2018 Rowan County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 28, 2019

I. Executive Summary

Rowan County Cooperative Extension selected the following objectives in the 2018 Plan of Work: School to Career, Local Foods, Natural Resources Conservation, and Environmental Sustainability, Community Development, Volunteer Readiness, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease Management; Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems; and Urban and Consumer Agriculture. Rowan County Cooperative Extension staff had over 6,000 face to face contacts and 96,000 nonface to face contact 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 88,000 citizens. Private grants, donations, and user fees totaling over $20,000 were acquired to assist Extension Programming. Seven ninety 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 Marshall Mentoring Program, 4-H Summer Fun, Rowan County Fair, and after-school clubs that included over 330 youth. In 2018 Rowan County Extension formed its first poultry judging team with six team members. This program teaches public speaking skills, confidence, leadership, and team building. The team participated in a clinic held by N.C State Universities Area Specialized Poultry Agent, Poultry Judging Contest held in Raleigh, and numerous practice events. One of the team members placed 3rd in the individual competition.

Over 500 Rowan County citizens attended healthy cooking classes and demonstrations, including six veterans in transitional housing who learned how to plan and cook nutritional meals for themselves. Rowan Extension developed a workshop to assist consumers in gaining a better understanding of how to make wiser selections when purchasing and prepare beef. Participants learned where each cut of beef is located on the carcass, the differences in the grades, and the best preparation methods for the specific cut.

Extension partnered 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. The committee hosted a forum for the public with the author Sam Quinones. The six-hour forum featured panel discussions by experts and people who are in varying stages of sobriety as well as parents of heroin addicts whose children died from overdoses.

In 2018 Cooperative Extension partnered with Rowan County Tourism Development Authority, Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and the Rowan Arts Council to plan and implement a two-day self-guided tour. Twelve 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 2017 at 139,000 residents. The county’s unemployment is 5.5%, which is about the average unemployment rate in North Carolina. In Rowan County, 19% of the 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. This is higher than the state average of 77 pills/ 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

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

Value* Outcome Description
30Number of crop (all plant systems) producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
1Number of Extension initiated and controlled County demonstration test sites (new required for GLF/PSI reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
30Number 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
30000Net 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
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
186Number 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
186Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
186000Net income gains by producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
4Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
10Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
6Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
15Number 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.
5Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
8Number 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
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.).
43Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
7Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
360000Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
11Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue.
1Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
38Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
2273Number of pounds of local foods donated for consumption by vulnerable populations.
70Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
6Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden, and if also reporting under Urban and Consumer Horticulture Objective, divide up the reported number appropriately between the two objectives to avoid duplication.
3Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting to raise backyard livestock.
1890Number of pounds of fresh produce donated for consumption by vulnerable populations.
* 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
109Number of commercial/public operators trained
1752Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
10Number of food service employees receiving ServSafe certification
26Number of participants trained in safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
38Number of participants developing food safety plans
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
12Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
12Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
1Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
15Number of adult volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Community members, organizations and local government will engage in collaborative dialog and decision-making to build economically, socially and environmentally resilient communities. This will be done through inclusive engagement, partnership building, and/or community planning.

Value* Outcome Description
24Number of communities that have included agricultural and food system considerations into disaster preparedness plans or procedures due to Extension’s involvement
49Number of participants who increased their awareness, knowledge or skill in business related topics (e.g., management, product development, marketing, business structure options, business law and/or liability)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
7Number of businesses created, retained, or expanded due to Extension’s community and economic development programming
460000Dollar value of in-kind resources (funding, in-kind service or volunteers) contributed to Projects or Programs in which Extension was critically involved by an organization or community to support community or economic development work
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
32Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
671Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
307Total number of female participants in STEM program
27Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
53Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
10Number of adults increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
32Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
671Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
53Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
10Number of adults gaining career / employability skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation.

Value* Outcome Description
83Number of participants increasing their knowledge about best management practices
83Number of youth and adults demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
226Number of participants that adopted recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
12524Number of acres under recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
226Number of participants that adopted recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint.
12524Number of acres under recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
574Number of participants improving knowledge, attitude, skills and aspirations regarding gardening and landscape practices including plant selection and placement, turfgrass management, soil management, growing food, water conservation and water quality preservation, storm water and erosion management, green waste management, pest and wildlife management
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
637Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
94850Total cost savings from the use of extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
574Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
86100Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
637Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
162880Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
574Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
5740Costs savings from implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualtiy
63Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualtiy
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.

Value* Impact Description
350Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
62Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
13Number 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* 6,802
Non face-to-face** 89,743
Total by Extension staff in 2018 96,545
* 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 $800.00
Gifts/Donations $3,883.78
In-Kind Grants/Donations $6,900.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $8,807.00
Total $20,390.78

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: 312 979 899 $ 24,172.00
Advisory Leadership System: 60 8 105 $ 198.00
Extension Community Association: 19 850 2,500 $ 20,987.00
Extension Master Gardener: 323 3,422 10,165 $ 84,489.00
Other: 80 26 990 $ 642.00
Total: 794 5285 14659 $ 130,487.00
* 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
Joey Bullock
Amy Pruitt
Daniel Overcash
Beth Stebe
Teresa Herman
Penny Collins
Judy Klusman
Stephanie Frisbee
Libby Watson
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
Harry Peterson
David Correll
Chase Reynolds
Amy Smith
Kristine Turco
Paula Herion
Carol Corken
Pat Killian
Joyce Goodman
Joel Goodman



4-H Parents and Leaders
Ann Furr
Beth Stebe
Carole Massey
Diana Wallace
Cheryl Oster
Gina Blandino
Maggie Boreman
Meillyn Allen
Brandy Hampton
Sherry Hill
Becky Causby
Jennifer White
Rebecca Barlow
Tom Barlow
Pearl Lund
Joey Hilton
Betsy Hood
RACE (Rowan Advisory for Equestrian 4-H Clubs)
Joey Hilton
Tom Barlow
Pearl Lund
Brandy Hampton
Sherry Hill

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
Joe Hampton
Lee Goodnight
Stephanie Frisbee
Jim Green
Chris Sloop

Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee
Biff Yost
Michelle Patterson
Elaine Spaulding
Shane Wolford
Corrie Connally
Joe Hampton
Libby Watson
Aimee Boudoin
NC Farm School
Gary Bullen
Jennifer Rosecrans
Lee Menius
Pam Jones
Mike Tate
Derek Washburn
Connie Dunn
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
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.

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

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.

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9155
Email: romcdowe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in NC.

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) 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

Rowan County Center
2727 Old Concord Rd
Salisbury, NC 28146

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