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August 28, 2008

Middle school gets rain garden

Fulfilling two missions at once - helping the environment and creating a living, breathing, growing teaching tool.

Those are the twin goals of a new 1,200-square-foot rain garden in front of Williston Middle School on South 10th Street in Wilmington.

Officials from several state and local agencies, including North Carolina Cooperative Extension, teamed with school officials on a wet and humid Wednesday morning to plant 85 trees, shrubs and other vegetation in a shallow hollow that had been excavated near Williston's main entrance.

Read more in the Wilmington StarNewsOnline

Posted by Dave at 08:45 AM

August 22, 2008

In the Garden begins sixth season

Bryce Lane
Bryce Lane of In the Garden

Watch UNC-TV Saturday, August 23 at noon for the season premiere of In the Garden with Bryce Lane.

Now in it's sixth season, In the Garden continues to get rave reviews from viewers across the state. This program is a 30-minute home horticulture show that doubles as an introduction to horticulture course and it's a product of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences! Bryce Lane, instructor in the horticultural science department hosts the show. Communication Services produces the program.

This season Lane offers tips for the conscientious gardener. He focuses on water wise gardening -- how to best use this limited, precious resource and still maintain a beautiful landscape. Plus, as prices continue to rise, so do concerns about how to keep gardening in the family budget. Lane provides tips on how to save money at the garden center and still fulfill your plant wish list. This season Bryce also takes viewers to the Delaware Valley area to visit Longwood Gardens and Chanticleer Gardens. Tune in to UNC-TV each Saturday at noon!

The show repeats Sundays at 11:30am. Check local listing for air times on UNC-TV's digital channels.

Posted by Natalie at 08:45 AM

August 19, 2008

Hunt wins prestigious agricultural engineering award

The American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASABE) recently named Dr. Bill Hunt winner of one of its most prestigious honors, the Nolan Mitchell Young Extension Worker Award.

Hunt, a professional engineer and an assistant professor and extension specialist in the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University, was recognized for exemplary leadership and outstanding contributions as a researcher, educator and extension specialist.

The award, presented at the July ASABE annual international meeting in Providence, R.I., honors an individual under age 40 who has demonstrated outstanding success in motivating others to acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to improve agricultural operations, according to an ASABE press release.

An 11-year ASABE member, Hunt is highly respected for his innovative urban stormwater management program, one of the largest stormwater applied research programs in the U.S.

The work he and his colleagues conduct has changed the way stormwater practices are designed and used. Working with Bill Lord, a North Carolina Cooperative Extension agent, he pioneered the first certification program worldwide for landscape industry professionals on stormwater practice inspection and maintenance.

Hunt has established effective partnerships with state agencies, local governments and the private sector, and has provided leadership in attracting more than $4 million in external support for his research programs.

His active program has helped elevate a valuable agricultural and biological engineering presence in a field previously dominated by civil engineers. He provides maintenance of stormwater management devices expertise and has specifically targeted the engineering community and the landscape industry.

Hunt co-chaired and co-organized the 2004 Southeastern Stormwater Conference, and chaired and organized the 2nd National Conference on Low Impact Development in 2007. He has conducted more than 120 workshops, training sessions and field tours within North Carolina and across 19 states.

He has authored or co-authored more than 85 peer-reviewed extension publications, media articles, electronic materials, refereed journal articles, conference proceedings, an educational video and book chapters, and delivered more than 120 presentations at conferences and meetings.

Hunt holds three N.C. State degrees: civil engineering (B.S., 1994); economics (B.S., 1995) and biological and agricultural engineering (M.S., 1997); and a 2003 doctorate in agricultural and biological engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.

ASABE, founded in 1907, is a 10,000-member international professional and technical organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to biological, agricultural and food systems.

-- A. Latham

Posted by Art at 09:41 AM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2008

Martha Stewart visits Kannapolis campus

Leah Chester-Davis with Martha Stewart
(Photo courtesy of Leah Chester-Davis)

Food and garden guru Martha Stewart, center, recently visited the North Carolina Research Campus as guest of campus founder David Murdock. One of the gardening editors for Stewart's magazine, Andrew Beckman, has subscribed to Extension's Successful Gardener newsletter the past few years. Leah Chester-Davis, left, who has served as newsletter editor and team leader, asked Stewart to autograph a copy. Chester-Davis is coordinator of communications & community outreach and Extension communication specialist with the Program for Value Added & Alternative Agriculture based at the research campus. Also pictured is Tara Vogelien, director for business and research administration for N.C. State University's Fruit & Vegetable Science Institute.

Posted by Natalie at 08:43 AM

Emeritus professor takes international honor in biometry

Dr. Larry Nelson, professor emeritus of statistics and forestry at North Carolina State University, recently was awarded the Rob Kempton Award for Outstanding
Contribution to the Development of Biometry in the Developing World.

Nelson received the award in July at the 24th Biennial Conference of the International Biometric Society (IBS) at the University College Dublin, Ireland.

Professor Rob Kempton, the prominent Scottish statistician for whom the award is named, was president-elect of the IBS at the time of his early death in 2003. He had actively trained those in developing countries on the proper use of biometrical procedures and in promoting the profession in those countries.

Nelson, who served six years as assistant dean for international programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State before his 2007 retirement, is the award’s second recipient.

He created IBS’s Central American and Caribbean Region, which serves Central America, the Caribbean islands, Colombia and Venezuela. The region provides networking for biometricians who otherwise might be isolated.

Nelson served 10 years as IBS business manager and treasurer in the late 1960s and early 1970s and chaired its awards committee in the late 1980s. He has also collaborated with young statisticians throughout the developing world, often by presenting intensive short courses in experimental design.

He received his bachelor of science degree at Iowa State University, his master’s of science degree at Texas A. and M. University and his Ph. D. at N.C. State. He was on the University of Hawaii faculty three years before joining the N.C. State faculty in 1964.

Nelson is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, Gamma Sigma Delta and Sigma Iota Rho. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Statistical Association, the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America.

-- A. Latham

Posted by Art at 08:25 AM

August 07, 2008

Ronald Hughes honored with Distinguished Service Awards

Ronald Hughes, Extension livestock agent, received Distinguished Service Awards from the North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Distinguished Service Awards are the most prestigious awards presented by both associations. Winners are selected based on their support and involvement in professional development associations as well as programming excellence.

Read more in the Dunn Daily Record

Posted by Dave at 11:01 AM

August 06, 2008

Extension agent helps people learn to live better lives

Janelle Kent is most definitely an educator, but she doesn't teach in a school.

In her 30 years as a nutritionist and now an extension agent, she has helped teach people how to eat better, cook more safely - and ultimately live better lives.

"I always was drawn to the area of public health and nutrition," she said.

Kent, 54, is the Stokes County agent for Family & Consumer Sciences at the N.C. Cooperative Extension Office, where she has worked since 2005.

Read more in the Winston-Salem Journal

Posted by Dave at 02:25 PM

August 05, 2008

New Granville County Extension director named

Paul W. Westfall, executive director for 11 years of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, N.Y., has been named director of North Carolina Cooperative Extension's program in Granville County.

Dr. Jon Ort, assistant vice chancellor, associate dean and director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University, and Brian Alligood, Granville County manager, announced Westfall's appointment, effective Aug. 5.

Westfall succeeds Johnsie Cunningham, who retired from the county director's post after more than 30 years of service.

Before assuming his Niagara County, N.Y. duties in 1997, Westfall was executive director and agriculture program leader for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County, N.Y. for four years.

Westfall chaired the New York State Association of County Agricultural Agents' 2005 annual meeting and was that organization's president in 2002, serving on its board from 1995 to 1999. He received the association's distinguished service award in 1998.

He holds a 1978 bachelor of science degree in animal science and a 1984 master's in animal physiology from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville.

"Paul's years of strong Extension leadership in both Arkansas and New York ensure that he brings a wealth of knowledge that will be beneficial in leading Granville County's Extension program," said Bob Edwards, North Central District Extension director. "I'm confident he will be an excellent addition to a great team."

- A. Latham -

Posted by Dave at 04:07 PM

August 01, 2008

For Randolph youth, sci fi means 'Science of Fibers'

Volunteer weave with youth
Volunteer Louella Caison, right, helps a camper with his loom during Randolph's "Sci Fi Camp." (Photo courtesy of Barb Dunn Swanson)

Just when you think you have heard it all, then along comes 4-H Sci-Fi Camp! For everyone thinking "science fiction," think again. This camp is really about the "science of fibers," and 4-H members learned all about it during the week-long camp sponsored by North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Randolph County and taught by Susan Garkalns, family and consumer sciences agent, and Barb Dunn Swanson, 4-H agent.

Randolph County has a long, rich history of textiles, and many families in the area have been employed by the textile mill industry. Youth enrolled in this camp have the opportunity to learn new skills including weaving, knitting and basic information about fibers.

Volunteer leaders Louella Caison, Rebecca Craven, Phyllis Holland, Ruth Powell and Jean Vollrath each assisted with the camp. Caison loaned each participant an Inkle loom that each child learned to warp, or to prepare the loom to be woven. Each member learned that patience was one of the biggest requirements needed in weaving. Caison was an expert teacher, and each participant produced a lovely weaving project upon completion.

Jean Vollrath provided a tour of Hickory Mountain Weavery just east of Ramseur on the Chatham County line. She is an award-winning fiber artist and weaver who has made a name for herself in the industry. Vollrath showed the youth several different looms and the different ways they are operated, including a state of the art computerized loom.

Both Holland and Powell, retired schoolteachers, assisted the youth with the weaving, science experiments and demonstrations. Craven also assisted with the activities each day.

To get the camp started, youth were introduced to both natural and man-made fibers. Swatches of fabric including linen, nylon, cotton, polyester, wool and rayon were on exhibit and were also used in various experiments to learn about the fiber content of each.

Youth were even able to extract a fiber from a pineapple leaf. This was a difficult task that required softening the leaf in water, and applying pressure extract the fiber.

The Asheboro Police Department loaned a protective vest for youth to see the different fabrics used to construct this heavy-duty vest. In addition, a scuba suit was borrowed from J. Cooper’s Scuba Center in Asheboro to demonstrate how the neoprene fibers are perfect for scuba diving.

The clothing we choose and the fabrics that comprise our outfits help to keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Breaking down the scientific processes helped each participant learn some new knowledge that will benefit them for a lifetime.

This camp also allowed each participant to think about career paths. Many different career choices were discussed, including artist, designer, weaver, sewer, mechanic, engineer and so much more. 4-H is all about making the best better, and during Sci-Fi Camp, they did just that!

Posted by Natalie at 04:15 PM