July 27, 2010
Extension invited to join 10% Campaign
Memo to Cooperative Extension
From Dr. Joe Zublena and Dr. M. Ray McKinnie
North Carolina Cooperative Extension is supporting the 10% Campaign, aimed at encouraging consumers to spend 10 percent of their food dollars locally, by providing an agent in each county to serve as a local foods coordinator. In addition, Extension has signed on to promote the campaign and support a 10% Campaign Employee Challenge.
We are encouraging Cooperative Extension employees around the state to join the campaign through the website, www.nc10percent.com, and pledge to purchase 10 percent of your food from local sources. The 10% Campaign is an effort by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and N.C. Cooperative Extension to build a local food economy in North Carolina.
North Carolinians spend about $35 billion a year on food. If each person spent just 10 percent on food locally, roughly $1.05 per day, then approximately $3.5 billion annually would be available in the state’s economy.
Through the campaign website, consumers and businesses will pledge to spend 10 percent of their food dollars locally, purchasing products from area farmers and food producers. Campaign participants will receive weekly email reminders to report how much money they spent on local food. The website will let consumers see how their dollars were spent on local foods grow across the state.
In addition, the 10% Campaign website provides a “Find Local Foods” page with links to help consumers find local food and farm products in their own communities. A “Learn More” page includes links to information on a variety of partner organizations, such as Slow Food USA and Eat Smart, Move More NC. There are also links to educational information on topics ranging from how to set up a workplace community-supported agriculture program to how to cook seasonal, local products.
Cooperative Extension’s local foods coordinators will help connect consumers and food producers and support local businesses and organizations that want to spend 10 percent of their food dollars locally. Local food coordinators will personally contact businesses and organizations that register through the website to help them develop a plan for purchasing local products.
By joining the campaign, you will be supporting food producers in your community and helping to keep dollars invested in local businesses. And, you’ll have the support of your Local Foods Coordinator right in your office. Also, we encourage you to designate “local foods” events in the Extension calendar, including things like food preservation or gardening workshops.
When you register on the campaign website, you’ll be prompted to identify where you learned about the 10% Campaign. Feel free to choose “employer,” if appropriate. Thanks for all you do in your community and for considering support of this worthwhile initiative.
Posted by Natalie at 03:08 PM
July 22, 2010
Hungry to help
4-H'ers take action to stop
the hidden health problem of hunger
4-H'ers attending State 4-H Congress this week in Raleigh committed to an ambitious goal of collecting 1 million pounds of food for North Carolina’s food banks as part of a campaign called Hungry to Help.
Conducted in partnership with the Food Banks of North Carolina, the campaign is designed to promote awareness of hunger in North Carolina and to help stop it. To get started, 350 4-H'ers gathered at Dorton Arena at the State Fairgrounds Wednesday to repackage 37,900 pounds of pasta from massive containers into smaller, family-sized portions.
Later in the day, sitting down to a traditional Congress luncheon, they didn't get the usual boxed lunch or chicken-and-two-vegetables plate. Instead, to drive home their commitment to relieving hunger, they got a bowl of rice and water.
After they'd had a chance to partake, 4-H'er Ann Margaret Dietrich of Wake County asked them, "How many of you are still hungry?" When hands went up, she told them not to worry.
"We have more food for you," she said, "but we wanted you to think about what most of us take for granted daily -– food and clean water."
Speaking at a banquet the previous night, Clyde Fitzgerald of the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Carolina, told the 4-H'ers that people who think hunger isn't a problem in this state are mistaken. According to an analysis by Feeding America, a hunger relief organization with which the food banks are affiliated, North Carolina ranks as the second-worst state in the nation when it comes to children under 5 lacking regular access to nutritious food and as 10th-worst for children of all ages.
"Hunger is a very serious, urgent and unfortunately rapidly growing problem" in North Carolina and the rest of the nation, Fitzgerald said. "There's nothing more basic than the need for food. ... A child that is not well-fed cannot be as healthy as other children."
Nor, he added, can hungry children reach their full potential.
"You can make a difference," Fitzgerald concluded. "We need more people to part of the solution."
State 4-H Leader Dr. Marshall Stewart challenged 4-H'ers to bring Fitzgerald's message back home to their communities, to raise local awareness and to become citizen leaders for hunger relief. One of the campaign's short-term goals is for 4-H'ers in all 100 North Carolina counties to conduct canned food drives during national 4-H week, the first week in October.
Many of the 4-H members, including 13-year-old Will Farlessyost of Madison County, already are active volunteers for community food pantries and food banks. His club, Roots and Shoots, frequently raises money and collects and repackages food for a food bank.
"We do it because we want to make sure everyone has enough to eat. It makes me feel good helping people out," he said. "And it can be fun."
Sixteen-year-old Meagan Briley of Pitt County agreed.
"4-H'ers come from all kinds of backgrounds, and hunger is something that affects people of diverse backgrounds. So this campaign can unite us," she said. "Also, 4-H encourages us to care about our communities and the quality of life around people around you, and Hungry to Help gives us something that can bring us together and that can allow us to make a real difference."
For more information about Hungry to Help, visit 4-H's website at http://www.nc4hstories.org/page/hungry-to-help.
Posted by deeshore at 09:33 AM
July 21, 2010
N.C. Cooperative Extension partners with 10% Campaign to promote local foods
North Carolina Cooperative Extension and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems have teamed up to encourage North Carolina consumers to spend 10 percent of their food dollars on foods from local sources. The 10% Campaign was launched through a new website, www.nc10percent.com.
The website will allow consumers and business the opportunity to pledge to spend 10 percent of their food dollars locally, purchasing products from area farmers and food producers. Campaign participants will receive weekly email reminders to report how much money they spent on local food. The website will show consumers how their dollars spent on local foods grow.
North Carolinians spend about $35 billion a year on food. If each person spent just 10 percent on food locally – roughly $1.05 per day – then approximately $3.5 billion annually would be available in the state’s economy.
Cooperative Extension will support the project by providing a local foods coordinator who will help connect consumers and food producers and support local businesses and organizations who want to spend 10 percent of their food dollars locally. Local food coordinators will personally contact businesses and organizations that register through the website to help them develop a plan for purchasing local products.
To find out who is serving as your local foods coordinator, visit Cooperative Extension’s website and find a link to your county center. Then select “Local Foods” from the left-hand column.
In addition, the 10% Campaign website provides a “Find Local Foods” page with links to help consumers find local food and farm products in their own communities. A “Learn More” page includes links to information on a variety of partner organizations, such as Slow Food USA and Eat Smart, Move More NC. There are also links to educational information on topics ranging from how to set up a workplace community-supported agriculture program or how to cook seasonal, local products.
The Center for Environmental Farming Systems is a partnership of N.C. State University, N.C. A&T State University and the N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services that conducts research and provides education and outreach related to sustainable agriculture.
The Compass Group of Charlotte, the world’s largest food service provider, is leading the way in the campaign by pledging to purchase 10 percent of its food from local sources. Compass Group is developing a parallel model farm-to-institution buying program and will purchase 10 percent of the produce it serves in its North Carolina accounts from local farmers in the state.
Funding for the 10 Campaign and website is provided by Golden LEAF.
Posted by Natalie at 05:11 PM
Beef profitability workshop to be held July 26 in Chatham County
"Increasing Beef Profitability: Perspectives on Processing and Marketing Opportunities in Local Markets" will be offered July 26, 7-9 p.m., at Chatham County Cooperative Extension Agricultural Building, 45 South St., Pittsboro. The event sponsors are NC Choices, Weaver Street Market and Chatham County Cooperative Extension.
Please join us for a roundtable discussion with panelists Dr. Scott Barao, Dr. Arion Thiboumery and Dr. Matt Poore, a question-and-answer session and a “meat social” with producers, Cooperative Extension professionals and meat processors.
Topics for discussion will include grass-fed genetics, determining production costs, maintaining high quality carcasses, smart carcass utilization, forage management, value added products, successful case studies around the country and building a relationship with your processor.
The event is free, but please RSVP to Casey McKissick at email@example.com by July 23.
About the speakers:
Dr. Matt Poore is as a Extension livestock commodity coordinator, Extension ruminant nutrition specialist and professor at N.C. State University. Poore also serves as the Beef Unit coordinator at the Center for Environmental Systems (CEFS) research farm in Goldsboro.
Dr. Scott Barao is a graduate of Michigan State University where he earned his doctorate in beef cattle nutrition and management. He also holds degrees in human nutrition, biochemistry and ruminant microbiology. Barao held a faculty position in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Maryland for 20 years where he served as the state Beef Cattle Extension Specialist. He also served his last 10 years, as Beef Program leader, directing all beef research and outreach programs at the university’s Wye Research and Education Center, the home of the historic Wye Angus herd. Barao retired from his faculty position as a full professor in 2005. Since then, he has served as the executive director of the Jorgensen Family Foundation, an agricultural research and education foundation devoted to developing and demonstrating profitable and sustainable models of beef cattle production for beef cattle producers in the Mid-Atlantic region. Scott also directs the day-to-day operation of Hedgeapple Farm, the foundation's centerpiece.
Dr. Arion Thiboumery co-coordinates the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN, www.nichemeatprocessing.org), a national network of professionals in Cooperative Extension and state departments of agriculture working to support small-scale meat processors. Thiboumery splits his time between Iowa State University Extension, specializing in Sustainable Agriculture and Meat Science, and Lorentz Meats, a Cannon Falls, MN, medium-small-sized meat processing plant specializing in organic and natural meats. Thiboumery earned his doctorate from Iowa State University in sustainable agriculture, rural sociology and meat science. Before going to graduate school, he was a truck farmer in New England.
Posted by Natalie at 10:19 AM
4-H's therapeutic horse riding program measured in smiles
POWELLS POINT — The first time Savannah Lowery sat atop a horse, her mom noticed the change immediately.
Savannah’s agitation, a symptom of Asperger’s syndrome, melted away, and the youngster was calm. The change was so dramatic that Eileen Lowery of Kill Devil Hills knew her daughter needed another chance to ride.
Last week, 6-year-old Savannah got that opportunity at the 4-H Rural Center’s therapeutic riding program. With pink cowgirl boots and riding cap, Savannah took no time to adjust. Before the end of her first half-hour session, she was urging the horse Minnie Pearl to trot faster, much to the pleasure of mom and instructor Sam Iulo of Jarvisburg.
Read more from The Daily Advance
Posted by Natalie at 10:05 AM
July 19, 2010
Interior design and hunger prevention projects highlight State 4-H Congress
State 4-H Congress, held this week at North Carolina State University and around Raleigh, will include a youth version of “Trading Spaces,” where teams create a room design, and the kickoff of 4-H’s Hungry to Help project.
Congress will be held July 19-22 at North Carolina State University and other Raleigh locations. The annual event will attract more than 500 4-H club members, adult volunteers and 4-H agents with North
Carolina Cooperative Extension.
During the four-day event, delegates also will participate in competition, workshops, assemblies, recreation, fellowship and service to the community.
On Monday and Tuesday, three teams of youth will participate in the Eco Works Challenge, an opportunity to work with designer Edward Walker of television’s “Trading Spaces.” Walker, who grew up in North Carolina, has returned to the state and wanted the opportunity to share the field of design with youth. The teams will design and create a room in the Exposition Center, N.C. State Fairgrounds, from 1-6 p.m. Monday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. At 5 p.m. Tuesday, the completed rooms will be showcased.
At a Tuesday night dinner, 4-H will kick off “Hungry to Help,” a major public service project in an ongoing partnership with the Food Banks of North Carolina. The hope is that 4-H will collect 1 million pounds of food for the food banks.
Every day, hunger disrupts the lives of one in five North Carolina children, and 4-H is dedicated to making a difference. The project’s goals are to increase awareness of hunger in North Carolina, to address the issue in local communities across the state and to prepare 4-H’ers to be citizen leaders for hunger relief. The dinner starts at 6 p.m., with the kickoff beginning at 7 p.m. at the Exposition Center at the State Fairgrounds.
On Wednesday, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m., more than 350 4-H’ers and adults will work together at Dorton Arena to process some type of food for the Food Bank. The event is part of 4-H’s annual Hands to Service activities.
Other events of 4-H Congress are outlined below.
Monday, 7:30-10 p.m., Opening Assembly, Exposition Center, State Fairgrounds
The annual 4-H Honor Club tapping ceremony takes place during the opening assembly. The top half of 1 percent of the state’s 4-H’ers are admitted to the Honor Club each year. 4-H’ers will also demonstrate their skill at sewing and modeling clothing during Fashion Revue, part of the opening assembly.
Tuesday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Presentation competitions, Athens Drive High School, 1420 Athens Drive, Raleigh
Delegates will participate in competitions designed to demonstrate their knowledge of subjects ranging from landscaping to sewing to wildlife. State winners, many of whom go on to compete in regional or national contests, will be named in more than 30 subject matter categories. Delegates not involved in competition will attend workshops on a variety of topics.
Wednesday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m, Hands to Service
4-H’ers will participate in Hands to Service projects, spending the morning hours working with local non-profits and human service agencies. Most 4-H’ers will be at Dorton Arena, where they will pack or process a food product as part of 4-H’s Hungry to Help initiative. For more information, visit the 4-H host and hostess table in McKimmon Center or call Harriet Edwards, 919.515.9548.
7-9 p.m., Farewell banquet at the Expo Center, State Fairgrounds
State officers will be elected late in the afternoon. The evening also will include a 9:30 p.m. Candle lighting ceremony at Dorton Arena and a farewell dance at the Expo Center.
Thursday, 10:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m., McKimmon Center, Career Fair
Delegates will leave campus Thursday afternoon.
The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 240,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of 21,000 adult and youth volunteers.
Posted by Natalie at 11:03 AM
July 16, 2010
A berry good experience
Moore County 4-H’ers earn money, gain work skills and learn
about science in one-of-a-kind farm business project
Eight teens and tweens wandered beneath and between the branches of blueberry bushes under a sweltering July sun in Moore County's Cameron community. Some mentioned the careers they'd like to pursue when they grow up: One said a hockey player. Another, an auto mechanic. And yet another, a veterinarian.
Whatever careers they ultimately choose, all of the 4-H'ers were gaining skills that will help prepare them. They were learning what it means to work hard, develop a business plan, put it into action and move on to new strategies when things don't work out as planned.
Since March, with the help of the county's entire North Carolina Cooperative Extension staff and grant funding from N.C. State University's Office of Extension, Engagement and Economic Development, the students have been running a blueberry business.
Landowner Mary McCulloch loaned a quarter-acre patch to the 4-H'ers for three years in return for a fraction of the profits.
County 4-H Agent Linda Gore said that McCulloch's children had previously taken care of the blueberry patch, using the money they earned to pay for college. But with those children grown, the patch became overgrown with kudzu and needed considerable renovation.
McColluch thought 4-H'ers might be interested in taking over, and -- to Gore's surprise -- she was right: Twenty youngsters signed up for the project.
To start getting the patch back into shape, agriculture agent Taylor Williams conducted a March pruning workshop during which some 90 participants learned by doing. Since then, the kids have taken over the operation with the help of Extension Master Gardener Bruce Fensley.
The 4-H'ers care for the bushes, harvest the berries, package them and find ways to sell them. Along the way, they have been getting good exercise, learning some of the science and technology behind organic farming and gaining an understanding of food-safety standards and marketing principles.
But it's at the end of the season when they will reap perhaps the biggest reward: That's when they'll get paid. How much will depend on how much they sell minus the costs they incur.
Williams expects they'll gross $6,000 to $7,000 from the sale of about 2,000 pints of the sustainably produced berries that they harvest through August.
After paying back the costs they've spent on things like packing materials and irrigation, the 4-H'ers will split the profits based on the number of hours each has put in and the pints of berries he or she has picked.
The budding entrepreneurs sell most of the berries they harvest to a cooperative, taking the remainder to two local farmers' markets and also selling them to county employees.
None of the 4-H'ers come from farms, so they've learned a lot, Fensley said. Perhaps the hardest lessons relate to some of the harshest realities that farmers face: the vagaries of weather and of supply and demand.
"One of the times we went to the farmers' market, and it was 101 and we were out in the sun," he said. "It was brutal, so there weren't many people at the farmers' market. They didn't come out. I said, 'This is a good lesson to you, because you see all the other farmers here. They've been growing all season, too, and there's no one here. They are going to have to take their stuff back home.' It was a good lesson that things don't always go your way."
Already, some of the kids are putting the lessons Extension is teaching them into practice. For example, 13-year-old Eden Holt of Robbins is taking what she's learned about business planning and using it to launch her own company, an egg production business she plans to call Eden's Coup.
Eden and the other participants, Williams said, could one day be at the "vanguard of the local food movement."
"If they want to go into this business, they will know how to do it," he said. "They will know the business aspects, the horticultural aspects, the marketing. They are seeing it all."
July 15, 2010
State honor surprises Ken Vaughn
At a recent Iredell County Commissioners meeting, Ken Vaughn showed up to discuss an agenda item related to a proposed refurbishment project at the county fairgrounds.
That whole thing was a ruse to get Vaughn to the meeting, however, because he walked out of the commissioners' chambers carrying one of the most prestigious awards offered by the state of North Carolina.
Vaughn, who has been at the helm of the Iredell Cooperative Extension for three and a half decades, won the Old North State Award for his nearly half century of working for different Tar Heel counties.
Read more in the Statesville Landmark and Record
Posted by Dave at 04:13 PM
July 09, 2010
Program helps people eat smart, move more and weigh less
More than 65 percent of all N.C. adults are overweight, and our state ranks fifth worst in the country for childhood obesity. Cooperative Extension is out to change these statistics through its Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program.
The 15-week program helps people plan, track and live healthier lifestyles. A team of experts with Extension and the N.C. Division of Public Health developed the program.
Dr. Carolyn Dunn, a family and consumer sciences professor, said three things stood out in the team's research on what helps people achieve and maintain a healthy weight: planning, tracking and being mindful about food and physical activity.
ESMMWL has been implemented in different ways throughout the state. Wayne County's Fit and Fabulous for 15 Program is a good example. Each week, local experts teach nutrition, and twice a week a fitness instructor conducts exercise classes. The program, organized by Extension and the county Health Department, has been such a hit that there’s a long waiting list.
Participants came from all walks of life, from school students to retirees, said extension agent Christine Smith. "We try to make it fun and light, so that everybody can feel like they are achieving something. And they feel good as a result of doing that."
With weight loss ranging from 2 to more than 25 pounds, participants made big steps toward healthier lifestyles. Some reported being able to cut back on diabetes medication, gaining control of high blood pressure and making healthier food choices.
Posted by deeshore at 10:16 AM
Wickliffe named Guilford Extension director
Dr. William "Wick" Wickliffe, long-time North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service agent in Guilford County, has been named to direct the county's Cooperative Extension program.
Wickliffe's appointment as Guilford Extension director, effective July 12, was announced by Dr. Joe Zublena, interim director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at North Carolina State University, and Brenda Fox, Guilford County Manager. Wickliffe succeeds Brenda Morris, who retired last year after a 30-year extension career.
Wickliffe has served as an agricultural extension agent in Guilford County since 1988. As the county's agricultural agent, he has worked with commercial vegetable, fruit and field crops as well as non-traditional agriculture such as the production of organic tobacco, fruits, vegetables and mushrooms. He also aided farmers with farm business management issues and provided information on pond management, specializing in aquatic weeds.
The new Guilford extension director has a doctorate in crop science with a concentration in weed science from North Carolina State University, a master's degree in agronomy from Western Kentucky University and bachelor's degree in agronomy from the University of Kentucky.
Wickliffe has been the recipient of a number of awards during his career, including the North Carolina Strawberry Association's Outstanding Extension Award and the North Carolina Agent Award given by the Corn Growers Association of North Carolina.
"Wick brings a wealth of work experience, helping the people of Guilford County. He has worked with many local farmers and businesses to protect farmland, increase farm profits and develop new markets," said James C. Cowden, director of extension's North Central District, which includes Guilford County. "He enjoys solving the problems of others and leading the entire extension program forward. Wick's leadership style is appreciated by the office staff, and he is always willing to lend a helping hand."
- D. Caldwell
Posted by Dave at 09:30 AM
July 02, 2010
Going mobile: Extension IT offers site for smartphones
North Carolina Cooperative Extension has gone mobile with the launch of a new website designed specifically for smartphones such as the iPhone, Palm, BlackBerry and Android. The site, at http://m.ces.ncsu.edu, features staff directories for NCCE and N.C. State University and maps to county centers. Users can also reach news feeds from Extension Online News and eXtension.
Ray Kimsey, senior information strategist with Extension Information Technology, developed the site. "It didn't make sense to duplicate the whole site. The goal was to make a site that was useful for someone using a phone," he said.
From the field, users can call up a county center map and get directions via GPS. And from the employee directory, they can automatically call or email staff members.
Kimsey said the site is a work in progress. He's currently turning the so-called mail label program that county staff members use to keep track of their clients into a password-protected contact database that agents could reach from a smartphone. And he wants to hear ideas from Extension staff members on what other things they think would be useful for the mobile site. Email your ideas to EIT at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by deeshore at 09:07 AM
Hanlin named Wilkes CED
Dr. William G. “Bill” Hanlin, area specialized Extension agent based in Wilkes County, has been named director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension center there, effective July 1.
Hanlin’s appointment was announced by Wilkes County Manager John Yates and Dr. Joe Zublena, interim director, N.C. Cooperative Extension Service. Hanlin succeeds Donna Edsel, who retired in June 2009, after 12 years as county Extension director.
Hanlin has served as an area horticulture Extension agent since 1988. Based in Wilkes County, he has been responsible for horticulture, particularly tree fruits, for counties in the region. Hanlin also has experience as a private consultant for Peach Orchard Consultant Services in Columbia, SC, and as an integrated pest management technician for the Clemson Extension Service, also in Columbia, SC.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in economic biology and a master’s degree in entomology, both from Clemson University, and a doctorate in entomology from N.C. State University.
“Bill brings a creative approach to supporting and leading the total N.C. Cooperative Extension program at the Wilkes County center,” said Dr. Deborah Crandall, director of Cooperative Extension’s West Central District, which includes Wilkes County. “He has the ability to listen to complex issues and then involve the total team for achieving a win-win outcome with ease.”
Read more from the Wilkes Journal-Patriot
Posted by Natalie at 08:49 AM
July 01, 2010
Bradley named Rutherford County Extension director
Jeffrey K. Bradley, area agricultural Extension agent based in Buncombe County, has been named director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension center in Rutherford County, effective July 12.
Bradley's appointment was announced by Rutherford County Manager John Condrey and Dr. Joe Zublena, interim director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service. Bradley succeeds Steve Duckett, who resigned in May 2009 to become the Extension director in Buncombe County.
Bradley has served as an area agent since 2005. Before that, he was an agricultural education instructor for Polk County Schools and an extension agent in Polk County. He also has experience as a processing and feedmill supervisor for Tyson Foods in Monroe.
Bradley earned a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's degree in agricultural and extension education from N.C. State University.
"Jeff Bradley brings a positive attitude to collaborating with staff, Advisory Council members and users of Extension with a proactive approach for all residents who use the educational opportunities offered by North Carolina Cooperative Extension at the Rutherford County Center," said Dr. Deborah Crandall, director of Cooperative Extension's West Central District, which includes Rutherford County.
Posted by deeshore at 10:02 AM