2018 Mitchell County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 31, 2019

I. Executive Summary

Mitchell County is a rural county located in the northern mountains of Western North Carolina on the Tennessee state line. It has a population of 15,311 and is situated on 140 thousand acres, which is composed of 108,000 acres of woodland, 5,000 acres of cropland, 22,000 acres in pastures and hay land, and approximately 5,000 acres in streams and towns. The county is known nationally for its gems and minerals, and the working artist who call Mitchell County home. The county has traditionally been a manufacturing county with agriculture providing secondary income to many. Many of the furniture and textile industries have closed, but the mining industry remains as the largest industrial employer. Service sector jobs are increasing as tourism increases in the county. The natural beauty provided by the mountains and valleys that make up the county continue to draw many visitors to the area.

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension's Mitchell County Center staff and Advisory Leadership System members have conducted an environmental scan to determine the key educational issues of the county's citizens that should be given high priority by our staff. The environmental scan was conducted by surveying citizens, gathering input from various focus groups, advisory leadership council input, census information and direct observation. There were three key issues and trends identified from the environmental scan process. These issues included; health and nutrition, sustainable, profitable and safe plant, animal and food systems, and youth prepared to go from school to the workforce.

Since 1914, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension has been an outreach of North Carolina State University to the citizens of North Carolina. The Mitchell County Center continues today to be that gateway of educational information that meets the specific needs of the citizens in Mitchell County. We are committed to helping people put researched-based information to work to improve their own lives.

Highlighted below are some of the impacts our programming had in 2018.

- Educational and training programs for producers of plant and animal agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide. Mitchell County Cooperative Extension had 57 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, bio-energy, and value-added enterprises. Animal agriculture producers saw a $32,500 net income gain by adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices

- Many North Carolinian's are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many of the problems begin with bad eating habits as youth. Mitchell County Cooperative Extension targeted youth as an audience to educate about the importance of eating healthy foods. Through educational programs and evaluations we were able to track that 51 youth had increased their fruit and vegetable consumption

- Youth and adults must be able to demonstrate competencies in critical and analytical thinking, teamwork, communication, problem solving, decision making, and goal setting. Students must possess the skills to be ready for work or continuing education, have the knowledge and skills needed to be competitive in the global economy and to fully participate in our democratic system. One of the most popular ways of teaching these life skills is through STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education. 418 Mitchell County youth (students) increased their knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) through 32 educational opportunities.

II. County Background

Mitchell County is a rural county located in the northern mountains of Western North Carolina on the Tennessee state line. It has an estimated population of 15,126 and is situated on 140 thousand acres, which is composed of 108,000 acres of woodland, 5,000 acres of cropland, 22,000 acres in pastures and hay land, and approximately 5,000 acres in streams and towns. The county is known nationally for its gems and minerals, and the working artist who call Mitchell County home. The county has traditionally been a manufacturing county with agriculture providing secondary income to many. Many of the furniture and textile industries have closed, but the mining industry remains as the largest industrial employer. Service sector jobs are increasing as tourism increases in the county. The natural beauty provided by the mountains and valleys that make up the county continue to draw many visitors to the area.

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension's Mitchell County Center staff and Advisory Leadership System members have conducted an environmental scan to determine the key educational issues of the county's citizens that should be given high priority by our staff. The environmental scan was conducted by surveying citizens, gathering input from various focus groups, advisory leadership council input, census information and direct observation. There were three key issues and trends identified from the environmental scan process. These issues included; Healthy Weight and Chronic Disease Prevention, Sustainable, Profitable and Safe Plant, Animal and Food Systems, and Youth Achieving Educational Success .

Since 1914, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension has been an outreach of North Carolina State University to the citizens of North Carolina. The Mitchell County Center continues today to be that gateway of educational information that meets the specific needs of the citizens in Mitchell County. We are committed to helping people put researched-based information to work to improve their own lives.

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
57Number 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
3Number 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
12Number 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
16Net 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
12Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
458Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
38Number 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
33Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
32500Net income gains by producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
7Number of animal producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
2Tons of livestock organic by-products utilized (nutrients from waste, compost, etc)
750Net income gain by using livestock organic by-products instead of synthetic fertilizers
15Number 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
31Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
31Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
386Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
31Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number 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.).
7Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
2Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
12Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
2Number 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).
4Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
35Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
2Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting to raise backyard livestock.
* 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
122Number of commercial/public operators trained
29Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
8TOTAL 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
2Number of participants developing food safety plans
80Value of reduced risk of farm and food hazards
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
6Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
418Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
181Total number of female participants in STEM program
15Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
75Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
20Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
6Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
316Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
6Number of youth (students) 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
15Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
51Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
32Number of participants increasing their physical activity
25Number 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* 10,444
Non face-to-face** 72,043
Total by Extension staff in 2018 82,487
* 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 $32,970.00
Gifts/Donations $10,170.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $2,160.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $45,300.00

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: 266 1,256 3,601 $ 31,011.00
Advisory Leadership System: 10 4 125 $ 99.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Other: 99 242 369 $ 5,975.00
Total: 375 1502 4095 $ 37,084.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Leadership Council
Hal Campbell
Bill Carson
Doug Dellinger
Kathy Garland
Doug Harrell
Carolyn McKinney
Dan McKinney
David E. Terrell
Rodney Buchanan
Kathy Young
Jessica Farley

Agriculture Advisory Committee
Doug Harrell
Dennis Johnson
Gerald Whitson
Tommy Phillips
James Miller
Mark Byrd
Christmas Tree Advisory Committee
John Wilson
Jerry Wilson
David Yeater
Charles Turybyfill
4-H Advisory Committee
Keith Masters
Susan Topper
Sally Woody
Chelsea Phillips
Robin Street
Mark Byrd

N.C. A&T 4-H Specialized Committee
Angie Atkins
Misti Silver
Robyn Street
Mark Byrd
Tamara Rousseau
Family and Consumer Science Advisory Committee
Jessica Farley
Kathy Garland
Krystal Meadows
Amy Sheele
Suzette Renfro
Jessica Thomas
Alice Harty
Robert Thompson
Renee Johnson
Lynn Deyton
Heather Calhoun
Lynne Hensley
Kellyn Slotnick

VIII. Staff Membership

Jeff Vance
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 688-4811
Email: jeffery_vance@ncsu.edu

Kaley Brown
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 302-8781
Email: kcbrown2@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.

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.

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

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

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.

Kim Slotnick
Title: 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 688-4811
Email: kim_slotnick@ncsu.edu

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.

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.

Vonda Vaughn
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 688-4811
Email: vonda_vaughn@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

Mitchell County Center
10 S Mitchell Ave
Bakersville, NC 28705

Phone: (828) 688-4811
Fax: (828) 688-2051
URL: http://mitchell.ces.ncsu.edu