2017 Stokes County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 22, 2018

I. Executive Summary

NC Cooperative Extension in Stokes County has had a productive year in beginning new partnerships and programs through a transitional year. The 4-H agent experienced her first full year in the position, a new county director was hired, and the horticulture agent accepted a promotional on-campus position. Through this transitional year, a total of 17,700 county residents were served by programming, face-to-face contacts, or other means.

Stokes County 4-H added two new clubs this year and increased the number of regular volunteers from five to nineteen. The 4-H Embryology program was expanded to more classes and elementary schools across the county. This growth led to a total of 451 youth gaining knowledge in STEM education. These increases have made 4-H programming more accessible for county youth to benefit from our services currently and in the future.

South Stokes High School's FFA chapter partnered with the livestock agent to gain a poultry handler's license to process chickens that they raised after being hatched through the 4-H embryology program. Birds raised and processed by the students were donated to the local outreach ministry. After the only small flock poultry processing plant closed in the state, the FFA chapter used the skills and knowledge gained through their service program to help a local producer process 60 turkeys in time to make sales before the Thanksgiving holiday.

The area is seeing an influx of new landowners in the county that are interested in beginning to farm. The Stokes County Extension office partnered with Forysth Technical Community College's Stokes Campus to provide new and beginning farmer classes in the Summer. A total of 34 participants gained knowledge across a variety of classes designed to help beginners find success in small-scale farming.

The Stokes County beekeeper's association saw tremendous growth in 2017 to a total of 50 members. The group worked with Extension staff to implement a three day bee school for 17 new beekeepers to gain NC Beekeeper's certification. The beekeeper's association also gained NC Beekeeper's charter status this year.

The Stokes Extension Master Gardener's group added eight new members and began to donate produce grown in the demonstration garden to the Meals on Wheels program to serve fresh local produce to some of our most vulnerable residents.

These are a few highlights of the growth and direction that NC Cooperative Extension in Stokes County has taken this year to serve Stokes County residents.

II. County Background

Stokes County is a rural county located in the central Piedmont region of the state, North of Winston Salem, on the Virginia-North Carolina state line. The people in Stokes County live in a beautiful region which contains a small east-west traversing mountain range within its borders. It is the location of Hanging Rock State Park and the Dan River flows through the county affording a wealth of outdoor recreation opportunities for its citizens and many visitors. The county is 456 square miles and has a population of 46,588 people, which 94% are white, 5% are black, 2.7% Hispanic and .3% American Indian. In 2014 , Stokes County had an unemployment rate of 4.8% which is down from 6.9% in 2013. It has fallen 4% in just two years which signals an upswing in the regional economy. A large majority, 67% of the citizens commute out of the county for work, and have a median income of $42,703 which is also the trend of the national economy of more jobs but wages are not as high as prior to the great recession. This year's median income is a drop of $6,431.
Stokes County lost a valuable source of tax-based revenue when R.J. Reynolds Tobacco decided to remove its stored tobacco from the large storage warehouses at the south end of the county. The Stokes County Economic Development Director is no longer employed with Stokes County and the Planning Director is now serving a dual role of Planning Director and Economic Development. Agriculture remains an important industry supplying $59 million in gross domestic product and providing 23% of the local jobs. The Stokes Extension Center will be building a strong relationship with the County Manager and Planning Director to keep them abreast of the agriculture industry improvements. Our long standing relationship with Forsyth Tech Stokes Campus will continue as we collaborate on new educational opportunities for offering job seeking skills and training.
The Extension Staff, in consultation with our Extension Advisory Council, local County Government and Specialized Advisory Committees, will continue to communicate and discuss additional areas of concern for the citizens where Extension can focus their attention. We have surveyed our Advisory Council annually and have regular communication with the local County Manager.

Stokes County has a large number of small and limited resource farmers that are looking for outlets to sell their products. Work shall continue to provide support and training for farmers who sell at the King Farmer’s Market and with Carolina Markets on-line marketing program. Additionally, the Master Gardener program will be continued in 2017 having 20 volunteers to work assisting the local center and providing community service and new course offerings to the citizens. The Master Garden program will take place in the western section of the county that is under-served. NC A&T University will be hopefully providing the Stokes Center with a summer intern to assist with horticulture classwork during the summer months.

4-H youth development has doubled the number of clubs. Currently there are 61 youth in traditional 4-H clubs, 256 other one-time event members, and 242 youth served in our summer programming. In 2017, we shall re-establish Stokes County youth attending a 4-H camp with sponsorship support for youth, and will be increasing nature activities in summer programming. 4-H will also continue teaching science classes for clover buds, outdoor education and robotics, along with many other activities. There is growth for 4-H youth to participate in livestock events with the help of surrounding livestock agents.

Pest control continues to be a major issue with horticultural crops. New pesticide chemistry preserves natural enemies by killing a small range of pests. The difficulty is that growers also find that old pesst emerging that were once controlled by older, broad-spectrum pesticides. Extension will focus on how to assist growers in managing these emerging old pests, as well as the new ones. Individual site visits and pesticide training classes will be a regular feature of this work. The crops agent will continue to provide producers his time and expertise. The Horticulture agent regularly works in pesticide management as well.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
North Carolina's agricultural crops industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of crops was $4.72 billion, placing NC as the 17th largest in the nation. North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state's 50,200 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.4 million of the state's 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber. Tobacco remains one of the state's most predominant farm commodities. North Carolina produces more tobacco and sweet potatoes than any other state and ranks second in Christmas tree cash receipts. The state also produces a significant amount of cucumbers for pickles, lima beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, strawberries, bell peppers, blueberries, chili peppers, fresh market cucumbers, snap beans, cabbage, eggplant, watermelons, pecans, peaches, squash, apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, and grapes. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic and niche market production. Educational and training programs for producers of plant agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
Value* Outcome Description
28Number 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
2Number 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
18Number 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
503115Net 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.
North Carolina's livestock industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of livestock, dairy, and poultry was $8.85 billion, placing NC as the 7th largest in the nation. Hogs & pigs have historically been an important part of North Carolina agriculture. The industry has changed dramatically since the 1980s from the small farm raising a few hogs to large confinement type operations. North Carolina's number of cattle & calves on farms has remained relatively stable throughout time. Milk cow inventory and milk production have continued to decline in the state. Unlike other commodities, broiler production in North Carolina is increasing throughout the state. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Educational and training programs for producers of animal agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
Value* Outcome Description
78Number 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
24100Net 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
5280Tons of livestock organic by-products utilized (nutrients from waste, compost, etc)
422400Net income gain by using livestock organic by-products instead of synthetic fertilizers
* 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.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
Value* Outcome Description
38Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
24Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
56Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
13Number 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.
13Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
5Number 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.).
18Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
6Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
353600Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
18Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue.
9Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
1Number of new local food value chain businesses, other than farms (in this reporting period).
11Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
114Number of pounds of local foods donated for consumption by vulnerable populations.
227Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
11Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting to raise backyard livestock.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.
Youth and adult volunteers in North Carolina contribute thousands of hours each year to strengthen communities and create strong foundations for the future. As these individuals engage in service, they are gaining new skills, generating new programs to serve their communities, building successful organizations, and fostering an ethic of service. Cooperative Extension is poised to support the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Current research suggests that youth and adult participation positively impacts civic engagement and contributes to the development of leadership capacities. With its presence in every county, Cooperative Extension is uniquely positioned to contribute to building a stronger ethic of service among youth and adults.
Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways
We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce.
Value* Outcome Description
52Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
405Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
171Total number of female participants in STEM program
26Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
226Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
6Number of adults increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
126Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
6Number of adults increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
18Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
451Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
174Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
6Number of adults gaining career / employability skills
126Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
6Number of adults gaining entrepreneurship 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.
Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed.
Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.
Many North Carolinians 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 North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 4,355
Non face-to-face** 12,822
Total by Extension staff in 2017 17,177
* 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 $0.00
Gifts/Donations $4,370.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $9,500.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $13,870.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.14
4-H: 118 392 0 $ 9,463.00
Advisory Leadership System: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 97 235 341 $ 5,673.00
Other: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Total: 215 627 341 $ 15,136.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Extension Advisory Leadership Council
Sue Mitchell
George Cutchens
Bennie Weavil
John Barnes
Joan Barnes
Jay Mitchell
Jess Scott
Angelina Melvin
Sue Jarvis
Bill Smith
Ann Smith
Horticulture Advisory Committee
Wayne Flippen
Don Bennett
Ron Simmons
Jay Mitchell
Ray Tugel
Cheryl Ferguson
Livestock and Forages Advisory Committee
Austin Armstrong
Jessica Armstrong
Mark Bray
Marilynn Lankford
Ronnie Lankford
Darryl Lester
Tilda Lindsey
Jerry Mitchell
Clay Tuttle

VIII. Staff Membership

Carl Mitchell
Title: County Extension Director & Ext Agent, Agriculture - Livestock & Field Crops
Phone: (336) 593-8179
Email: ctmitch4@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.

Taylor Furr
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 593-8179
Email: taylor_furr@ncsu.edu

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

Tim Hambrick
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (336) 703-2857
Email: tim_hambrick@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Field Crop Agent for Forsyth, Stokes, and Surry, and Yadkin counties. Responsibilities include educational programming and research in flue cured tobacco, corn, small grain, and soybean production.

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: Extension 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.

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer & 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.

Amy McKenzie
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (336) 593-8179
Email: amy_mckenzie@ncsu.edu

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.

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

Stokes County Center
700 N Main St
Danbury, NC 27016

Phone: (336) 593-8179
Fax: (336) 593-8790
URL: http://stokes.ces.ncsu.edu