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March 24, 2006

Two Extension employees among CALS award winners

Two employees with North Carolina Cooperative Extension are among eight University Award of Excellence winners named by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University.

Ricky Barbour, print unit supervisor in the Communication Services Department, is a winner in the On-Campus, Technical employees category. Denise Baker, area family and consumer sciences agent in Mitchell County, is the winner in the category of EPA employees.

Other winners for the college are:
On-Campus Supervisory/Administrative
Patricia Bacheler, Department of Entomology
Susan Marschalk, Department of Zoology

On-Campus Secretarial/Clerical
Neko Everett, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

On-Campus Technical
Linda Daniel, Department of Poultry Science

Off-Campus Secretarial/Clerical
Marlu Bolton, Center for Marine Sciences and Technology

Off-Campus Technical/Supervisory
Candy Orr, University Field Laboratories

These award winners, along with the college's Pride of the Wolfpack winners, will be recognized at a luncheon April 5 at the University Club in Raleigh. To purchase tickets, contact Helen Crane in the Dean's Office by March 28.

Posted by Natalie at 08:36 AM

March 23, 2006

'Nickels for Know-How' referendum is May 25

Nickels image

On May 25, all users of feed and fertilizer in North Carolina will have the opportunity to vote on continuing the Nickels for Know-How program at Cooperative Extension centers across the state. Since 1951, and through 12 previous referenda, Nickels has been approved by North Carolina citizens by an average 90 percent favorable vote. In addition, most of the state's research-based agricultural advances have at some point shared Nickels funds.

The Nickels program provides over $1.2 million annually to support the academic, extension and research programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Additional information on the Nickels program and the May 25 referendum can be found on the Nickels Web site: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/advancement/nickels.htm.

Many thanks to county Extension directors and their staffs for carrying out the Nickels Referendum in every county on May 25. For questions concerning the Nickels program or the May 25 Nickels referendum, please contact Keith Oakley at 919.515.9262 or keith_oakley@ncsu.edu.

Posted by Natalie at 08:49 AM

Home show will include Successful Gardener Learning Center

Raleigh's Southern Ideal Home Show, April 7–9, will feature Cooperative Extension's Successful Gardener Learning Center and Discovery Garden. Extension agents and Master Gardener volunteers will staff the Learning Center to answer questions.

Participating Extension agents include Carl Matyac, Wake County; Sarah Lane Ivy, Lee County; Shawn Banks, Johnston County; Kelly Groves, Vance County; and Taylor Williams, Moore County.

The Learning Center will feature “Gardening for the Environment: Using Drought-Tolerant Plants in the Landscape.” Visitors can stop by the Learning Center to get answers to gardening questions and to view drought- tolerant plants to consider for the garden.

At the Learning Center, visitors also can register to win a free, one-year subscription to Extension’s Successful Gardener newsletter and pick up loads of helpful information.

The Learning Center will feature the stonework of Brazeal Stone of Raleigh, a Successful Gardener sponsor. Another sponsor of the Learning Center is the N.C. Green Industry Council which represents thousands of companies statewide involved in all aspects of the green industry from growing plants and sod to landscape design, landscape installation, grounds management services, irrigation design, installation and service, retail garden centers and allied industries.

Extension’s Successful Gardener is a nationally recognized educational program that features an award-winning newsletter, gardening seminars and Learning Centers. The goal of the program is to help Carolinians increase their knowledge of gardening, manage their landscape investment and protect the environment.

Posted by Natalie at 08:19 AM

March 22, 2006

Alamanac Gardener returns April 1

Mike Gray photo

Almanac Gardener begins its 23rd season on UNC-TV April 1 and runs for 20 weeks through August 12. The half-hour show airs Saturday at noon, with a rerun on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.

The show is hosted by Mike Gray, Communication Services department head emeritus. Guest Cooperative Extension panelists include: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; and horticultural agents Karen Neill, Guilford County; Linda Blue, Buncombe County; Emily Revels, Cumberland County; Sarah Ivy, Lee County; and Diane Ashburn, Henderson County.

As always Gray and panelists will answer viewer questions and award a coveted Almanac Gardener t-shirt to the on-air question of the week. Also, viewers can win a t-shirt by entering the Almanac Gardener Web quiz on the UNC-TV site.

With the current drought conditions across the state we'll be devoting several features to conserving water in the landscape and garden. Topics include:
"Choosing the Right Mulch for Your Landscape," Linda Blue
"Summer Landscape Water Conservation," Karen Neill
"Drip and Micro Irrigation," Karen Neill
"Building a Rain Barrel," Karen Neill
"Drought Tolerant Plants," Sarah Ivy

Other Almanac Gardener features on Protecting Our Streams (safe use of chemicals, fertilizers), Growing Summer Fruits and Vegetables (corn, egg plant, watermelons, grapes, peaches), Growing Organic Strawberries, Growing Shiitake Mushrooms, a tour of the West Bend Winery in Forsyth County, Ethnic Gardening, Poisonous Plants and Kid Safety, Mushroom Kits for Kids, Controlling Pantry Pests, Eight Steps to Take Before Using Pesticides, Colorful Fall Plantings, Renovating a Fall Fescue Lawn, Which to Plant..Sod or Grass, Growing Amaryllis, Cyclamen and Poinsettias; Building a Dry Stacked Stone Wall, and Solar Tools.

Posted by Natalie at 10:07 AM

Enroll now for April 18 Symposium

N.C. State University's fourth annual Symposium on the Engaged University will be held April 18 at McKimmon Center, beginning at 1 p.m. The focus of this year's symposium is "Economic Development: The Broad Perspective."

The afternoon program is open to all members of the university community, who must register for the event by March 28. For more information, contact Susan Bennett.

The program begins with remarks from Chancellor James Oblinger and Provost Larry Nielson. Keynote speaker is Charles Hayes, president and CEO of the Research Triangle Regional Partnership.

Topical dialogue sessions will be held from 2-3 p.m. Discussion topics include the N.C. Economy, Innovation and Job Creation, and Community Development.

A think tank and panel discussion will be held from 3-4:30 p.m., moderated by North Carolina's First Lady Mary Easley. Dr. Jim Zuiches, vice chancellor for Extension, Engagement and Economic Development, will present concluding remarks.

A reception and poster sesion from 4:45-6 p.m. will conclude the afternoon program.

Posted by Natalie at 09:55 AM

Dairy producers recognize Vaughn

Ken Vaughn photo

Kenneth Vaughn, Iredell County Extension director, was recognized last month with the Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina Dairy Producers Association, for "his dedicated service to the dairy industry of North Carolina."

Vaughn has been active in the state's dairy associations and is founder, director and treasurer of the N.C. Dairy Youth Foundation. He received numerous industry awards, as well as the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of County Agricultural Agents. He is also the 2006 winner of Cooperative Extension's Lois Britt Outstanding Extension Agent's Award.

Posted by Natalie at 09:26 AM

March 15, 2006

Extension economist launches daily podcast

Mike Walden photo

Looking for the latest scoop on gas prices, mortgage rates, job forecasts or tax trends? N.C. State University’s Mike Walden has launched a new “Economic Perspective” Web site to bring daily analysis and insight on these and other economic issues straight to people’s desktops.

Walden’s new site, at http://waldenradio.ncsu.edu/, approaches the national economic headlines from a North Carolina angle. The site incorporates text transcriptions and audio files based on his long-running 1- to 2-minute “Economic Perspective” radio shows, which are made available Monday to Friday to radio stations across the state.

With the enhanced Web site, North Carolinians can access the segments whenever they want, as long as they have a computer and an Internet connection. The site offers visitors the chance to get the information through a text transcript or an audio file. The site also features a podcast, allowing listeners to subscribe and download the shows from the Web to their computers, iPods or other mp3 players.

Walden, widely known for his ability to relate larger economic trends to individual consumers, is a professor with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and a North Carolina Cooperative Extension specialist.

He produces “Economic Perspective” with host Sonya Williams, a video producer and broadcast specialist with N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Designed to help North Carolinians better understand the economy, how it operates and how it affects their day-to-day lives, “Economic Perspective” has been a North Carolina Cooperative Extension fixture since 1980.

Recent show topics included recommended savings rates, emerging industries in North Carolina and a trend toward “home-shoring” -– that is, businesses hiring people who work from their homes.

Posted by deeshore at 12:24 PM