2017 Rutherford County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 22, 2018

I. Executive Summary

The mission of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Rutherford County is to provide citizens with research-based educational information in order to improve the quality of their lives. We are the "extension" arm of NC State and NC A&T Universities to the people of Rutherford County. Our educational efforts are offered through many different methods and address the needs and issues most important to our citizens. The Extension program in Rutherford County was guided by a comprehensive needs assessment that involved staff, Advisory Council members, Extension client group leaders, community leaders, fellow agency personnel and county government partners. This team identified major issues facing Rutherford County. Seven of these were incorporated into our 2017 Plan of Work:

Profitable and Sustainable Animal Production Systems
Profitable and Sustainable Plant Production Systems
Safety and Security of our Food Systems
Volunteer Readiness
School to Career (Youth and Adults)
Urban and Consumer Agriculture
Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction


In 2017, program efforts included 27,499 contacts with clients. There were 17,291 face to face contacts through one-on-one visits, workshops, meetings, and demonstrations. Additionally, there were 10,208 non face to face contacts that were made through educational newsletters, technical telephone assistance, and e-mail requests. There were thousands of additional non face to face contacts made through weekly newspaper articles and radio programs. These numbers are not easily accessible for reporting. We are blessed with a solid volunteer base that provided 2391 hours of service to Rutherford County Cooperative Extension. These hours, at $24.14 per hour, are valued at $57,719 of service to our organization. These volunteers made an additional 2468 client contacts that aren't listed in the above Extension Agent contacts.

Listed Below are some highlights from each of our program areas:

Livestock and Agriculture:
Rutherford County beef cattle production is a large part of the local agricultural economy, ranking second to a very large timber and wood products business. It is important for producers to stay up to date and current on new practices that will help them become more profitable. Cooperative Extension addresses these needs by providing these producers with high quality, research based educational programs. In 2017, we offered several programs in marketing, forage production, pasture management, winter feeding and Beef Quality Assurance to help them improve their production systems. These programs were offered to 230 producers with around 25% adopting some of the recommended practices. It is estimated that these programs gained producers an additional $275,350 through savings and/or direct profits.

Of a population of nearly 70,000, the vast majority of Rutherford County residents do not understand what is involved in getting food to their plate, clothes in their closet, or building materials for their homes. In an effort to raise agricultural awareness, Rutherford County Cooperative Extension conducted a Farm/City program for adults and 4th graders. All 4th grade students in Rutherford County schools and the two Charter Schools were asked to draw a poster that reflected our "Grow it, Make it, Use it" theme. These students then received an in-school agricultural lesson on the importance of agriculture to their everyday lives. We heard from students and teachers that the students gained valuable knowledge from our ag lesson. As a result, we were able to raise the awareness of over 650 participants, increasing their understanding of the agricultural industry on a local, state and national level.

FCS:
Rutherford County FCS had a variety of programs in 2017, mostly dealing with healthy lifestyles for adults and children. While the long term health effects of these programs isn't immediately measurable, over 550 people changed their behavior towards eating healthier and becoming more active. FCS also offered programming on food preservation. As a result of these 6 food preservation workshops and radio and media promotion, over 60 participants improved their knowledge of proper food preservation practices that could save them from food-borne illness. The FCS program also had 34 ECA volunteers in 2017. ECA volunteers contributed 145 hours to the FCS program. The value of their volunteer time is estimated to be $3,500 to the FCS program.

4-H:
Cooperative Extension also conducts the 4-H youth development program in Rutherford County. 4-H teaches life skills and leadership development to youth ages 6-19 in a myriad of ways. Nearly 10,000 Rutherford County youth & adult volunteers were involved in 4-H programs in 2017. These activities included classes on cooking, sewing, nature, electricity, and art. Research shows that youth involved in 4-H programs are four times more likely to make positive contributions to their communities, twice as likely to make healthier choices, and twice as likely to participate in science, engineering, and computer technology programs during high school. Girls who participate in 4-H programs are three times more likely to take part in science programs in high school than girls who are not involved in 4-H activities.

Horticulture:
Rutherford County partnered with other Western NC counties to offer Landscape Contractor continuing ed credits for our commercial landscapers. This class was a hands-on workshop designed to give these clients knowledge that will help them improve their knowledge in their field, as well as receive the credits that need to remain in business. Total credits earned were valued at $33,000,000 for pesticide and $39,375,000 and prevented 225 contractors from losing their operating licenses for this fiscal year. The horticulture program is also focusing on the availability of local foods and is helping to form a local food council. Additionally, this program has a solid base of 43 Master Gardener volunteers who donated 1,707 hours valued at $41,207.

II. County Background

Rutherford County is located in the foothills of North Carolina within approximately one hour's drive of Asheville to the west, Charlotte to the east, and the Greenville Spartanburg metro area of South Carolina to the south. According to data estimates from the US Census, Rutherford County's population is 67,810. This population is 85% White, 10% Black, and 3% Latino or Hispanic, with the remainder of the population being American Indian, Asian, or bi-racial. There are 27,466 total households in the county, with 50% being married couple households and 13.3% being single female head of household with no husband present. 15.8% of the population are seniors aged 60 or over.

Educational achievement figures show that around 19% of the adult population have less than a high school education. 81.4% have earned a high school diploma or higher, with 16.4% of this group earning a Bachelor's Degree or higher.

Rutherford County's median household income is $41,000 and the per capita income is $28.283. 23.9% of individuals are listed below the poverty level. 18% of the population receives food stamps. Rutherford County's child overweight/obesity rate is 29.5%, while the adult obesity rate is 27%, which does not include overweight. Current unemployment in Rutherford County is around 7.3%. Our housing units are 72.1% owner occupied and 27.9% renter occupied. The median value of owner occupied housing is $98,400, with approximately 50.9% of these structures valued under $100,000. 74.3% of all housing structures were built before 1980.

Around 60,000 acres are in production agriculture in Rutherford County. There are 638 farms according to the Census of Agriculture. Estimated farm cash receipts are $20,108,000 across the livestock and horticultural industries. Estimated revenue from the timber/wood products industry is 127,000,000. Average farm size is 93 acres, with 96.3% of farms being family owned.

By utilizing input from Advisory Council members, Specialized Committees, Extension client group leaders, community leaders, fellow agency personnel and county government partners, Rutherford County Cooperative Extension Agents were able to develop and implement programs to address needs/priorities identified by these groups. Agents then matched these priorities to the major state programs. While realizing we cannot fully address all aspects of these issues, agents have selected those aspects of the county priority issues which can best be addressed by educational programming in the following areas:

Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems
Volunteer Readiness
Parenting and Caregiver Skills
School to Career (Youth and Adults)
Urban and Consumer Agriculture
Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction

Cooperative Extension Agents in Rutherford County will adjust these focus programs each year and mirror them in their individual plans of work. This process will provide research based educational programs that will address these county priority issues to improve the quality of life for citizens of Rutherford 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
25Number 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
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
20Number 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
20000Net 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
5Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
20Number 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
230Number 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
55Number of animal producers adopting Extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
275350Net 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.

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
14Number of participants trained in safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
16Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
1Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
18Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
68Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
10Number of hours youth volunteer training conducted
16Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
10Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
362Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
1Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
16Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
7Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
18Number 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
13Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
407Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
280Total number of female participants in STEM program
29Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
36Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
5Number of adults increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
4Number of adults increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
15Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
407Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
36Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
4Number of adults gaining career / employability skills
* 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
937Number 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
1361Number 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
230000Total 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
72Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
63418000Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
48Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
28Number of participants growing food for home consumption
4250Value of produce grown for home consumption
14Number of participants adopting composting
7Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
32Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
* 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
104Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
220Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
216Number of participants increasing their physical activity
4Number of adults who improve their blood glucose (A1c.)level
40Number 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* 16,993
Non face-to-face** 10,506
Total by Extension staff in 2017 27,499
* 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 $4,700.00
Gifts/Donations $3,700.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $1,850.00
Total $10,250.00

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: 203 539 1,400 $ 13,308.00
Advisory Leadership System: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Community Association: 34 30 149 $ 741.00
Extension Master Gardener: 43 1,707 230 $ 42,146.00
Other: 23 115 689 $ 2,839.00
Total: 303 2391 2468 $ 59,034.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Consumer Horticulture
Ramona Howell
Nancy Womack
Barbara Neuman
Tom Walker
Stephanie Howard
Rutherford County Advisory Leadership Council
Carole McDaniel - Chair
Rick Austin
Shelia Bell
Chivous Bradley
Jim Cowan
Jim Edwards
Ronald Hawkins
Paul Matheny
Suzanne Porter
Jason Byrd
Carolyn Young
Livestock and Forage Committee
Ronald Hawkins - Chair
Doug Nethaway
Jerry Brantley
Javan Calton
Bill Davis
Danny Camp
Johnny Bradley
Jim Carpenter
James Robbins
Ben Bradley
Donald Murray
Stuart Beam
David Migala
Shannon Skipper
Community Development Board
Kay Carswell - Chair
Ron Gurley
Javan Calton
Barbara Evans
Harry Deaton
Diane Murray
Karen Laughter

Family & Consumer Sciences Committee
Cathy Holmes
Frances McAnally
Ellen Lopresti
Ruby Ham
Karen Laughter
Betty Harring
4-H Leaders Committee
Sheila Bell
Beth Corbin
Ginger Ruppe
Suzanne Gibson
Kiowa Cilone
John Cilone
Yanna Fishman
Candi Lovelace
Misty Ruppe
Amanda Maishman
Betty Wilkie
Kim Swafford
Saundra Clay
Rutherford County Farmers' Market Board
Wendy Schumaker
Bob Young
Jon Hanson
Marie Chan
Steve Govis
Bill Coxe
Sheri Crenshaw

VIII. Staff Membership

Jeff Bradley
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 287-6010
Email: jeff_bradley@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.

Hannah Bundy
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Consumer and Commercial Hort
Phone: (828) 287-6015
Email: hannah_bundy@ncsu.edu

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9148
Email: Candice_Christian@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The overall goal of the Area Specialized Agents (ASAs) in Consumer & Retail Food Safety is to support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in North Carolina.

Tracy Davis
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 287-6020
Email: tracy_davis@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for the development and implementation of relevant family and consumer educational programs for Rutherford County citizens. Program areas include nutrition, active lifestyles, wellness and self-management, food safety, home food preservation, local food systems, meal planning, shopping, and cooking.

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (704) 283-3801
Email: richard_goforth@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 & 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

Cynthia Robbins
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 287-6190
Email: cynthia_robbins@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.

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.

Terry Walker
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 287-6432
Email: tkwalker@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

Rutherford County Center
193 Callahan-Koon Rd
Suite 164
Spindale, NC 28160

Phone: (828) 287-6010
Fax: (828) 288-4036
URL: http://rutherford.ces.ncsu.edu