2016 Union County Program Impact Report

Approved: February 8, 2017

I. Executive Summary

The support of the Union County program has been strong and reflects the community’s belief that investing in Extension education pays back dividends. The dedication to the unit doesn't stop at the doors of the Agricultural Center. The larger community shows strong support as the Union County Farm Bureau, the Union County Cattlemen's Assoc., the Union County 4-H Foundation, and Union County Master Gardeners. All of these groups support the Union County office with volunteers and funding that significantly impacts programming in the county.

The leading program area that garners the most attention and has the most economic impact is agriculture. One doesn't have to be here long to discern that "agriculture is a big deal". Poultry is a leading industry in the county and also makes Union County a leading ranked industry nationally. Service to the industry includes grower’s certifications, nutrient management planning (44 producers protecting 8100 acres saving over $360,000) and preparedness for disease outbreaks. Another area of agricultural impact is in commodity production. Through production meetings, field days and many individual visits, the agent assisted over 300 producers in changing net revenues by a + $3.3 million on 120,000 acres. Other areas such as livestock production, pesticide training, and farm safety issues all had impacts as well as urban agriculture to bear witness to staff efforts, both paid and volunteer, making face to face contacts that topped 15,000 in agricultural issues alone.

Extension programs for the non-farming youth, adults, and families have had lasting impacts on lives through leadership training, health and nutrition, financial management, hands-on learning and volunteer development. Developing a healthy mind and body is a deliberate, lifelong endeavor. Family and Consumer Sciences which includes the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) serve to meet the needs of the citizenry through training programs that provide hands-on opportunities to insure observable adoption of life skills and practices leading to a healthy mind, body and family life through healthy eating and financial management (131 families), leadership development (40), volunteerism (923).

4-H Youth, through the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs of in-school enrichment (embryology, Wake Up to Agriculture), after school and community club activities all contribute to the education, self -realization, independence, and confidence of 5,444 youth this year! Young people who have high self-esteem, that are self-confident and have a positive outlook on their future are less likely to participate in risky behaviors, make better life choices and exhibit more self-determination than cohorts not possessing these key outlooks of themselves and how they fit into family, community, and society.

Decision making is a human capacity that is largely learned through practice or experience. The choices we make are based on information we gather from various sources, the land grant system being the knowledge source in this instance. Apply teaching methods, guiding the education process, the gathering and evaluation of information, providing opportunities to practice decision making all allow Extension programs to have the real impact on the target audiences helping people be better people is what matters at the end of the day.

II. County Background

Union County sits at the southeastern edge of the Piedmont of North Carolina. It encompasses 640 square miles or about 404,160 acres. Of that acreage, 1,107 farms utilize 178,193 acres for food and fiber production. In North Carolina it is one of fourteen counties that fall within the Charlotte-Metro area.

Over the last twenty years, Union County has been in transition, moving from a traditional rural county to having one of the fastest growing population rates in the United States. As of 2015, the Union County population is estimated to be 201,292 and apart of the more than 1 million people in the greater Charlotte area. Most of those residents reside in the northern and western areas of the county. The southern and eastern areas have remained primarily rural. Demographically that breakdown is 78.2% White non-Hispanic, 11.7% Black, and 10.4% Hispanic.

The overall population and growth has placed serious burdens on community services and infrastructure. Local officials endure varying levels of support and while the big homes and high expectations seem to prevail, families with limited resources still struggle quietly to meet their needs. Services for the poor and indigent seem to go wanting with near $4 million in EBT transfers per month, expanding services needs to be considered. From 2007-2011, it is estimated that 8.7% of the population live in poverty with over 15,000(36.3%) of the students receiving free or reduced lunches.

Even with the loss of productive farmlands to other uses, agriculture continues to play a significant role in the Union County economy. Almost 16% of the total work force and over 15% of the County GDP results from the agricultural sector. In 2012, the agricultural industry generated over $464 million in “farm gate receipts”. That was enough to rank as the 3rd strongest agricultural economy in N.C. and 85th in the United States. Poultry production in the form of broilers, turkeys and fresh eggs is the leading agricultural segment. Union County ranks third in N.C in broiler production, 3rd in layers in N.C. and 4th in turkeys in N.C. In other commodities, the county ranks as follows in North Carolina: 2nd in wheat, 2nd in soybeans, 6th in corn, 10th in cattle and 10th in nursery, greenhouse and floriculture crops.

Through the use of environmental scanning and strong client manned advisory committees, Union County Cooperative Extension identified and prioritized key issues. Educational programs are then planned and developed to respond to those issues where appropriate. Local programming falls under several state level objectives. They are as follows:
- Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems
- Local Food Systems
- Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems
- Leadership Development
- Volunteer Readiness
- School to Career (Youth and Adults)
- Urban and Consumer Horticulture
- Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction

Union County Cooperative Extension Agents are providing programs under these objectives in the areas of: livestock production and marketing, crop production, alternative agricultural opportunities, farmers market support, development of local food production and market outlets, urban horticulture, farmland/green-space preservation, food safety, pesticide education, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math education) for youth, civic responsibility, senior wellness, nutrition and healthy lifestyles.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant, animal and food systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
Educational and training programs for producers of agricultural, horticultural and of forest products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide. North Carolina's producers produce a wide variety of agricultural, food, fiber, and horticultural products that make major contributions to local communities and the states economy. In 2006, the estimated farm gate value of agricultural and horticultural production was $8.2 billion, placing NC as the 8th largest in the nation. The total economic impact of these agricultural, horticultural and food industries accounts for approximately one-quarter of the states economy. North Carolina farm numbers have declined consistently for decades as a result of economies of scale and global competition in traditional agricultural commodities. Producers of traditional commodities have been forced to expand or leave agriculture. 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 unable or unwilling to compete in commodity production. North Carolina's rapidly growing population creates competition for resources and the need for well informed and well crafted public policy to resolve conflicts and meet societies goals. New enterprises will develop or agriculturally-based enterprises will add value to and diversify farms by producing energy feedstocks, bioenergy, or other value-added products that will increase rural economic development. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Opportunities for diversification of operations and increased income on North Carolina farms will increase as emerging, alternative and entrepreneurial agricultural business opportunities are created in the marketplace.
Value* Outcome Description
2220Number of participants 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, govenment policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
185Number 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
3309500Net 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
178Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre (new required data for federal reporting)
79Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre (new required data for federal reporting)
120000Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice (new required data for federal reporting)
27Number of animal producers adopting extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
900Net income gains by producers adopting extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
44Number of animal producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
55735Tons of livestock organic by-products utilized (nutrients from waste, compost, etc)
362054Net income gain by using livestock organic by-products instead of synthetic fertilizers
44Number of waste management certifications gained or maintained due to extension education efforts
8104Number of acres where extension-recommended waste analysis was used for proper land application
12Number 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 (new required data for federal reporting).
225Number of acres under recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands (new required data for federal reporting).
12Number of participants that adopted recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint. (new required data for federal reporting).
425Number of acres under recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint. (new required data for federal reporting).
* 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
41Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
450Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
62Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
58Number 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.
41Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
398Number 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
2Number of new and existing access points for consumers that expand or improve their offering of local fruits and vegetables. Access points include farmers markets, retail stores, school food programs, community gardens, institutions other than schools (e.g. hospitals, universities, etc.), and other systems/access points not noted (e.g. restaurants, etc.).
32Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
9Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
7Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
11Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
58Number 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.
* 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.
Training and educational programs for farmers, agricultural workers, food handlers, and consumers will provide research-based programming, materials, information and expertise to compel these individuals to implement practices relating to the overall safety and security for the food supply and farming systems. Components of this include on-farm, packinghouse, and transportation management, retail and food service establishments, and consumer’s homes. Therefore targeted audiences include farmers and agricultural workers and their families, food handlers and workers (both amateur and commercial), transporters, processors, business operators, food service and retail staff, supervisors of any food facility, long term care facility staff and individuals who purchase, prepare and serve food in their homes. With an estimated 76 million foodborne illnesses annually, costing an estimated $1.4 trillion, food safety highlights a specific area of risk to be addressed by Cooperative Extension. The recent produce-related foodborne illness outbreaks have brought public attention to a problem that has been increasing nationally for the last ten years. The issues of foodborne illness and food safety pose immediate risks for farmers affecting the areas of economics, consumer demand, and market access. Because no processing or kill steps are involved with produce that is typically eaten raw, the best measures to limit microorganisms and fresh produce related illness are to prevent microbes from contaminating the product. Practices like Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Handling Practices (GHPs), and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) represent a systematic preventive approach to food safety, protecting agricultural products as they move from farm to retail and restaurants and finally to families. While there is currently no legal requirements for growers to implement GAPs, buyers have responded to the public concern by requiring their produce growers to adhere to current guidelines and possibly even require GAPs certification. The main areas of concern incorporate production, harvesting, packing, and transporting produce in the areas of water quality, manure management, domestic and wildlife management, worker health and hygiene, transportation, traceability, and documentation. For North Carolina growers to be competitive and produce safe product, it is important that they gain knowledge about and implement food safety programs that minimize physical, chemical and biological hazards Food safety risks do not stop at primary production. As risks associated with pathogens can occur at many junctions between primary production and consumption, food safety is a truly farm-to-fork issue. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined 5 factors that lead to foodborne illness outbreaks: Inadequate cooking or processing procedures; improper storage and holding temperatures, cross-contamination between potentially contaminated raw materials and ready-to-eat foods (either directly or through poor sanitation); and poor implementation of personal hygiene practices. The preventative steps targeting risk reduction taken at each of the components making up the food supply chain are critical in preventing food-borne illness. Educational programs including ServSAFE, School HACCP workshops, food safety at childcare and senior centers, and targeted farm-to-fork food safety inclusion for all food handlers is necessary for important for advances in knowledge and implementation of preventative programs. Equally important is that families and children have a secure food supply. Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released in the report "Household Food Security in the United States, 2004." The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999. The USDA report says that 38.2 million Americans live in households that suffer directly from hunger and food insecurity, including nearly 14 million children. That figure is up from 31 million Americans in 1999. Limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and food-insecure individuals, families and communities will be provided with information and opportunities to enhance household food, diet and nutritional security. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States, and consistently ranks as the first, second or third most deadly industry along with mining and construction. Agriculture is unique in that the work and home place are often the same, exposing both workers and family members to hazards. In the United States on average each year, there are 700 deaths and 140,000 injuries to those who work in agriculture, defined as farming, forestry and fishing. Farmers, farmworkers and their families are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries (primarily from tractor roll-overs, machinery entanglements, and animal handling incidents), musculo-skeletal conditions, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, heat stress and heat stroke, pesticide exposure and illness, skin diseases, behavioral health issues, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. The health and safety of migrant and seasonal farmworkers are complicated by other conditions such as infectious disease, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as cultural and language barriers. Farmers and farmworkers alike are subject to lack of access to health care. Agricultural injury and illness are costly, with total US annual costs reaching $4.5 billion and per farm costs equaling $2,500, or 15% of net income. Median health care coverage for farm families is $6,000 per year. In North Carolina, 27% of farm families do not have health insurance, while 29% of farmers do not have health insurance. Many others have health care coverage with high annual deductibles and high premiums. Agromedicine is a comprehensive, collaborative approach involving both agricultural and health scientists to develop solutions addressing the health and safety issues of the agricultural community through research, education and outreach. The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, a partnership of NC State University, NC A&T State University and East Carolina University in collaboration with others, develops and evaluates effective programs to reduce injury and illness in agriculture, forestry and fishing. One such program is called Certified Safe Farm (CSF) and AgriSafe. CSF and AgriSafe were first developed and researched in Iowa. CSF and AgriSafe are being adapted to North Carolina agriculture by the NC Agromedicine Institute and its Cooperative Extension collaborators. Certified Safe Farm combines AgriSafe health services (wellness and occupational health screenings and personal protection equipment selection and fit services) conducted by trained AgriSafe health providers, on-farm safety reviews conducted by trained Extension agents, and community education and outreach to achieve safety and health goals established by participating farmers and their employees and families. Insurance incentives and safety equipment cost-share programs for participating farmers are still being developed. Other ongoing educational programs addressing agricultural health and safety include farm safety days for children, youth, or families, employee hands-on farm safety training, the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program for youth, and youth ATV operator safety certification programs.
Value* Outcome Description
575Number of commercial/public operators trained
48Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
21Number of food service employees receiving ServSafe certification
23TOTAL number of food handlers receiving food safety training and education in safe food handling practices (new required data for federal reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
1Number of farms certified as a Certified Safe Farm
1Number of farms that made safety improvements following a CSF on-farm safety review
23Number of participants implementing ServSafe
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.
Leadership is important to every level of a community sharing in the creation of wealth and well-being. Youth and adult leaders must be capable of motivating groups to achieve common goals that impact North Carolina families and communities.They will need the confidence and skill to guide and support North Carolina community and state organizations. Citizens participating in the 2007 NC Tomorrow survey denoted the importance of leadership by clearly requesting leadership training (54%), social advising, community advising and technical assistance (45%)from their university system.
Value* Outcome Description
12Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
8Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
28Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
2Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
12Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
8Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
28Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
2Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* 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.
Value* Outcome Description
923Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
183Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
10Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
26Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
16Number of hours youth volunteer training conducted
70Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
1640Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
2161Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
12Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
37Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
5Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
2Number of youth volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
14Number of adult volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Adults and youth will apply financial management practices to increase their economic security, which include to: meet basic necessities, increase savings, reduce debt, and build long-term assets.
North Carolina families are experiencing financial distress. A slowing state economy with depressed incomes, rising interest rates, housing and medical costs and increased living expenses for gasoline and food have strained household budgets. NC households (21%) lack access to enough food for an active healthy life for all household members. Families forced into home insecurity in the state reached 47% because of the inability to pay their rent or increased mortgage payments. Foreclosure starts increased 154% between the third quarter of 2006 and first quarter 2010 with projections of increases in foreclosures through 2012. The loss of housing as a primary asset hurts the family emotionally, psychologically and economically and impacts property values and tax revenue in communities. To avoid negative financial outcomes families need skills to develop and execute spending plans to better manage income to cover monthly living expenses, to evaluate, select and manage financial products, and to increase and protect family assets. Eighteen percent (18%) or 1 out of 5 households are asset poor and lack sufficient net worth to subsist at the poverty level for three months without a job or source of support. Due to inadequate savings 1 out of 3 households reported using credit cards to cover basic living expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, groceries, utilities and insurance. Credit card debt and changes in interest rate policies have forced many families to become delinquent on credit repayment. Families nationwide also report feeling that they have inadequate savings for emergencies, educating their children and retirement. Skills that help families develop and implement debt repayment strategies, make sound consumer decisions to avoid scams and frauds, like predatory lending and identity theft, and create and implement plans to achieve short-term and long-term financial goals like acquiring a home, saving for retirement and education and emergency funds can help families recover from poor financial management practices and become more financially secure. In the context of “the Great Recession” and high unemployment (10.4% North Carolina; 9% National (October 2011)) families need knowledge and skills to access information and programs that support family economic security during periods of unemployment, under-employment and/or retirement.
Value* Outcome Description
131Number of people gaining basic financial management knowledge and/or skills (such as; budgeting, record keeping, goal setting, writing goals, consumer decision-making)
131Number of people gaining knowledge and/or skills to increase family economic security (such as; how to access: SNAP benefits, SHIIP Medicare Part D; food cost management, cost comparison skills, shop for reverse mortgages, select long term care insurance, etc.)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
131Number of people implementing basic financial management strategies (such as; developing a budget, keeping records, etc.)
131Number of people accessing programs and implementing strategies to support family economic well-being
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
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
38Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
5452Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
1914Total number of female participants in STEM program
51Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
126Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
112Number of adults increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
126Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
103Number of adults increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* 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
5452Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
126Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
12Number of adults gaining career / employability skills
126Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
3Number of adults gaining entrepreneurship 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.
The natural resources in North Carolina are an important asset that benefit all citizens, but many citizens are unaware of the consequences of actions and practices they implement. The continued population growth of North Carolina is putting pressure on natural resources in terms of quantity and quality. To have a healthy and productive natural environment, professionals and citizens must be knowledgeable of environmental issues and conservation and management opportunities.
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.
Value* Outcome Description
19651Number 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
19651Number 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
70000Total 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
10220Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
54500Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
7019Number of participants growing food for home consumption
31000Value of produce grown for home consumption
400Number of participants adopting composting
20Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
16Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
500Costs savings from 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.
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.
Value* Impact Description
83Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
95Number of participants increasing their physical activity
56Number 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* 20,430
Non face-to-face** 51,236
Total by Extension staff in 2016 71,666
* 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 $4,000.00
Gifts/Donations $24,180.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $34,258.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $22,040.00
Total $84,478.00

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: 258 984 833 $ 23,754.00
Advisory Leadership System: 32 8 0 $ 193.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 5 40 12 $ 966.00
Other: 134 352 278 $ 8,497.00
Total: 429 1384 1123 $ 33,410.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Union County Extension Advisory Council
Phillip Austin
Greg Little
Karen Carnes
Brian Nance
Jerry Simpson
Kathy Price
Bryan Redfern
Sherry Thomas
Martie Smith
Ida Smith
Lawrence Willis
Family and Consumer Sciences Program Committee
Shelby Ford
Tracey Leitner
Harriet Metrosky
Julia Mitchell
Sheila Mobley
Wendy Sheprow
Linda Smosky
Traci Colley
Ellen Reynolds
Liberty Stroman
Jackie Morgan
Jeannette Perkins
Darlene Ayotte
Shannon Little
Laura Baker
Wendy Sheprow
4-H Youth Development Program Committee
Roslyn Forrester
Louie Rodriguez
Debbie Iannarelli
Angelia James
Doralisa Pellene
Ida Smith
Katie Ann Dayton
Jim Bention
Anderson Bannister
Beef Cattle Specialized Committee
Farrah Hargett
Chuck Broadaway
Jerry Davis
Jim Traynham
Michael Greene
Jessica Honeycutt
Jim Harley
Greg Little
Kathy Maye
Mike Mills
Chuck Steele
Gene Price
Field Crops Specialized Committee
Greg Hargett
Everette Medlin
Brian Nance
Everette Little
Phil Austin
Brian Gilliard




Horticulture Specialized Committee
Diane Barrie
Michael Luther
Susan Lipsey
Donna Thrasher
Carol Edsell
Annie Howell
Karen Carnes
Sonia McElveen
Tina Sagartz
Diana Garmon
Tracy Brown
Barb Apelian
Carol Larrimire
Senior Health and Wellness Specialized Committee
Julia Mitchell
Linda Smosky

Poultry Specialized Committee
Ronnie Parker
Todd Moore
Robert Lew
Roddy Purser
Tommy Porter
Bobby McCollum
John McInnis
Tommy Deese
Chris Dewitt
Marcus Norton
Chris Yaklin
Jeff Maness
Anthony Elkins
Derek Phillips
Scott Baucom
Ronnie Parker
Rodney Hopper
Alex Simpson
Mark Huneycutt
Jason Gurley
Cameron Faulkner
Alan Lane
TG Gibson
ECA
Shelby Ford
Audrey Bales
Katie Duncan
Faye Varney
Margaret Morrow
Harriet Metrosky
Estelle Coffey
Evelyn Sholar
4-H Dance
Terri Beeson
Judy Cook
Charlie Griffin
Debbie Iannarelli
Don Kerr
Jerry Simpson
Baxter Starnes
Freida Starnes
Clara Wiggins
4-H Fall Festival
Roslyn Forrester
Jessica Honeycutt
Debbie Iannarelli
Angelia James
Amanda Baucom
Heidi Medlin
Kelly Liddington
Crystal Starke
Yaneth Pena
Union County Farm City Committee
Carrie Stroud
Greg Little
Michelle Sarno
Elaine Austin
Kathy Price
Jodie Smith
Ron Cox
Sherry Thomas
Charlie Griffin
Chris Austin
Karen Carnes
Richard Goforth
Kelly Liddington
4-H Foundation Board
Carrie Cameron
Todd Johnson
Charlie Griffin
Debbie Iannarelli
Rick Pigg
Ida Smith
Freida Starnes
Michelle Sarno
Angelia James
Jeff Broadaway
James Bention




































































































































































































Mexican Consulate
Homero Andrade
Gustavo Arevalo
Adela Blandino
Rosana Campos
Amber Goodall
Ashley Lantz
Maria Laury
Helen Leak
Patrica Martinez
Roberto Mendez
Kyla Montes
Kim Wolfe
Jackie Morgan
Thelma Munguia
Doralisa Pellane
Martha Pulgarin
Mary Ann Rasberry
Sonia Ravnitzky
Dora Sanchez
Terry Stralow
Jaime Tejada


4-H Wake Up to Agriculture
Doug Latta
Dale Cochran
Farley Strickland
Mitchell Bryant
Tim Blair
Amanda Price
Ben Shumate
Bethany Vawter
Christina Sanders
Jonathan Deese
Lauren Marzetta
Steven Capobianco
Farmers Market
Jackie Morgan
Scott Howard
Valerie Greene
Susan Sganga
Holly Tartaglia
Jim Davis
Joy Goforth
Rocky River Local Foods
Gary Sikes
Phyllis Walsh
Brian Johnson
Robert Stoveall
Dale Nelson
Gabe Lowder
Joe Stegall
Kent Lowder
Scott Howard
Valerie Greene
Holly Tartaglia
EFNEP
Arely Sanchez
Isabelle Gillespie
Bryan McAllister
Bea Colson
Leigh Ellen Dudley
Nancy Mandeville

VIII. Staff Membership

Clinton McRae
Title: South Central District Extension Director
Phone: (919) 515-8433
Email: clinton_mcrae@ncsu.edu

Cheri Bennett
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (704) 283-3737
Email: cheri_bennett@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Expanded Food and Nutrition Education (EFNEP) Program Assistant with With Union county. Provides nutrition education to adult participants ages 19 and up.

Dana Braswell
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 283-3742
Email: dana_braswell@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Preparing reports and financial data; working with all levels of internal management and staff, as well as outside clients and vendors. Perform secretarial duties for EFNEP Agent, 4H Agent and Area Specialized Poultry Agent, as well as Administrative duties.

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer & 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.

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.

Debbie Dillion
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (704) 283-3729
Email: debbie_dillion@ncsu.edu

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.

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

Nancie Mandeville
Title: Clerical - Information Management
Phone: (704) 283-3720
Email: nancie_mandeville@ncsu.edu

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.

Hayley Napier
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 283-3830
Email: hayley_napier@ncsu.edu

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

Yaneth Pena
Title: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 283-3740
Email: yaneth_pena@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.

Bill Smith
Title: Urban Forester
Phone: (704) 283-3510
Email: bill_l_smith@ncsu.edu

Crystal Starkes
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 283-3735
Email: crystal_starkes@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

Union County Center
3230-D Presson Rd
Monroe, NC 28112

Phone: (704) 283-3801
Fax: (704) 283-3734
URL: http://union.ces.ncsu.edu