classify these contacts as either face-to-face or non face- to-face. Face-to-face contacts are contacts that occur by meeting with the client face-to-face; non face-to-face is any other contact avenue. We had a total of 42,915 contacts of citizens in our county in 2017. We had a total of 5888 citizens attend one or more of our planned educational activities that had over 532 hours of instruction.

2017 Program Successes
Listed below are some of the program successes that we had in Avery County in 2017. These successes are not but a glimpse of the work that we take on and complete.

Local Food Systems and Profitable and Sustainable Ag Systems

A problem that is being faced by many in our community is the ability to grow your own food. As society continues to move further away from the farm skills, knowledge, and ability to grow your own food has been lost. The Avery County Cooperative Extension Center developed and implemented a program to help our citizens answer these needs. As a society food independence is an important issue that we must address. Presently we have a food bank providing free food for 300 people monthly.

With financial support from the Avery County Government, and the use of the Avery County Recreation Department playing field, we were able to build a garden with 36 raised beds, and 25 500 square foot sections. We had 40 participants from the community attend classes starting in March of 2017 and continuing through the growing season. At these sessions, participants learned how to prepare the soil, start seeds, fertilize, scout and manage pests, how to work with pollinators, proper plant spacing, weed management, food preservation, how to harvest, how to build a cold frame, raised bed construction, how to use different farm equipment, lifecycle of vegetables, growing requirements of plants, and composting.

This program also over the past 4 years has produced over 5000 pounds of produce donated to local food pantry and feeding programs.

Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems

In 2017 the landscapers in our county were faced with the problem of being able to complete necessary educational credits in order to keep their certification as licensed landscape contractors. At this time a landscaper could have attended other programs located in other parts of the state costing them time and money. Avery County Cooperative Extension Service developed a training program that 46 local landscapers could attend to receive the 7 hours of required training for recertification. This training was estimated to save over 10 hours of paid time for each landscaper, resulting in a cost savings of 4600 hours of paid time for training.

A Producer was raising and breeding several head of a comerical cow/calf herd. He was practicing some proper health techniques but was lacking in a vaccine protocol, proper nutrition, and pregnancy checking resulting in low pregnancy rates. Due to his low pregnancy rates, the producer was losing money and was thinking of retiring from the cattle business.

After speaking with the producer and visiting his farm, the extension agent demonstrated different health techniques that needed to be done on the cattle. For example, the agent explained the importance of vaccinations and deworming protocols and then demonstrated how to conducts these methods. They discussed pregnancy checking and how to manually palpate and draw blood for testing. The producer was able to conduct the methods himself with the agents supervision and guidance. To further his education, the agent held a field day on his farm that was open to all producers. At this Field Day the producer and six others had the chance to have hands on opportunities such as, palpating, drawing blood, tagging, vaccinating, and deworming the cattle.

After the Field Day the agent asked all the producers their opinions of the Field Day and Farm Visits. Each gave good reviews and great suggestions for future workshops. This producer seemed very pleased and said that he has learned some very valuable information from working with the agent and the other producers.

As a result the producer now conducts health protocols and pregnancy checks. He culls cows if they are open and has been having higher pregnancy rates. Because of this, he is making a profit and has attended more extension events. He plans to stay in the cattle business.

A homeschool student approached the extension CED and asked for an internship/shadowing opportunity. The student was unsure of what she wanted to do for her higher education and profession.

The extension CED granted the student an internship with the livestock agent. The student now travels with the agent to farm visits, meetings, workshops, field days, etc. The student has the ability to learn hands on with all sorts of livestock and is able to see the importance of agriculture and the extension program. The intern is also learning about records, business, and professionalism.

The student is asked periodically to give back feedback on how she likes the internship and what she would like to learn. The student will also be given an evaluation at the end of the year to let the extension staff know what she liked or disliked about the internship and if she suggests any changes for future internships.

After being an intern the student now knows that she wants to be involved with agriculture and that she wants to pursue an education in animal science with the intent of going in the extension direction. The student has been able to learn new important skills related to livestock and now understands how the extension service works

Safety and Security of our Farms

Due to the new rules by the EPA concerning Worker Protection Standards, pesticide applicators who apply products that require a respirator will have to be both medically cleared and fit tested. This puts an undo burden on small growers as well as large growers. To get both commercially can cost up to $160 per person. If a grower has 20 men, then that would a cost of $3200.00. To answer these concerns, the Cooperative Extension Center in Avery worked in conjunction with North Carolina Agromedicine Institute in providing a train the trainer class to provide training for growers to learn how to fit test their employees. This 8-hour training encompassed pesticide safety, PPE, and had hands on training to actually fit test each participant. Furthermore, extension held a Fit test/Medical Clearance day to bring both medical and fit testing under one roof. During the train the trainer day we certified 20 individuals on how to fit test workers. During the fit test medical clearance day, we fit tested and medically cleared approximately 81 people in one day. This allowed Extension to introduce its services to a previously underutilized client group of Latino workers. We partnered with the NC Agromedicine Institute and HIgh Country Health Clinics to reach these workers. Through this work we were able to provide educational materials to both growers and their workers concerning the proper use of respirators.

As Farmers age out, retire, and or die, their pesticides have to be properly dealt with. Many times the heirs and new property owners are faced with handling old pesticides sometimes that have been stored for years. Not only are these people usually ignorant of how to properly dispose of these chemicals and containers, so are the convenience site operators may or may not understand proper disposal. This can be an important issue for environmental reasons, personal safety reasons, and general public health concerns.
Over the past 15 years Avery Cooperative Extension Center has provided training in proper pesticide storage, disposal, usage, and application by having classes and utilizing the regional Demonstration Pesticide Storage and handling facility. The Avery Center has worked with Avery Solid Waste Dept. to provide educational materials for the convenience site workers about what to do with pesticides if any were "dropped" off.
In July of 2017 a convenience site worker identified a pesticide that was incorrectly dropped off at one of the convenience centers. Due to the trainings, this worker contacted our office and put the material in a location that kept it from the public contact.
Due to the educational efforts and trainings, we were able to successfully collect a product called Dinoseb whose LD50 ranges from 4-14 mg/kg of body weight. ( Temik's LD50 is 1) If this product had been spilled or had come in contact with the general public a safety issue would have occurred. Now that product is safely being held in our Regional Pesticide Demonstration and Storage Facility awaiting Household Hazardous Waste day pick up instead of being in the landfill.

Youth and School to Career

According to the Food and Drug Administration when certain disease-causing bacteria or pathogens contaminate food, they can cause foodborne illness. The Federal government estimates that there are about 48 million cases of foodborne illness annually — the equivalent of sickening 1 in 6 Americans each year. And each year, these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Although everyone is susceptible, some people are at greater risk for developing foodborne illness, including young children.
To combat this major concern, the Avery County 4-H Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) partnered with a local school in Avery County to offer six lessons from the curriculum, Adventures in Nutrition. The lessons included a focus on making healthy food choices as well as teaching the Kindergartners safe food handling concepts according to the Fight BAC guidelines. Student participation in the series was strongly encouraged by the teacher after it was reported that a large percentage of students were asking to take foods such as yogurt and cheese sticks, that need to be kept refrigerated, home with them from their lunch. The teacher also stated that students often brought foods such as hot dogs, lunch meats and yogurt packed in warm lunch boxes with no ice packs to keep the food cold. She estimated that some of these foods were left without refrigeration as long as 5 hours before the children consumed them. She also told EFNEP staff that the children exhibited a reluctance to wash their hands after using the bathroom and before eating. She was concerned with the spread of illnesses in her room such as the flu and stomach virus.

After partnering with the Avery County school, NC Cooperative Extension delivered a 6 session youth series from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). To help teach students the need for good food safety practices the EFNEP program assistant was asked to teach students the difference in “refrigerator” foods and foods that could be kept at room temperature. A short food safety lesson was included each week in the six session series and children where taught how to safely keep foods cold when packing them for lunch. The children were also taught the need for proper hand washing and safe food handling.

The teacher sent a thank you letter reporting major changes in the children’s behavior.

The teachers explained that they were seeing many unsafe foods being brought for the kids to eat for lunch. They also reported that the children were asking to take foods that should be kept cold home with them in their back packs. Therefore, the school staff requested a strong emphasis on food safety during their regular nutrition series. After the series, a thank you letter was sent to the EFNEP Program Assistant. The teacher stated, “The children are now longer asking to take “refrigerator foods” home in their back backs or bringing those foods for lunch without ice packs in their lunch bags. I am excited that the kids have made some drastic changes and will be kept safe from the dangers of food poisoning. I see a much greater willingness to wash hands and cover their sneezes also since participating in your wonderful lessons. I am sure that we will have a lot less sick days this year due to your series.”

It is the hope of all involved that these efforts will continue good food safety habits that will improve the health of Avery County Elementary students for years to come.

According to the Centers for Disease Control about 75 million American adults (29%) have high blood pressure—that’s 1 of every 3 adults. Only about half of people with high blood pressure have their condition under control. High blood pressure costs the nation $46 billion each year including the cost of health care services, medications, and missed days of work. High blood pressure increases your risk for dangerous health conditions such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure and Kidney disease. Although you cannot control all of your risk factors for high blood pressure, you can take steps to prevent or control high blood pressure and its complications. The American Heart Association states that a little weight loss can bring a lot of health gains. Even a small weight loss can help manage or prevent high blood pressure in many overweight people.

To combat this issue in Avery County the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program provided a ten-session series of classes to local parents that included information on preparing and eating more meals at home, making healthy food and drink choices, increasing physical activity and limiting TV time. There was also an emphasis on planning skills such as planning healthy meals and snacks instead of consuming popular “junk” foods.

After the series was completed the participant shared program successes with the group.

During the class series one participant reported concerns about her recent diagnoses of high blood pressure. Also, being a breast cancer survivor, she had asked her doctor for recommendations he could suggest for any lifestyle choices she could make to help with her blood pressure issues. The doctor shared a flyer about the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and an upcoming series of classes in her area. After the series was completed the participant reported that she had lost over 10 lbs. and had lowered her blood pressure by eating less salt and exercising more per the recommendation of the program. She also shared that she was making more effort to plan healthy meals using the recipes and tools that EFNEP had provided. She was excited that because of these changes she did not currently have to take blood pressure medicine anymore. The participant was encouraged that because of EFNEP she would have a healthy future ahead of her.

The need for exciting, fun, and educational STEM activities is important to keep youth interested and engaged in learning. By participating in the 4-H Youth Science Day, youth get to be scientists and engineers and use what they learned to contribute to their communities in a positive way.

Avery YO! 4-H Afterschool participated in this program. Over 80 youth and 9 volunteers first experimented with flight patterns using a 4-H ‘copter’. The youth then constructed their one FPG-9 Glider to further investigate flight controls. The youth then came up with their own ideas on how to construct a drone, and the use of the drone. They learned how to fly the drone using cameras to go over a specified area and take photos.

The youth were fully engaged and were mentoring each other on how to control the devices while discussing the science behind it.

This synopsis gives a description of the depth and breadth of the programs available to the citizens in Avery County. As with all of the programs in North Carolina, these are driven by the local needs of Avery County Citizens. The Avery County Cooperative Extension Service staff, working as a team, is providing solutions to the problems and issues of our citizens. These successes and the associated impacts are examples of the different types of programs that are offered to our public during any given year.

II. County Background


Avery County is the 100th and last county formed in North Carolina. The county was formed in 1911 from parts of Caldwell, Mitchell, and Watauga Counties. Avery County was named after Waightstill Avery, a colonel in the American Revolutionary War and the first Attorney General of North Carolina (1777-1779).

Newland is the county seat and was originally known as the Old Fields of Toe. It was renamed after North Carolina Lieutenant Governor, William C. Newland. Avery County has a strong and deep agrarian mountain heritage. Over the years Avery County citizens farmed, mined, logged, and entertained tourists. In the book,” A History of Avery County” by author Horton Edward Cooper, he stated,

“Because people make history, our citizens show an intense interest in the events of the past and are displaying an eagerness more than ever in local history; too, they have become eagerly interested in genealogy. All mountaineers enjoy a good anecdote. The people of Avery County are not all descendants of pioneers who came into this rugged land a good many generations ago, but we are proud of those and their descendants who can trace their ancestry to the four points of the compass... As a rule, our families are close-knit units and family pride exists no higher on earth than here. No stronger love for America and the American flag can be found anywhere in our country. We are proud of our inheritance, which for our rugged pioneer ancestors and several generations meant hardship, often disappointing toil, loneliness, self-sufficiency and a struggle for survival.”

It is from this backdrop that the Avery County Cooperative Extension Center serves the citizens of Avery County.


Avery County has a total area of 247 square miles (158,080 acres) and is extremely rural and mountainous with all of the county's terrain located within the Appalachian Mountains range. The highest point in the county is Grassy Ridge Bald, which rises to 6,165 feet (1,879 m) above sea level. Most of Grandfather Mountain (whose highest point is Calloway Peak 5,964 feet), shared with Watauga and Caldwell counties, is within Avery County.

At an elevation of 5,506 feet (1,678 m) above sea level, Beech Mountain (also shared with Watauga County) is the highest incorporated community east of the Mississippi River. At an elevation of 3,621 feet (1,099 m) Newland is the highest county seat in the Eastern United States.

There are many wild trout streams and ski resorts (such as: Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain) located within its boundaries. There are outdoor attractions year round and many of our visitors travel to Avery to enjoy its natural agrarian beauty.


Avery County has no major industries. Tourism is the leading industry in Avery County, generating $51 million in sales each year. The South's highest ski slopes, nine major golf resorts, and scenic Grandfather Mountain attract visitors year round to support a wonderful variety of outdoor activities, quality restaurants, and lodging facilities. Agri-Tourism has become an important segment of both our agriculture and tourism industries.

The second largest industry is second home construction. The third greatest source of income, by far, comes from agricultural production.

Avery County has been known in the past as the "Christmas Tree Capital of the World" and agriculture is the third largest employer and represents approximately $34 million dollars income annually. During the last few years all three sectors of our economy has suffered greatly. Christmas tree industry in particular is in the process of maturation and painful changes are evolving to something new.


As of the census of 2010, there were 17,797 people, 7194 households, and 4,422 families residing in the county. The population density was 70 people per square mile (27/km²). There were 13,890 housing units at an average density of 48 per square mile (19/km²).

The racial makeup of the county was 91.9% White, 4.0% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.3% Asian, and 4.5% of the population was Latino of any race.

There were 7194 households out of which 23.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.6% were non-families. 28% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.31 and the average family size was 2.81.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,918. Males had a median income of $25,983 versus $21,652 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,465. Private non-farm employment change was down 23.7%.

There are 13,890 housing units in the county, of which 6004 are considered seasonal. There were 7226 vacant units and 1567 rental units. Avery County has over 4.3 billion dollars in property value. However, 70% of the homes are owned by seasonal residents, or absentee owners who rent their housing as either vacation units of full time residences.

Environmental Scan

The Avery County Cooperative Extension Staff, volunteers, advisory groups, governmental partners, and citizens determine our program areas through environmental scans. It is Cooperative Extension’s way of determining the critical issues in the county. From the last scan we have determine the following programs will aid in answering critical issues in Avery County for program year 2016.

1. Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture
2. Local Food Systems
3. Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems
4 Volunteer Readiness
5. School to Career
6. Healthy Eating Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction
7. Leadership Development

Avery County Cooperative Extension Center has decided to reduce the areas of focus in order to increase it potential impact. From our last environmental scan, we are planning to focus on Youth and Agricultural issues.

Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems
Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems
Local Food Systems

There are over 135 farmers in Avery County who receive 25% of their disposable income from the production and sale of livestock. Estimated gross sales of livestock (beef, sheep, and horses) were over $2.8 million in 2007. Over 90% of livestock producers in Avery are small, part-time, limited resource farmers. Livestock numbers have experienced a moderate increase during the past year due to favorable market prices. There are approximately 45 local food producers of varying size and skill. This portion of the agricultural segment has multiple challenges including pre and post-harvest quality issues, GAP certification, pest information, management strategies, and business planning.

Production of native ornamentals is the second largest agricultural commodity in Avery County, generating close to $7.5 million annually. Growers must constantly improve quality and consistency of shape, color, grade, and root ball of their product. Collected and cutback material is considered suspect by many buyers because of poor survivability. Availability of quality nursery-grown plant materials is vital to maintaining or increasing existing markets. Presently, this segment of the market is undergoing a major change, and the new growers need production, business, and marketing education.

Production of Fraser fir Christmas trees accounts for $25.8 million annual income, the largest agricultural commodity in Avery County. Avery County growers are rapidly approaching a major transition, from one generation to the next. With this transition, comes inherent challenges, primarily, will this land stay in agricultural production, or will it be divided and sold to development. The heirs to the majority of this land are not farmers, but rather professionals who have moved either physically away from the farm or ideologically moved away.

Avery County growers need to improve their business management skills as a means of maintaining their profit margin. Decision making needs to be based on cost-benefit analysis, enterprise budgets, and farm record keeping. Growers must develop new marketing techniques, identify new product niches, and seek markets for new regions of the country. Growers need to evaluate and adopt new chemicals, equipment, and techniques on the basis of cost-effectiveness, utility and environmental impact. Growers need to coordinate cultural practices, fertility, and harvest practices to insure that a quality product reaches the consumer. Presently, the over supply of Fraser fir is over, and one casualty of this over supply is that we have reduced the number of growers from 950 to just 450. However, the acreage will likely remain very similar to the early 2000’s. Education based upon these changing times will help grower’s transition into and out of markets.

Farm safety and security is a growing issue. All farms need to participate in safety and security programs. We all want our food to be safe. Safe from unlabeled pesticides, from disease, and grown using the best management practices possible. Avery County growers need educational programs that focus on pesticide education, beef quality assurance, good agricultural practices, food safety, and on farm safety.

Volunteer Readiness
Leadership Development

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. In Avery County with the budget cuts that have been experienced and with the major changes of how Extension is planning on accomplishing its mission, it is imperative to recruit, train, and retain quality volunteers. These volunteers will not only learn about service, involvement, and leadership, but will be a cornerstone on how we can effectively reach our target audience. As we continue to train and utilize new volunteers, our outreach and circle of influence will increase thereby allowing Avery County Cooperative Extension Center to positively change the lives of Avery County citizens.

School to Career

Avery County has approximately 2,300 youth ages 5-19 years old. Changes in family structure, work force, and lack of parental involvement are only a few of the major issues facing Avery's youth. The county offers very few opportunities for youth of any age to improve leadership and communication skills. Our youth need opportunities to explore our world safely to ascertain the direction their lives should take. In order for this program to be successful though, it takes adult volunteers to help guide the youth. Volunteer development is a major concern to the Avery County 4-H program. Volunteers lack the much-needed training to meet the challenges in the 4-H leadership development part, such as communication, club management, and decision-making skills. There is also a real need to expand the Avery County 4-H program with more trained adult volunteers and at the same time decrease the turnover rate.

Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction

Obesity in both youth and adult are high in Avery County; 62-66% of adults in Avery County are obese. 35% of children ages 5-11 were overweight and 25% were classified as obese in Avery County. With the poverty levels, most families don’t know how to eat healthy on a small budget. Nor do the Avery County residents follow healthy lifestyles and make informed decisions about their health. We plan to develop programs to increase the number of youth and adults that makes informed decisions concerning their health.

Avery County Cooperative Extension Center welcomes the opportunity to serve our citizens with solutions to their critical issues. As these issues are not within a vacuum an integrated approach is necessary and important in reaching our potential of change with our clients. As a team we will work diligently to inform, educate, and move our clients towards the knowledge to make an informed decision with respect to their specific issue, thus allowing our citizens to be able overcome their challenges and making Avery County a better place to live, work, and play.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

Value* Outcome Description
60Number 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
5Number of Extension initiated and controlled County demonstration test sites (new required for GLF/PSI reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
45Number 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
1500Net 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
60Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
60Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
93Number 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
51Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
5Number of animal producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
10Tons of livestock organic by-products utilized (nutrients from waste, compost, etc)
0Number of waste management certifications gained or maintained due to Extension education efforts
10Number of acres where Extension-recommended waste analysis was used for proper land application
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
5Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
5Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
29Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
35Number 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.
7Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
3Number 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.).
10Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
9Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
150Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
15Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue.
2Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
35Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
500Number of pounds of local foods donated for consumption by vulnerable populations.
35Number 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.

Value* Outcome Description
5Number of persons certified in Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) or Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)
1Number of persons certified in Transport Quality Assurance (TQA)
10Number of participants trained in safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number of farms certified as a Certified Safe Farm
5Number of farms that made safety improvements following a CSF on-farm safety review
1Number of youth certified in the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program
25Number of participants that have adopted farm safety practices
* 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
100Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
120Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
100Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
1000Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
25Number of hours youth volunteer training conducted
30Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
20Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
240Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
5Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
5Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
3Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
5Number of youth volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
5Number of adult volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
10Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
3472Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
954Total number of female participants in STEM program
1072Number of youth (students) participating in 4-H dropout prevention (student at-risk) programs
15Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
536Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
25Number of adults increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
536Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
25Number of adults increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
5Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
536Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
536Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
25Number of adults gaining career / employability skills
536Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
25Number of adults gaining entrepreneurship skills
* 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
20Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
556Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
552Number of participants increasing their physical activity
536Number of participants who consume less sodium in their diet
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 28,414
Non face-to-face** 14,501
Total by Extension staff in 2017 42,915
* 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 $201,360.00
Gifts/Donations $24,800.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $152,600.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $378,760.00

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: 751 24,838 9,878 $ 613,250.00
Advisory Leadership System: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Other: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Total: 751 24838 9878 $ 613,250.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Agriculture Committee
Dewayne Krege
Gretchen Blackburn
Ed Synder
Kenny Taylor
Lear Powell
Andy Vaughan
Dee Clark
Jack Wiseman Jr
4-H Advisory Board
Alicia Hicks
John Hicks
Ruth Shirley
Tim Hartley
David Burleson
Amy Greene
Nancy Gryder
Damon Hodges
Emily Greer
IPM Advisory Committee
Larry Smith
Jack Wiseman
Mark Forbes
Jamie Shell
ALS Council
Dewayne Krege
Amos Nidifer
Jack Wiseman, Jr
Tommy Burleson
Tammie Woodie
Robin Ollis
Elaine Ollis
Shawn Hoilman
Shannon Mathis
Brandon Townsend
Local Foods/Farmers Market
Kyle Kitchen
Amos Niddifer
D C Smith
Waightstill Avery

VIII. Staff Membership

Jerry Moody
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 733-8270
Email: jerry_moody@ncsu.edu

Brent Buchanan
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (315) 212-1277
Email: babuchan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Dairy Extension Programming in Western North Carolina Counties of Haywood, Madison, Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson, Yancey, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Mitchell, Avery, Burke, Cleveland, Watauga, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Gaston, Ashe, Wilkes, Alexander, Iredell, Alleghany, Surry, Yadkin, and Davie.

Melanie Cashion
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 733-8270
Email: melanie_cashion@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Program Assistants help families learn the practical skills necessary to improve the nutritional quality of the meals they serve their families. The hands-on, learn by doing approach of EFNEP allows the participants to make multiple positive behavior changes. These include better managing their food budgets, preparing and eating more meals at home, increasing physical activity, making healthy food and drink choices, limiting TV time, controlling portion sizes and using safe food practices.

Kim Davis
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (828) 733-8270
Email: kim_davis@ncsu.edu

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

Tami Hagie
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 733-8270
Email: tami_hagie@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.

Alicia Hicks
Title: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 733-8270
Email: alhicks2@ncsu.edu

Bill Hoffman
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Phone: (828) 733-8270
Email: bill_hoffman@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

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.

Michelle South
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (828) 733-8270
Email: michelle_south@ncsu.edu

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.

Bobbie Willard
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 733-8275
Email: bobbie_willard@ncsu.edu

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

IX. Contact Information

Avery County Center
661 Vale Rd.
Newland, NC 28657

Phone: (828) 733-8270
Fax: (828) 733-8293
URL: http://avery.ces.ncsu.edu