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July 19, 2006

EDEN helps communities cope with disaster

Ah yes, it's the beginning of summer in the U.S. -- which means that, so far in 2006, sections of the Northeast have already experienced major flooding, the Midwest and South have coped with tornadoes, parched portions of the West and Southwest are struggling with another year of miniscule rainfall, and the Gulf Coast is casting a wary eye at what may be another active hurricane season.

In short, Mother Nature can be a real trip.

But USDA is assisting in a program designed to help reduce the impact of disasters at the community level. It's called "EDEN"--or "Extension Disaster Education Network."

Read more from USDA News

Posted by Natalie at 08:24 AM

Carlton Blalock to be inducted into National 4-H Hall of Fame

Dr. Carlton Blalock will be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on October 6. Dr. Blalock served as the second State 4-H Leader in North Carolina and later served as director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. He continues to be a strong advocate for 4-H and youth progams and for Cooperative Extension.

Posted by Natalie at 08:04 AM

July 18, 2006

Livestock booster Upton still going strong

For 50 years, Sampson County Cooperative Extension Director George Upton Jr. has dedicated his life to improving farming in Sampson County.

But, for Upton, who’s in his early 70s, 50 years still isn’t enough.

"He’s still going," said Ronnie Jackson, chairman of the Sampson County Friends of Agriculture. "Being 65 and retiring was not on his mind."

Upton was honored in a ceremony Friday night by colleagues and friends, who have established the George Upton Jr. Livestock Endowment for Sampson County.

Read more from the Fayetteville Observer

Posted by Suzanne at 08:37 AM

Submit questions to eXtension's FAQ database

We here in North Carolina have a special opportunity--a sneak preview of the eXtension Frequently Asked Questions database!

This is our opportunity to make eXtension a real time resource for everyone in your office! We know that all those phone calls and office visits bring lots of questions every day. And we know the same questions are often asked over and over again. eXtension can make your job easier by providing a quick and easy way to answer those routine questions.

It's as simple as 1, 2, 3...

1.Get an eXtension ID! Just go to http://people.extension.org and pick a username and password. Then,

2.Submit frequently asked questions! We know you get and answer the same questions over and over, month after month, and year after year. And we know that you've got those questions and answers stashed somewhere in your files. eXtension wants them! Just go to http://faq.extension.org and check out the places where you can submit your favorite questions and answers. Then,

3.Weigh-in with your own comments! Look at the almost 5,000 questions
that are already there. Can you provide better answers? We want to know and we want the answers!

Help us GROW eXtension! We need your ideas, your questions, your answers and your help to make eXtension the best online resource for Americans. Help eXtension by submitting those questions AND your answers to the eXtension Frequently Asked Questions database.

Finally, eXtension also needs your feedback on how this system is operating. If you have suggestions, please email them to feedback@extension.org.

Posted by Natalie at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

July 17, 2006

'Getting fit' is focus of State 4-H Congress

4-H candle lighting ceremony

Youth participating in this year’s State 4-H Congress will focus on "Getting Fit with 4-H." Congress will be held July 17-21 at North Carolina State University and other Raleigh locations. The annual event will attract roughly 700 4-H club members, adult volunteers and 4-H agents with North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

During the five-day event, delegates will participate in competition, workshops, assemblies, recreation, fellowship and service to the community.

During the State Theme Assembly Thursday, July 20, physical activity specialist Lori Schneider will lead 4-H’ers in fitness activity. This activity will take place toward the end of the assembly, which will be held at NC State’s McKimmon Center, 9 – 10:30 a.m.

Other events of 4-H Congress are outlined below.

Monday, 7:30-9:30 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.-4:30 p.m. – Athens Drive High School, 1420 Athens Drive, Raleigh
Delegates will participate in competition 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 roughly 40 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 activities, spending the morning hours working with local non-profits and human service agencies. At McKimmon Center, a group will help assemble learning materials for the Wake County Human Services’ Ready to Learn preschool program. About 250 youth will assist with painting, trail maintenance and installing pavers at various Raleigh Parks and Recreation sites. Deconstructing a house for Habitat for Humanity and stocking the shelves at a local food bank are among the other service projects. A complete list of service agencies and locations will be available at the 4-H host and hostess table in McKimmon Center or by calling Harriet Edwards, 919.515.9548.

Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, a former 4-H’er herself, will host 4-H Town Hall meeting, 10:30 a.m.- noon, McKimmon Center, focusing on how youth can make a difference in their communities. Also, state 4-H officers will be elected during the afternoon, and a banquet and farewell dance will be held 7-11p.m. at the Expo Center, State Fairgrounds in the evening.

Delegates will leave campus Friday.

The 4-H program is conducted by North Carolina Cooperative Extension at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 199,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of 24,000 adult and youth volunteers.

-N. Hampton

Posted by Natalie at 10:21 AM

Photo gallery available for Extension use

Communication Services has updated its photo gallery with new images. The gallery is available on the Web at http://images.cals.ncsu.edu/gallery2/main.php

The photo gallery includes a small sample of the images taken by our staff photographers that are available at no cost for use by NC State faculty and staff. Users will need to log in with your Unity ID and password.

The images are jpg files, appropriate for Web use. You may request a high-resolution copy of any of these images by sending an email to erin_mccrary@ncsu.edu that includes the file name of the image you wish to use. There is a $5 per image charge for one-time use of high-resolution files.

New images will be added on a regular basis, so check back often for additional images. Current categories of images that may be useful for Extension include those from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cooperative Extension, campus scenes, agricultural crops and animals, and nature. We welcome your suggestions on photos that would be helpful.

Posted by Natalie at 10:15 AM | Comments (0)

July 14, 2006

'Foothills Fresh' boosts locally grown options for consumers

Foothills Fresh logo

One of the best ingredients of summer is tasty, fresh, locally grown produce. For consumers in the Charlotte region, the options for locally grown food have just been boosted by the launch of "Foothills Fresh." North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties is instrumental in this local food initiative, helping small farmers in the four-county area market their fresh produce, farm products and agricultural tourism.

To kick off the new initiative and to celebrate the scrumptious tastes of summer, Foothills Fresh will offer farm tours and special events from 8 am until 1 pm on Saturday, July 29. Ten of the more than 30 farms will participate. Events hosted on the farms will include cooking demonstrations, food sampling, children and youth activities, tours and food safety information provided by North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

The farms for this summer tour are: Bird Brain Ostrich Ranch and Greasy Branch Gardens in Catawba County; Knob Creek Farm and Creamery and Lineberger’s Killdeer Farm in Cleveland County; Apple Orchard Farm and Oakridge Farm of Gaston County; Davis and Son Orchard & Cidermill, Houser Farms, Webb’s Orchard, and Woodmill Winery in Lincoln County.

For a directory of the 34 farms, markets, and agricultural tourism sites, and a list of featured summertime produce, other products and location and direction information, visit www.foothillsfresh.com. Call a North Carolina Cooperative Extension Center in Lincoln, Catawba, Cleveland and Gaston counties or pick up a Foothills Fresh directory at a farmers’ market, farm, library or chamber of commerce office in any of these four counties. Gaston County Farm Bureau is sponsoring the publication of the brochures this year.

Like most "buy-local" campaigns, Foothills Fresh touts the economic benefits to local communities by buying from neighbors. In addition to the economic pluses, Foothills Fresh helps the community preserve small family farms and the rural landscape. Foothills Fresh also encourages the public to increase their daily intake of fruits and vegetables and to sample the variety grown locally. Buying local produce assures a customer that the items are the freshest, most nutritious food.

For more information, contact Leigh Guth, Lincoln County family and consumer sciences agent, at 704.736.8462.

Posted by Natalie at 09:53 AM

Marshall Stewart, Sandra Zaslow assume new duties July 1

The July 1 merger of the 4-H Youth developmen and Family and Consumer Sciences departments brings personnel changes that will create a new management efficiency model for this department. Dr. Marshall Stewart has assumed leadership as department head and State Program Leader for the new department of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences.

At the same time, Dr. Sandy Zaslow will be named associate director, Youth and Family Programs. The revised organization chart for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, is located at http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/Bar/about/CES-o-chart.pdf

In this new position, Zaslow will report directly to Dr. Jon Ort, director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, and will address the following needs in the area of Youth and Family Programs:

* Enhance youth and family program collaboration and partnership with NC A&T State University.

* Assist with the development of Youth and Family Programs related to Community and Rural Development.

* Assess opportunities to renew the Food Stamp Nutrition grant programs.

* Assist with development of the Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program partnership with NC A&T State University and provide support for the "One EFNEP" program vision.

* Work with associate directors at NC State University and the associate administrator at NC A&T State University to foster adoption of the Change Management and Marketing Initiative recommendations.

After Zaslow’s retirement this fall, this associate director title will be added to the department head and State Program Leader of the 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences Department.

Posted by Natalie at 09:42 AM

July 13, 2006

NC State, UNCG to offer joint master's degree for parent education

This fall, North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro will join forces to offer a Master of Science degree in human development and family studies with a concentration in family life and parent education. The degree program will be offered jointly in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in NC State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and UNCG's Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the School of Human Environmental Sciences.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors recently approved establishment of the joint 34-hour degree program, which will begin in August.

Students in the program will be dually enrolled in both institutions and will participate in the benefits offered to students at both. The program will be open to students with a variety of undergraduate majors - including early childhood education, psychology, sociology and human development - who also have an interest in parenting education.

Dr. Karen DeBord, professor and child development specialist in NC State's Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, said there is a growing need for professionals trained as parent and family educators. Courts, local governments, community agencies and schools increasingly refer clients to parenting education programs.

"We need to help build capacity in this field," DeBord said. "This will help give professionals in the field a place to get the knowledge they need to teach parents and be supportive of families based on best practices in the field."

"We are excited about this opportunity to collaborate with NC State on this program that will help improve the lives of North Carolina families," said Dr. Anne Fletcher, Family Life and Parent Education Program adviser at UNCG.

Although the deadline to apply to the program for the fall semester has passed, interested students may be able to enroll in classes as non-degree-seeking students and apply the credit toward the degree. New applications to the graduate program will be reviewed in the coming academic year. Application may be made directly to the graduate schools at either NC State or UNCG. For more information on the family life and parent education degree program, visit
www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/masters or www.uncg.edu/hdf.

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Posted by Natalie at 01:26 PM