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May 30, 2008

IPM program helps schools manage pests safely

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Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya, right, of the School IPM Program helps school systems control insect pests safely.

Since the passage of the Schoolchildren’s Health Act in 2006, North Carolina public schools have been finding safer and more effective ways to reduce pests on school grounds, according to a report by school integrated pest management experts at North Carolina State University.

Based on a 2007 survey of state public school maintenance directors and facilities supervisors, 61 percent of school districts have adopted integrated pest management programs. Over 71 percent of North Carolina school districts apply pesticides only as needed for pest problems, and 80 percent notify parents, guardians and staff whenever a pesticide will be applied on school grounds.

Telephone surveys of public school maintenance directors and facilities supervisors were conducted in June and July 2007. Out of 115 school districts in North Carolina, 114 participated in the survey. The Center for Urban Affairs and Community Services at N.C. State University conducted the interviews.

Passed in July 2006, the Schoolchildren’s Health Act (HB 1502) mandated North Carolina public schools to notify parents, guardians and school staff at least 72 hours in advance of pesticide applications to school grounds. In addition, the bill required schools to adopt an integrated pest management policy and IPM program by Oct. 11, 2011. Integrated pest management (IPM) is a comprehensive approach that combines biological, cultural and chemical control tactics to prevent and solve pest problems.

Dr. Godfrey Nalyanya, head of the School IPM Program in the Department of Entomology, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University, designed the survey to assess the status of IPM implementation in North Carolina public schools. North Carolina school pest management practices have not been surveyed since 2003, two years before the School IPM Program began training on IPM implementation in schools.

According to the report, 71 percent of the school districts with IPM programs adopted them between 2006 and 2007. Nearly all respondents to the survey said they were aware of the Schoolchildren’s Health Act, and 95 percent said they knew about the IPM training program at N.C. State University.

“It is clear that the Schoolchildren’s Health Act gave many school districts the impetus to implement IPM programs, as seen by the significant increase in the number of school districts that adopted IPM programs in 2006 and 2007,” Nalyanya says. “Training workshops and educational materials available from NCSU’s School IPM Program have provided the necessary information and technical support that enable school districts to adopt IPM programs more easily.”

For indoor pest problems, 82 percent of school districts incorporate non-chemical pest control methods into their pest management plans. The most popular tactics are glue boards, caulking and cleaning up clutter. In fact, 54 percent of respondents said that pest control contractors often recommend additional measures such as repairs and sanitation practices to keep pests to a minimum. Nearly all respondents using IPM tactics reported that they were effective.

Most respondents reported that they used pesticides in classrooms and hallways as the situation warranted, rather than relying on monthly treatments. The exception was in food preparation areas, where most schools still use monthly and bi-monthly treatments.

For weed control, respondents reported that their weapon of choice was mowing, followed by pesticides. When pesticides are used, most school districts apply them on weekends or after school hours.

“There is significant progress in implementing IPM programs, reducing pesticide use and in changing the patterns of pesticide use on school property. These actions are definitely helping to provide a better quality of school environment for children to learn,” Nalyanya says.

The report concludes with recommendations to continue IPM training and education, expand training efforts to IPM for outdoor pests and weeds and encourage more school districts to formalize their IPM programs. A copy of the report can be found at http://schoolipm.ncsu.edu/documents/2008SurveyReport.pdf.

-R. Hallberg

Posted by Natalie at 11:03 AM

May 29, 2008

Ranney wins top gardener award

Tom Ranney, horticultural professor based at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Fletcher, has received one of the American Horticultural Society's 2008 Great American Gardener Awards, the H. Marc Cathey Award.

Individuals, organizations and businesses receiving these awards represent the best in American gardening. Each has contributed significantly to fields such as plant research, garden communication, landscape design, youth gardening teaching and conservation. Recipients will be honored June 6 at the Great American Gardeners Awards Ceremony and Banquet in Alexandria, Va.

Posted by Natalie at 02:54 PM

May 22, 2008

Franklin farm tour draws 1,800

strawberry photo
John Anderson of Youngsville tries to eat more strawberries than actually made it in his pail at Vollmer Farm on Saturday. (Photo by Kathy Harrelson, reprinted with permission from The Franklin Times.)

More than 1,800 visitors, some from as far away as New Mexico and California, attended Franklin County's fifth annual Farm, Foods and Crafts Tour May 17-18. The two-day event was to promote sustainable agriculture in the county, giving local farmers a showcase opportunity while boosting sales and embracing environmental stewardship. North Carolina Cooperative Extension was a partner in the event, along with Franklin County Arts Council, Franklin County Tourism Development Authority and the Greater Franklin County Chamber of Commerce. Whole Foods was a major sponsor for the event.

This was the first time the farm tour included the "LOCAL Food Festival" Saturday evening, with a local band providing country/bluegrass music. Chefs from six restaurants donated their services to prepare and serve local foods. The restaurants participating included: Q Shack in Raleigh/Durham (local natural Angus beef and chevon or goat); Edna Lee's Bakery (bread); Twin Sisters Catering from Chapel Hill (various local vegetables); Murphy House in Louisburg (beverage); Joey's Chophouse in Louisburg (local turkey and poultry); and Vollmer Farm Cafe (strawberries/lettuce salad; strawberries in chocolate). All foods were produced locally.

About 300 folks attended the food festival with a blanket or lawn chair for the picnic. Plates were full of local food. Locally made ice cream was provided by Lumpy's in Wake Forest.

Also, the "Farm Life" Photography Contest was held this weekend as part of the tour festivities. A reception and awards ceremony will be held from August 2 at Louisburg College Auditorium Gallery. Reporter Donna Smith captured the farm tour in her blog, which can be read at: http://donnacampbellsmith.blogspot.com/

Report courtesy of Martha Mobley, Cooperative Extension in Franklin County, and The Franklin Times

Posted by Natalie at 01:29 PM

May 19, 2008

'Almanac Gardener' to wrap up season

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"Almanac Gardener," the UNC-TV gardening show featuring host Mike Gray and N.C. Cooperative Extension agents, is completing its 25th season and featuring Great Moments in Almanac Gardener History. The show airs Saturday at noon and Sunday at 11:30 a.m., with several additional runs during the week on digital UNC-TV channels. Retired panelist Larry Bass makes a cameo appearance on the May 31 and June 7 programs. The panelists and topics for upcoming show are below:


May 24-25
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Karen Neill, horticulture agent, Guilford County; Linda Blue, horticulture agent, Buncombe County
Features:
Mike Gray/ Tony Avent, Plant Delights Nursery, "Jack in the Pulpit"
Bill Lord, "Growing Grass in the Shade"

May 31-June 1
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Karen Neill, horticulture agent, Guilford County; Linda Blue, horticulture agent, Buncombe County; Larry Bass, Extension horticultural specialist, retired
Features:
Bill Lord, "Taming a Bee Swarm"
Mike Gray/Jeana Myers, "Kids in the Garden" (Jeana Myers is the wife of N.C. State horticulture professor Will Hooker, and "Almanac" shot this feature at their home.)

June 7-8
Panel: Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Karen Neill, horticulture agent, Guilford County; Linda Blue, horticulture agent, Buncombe County; Larry Bass, Extension horticultural specialist, retired
Features:
Linda Blue, "Growing Rhododendrons"
Brenda Morris, "Controlling Backyard Wildlife"

June 14-15
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Karen Neill, horticulture agent, Guilford County; Linda Blue, horticulture agent, Buncombe County
Features:
Linda Blue, "Controlling the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid"
Karen Neill, "Home-Grown Mushrooms"

June 21-22
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Lucy Bradley, urban horticultural specialist, N.C. State University; Amy-Lynn Albertson, horticulture agent, Davidson County
Questions
Features:
Linda Blue, "Growing Sprouts"
Brenda Morris, "Saving Water at Home"

June 28-29
Panel: Bill Lord, environmental agent, Franklin County; Lucy Bradley, urban horticultural specialist, N.C. State University; Amy-Lynn Albertson, horticulture agent, Davidson County
Feature:
Karen Neill, "Capturing Water for Your Landscape Using Cisterns/Rain Barrels"
Bill Lord, "Growing Beets & Swiss Chard"


Posted by Natalie at 10:27 AM

May 16, 2008

Wilson County secures Hunt endowment

Hunt endowment signing
Pictured at the March endowment signing are: Front, from left,Michael Martin, Carolyn Hunt, Gov. James B. Hunt Jr., and Tanya Heath; back row, from left, Sharon Rowland, Dennis Vick, Pender Sharp, Marshall Stewart and Walter Earle. (Photo courtesy of Cooperative Extension in Wilson County)

Walter Earle, Wilson County Extension director, coordinated a fundraiser to endow the Governor James B. and Carolyn Hunt 4-H Scholarship Fund. A benefit concert was held in January at the Cultural Center in Wilson. The endowment will fund college scholarships.

Betty McCain was mistress of ceremonies for the concert, which featured the Wells Family Band and local 4-H talent. Governor Hunt attended the event and was honored. The past recipients of the scholarship were also present and received recognition. There were two signature sponsors, Time Warner Cable and Bridgestone Firestone, along with other sponsorship levels supported by local businesses and individuals.

As a result of the efforts by the Wilson County Extension staff, a $34,000 4-H Scholarship Endowment for the Governor James B. and Carolyn Hunt 4-H Scholarship Fund was signed at the Wilson County 4-H Livestock Show and Sale on March 27. Participating in the endowment signing were Gov. and Mrs. Hunt, Walter Earle, Tanya Heath, 4-H agent; Michael Martin, executive director of the N.C. 4-H Development Fund; Sharon Rowland, executive director of development for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service; Marshall Stewart, N.C. 4-H program leader; Pender Sharp, chairman of the Gov. Hunt Scholarship fund-raising committee; and Dennis Vick, president of the Wilson County Livestock Association.

Posted by Natalie at 08:44 AM

May 14, 2008

CEFS gets publicity in Triangle publications

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems' NC Choices program was featured in a recent Triangle Business Article, "Technology would track food from farms to your table." NC Choices was highlighted in the May 12 issue.

In addition, the May 7 issue of The Independent included an article on local food, featuring Jennifer Curtis of NC Choices, Chatham County agricultural Extension agent Debbie Roos, Noah Ranells and his work at Breeze Farm, and Chris Reberg-Horton of the organic grains program. Read more in "The road to real food."

Related Independent articles from May 7:
"One missing link: Organic grains"

"Farmers helpers"

Posted by Natalie at 01:21 PM

May 13, 2008

Specialists' association grants awards

The North Carolina Association of Cooperative Extension Specialists presented awards at its recent May meeting.

Dr. David Tarpy, Extension apiculture specialist, received the award for outstanding individual Extension program. Tarpy was nominated by Dr. Jack Bacheler, department Extension leader for entomology.

Dr. Matt Poore, livestock specialist, received NCACES's first Special Specialist Award for his work assisting agents and livestock owners during the 2007-08 drought. He was nominated by Charles Young of Ashe County; Gerda Rhodes of Washington County; Jeff Carpenter, area specialized agent based in Catawba County; Amy Andrews of Craven County on behalf of the Southeast District agents; and Becky Spearman of Bladen County, on behalf of the South Central District agents.

Other Special Specialist nominees were:

* Bill Cline, blueberry and grape production specialist from Castle Hayne, nominated by Wayne Batten of Pender County
* Liz Driscoll, 4-H specialist with responsibilities in horticulture, crop science and soil science, nominated by April Bowman of Forsyth County
* Jim Dunphy, crop science specialist, nominated by Tim Hambrick of Forsyth and Stokes County
* Greg Jennings, biological and agricultural engineering specialist, nominated by Allen Caldwell of Caldwell County
* Anthony LeBude, horticulture specialist, nominated by Cliff Ruth of Henderson County
* Mike Parker, horticulture specialist, nominated by Roger Galloway of Montgomery County
* Ben Silliman, 4-H specialist, nominated by Barbara Dunn Swanson of Randolph County
* Jim Turner, livestock specialist based in Waynesville, nominated by Randy Collins of Graham County, and
* Mike Waldvogel, urban entomology specialist, nominated by Linda Blue and Nancy Ostergaard of Buncombe County.
-N. Hampton


Posted by Natalie at 02:49 PM

May 12, 2008

Program recognizes volunteer efforts

award recipients
Two major award recipients for the evening included Callie Smith, left, and Camilia Cook, right. (Photo courtesy The Mount Airy News)

Nearly 50 women gathered at Piney Grove Baptist Church Thursday to celebrate more than 70 years of serving Surry County as volunteers, leaders and educators.

Both members of the Surry County Extension and Community Association and staff of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension attended the 71st Annual Achievement Program titled "You've come a long way ladies."

Read more from The Mount Airy News.

Posted by Suzanne at 11:14 AM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2008

Drought is not over yet

dry pond
A pond at a Cary park shows the effects of drought. (Art Latham photo)

Given the recent spring rainfall, some might think the worst of this past year’s drought is history. That’s understandable, since ponds on farms or in local parks are looking full again, and some days there’s even standing water in the roadside ditches.

Droughts, however, like everything in nature, are cyclical.

Meanwhile, the demand on North Carolina’s natural resources, including our finite water supplies, is increasing as rapidly as the commercial and residential development that triggers that demand.

As of early May 2008, about half of our state remains in a drought status that ranges from moderate to severe, and several counties in the state’s south-central area remain in severe drought, according to the N.C. Drought Management Advisory Council. But even if the drought eases, albeit temporarily, researchers and educators at N.C. State University and in North Carolina Cooperative Extension will continue to do all they can to ensure that we have enough clean water to drink, despite the pressures of steadily increasing population and ever-decreasing supplies.

These scientists have developed not only water-saving but water-cleansing technologies to keep poisons from entering our ever-scarcer drinking water.

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences researchers in the departments of Biological and Agricultural Engineering (BAE), Soil Science and Crop Science have developed best management practices (BMPs), various engineered ways both to save rainwater and keep it pure enough to drink. And Cooperative Extension agents in all 100 counties and on the Cherokee Reservation pass that information along to the public.

For instance, rain gardens and other BMPs such as constructed wetlands, swales, permeable pavement, retention ponds, dry detention and infiltration basins manage rainfall when there’s too much of it. They control silt, the top polluter, and cleanse water of poisons: chemicals such as agricultural nitrogen and phosphorus from fertilizers, pesticides, petroleum products, litter, pet and yard waste, fecal coliform and metals.

“In wet seasons or dry, water-quality BMPs also help treat huge amounts of drinkable water,” says Bill Lord, Cooperative Extension area specialized agent for environmental education.

“Most of our BMPs recharge groundwater,” Lord says. “For instance, every bit of a one-inch rainfall that pours into a water retention bed like a rain garden goes back into the water table, cleansed of nitrogen and phosphorus.”

Lord is a regular on UNC-TV’s weekend “Almanac Gardener” series, which will focus this season on helping home gardeners weather drought, says host Mike Gray. Segments from April to August will include weekly water-saving topics such as recycled water use, drip irrigation, drought-tolerant landscape plants, water-saving mulches, instal-ling cisterns, constructing rain barrels and rain gardens and more.

While neither researchers nor Cooperative Extension agents have yet discovered how to produce rain, Extension agents and local partners have worked for more than a year to install rain-catching “water-harvesting systems” such as those to be shown on “Almanac Gardener.” The systems — cisterns or rain barrels — replace water uses ranging from lawn, commercial turf and horticultural crops irrigation to toilet flushing and vehicle washing.

“Cisterns capture rooftop rainfall runoff and use it in place of potable water supplies,” says Dr. Bill Hunt, BAE assistant professor and Extension urban storm-water management specialist and a registered professional engineer. “That saves water and money and is less demanding on the aquifers.” Moreover, cisterns are a natural choice for storm-water managers, Hunt says.

“For some, it’s hard to see how other BMPs pay for themselves,” he explains. “With a wetland, for instance, you often can’t see immediate or ultimate benefits to the aquifer. But with a cistern, it’s easy to see the payback in money saved by using this device.”

Getting a head start on the demand, several years ago a BAE student design team created a mathematical model since used statewide to size cisterns. Based on that work, Matthew Jones, currently a BAE graduate student, developed a user-friendly Web site that helps consumers decide if they need a cistern, and how to build one. (See sidebar.)

“We have refined the model that takes into consideration differing rainfall amounts in different parts of the state,” says Hunt. “CALS alumni from several firms have contacted me to say they used this model to design their water harvesting systems.”

From North Carolina’s mountains to the sea, many College, BAE and Extension centers’ water conservation education projects include cisterns.

“The severe drought, coupled with declining aquifer water levels, has made water conservation a priority for North Carolina,” says Charles Humphrey, Extension area specialized agent for environmental education based in Craven County.

Last fall, Humphrey, New Bern officials and the East Carolina Council of Governments partnered to install water harvesting systems at a municipal building and elsewhere.

At the city fleet management center, a pipe and gutters divert more than 1,500 gallons to the 3,000-gallon cistern for each inch of rain that falls on the building’s roof. Water then is pumped to a tanker truck used to irrigate city park grounds.

“As a result, the city is reducing potable water consumption,” says Humphrey, whose Extension program areas include education, septic systems, storm-water and agricultural BMPs, wetlands, general water quality and water conservation.

Humphrey also installed water capture systems at the Cooperative Extension Center (the County Agriculture Center) and has sold discounted rain barrels.

Along the coast, thanks to a grant Hunt procured, a cistern is in place at the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center on Harker’s Island.

In the Bottoms neighborhood in Wilmington, Jason Wright, BAE and Extension associate in coastal storm-water management, along with Christy Perrin and Patrick Beggs of Extension’s Watershed Education for Communities and Officials (WECO), helped install several mid-sized cisterns and distributed 24 rain barrels to inner-city residents. Also, a BAE senior class team is designing a large cistern for nearby Wrightsville Beach.

In Eastern North Carolina, Dwane Jones, Cooperative Extension area specialized agent for environmental education, helped install cisterns for Goldsboro, at the Cooperative Extension Center at Snow Hill, and in Lenoir County to wash vehicles at the Kinston motor fleet operations center.

In the Piedmont, at Guilford County’s Cooperative Extension Center, an EPA grant funded a Carolina Yards and Neighborhoods water conservation and water quality program.

Karen Neill, Extension’s Guilford County urban horticulture agent and an “Almanac Gardener” regular, reports that a state Department of Environment and Natural Resources grant helped install 550- and 1,100-gallon cisterns to irrigate demonstration gardens and to construct a new wetland and rain garden designed by BAE’s Wright at the county center. Neill also worked with Page High School classes to convert an old holding pond to a wetlands, which cleans water more efficiently.

In Western North Carolina , in Buncombe County, Jon Calabria, French Broad Training Center coordinator, BAE Extension associate in water quality and a landscape architect, obtained grant funds to add a cistern and landscape-watering pump under the bonsai pavilion at the North Carolina Arboretum. The arboretum also installed two cisterns to provide the necessary pure rainwater for its crafts pavilion and is increasing its rain barrel use.

Wendy Patoprsty, Extension agent for natural resources and environmental education in Watauga County, and Hunt are involved with an upcoming Town of Boone municipal building cistern installation.

While the demand for cisterns is growing, rain barrel demand is increasing even faster, probably for a good reason.

Dr. Garry Grabow, BAE assistant professor, Extension specialist and a licensed professional engineer, is working on a project to evaluate technologies to manage turf irrigation and prevent over-watering. His co-researchers include Dr. Rod Huffman, associate BAE professor, and two Crop Science Department turfgrass experts, Dr. Dan Bowman, associate professor, and Dr. Grady Miller, professor.

“It takes a lot of water to irrigate,” says Grabow. “To apply an inch of water to 1,000 square feet of turf requires 623 gallons. So ‘fully functional’ cistern systems are expensive, which is why most have been installed at government or other institutional places that have money.”

In February, the College’s American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers student branch converted 10 250-gallon containers into rain barrels. After the story appeared on WRAL and Fox TV, the barrels sold out in 10 minutes.

In Carteret County, Anne Edwards, Extension agent for agriculture and horticulture says, “We sent 42 of the 60-to-70-gallon rain barrels home with people after our rain barrel workshop last summer.

“They’ve been very successful,” she says. “People who have them are just so pleased. I know for me, every time I turn the spigot it just makes me smile. It gives a ridiculous amount of joy just to be using rain water.” Extension’s Karen Neill says, “In Guilford County, since the 2002 drought, when we sold 1,500, Extension has sold rain barrels. We now average about 300 a year.”

Wendi Hartup, Extension area specialized agent for environmental education for Forsyth and Stokes counties, ran a rain barrel-making workshop in April. Other Extension agents across the state are following suit.

To initiate drought-related lifelines in other ways, Extension agents developed educational Web pages and other initiatives.

In Eastern North Carolina, Dr. Diana Rashash, Onslow County-based area specialized agent for environmental education, posts a newsletter and other drought information regularly.

From the west, Lenny Rogers, Extension’s Alexander County director, reports that “at the request of our county commissioners, we are doing a major educational thrust on water conservation. Our 4-H agent highlights these tips with many after-school groups, we are doing newspaper and radio articles and are offering this topic as a program through our local speakers’ bureau. Plus, we developed a water conservation fact sheet and use a Power Point ‘Jeopardy’ game.”

And Eric Caldwell, Extension’s Transylvania County director, and his team put together a Web page with links to many other drought-related sites.

Several times in 2007, Extension agents took the message to the people through other media.

Mitch Woodward, Extension area specialized agent for agriculture and Neuse River coordinator in Wake County, offered practical tips for homeowners in coping with the drought. He appeared on Fox 50, WRAL-TV and Capitol Broadcasting’s “News and Views with Chris Fitzsimon” on WRAL-FM (101.5) and WCMC-FM (99.9), as well as on WRAL’s Web site and many North Carolina News Network-affiliated stations.

This placed him squarely on the “News and Views” “top newsmakers for 2007” list and helped the public understand the implications of the drought to our water supplies.
In Lincoln County, Kevin Starr, Extension county director, submitted articles to the local media. In Caldwell County, Allen Caldwell, county Extension director and two City of Lenoir officials appeared on a cable TV show and agricultural agent Seth Nagy appeared on a second show to explain how to reduce water use. Caldwell also submitted three news articles to local print media. Those efforts resulted in an approximate 15 percent water use reduction, a city official said.

In these driest of times, educating the public about water conservation and creating means for them to save water continue as among Extension and the College’s highest priorities.

Because even if it’s raining outside as you read this, remember this: Researchers say tree core samples dating as far back at 1548 A.D. show the piedmont has averaged one to two extended droughts — four years or longer — per century in the past.

And with droughts, as with all else in nature, what goes around comes around.

-- Art Latham


Posted by Art at 10:10 AM

More drought-related information is available

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ multi-media response to drought conditions — both through Cooperative Extension offices and academic departments — has been rapid and reliable.

Here are some examples:

• UNC-TV’s Almanac Gardener features drought-related segments during its 2008 25th anniversary season: www.unctv.org/gardener

• Rain barrel information, including how to make one: www.unctv.org/gardener/rainbarrel.html

• The College’s “Making a Difference” drought information page with CALS-generated stories and links, written and produced by the Communication Services Department: www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/difference/drought

• How we use our water:
www.ncsu.edu/project/calscommblogs/news/archives/2008/02/what_do_we_use.html

• Water harvesting: www.ncsu.edu/project/calscommblogs/news/archives/2008/02/experts_offer_r.html

• Weathering the drought in the landscape: www.ncsu.edu/project/calscommblogs/news/archives/2008/02/weathering_the.html

From the CALS Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering
• Cisterns, including a computer model to determine the right size for various situations: www.ncsu.edu/project/calscommblogs/news/archives/2008/02/weathering_the.html

• What rain gardens are and how they work: www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/bioretention

• How to build a backyard rain garden: www.bae.ncsu.edu/topic/raingarden

-A. Latham

Posted by Art at 10:00 AM

Retiree Rogister receives Rotary's highest award

bill_rogister.jpg
Bill Rogister, left, of Northampton County receives the Service Above Self Award from Barry Rassin, director of Rotary International. (Photo courtesy of Bill Rogister)

Bill Rogister, retired Northampton County Extension director and a member of Rotary Club of Northampton County, has earned Rotary International's highest honor, the Service Above Self Award. The award was presented recently by Barry Rassin, director of Rotary International, at the annual conference of Rotary District 7720 in Kitty Hawk. The award recognizes exemplary humanitarian service, with an emphasis on personal volunteer efforts and active involvement in helping others on a continuing basis.

Among Rogister's Rotary service activities, he initiated and led eight area membership development workshops for two years, served as a group Study Exchange (GSE) Team Leader to Philippines, coordinated GSE to Philippines, Mexico and England, and hosted GSE Team Members. He helped start the Family to Family Project, matching Rotarian families with disadvantaged families for mentoring and encouragement.

He presented three papers at Rotary World Community Service Summit on Sustainable Development in Cairo and served as Zone 33 Coordinator for the Rotary Action Group on Population and Development. Rogister initiated the Rotary Club Award of Excellence to recognize local citizens for community service and started the Rotary Club Career Intern Program for local students to learn about trades and professions. As Governor of District 7720, he led 46 clubs to conduct special Rotary Centennial community service projects.

Among Rogister's non-Rotary service activities, he served as a volunteer in Paraguay, 2005, developing cooperatives and policies for 10 technicians to teach 6,000 small-scale farmers. In 2003, he was a volunteer to Yardimli Farmers Union, Azerbaijan, consulting on conservation tillage. He also was a volunteer consultant on cotton production and marketing, Uganda, 2001; Fergana Valley of Kyrgyzstan, 2003; and Akshola-Sarai Farmers Association, Kyrgyzstan, 2000. To enhance peanut production and marketing, he partnered with Peace Corps in Suriname, 2001; served as ACDI/VOCA volunteer in Bolivia both in 2000 and 1999, increasing yields by 30 percent. In Azerbaijan, he helped internally displaced persons from war with Armenia start small-scale peanut production for family income.

At home, he served on North Carolina Agro-Medicine Board, Woodland Planning Board, helped initiated Woodland Family Celebration, Christmas for Kids, raised funds for 4-H Youth Camp, helped start a 4-H Club and established a 4-H entrepreneur project for youth. He also volunteered for the Hurricane Mitch recovery effort in Honduras.

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are more than 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious and open to all cultures, races and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace and throughout the world.

Posted by Natalie at 07:57 AM

May 08, 2008

North Carolina group attends leadership conference

SAC members at PILD
Attending PILD in Washington were SAC members, from left, front row, B.A. Smith, Jo Ann Stroud, Lynn Yokley; and back row, from left, Charles Boyd, Pete Miller, Jack Parker and George Quigley. (Photo courtesy of SAC)

In April, a delegation from North Carolina, including seven North Carolina Cooperative Extension State Advisory Council members and two Strategic Planning Council members from N.C. A&T State University, attended the Public Issues Leadership Development conference in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Jon Ort, associate dean and director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, accompanied the group, along with Dr. Marshall Stewart, associate director, department head and state program leader for 4-H and family and consumer sciences, and Dr. Ed Jones, associate director and state program leader, agriculture and natural resources and community and rural development, both from N.C. State University; Joy Staton, N.C. Cooperative Extension state advisory leader; Sheilda Sutton and Anita Wright, both of N.C. A&T State University.

This year’s theme was "Connectivity: Community to the Capitol." The seven State Advisory Council members attending PILD were: George Quigley, council chair; Pete Miller, Jo Ann Stroud, B.A. Smith, Charles Boyd, Lynn Yokley and Jack Parker. The two members from A&T’s Strategic Planning Council were Perry Graves, council chair; and David Autrey.

Extension agents attending PILD included 4-H agents Barbara Dunn Swanson, Randolph County and Danelle Barco, Tyrell County; Epsilon Sigma Phi members Christine Barrier and Debbie Bost, Cabarrus County; family and consumer sciences agents Sue Counts, Watauga County, and Debra Stroud, Johnston County; agricultural agents Kelly Groves, Catawba County, and Stanley Holloway, Yancey County.

This three-day conference provides the opportunity for interaction with federal decision makers and local volunteers. The Joint Council of Extension professionals sponsors this annual conference to keep Extension professionals and advisory leaders abreast of changing public issues that impact our communities and affect Extension programming.

Posted by Natalie at 03:27 PM

N.C. youth participate in state WHEP competition

In April, 60 4-Hers converged at Carolina Beach State Park in New
Hanover County for the 2008 State Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Program Contest. Eight counties put forth five Senior Division teams and 11 Junior Division teams. In addition, four individuals and one Cloverbud participated in the contest. The contest consisted of wildlife identification, wildlife foods, aerial photo interpretation and on-site habitat recommendations.

The top scoring Senior Division team from Henderson County will have the opportunity to represent North Carolina at the National 4-H WHEP Invitational this July in Stillwater, Okla. Members of the Henderson County team are Patrick McCraw, Caleb Worrell, Bethany Hyde and Kayla Jones. Ranae Worrell, Deanna McCraw, Marie Stinnett and Cindy Hyde coach the Henderson County teams.

The top three senior individual scores also came from the Henderson County team. Alleghany County was the first place Junior Division team. Gretchen Huysman, from the Alleghany County Junior Division team, received the state contest highest score and a perfect score in the wildlife foods portion of the contest. Teams traveled from across the state to participate in the state contest at Carolina Beach
State Park. The counties represented included Alamance, Alexander, Alleghany, Brunswick, Guilford, Henderson, Union and Wayne.

More event results are listed below. WHEP is a 4-H program teaching youth about wildlife and the management of their habitats. WHEP is sponsored nationally by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and International Paper. In North Carolina, N.C. State University's Extension Forestry program, the North Carolina State Council of Quail Unlimited and many Quail Unlimited chapters sponsor the WHEP
program.

Posted by Natalie at 03:10 PM

May 07, 2008

All-new Spanish-language DVD

A Spanish-language DVD containing six short video presentations (seven-to-10 minutes each) that offer important information and resources to guide families on how to live safely and securely in the United States is now available from North Carolina Cooperative Extension.


"Living in the United States: A guide to educational, health, residence and law enforcement systems in the U.S.” (Viviendo en los Estados Unidos: Una guía a los sistemas de educación, salud, vivienda y seguridad publica)

Translations are by Andrew Behnke, Ph.D. and Sofia Baucom. Behnke is an assistant professor and human development specialist, 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences Department, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina State University. Baucom is family services manager for the East Coast Migrant Head Start Program.

DVDs are currently available upon request for $2.50 each, or special deals can be negotiated. E-mail laverta_flewellen@ncsu.edu to request copies.

Posted by Art at 12:48 PM

May 06, 2008

Sherman wins campus EarthWise Award

Rhonda Sherman, Cooperative Extension specialist for solid waste management in the Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department, was one of three individuals receiving EarthWise Awards at N.C. State University during Earth Week. Each year, the Campus Environmental Sustainability Team recognizes a student, faculty member and staff member for sustainability efforts during Earth Week.

Sherman has worked with people and organizations around the state and helped them rethink and reorganize their means of handling solid wastes. This alone has had a major impact on our community. Sherman is known for is the Cooperative extension publication, "Worms Can Recycle Your Garbage." She is known affectionately on campus and around the world as the "Worm Queen."

Sherman has served on numerous campus committees that have focused on the sustainability of our campus management. She has always been willing and eager to lend a hand to faculty who teach about sustainability. She does so by being a guest lecturer, running workshops and working one-on-one with students to give them a hands-on experience with vermicomposting (using worms to recycled garbage).

Sherman's enthusiasm and her willingness to speak out on issues concerning sustainability have increased public awareness on an international-level and helped N.C. State move in a positive direction toward more environmentally friendly practices.

Posted by Natalie at 09:17 AM