2019 Rowan County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 23, 2020

I. Executive Summary

Rowan County Cooperative Extension selected the following objectives in the 2019 Plan of Work: 4-H and Youth Development, Plant Production Systems, Natural Resources, and Environmental Systems, Community Development, Consumer Horticulture, Animal Production Systems, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Food Safety and Nutrition. Rowan County Cooperative Extension staff had over 18,000 direct contacts and 130,000 indirect contacts with Rowan County citizens. Rowan County staff conducted 155 meetings and workshops to address the identified focus areas. Agents utilized the local newspaper providing weekly educational information to over 200,000 unique online visitors. Private grants, donations, and user fees totaling over $50,000 were acquired to assist Extension Programming. Extension Volunteers contributed 5,200 hours of volunteer service valued at $130,000 to support Extension Agents with educational programs and serving on advisory committees. Agents were able to increase programming areas in youth, as well as animal science.

All Extension Agents were involved in youth programming. Agents assisted teachers utilizing the 4-H Camp at Betsy Jeff Penn, 4-H Summer Fun, Rowan County Fair, and after-school clubs that included over 1700 youth. In 2019 Rowan County Extension coached two poultry judging teams with six team members. This program teaches the life skills of communication through public speaking skills, organizing, and planning through writing and judging activities. Poultry judging emphasizes teamwork, confidence, leadership, and goal setting. These life skills will be invaluable to these youth as they become adults. Both teams competed in the state competition in Raleigh, and the senior team placed first. The top team competed in the national poultry judging competition in Louisville KY and placed ninth overall.

Over 600 Rowan County citizens attended healthy cooking classes and demonstrations. Extension partnered with Smart Start Rowan to offer courses on nutrition and meal planning. Seven families learned how to plan and prepare nutritious meals with a budget. Rowan County partnered with Iredell County Extension to offer the Serv Safe course and exam. All eleven participants passed their exams with scores of 80 percent or better.

Extension continues to partner with the Rowan County Health Department, EMS, Sherriff’s Department, and Cardinal Innovations on the opioid crisis committee. The committee was asked by the Rowan County Board of Commissioners to address the growing opioid crisis in Rowan County in 2017. This year the committee hosted a forum for the public on how the opioid crisis is impacting our youth and what resources are available for education and prevention.

In 2019 Cooperative Extension partnered with Rowan County Tourism Development Authority, Rowan County Chamber of Commerce, and the Rowan Arts Council to plan and implement the second annual Arts and Ag Farm Tour. Fifteen farms were on the tour. The farms selected were from the four quadrants of the county and a variety of enterprises. The majority of the farms were not usually open to the public. The tour coordinators paired artists with each farm and volunteers to greet and assist tour participants at each site. Over the two days, seven hundred people visited at least two farms on the tours.

These are just a few examples of how Cooperative Extension in Rowan County strives to improve the quality of lives with research-based educational information.

II. County Background

Cooperative Extension agents (educators) conduct diverse educational programs to support, develop, and enhance sustainable, profitable, safe plant, animal, and food systems. Programs are designed to allow youth and adults, the opportunity to achieve educational excellence equipping them with both life and parenting skills. Integrated educational programs are instrumental for citizens to maintain a healthy weight, as well as prevention of chronic disease. Volunteer and community leadership, along with economic and workforce development, are important issues for Rowan County. Programs are provided in natural resources management, environmental stewardship, energy conservation, and emergency and disaster preparedness.

While Rowan County is classified as an urban county of 511 square miles, it has 1,011 working farms encompassing 121,145 acres. Approximately 40% of the population lives in the rural areas of Rowan County. Dairy and beef cattle operations are ranked ninth and eleventh respectively in North Carolina in total cash receipts. Field crops consisting of corn, soybeans, small grains, and hay account for 63,000 acres of farmland. The total cash receipts from these commodities account for over 74 million dollars to Rowan County’s total income. Interest in local foods continues to gain momentum with two viable farmers markets contributing over 500,000 dollars in total retail sales. Agritourism is a significant part of domestic tourism providing 15% of the overall impact. The full effect of tourism in Rowan County is $160 million with agritourism estimated at $24 million a year. Rowan County is home to two agritourism farm destinations, North Carolina’s only water buffalo creamery, and three wineries.

The county population remained static in 2018 at 139,000 residents. The county’s unemployment is 3.7%. However, 26% of the child population live at or below the poverty level. Many challenges are facing the citizens of Rowan County. The emerging opioid crisis has become an issue that is a high priority. In 2017 Rowan County Emergency Medical Services administered the overdose drug Narcan over three hundred times. Rowan County has an average of 1.12 prescriptions for pain medication per resident, which equals to 84 pills/ resident. The state average is 77 pills per resident. Cooperative Extension is partnering with other County Departments and organizations to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. Other critical issues include poverty, lack of jobs and underemployment, chronic disease problems and obesity, loss of productive farmland and open space, and increased energy costs. These issues were prioritized through an environmental scan from advisory and ad hoc committees, governing officials, and local citizens. Targeted matters include decreased prescription drug abuse, eating healthy, improving health, chronic disease reduction, increased consumption of local foods, improving the agricultural and food supply system, environmental stewardship and natural resources, and increasing economic opportunity and business development.

The county commissioners recognize their top issues as increasing economic opportunity and business development; improving the agricultural and food supply system; increasing educational achievement and excellence; and improving health and nutrition. The educational goals and programming efforts of Cooperative Extension continue to dovetail with the goals and aspirations of Rowan County.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
686Number of adults increasing knowledge of life skills (such as goal setting, stress management, self-care and healthy relationships)
8Number of people gaining basic financial management knowledge and/or skills (such as; budgeting, record keeping, goal setting, writing goals, consumer decision-making)
8Number of people gaining knowledge and/or skills in managing financial products and financial identity (such as; credit, debt management, identify theft, credit reports and scores, scams, banking skills)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
400Number of adults using effective life skills (such as goal setting, stress management, self-care and healthy relationships)
11Number of professionals granted CEUs, certifications, or other work- or volunteer-related credentials
5Number of people implementing basic financial management strategies (such as; developing a budget, keeping records, etc.)
5Number of people actively managing their financial accounts and financial identity (such as; obtaining credit reports, choosing among credit products, implementing identity theft safeguards, opening or selecting bank accounts, etc.)
8Number of people accessing programs and implementing strategies to support family economic well-being
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
168Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
54Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
382Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
62Number of pesticide credit hours provided
4Number of Certified Crops Advisors receiving continuing education credits
455Number 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
17Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
10Number of Certified Crops Advisors credit hours provided
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
12Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
125Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
5Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period)
119Number of farmers, employees or family members adopting regular use of appropriate PPE following AgriSafe or Certified Safe Farm participation
146Number of participants that have adopted farm safety practices
2Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
118989Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
149Number 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
188Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
188Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
25Number of animal producers who increased knowledge of farm business management, business planning, financial management, marketing, or estate planning.
188Number of animal producers who learned how to develop a management plan (i.e. grazing plan, feeding plan, drought plan, business plan, disaster plan, etc.)
188Number 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.)
188Number of producers who increased knowledge of nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplements, breeding, and reproduction
188Number 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
25Number of producers who increased knowledge of animal waste management practices
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
188Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
79Number of participants that have adopted farm safety practices
188Number of farmers, employees or family members adopting regular use of appropriate PPE following AgriSafe or Certified Safe Farm participation
188Number of producers adopting extension-recommended practices related to planning, marketing, and financial management
188Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to quality assurance (vaccinations, castration, culling techniques, etc.)
188Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to genetic improvement (AI, heifer/bull selection)
188Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition (mineral, feed rations)
188Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to internal parasite management (fecals, deworming)
188Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices related to pasture management
188Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplement, breeding, and reproduction
188Number of producers using improved biosecurity practices
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
35Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
7500Dollar value of in-kind resources contributed by organizations or community
3Number of (eg., community and economic development, land use, disaster, etc.) new, revised or adopted plans that have begun to be implemented in communities, organizations, local governments, or businesses
* 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
43Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
1503Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
678Total number of female participants in STEM program
41Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
200Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
74Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
200Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
187Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
44Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
23Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
200Number of youth using effective life skills
38Number of youth increasing their physical activity
20Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our natural resource and environmental programs conserve our precious natural resources and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Value* Outcome Description
12Number of participants willing to participate in conservation actions (such as rain gardens, wildlife management, conservation easements, land trusts, generational planning, etc.)
82Number of adults demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
82Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water quality
* 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
20Number 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
12Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
7Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden
2Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting to raise backyard livestock.
102Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease, wildlife) and soil management
87Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
17Number 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
33Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
11Number of food handlers who increase their knowledge and skills in safe food handling practices
33Number 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
109Number 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.).
75Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
50Number of participants increasing their physical activity
65Number 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* 18,802
Non face-to-face** 17,178,439
Total by Extension staff in 2019 17,197,241
* 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 $15,174.70
Gifts/Donations $20,098.02
In-Kind Grants/Donations $1,687.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $13,179.00
Total $50,138.72

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 112 2933 3404 $ 74,586.00
Advisory Leadership System 52 9 116 $ 229.00
Extension Master Gardener 358 2200 20262 $ 55,946.00
Other: Agriculture 80 10 650 $ 254.00
Other: Forestry & Natural Resources 3 4 25 $ 102.00
Total: 605 5156 24457 $ 131,117.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Rowan County Extension Advisory Council
Gina Blandino
Teresa Herman
Penny Collins
Stephanie Frisbee
Libby Watson
Daniel Overcash
Paul Eudy
Amber Phillips

Extension Community Association Rowan County Council
Janice Evans
Ruth Julian
Rebecca Lyerly
Anne Zaffino
Becky Barringer
Specialty Crops/Farmers Market
Mike Miller
Chantelle Johnson
David Correll
Chase Reynolds
Amy Smith
Kristine Turco
Paula Herion
Carol Corken
Pat Killian
Joyce Goodman
Tim Sloop



4-H Parents and Leaders
Carole Massey
Tom Barlow
Rebecca Barlow
Gina Blandino
Becky Causby
Jennifer White
Sherry Hill
Beth Stebe
Lance Wallace
Diana Wallace
Cheryl Oster
Maggie Boreman
Leigh Anne Powlas
Kris Mares

Rowan County Livestock Board
Corrie Connolly
David Correll
Tonya Menius
Stephen Wetmore

David Pless
Luke Knox
Ben Moore
Richard Luther
Rowan County Cattlemen Advisory Members
Mark Mauldin
Artie Watson
Frank King
Oscho Deal
Kim Starnes
Lee Goodnight
Stephanie Frisbee
Jim Greene


Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee
Biff Yost
Michelle Patterson
Elaine Spaulding
Corrie Connally
Libby Watson
Aimee Boudain
NC Farm School
Gary Bullen
Jennifer Rosecrans
Kathryn Holmes
David Fogerty
Mike Tate
Derek Washburn
Gary Dunn
Rowan County Agriculture Advisory Board (Farmland Preservation Board (VAD)
Kim Starnes
Mark Mauldin
Randy Elium
Mark Hammil
Darrell Nichols
Chris Sloop
Jason Walker
Rowan County Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association Board of Directors
Sandy Quinn
Debbie Scott
Terri Myers
Lana Miller
Dawn Holshouser
Liz Harry
Carol Comer
Carole Massey
Lana Miller
Katherine Jones
Sue Davis
Rowan County Local Foods Committee
Carol Corken
Carol Bellis
Carolyn Peterson
Amanda Turney
Hollie Hutchens
Amy Smith

VIII. Staff Membership

Amy-Lynn Albertson
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (704) 216-8970
Email: amy_albertson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administration, Ornamental Horticulture, Forestry, Master Gardener Coordinator, Pesticide Coordinator

Laura Allen
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 216-8970
Email: laura_allen@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for managing the total 4-H program in Rowan County.

Jenny Carleo
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain Crops
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: jscarleo@ncsu.edu

Marti Day
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: marti_day@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for educational programs for dairy farmers, youth with an interest in dairy projects and the general public with an interest in dairy foods and the dairy industry.

Toi Degree
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 216-8970
Email: toi_degree@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Food & Nutrition, Health & Wellness, Food safety, Food Presevation & Extension & Community Association (ECA) Liaison Agent.

Michael Fine
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (704) 216-8970
Email: mofine@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Local Foods, Fruits, Vegetables, Specialty Crops

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.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with commercial greenhouses and nurseries to help them with growing related issues. These issues range from pests (insect, disease, and weeds), substrates, nutrition, and other miscellaneous topics.

Peggie Lewis Joyce
Title: Area 4-H Agent - Central Region
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: peggie_lewis@ncsu.edu

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.)

Melva Menius
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 216-8970
Email: melva_menius@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Assist Director and 4-H.

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

Brooke Peeler
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (704) 216-8970
Email: brooke_peeler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Part time employee - available from 10-2 M-F

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.

Morgan Watts
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Row Crops
Phone: (704) 216-8970
Email: morgan_watts@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

Rowan County Center
2727 Old Concord Rd
Salisbury, NC 28146

Phone: (704) 216-8970
Fax: (704) 216-8995
URL: http://rowan.ces.ncsu.edu