2019 Union County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 17, 2020

I. Executive Summary

The Union County Extension Program is strongly supported by investment from Union County Government as well as community volunteer groups and citizen stakeholders. A wide range of Extension offerings mirror the population of Union County which is growing and becoming more urban while still maintaining a position as one of the strongest agriculturally producing counties in North Carolina, ranking third in cash receipts in 2019.

Educational efforts in agriculture carry the most significant economic impact in Union County. A total of 1,715 agriculture producers improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems in 2019. An additional 1,318 crop producers (all plant systems) adopted best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, disease, insects) and business management and marketing. Horticulture was also well represented in Union County in 2019. A total of 3,399 individuals used extension best practices in landscape, turf, and gardens. This includes pest and soil management. Union County had a 51% increase in pesticide applicator certifications in 2019. Union was also responsible for fo 764 newly licensed landscape contractors and 81 total certification renewals.

Extension programs addressing obesity, nutrition, and health-related issues have helped the citizens of Union County develop healthy lifestyle habits and have provided training for the foodservice industry with 157 food handlers increasing their knowledge in safe food handling practices with 17 food handlers completing Safe Plates training. The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program(EFNEP) served 741 limited-resource families with children in Union County. The EFNEP program was also responsible for 85 individuals increased their fruit and vegetable consumption and 129 participants increased their physical activity. Participants in the EFNEP Program learn skills that enable them to make healthier food choices, manage their food resources, practice food safety, and increase their daily physical activities. According to participant data analyzed at NCSU, EFNEP participants in Union County made significant improvements in all of these core areas.

4-H Youth Development 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 contributed to the education, scientific knowledge, self-realization, independence and confidence of 10,9976 youth in 2019. Young people who have participated in these programs are less likely to participate in risky behaviors, make better life choices and exhibit more self-determination than youth without this type of experience. In addition to youth, 93 educators were trained in 4-H STEM curriculum.

The Union County Extension Team has returned $99,204 to the overall Extension program in 2019 through the writing of grants and collection of gifts and donations. 27,554 people were reached by an extension professional in a variety of workshops, field days, classes or other educational efforts as a result of the effective planning and implementation by the Union County staff. Certifications were obtained or renewed by 2,831 people in the areas of Master Gardeners, First Aid, Landscape Contractors, Food Safety and Pesticide Application. A total of 9,070 people participated in a consultation, educational program, or facilitation in preparation for various industry and life enrichment certifications during 2019. A total of $209,492 dollars were saved by the total hours worked by NC Cooperative Extension-Union County Center volunteers. Union County reached approximately 87 million citizens in 2019 through digital media impressions.

II. County Background

Union County sits at the southeastern edge of the Piedmont of North Carolina. It encompasses 640 square miles or approximately 404,160 acres. Of that acreage, 1,059 farms utilize 201,655 acres for food and fiber production. In North Carolina, it is one of fourteen counties that fall within the Charlotte-Metro area.

For more than twenty years, Union County has been in transition, moving from a traditional rural county to more of a bedroom community of Charlotte. As of 2018, the Union County population is estimated to be 228,380 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 74% White non-Hispanic, 12% Black, 10% Hispanic, and 4% other.

Agriculture continues to play a significant role in the economy of Union County. Almost 16% of the total workforce and over 15% of the County GDP results from the agricultural sector. Overall cash receipts in all agricultural areas in 2018 were over $492 million for a number 3 ranking in NC. In 2018 Union County ranked number 2 in layer production, number 2 in broiler production and number 4 in turkey production in NC. In fact, Union County is consistently in the top 20 poultry producing counties in the US ranking 11th in turkey production and 18th in broiler production per the latest published Census of Agriculture. In other commodities, the county ranked as follows in North Carolina in 2018: 1st in wheat, 3rd in soybeans, 8th in corn for grains, and 10th in all cattle.

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 Plant Production Systems
- Profitable and Sustainable Animal Production 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

Our family and consumer sciences programs improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Value* Outcome Description
7Number of adults increasing their knowledge of community resources
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
56Number of professionals granted CEUs, certifications, or other work- or volunteer-related credentials
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
21Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
3Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
827Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
33Number of pesticide credit hours provided
1715Number 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
9Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
1Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
3Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period)
0Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
1318Number of crop (all plant systems) producers adopting best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
105Number of producers who increased knowledge of pasture/forage management practices (field improvement, herbicide management, grazing season extension, weed control, forage quality, haylage production, nitrate testing, etc.)
2Number of producers who increased knowledge of nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplements, breeding, and reproduction
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
10Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices related to pasture management
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
1232Number of participants who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems
38Number of participants who developed new jobs skills
27Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
67Number of participants who increased their awareness, knowledge or skill in business related topics (e.g., management, product development, marketing, business structure options, business law and/or liability)
38Number of participants acquiring knowledge and skills to convene and lead inclusive groups
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number of (eg., community and economic development, land use, disaster, etc.) new, revised or adopted plans that have begun to be implemented in communities, organizations, local governments, or businesses
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

Value* Outcome Description
93Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
5604Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
2517Total number of female participants in STEM program
32Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
276Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
4723Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
276Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
86Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
65Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
12Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
1Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
1Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Our consumer horticulture programs teach families and communities about environmentally friendly methods for gardening and controlling pests.

Value* Outcome Description
3429Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
51Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting to raise backyard livestock.
3399Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease, wildlife) and soil management
3059Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
2719Number of participants growing food for home consumption
1700Number of participants adopting composting
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our food safety and nutrition programs create a safer and more sustainable food supply and improve the health and nutrition of individuals, families, and our communities.

Value* Outcome Description
157Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
76Number of school personnel who increase their knowledge of School HACCP principles
24Number of food handlers who increase their knowledge and skills in safe food handling practices
43Number 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
85Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
129Number of participants increasing their physical activity
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 27,554
Non face-to-face** 87,626,162
Total by Extension staff in 2019 87,653,716
* 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 $20,715.09
Gifts/Donations $22,420.12
In-Kind Grants/Donations $39,159.40
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $16,909.00
Total $99,203.61

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H 49 2648 548 $ 67,339.00
Advisory Leadership System 52 61 0 $ 1,551.00
EFNEP 76 222 238 $ 5,645.00
Extension Community Association 17 6 0 $ 153.00
Extension Master Gardener 62 4403 5747 $ 111,968.00
Other: Agriculture 201 856 1960 $ 21,768.00
Other: Community, Family & Individual Development 11 6 398 $ 153.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 12 36 118 $ 915.00
Total: 480 8238 9009 $ 209,492.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Union County Extension Advisory Council
Anthony Hailey
Ben Rippy
Brian Nance
Carlos Santiago
Derek Phillips
Estelle Coffey
Heidi Medlin
Isabelle Gillespie
Jackie Morgan
Jerry Simpson
Jessica Honeycutt
Jim Chaffin
Karen Carnes
Kathy Price
Lawrence Willis
Martie Smith
Phillip Austin
Rick Pigg
Wanda Stegall
Family and Consumer Sciences Program Committee
Traci Colley
Kathy Deese
Andrew Friend
Julia Mitchell
Jackie Morgan
Kathleen Engart
Nancie Mandeville
Estelle R Coffey
John Hawthorne

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
Logan Watson
Brian Gilliard
Mike Lathan
Ronnie Cook
Gene Alexander

Horticulture Specialized Committee
Sonia McElveen
Michael Luther
Lorraine Houser
Donna Thrasher
Annie Howell
Karen Carnes
Sonia McElveen
Tina Sagartz
Diana Garmon
Tracy Brown
Barb Apelian
Carol Larrimore
Mary Sipe
Ben Rippy
Nicholas Tropeano
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
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
Arely Sanchez
Isabelle Gillespie
Bryan McAllister
Bea Colson
Leigh Ellen Dudley
Nancy Mandeville

VIII. Staff Membership

Andrew Baucom
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (704) 283-3738
Email: andrew_baucom@ncsu.edu

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

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

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

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: (540) 270-9553
Email: dddillio@ncsu.edu

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (910) 893-7530
Email: richard_goforth@ncsu.edu

Mikayla Graham
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (704) 283-3736
Email: mikayla_graham@ncsu.edu

Kim Griffin
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 283-3742
Email: kim_griffin@ncsu.edu

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety (FSMA Programs)
Phone: (919) 515-5396
Email: marissa_herchler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marissa is an Area Specialized Agent for animal food safety, with emphasis on the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules, as they apply to feed mills in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any FSMA related questions, or PCQI training inquiries.

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

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

Leah Joyner
Title: 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (704) 283-3740
Email: lcjoyne2@ncsu.edu

Jessica King
Title: Local Foods Market Coordinator
Phone: (704) 564-2883
Email: Jessica_King@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Coordinate and manage the Union County Farmers Market. Work with local farmers, bakers and artisan crafters to produce and sell goods.

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (828) 684-3562
Email: craig_mauney@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities, training and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in Western NC. (My office is located at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center not the Henderson County Extension Center as is noted by IT on this website. Please do not contact the Henderson County Extension Center as I am not located there.)

Marcus McFarland
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 283-3830
Email: marcus_mcfarland@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Providing support and outreach in regards to food safety, nutrition education, and improving the longevity of lives in the union county community.

Aaron Moore
Title: Area Agent, Small Farms
Phone: (704) 283-3743
Email: jamoore2@ncat.edu

Rachel Owens
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (704) 283-3739
Email: reowens2@ncsu.edu

Ashley Robbins
Title: Area Specialized Agent - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8203
Email: ashley_robbins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marti Day and I are the Area Specialized Dairy Agents - the county-based arm of the Cooperative Extension Dairy Team. We are out here in the counties to help you set and reach your farm, family and business goals. We have collaborative expertise in the areas of Waste Management, Udder Health, Cow Comfort, Nutrition and Forage Management with specialties in (Ashley)Reproduction, Records Management, Animal Health and (Marti)Alternative Markets, Organic Dairy, Grazing Management, and On-farm Processing. We hope to provide comprehensive educational programs for our farmers, consumers and youth for every county across the state. We are here for you by phone, email or text and look forward to working with you!

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
Brief Job Description: 5/3/18. Not on A&T payroll in 2017 lists, so switched status to No.

Crystal Starkes
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 283-3735
Email: crystal_starkes@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Youth Development Program

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 414-3873
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

IX. Contact Information

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

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