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September 28, 2006

Obituary: Dr. David Ronald Burnette

Retired county Extension director, district director

Dr. David Ronald Burnette
died Mon., Sept. 25, after a decade of courageously fighting cancer. He was born on Nov. 19, 1940, in the Brush Creek Community of Swain County, North Carolina, to Don and Jessie Howard Burnette.

Following in the steps of mentoring professionals who visited the small mountain farm where he grew up, Burnette graduated from Berry College in 1963 with a degree in business agriculture. After spending a year on active duty with the Army Reserve, he took a job with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Mitchell County and later moved to Burke County.

Upon completing a master's degree in 1972, he worked as a state 4-H specialist in bicycle and traffic safety. While living in Raleigh, he completed work toward a Doctor of Adult Education degree at N.C. State University and came to Buncombe County to serve as county Extension chairman in 1975. In 1980, David was appointed Western district Extension director. He retired from that position in 1995. He achieved much success as district director. He received many awards including election into the Western North Carolina Agricultural Hall of Fame in 1999. After retirement, he started Wildcat Fraser Fir Christmas Tree Farm in Swain County.

He retired from the Army Reserves in 2000 with a rank of Lt. Colonel. Until recently he volunteered with the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program, assuring that men and women who have served their country on active duty are treated fairly when re-entering their civilian jobs as well as educating employers of the federal rules.

Burnette was a supporter of the Red Cross, giving many gallons of blood through the years. When cancer prevented him from donating blood, he worked in their canteens and drove blood products to and from Charlotte for testing.

Burnette was an enthusiastic member of the Kiwanis Club of Asheville, serving for two terms as a Distinguished President. He went on to serve as District 1-A Lt. Governor. In 1999, he completed a term as Distinguished Governor of the Carolinas District.

In 1964, he married Carol Winfrey of Tobaccoville, N.C. Perhaps his greatest achievement was that of wonderful father to their beloved daughter, Rebecca Caroline Burnette of Enka, N.C. His wife and daughter as well as three brothers and four sisters, their spouses, and numerous nieces and nephews whom he loved survive him. His brothers are Richard Burnette of Franklin, Roy Burnette, and Arnold Burnette of Brush Creek. His sisters are Revena Cook of Franklin, Dorothy Marr of Brush Creek, Bonnie Lawrence of Ohio, and Rachel Perdue of Virginia.

Visitation will be held on Thursday evening, Sept. 28 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church of which he was a member, 789 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville, 828.254.3274. The funeral service will be held at 1 p.m., Friday, Sept. 29, at Grace Covenant. Interment will be at 4 p.m. at Tabor Cemetery in the Brush Creek community of Swain County, about one mile off Highway 28. Morris Funeral Home, 304 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville, 828.252.1821, is in charge of the arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Presbyterian Home for Children, 90 Lake Eden Road, Black Mountain, N.C. 28711. Donations may also be made to the following college scholarship endowed by David and Carol. Dr. David and Mrs. Carol Burnette 4-H Scholarship for the Western Region, N.C. 4-H Development Fund, 512 Brickhaven, Raleigh, N.C. 27695.

Cards can be sent to: 25 Griffing Circle, Asheville, NC 28804

Posted by Natalie at 08:54 AM

September 27, 2006

CEFS Fall Festival draws crowd

Small Farm tour
Bryan Green, center, gives children a look inside a moveable chicken house during a tour of the Small Farm Unit at CEFS. (Becky Kirkland photos)

About 750 people turned out Sept. 16 for the first-ever Fall Festival at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro. The festival, an open house event for the public, was the culmination of "Seasons of Sustainable Agriculture," a celebration of 10 years of programming at CEFS.

The event was held at the CEFS Small Farm Unit, an organic farm where crops, poultry and goats are raised. Visitors could see a variety of crops and animals in the fields, including Sudan grass for grazing goats, pasture-raised poultry, a fall garden, cover crops, a no-till demonstration and a sorghum crop maze.

"We were extremely pleased with the turnout and response to this first-time event," said Nancy Creamer, CEFS director. "More than 700 were in attendance, and everyone seemed to have a good time.

"We had a lot of kid activities in addition to farmer and gardener workshops, a farmers market, music, local food and more. I expect this will likely become an annual event!"

The festival featured live music, including that of The Back Porch Boys, a three-member band of players with ties to CEFS. At the farmers' market, local vendors sold a range of products from produce to goat cheese to honey.

Throughout the day, visitors participated in tours of the Small Farm or of all the CEFS units, as well as workshops. Workshop topics included vermicomposting, tomato grafting, alpaca breeding, raising pastured poultry, eating local foods and more.

Kid in crop maze
A victorious youth exits the crop maze after finding his way through.

Children enjoyed a variety of activities, including getting lost -- and found -- in the crop maze, creating art with seeds and harvesting, shucking and milling corn. Face painting and other art activities were also offered.

Local food vendors served up barbecue sandwiches, ice cream and a variety of fried vegetables. Wayne County 4-H'ers made fresh orange-ades. A variety of exhibitors also offered information on CEFS and sustainable agriculture.

-N. Hampton

Posted by Natalie at 01:49 PM

eXtension community of practice to focus on cotton

A group of cotton specialists from the Southern, Midwestern and Western United States have been accepted as eXtension’s newest volunteer Community of Practice (CoP). The Cotton community of practice comes to eXtension with broad support from the cotton industry, a large and diverse group with an interest in the production and manufacturing of raw cotton fiber and its by-products.

In 2003, over 170,000 U.S. cotton farms in 17 states produced over 18 million bales of cotton. Nationwide, the economic impact of cotton resulted in over $40 billion in revenue when considering the associated ginning, warehousing, and textile industries.

(Note: Randy Wells at N.C. State has temporarily taken resonsibility for cotton.)

Read more from the eXtension site

Posted by Natalie at 01:04 PM

September 21, 2006

Award winners announced by secretaries association

Award winners were announced at the annual meeting of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Secretaries Association, held Sept. 14-15 in Southern Pines.

Winners of the Secretary Award for Excellence, Special Leadership, by district are:
N.C. State University campus, Vicki Pettit, Extension Administration;
North Central District, Carolyn Bagley, Vance County;
Northeast District, Belinda Belch, Bertie County;
Northwest District, Karen Robertson, Davie County;
South Central District, Annie Freeman, Scotland County;
Southeast District, Joyce Holcomb, Brunswick County;
Southwest District, Linda Lemons, Cleveland County; and
West District, Susanne Winebarger, Watauga County.
Susanne Winebarger is the state winner in this category.

Winners of the Secretary Award for Excellence, Technology Utilization and Implementation, by district are:
N.C. State University campus, Tracy Brown, Extension Administration;
North Central District, Mary Elizabeth Wilson, Johnston County;
Northeast District, Wendy Garner, Pitt County;
Northwest District, Michele Hamm, Alleghany County;
Southeast District, Regina Gardner, Jones County; and
Southwest District, Julie Campbell, Alexander County.
State winner is Michele Hamm.

Special awards went to the following:
Executive Board Award, Susan Brame, Extension Administration
Sue Mills Lighthouse Award, Carol Horne, Rutherford County
Professional Improvement Scholarship, Jamie Davis Moss, Rutherford County

Posted by Natalie at 01:57 PM

September 19, 2006

Community Forums to be held across state

Over the next couple months, the Institute for Emerging Issues is hitting the road to hold Community Forums from Asheville to Manteo as part of its program of work to modernize the state's system of tax and finance.

The Institute wants your input! Community Forums offer local, community leaders across the state the opportunity to identify and offer ideas for financial modernization in their communities.

This program, following the Institute's 2006 Emerging Issues Forum, contemplates an agenda for reform in 2009.

There is no charge to attend Community Forums. To register, or for more information about the Charlotte, Fayetteville and Winston Salem Community Forums, please visit http://www.emergingissues.org or call 919.515.7741.

The Institute for Emerging Issues, based at N.C. State University, is a think-and-do tank that turns ideas into action. The institute helps new combinations of leaders adopt innovative public policies to prepare North Carolina for the future.

Posted by Natalie at 01:49 PM

September 14, 2006

Dearmon named SEANC Member of the Year

Mark Dearmon

Linda Sutton elected president

Mark Dearmon, leader of Communication Services' MultiMedia Team, has been named Member of the Year by the State Employees Association of North Carolina. Dearmon was recognized at the association's annual meeting held recently in Greensboro.

Dearmon has a long history of involvement in SEANC, serving as this year's district policy platform chairman. He is a 30-year state employee at North Carolina State University and has served as district chairman, vice chairman and on the district membership, communications, EMPAC and policy platform committees.

Dearmon is currently serving as vice chairman of the State Employees Political Action Committee and Area 10 EMPAC.

He also has served on the executive committee as treasurer and central region representative. He was instrumental in planning past legislative rallies and is active in member recruitment. He has won the distinguished service and member of the year award from his district.

Linda Rouse Sutton of Kinston was elected president of SEANC. Sutton, who is married to Clyde Sutton of the Cunningham Research Farm, received her leadership training through the Extension Homemakers Assocation in the 1980s.

Sutton has been a state employee for 25 years and is currently a program assistant/general instructor at Dobbs Youth Development Center. An active member of District 70, she has served in many positions, including chairperson of the auditing, scholarship, membership, insurance chairperson, awards, bylaws, EMPAC and policy platform committees.

SEANC, headquartered in Raleigh, is the lobbying organization for the employees and retirees of state government. SEANC — 55,000 members strong — is the largest non-union public employees’ association in the nation.

Posted by Natalie at 01:36 PM

CEFS to hold Fall Festival

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) near Goldsboro is celebrating its 10th anniversary with an open-to-the-public Fall Festival on Saturday, Sept. 16. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. there will be entertainment, music, and refreshments in addition to tours of CEFS facilities and research demonstrations.

CEFS is a partnership of N.C. State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, N.C. A&T State's School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Read more in ag e-dispatch

Posted by Natalie at 01:30 PM

September 13, 2006

Canola workshop is Sept. 26

Canola plant

The North Carolina State University Solar Center will host a canola processing meeting Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the McKimmon Center on the N.C. State University campus in Raleigh.

Canola is an oilseed that can produce more than two times more oil than soybeans per acre. This oil can be used as healthy cooking oil or to make premium biodiesel fuel for diesel engines. Now that food labeling requirements are emphasizing health, and diesel prices continue to rise, the Solar Center believes that canola will be an important feedstock for future oil production in North Carolina.

However, an intermediate crushing market must first develop to extract the oil, which is the target issue of this meeting. Topics will include crushing plant design and operation, marketing of the oil and meal, a Tennessee case study, and potential funding within the Value Added Producer’s Grant (VAPG).

An agenda is below, while the speakers include:
· Robert Stroup - oilseed and biofuels consultant and canola crushing plant design expert
· Dave Hickling – vice president for canola utilization for the Canadian Canola Council and expert on canola meal applications
· Larry Horn - former general manager of the U.S. Canola Processors plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee
· Adrian Atkinson – North Carolina State University economist working on the Energy Crops for North Carolina project
· Bruce Pleasant - business programs specialist at the USDA Rural Business Cooperative Service and authority on the Value Added Producer’s Grant

This is a busy time of year, so interested parties are encouraged to respond, even if they are not positive they will attend. For more information and to RSVP please contact:
Ben Rich
Biomass Program Coordinator
North Carolina Solar Center, NCSU
Office 919.515.9782
Cell 252.333.7579

Posted by Natalie at 11:16 AM

Gardening questions answered at Home Show

Home Show logo

Gardeners with questions will have plenty of opportunities to talk with horticulture experts at this year’s Southern Ideal Home Show.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s horticulture agents and Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions throughout the show at Extension’s Successful Gardener Learning Center and Discovery Garden. Master Gardeners and horticulture agents from seven counties will be available.

The Southern Ideal Home Show is Sept. 22-24 at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.

The theme for the Learning Center, located in Dorton Arena, is "Plants with Fall Interest," and several beautiful fall plants will be showcased. Learning Center visitors can pick up a plant list that includes more than 20 plants to consider for a fall garden.

The award-winning Successful Gardener newsletter, Extension’s tree planting guide and other materials will also be available, while Learning Center visitors may also register to win a free, one-year subscription to Extension’s Successful Gardener newsletter.

The Learning Center will feature the stonework of Brazeal Stone of Raleigh, a Successful Gardener sponsor. The N.C. Green Industry Council is also a sponsor and is providing the plants featured in the Discovery Garden. The North Carolina Division of Forest Resources and U.S. Forest Service are sponsors of the October issue of Extension’s Successful Gardener newsletter, which will be distributed at the Learning Center. The issue focuses on trees, and the featured plant is the fringe tree, a native to North Carolina.

Extension’s Successful Gardener is a nationally recognized educational program that features an award-winning newsletter, gardening seminars and Learning Centers. Learn more at www.successfulgardener.org.

Posted by Natalie at 10:25 AM

Veterinary college to host Food Animal Scholars' fall forum

The third annual Food Animal Scholars Forum for students who are interested in animal agriculture and food animal veterinary medicine will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 20 in the South Theater of the College of Veterinary Medicine at North Carolina State University.

Sponsored by the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), the forum will feature an address by Dr. Jack Britt, executive vice president of the University of Tennessee System, who will discuss "Food Animal Production and Health in a Global Economy."

The talk will include discussion concerning animal production technologies in developed and developing countries, global agriculture economies, global availability of drugs and therapies to treat animal diseases, and the need to understand and protect against transmission of emerging diseases that, if left unchecked, can spread quickly within a country or even internationally.

The forum will begin with welcoming comments by Dr. John Cornwell, CALS associate director of academic programs and director of the Agriculture Institute. Dr. Jeannette Moore, CALS undergraduate coordinator and associate professor, will introduce Food Animal Scholars currently in the CALS and the CVM programs. Dr. Jim Floyd, head of the CVM Department of Population Health and Pathobiology, will introduce guest speaker Jack Britt.

About Dr. Jack Britt
As executive vice president of the University of Tennessee System, Dr. Jack Britt is the chief operating officer and provides oversight for the system’s four campuses and three statewide institutes. Prior to his current position, he served as the UT vice president for agriculture and provided leadership for the Institute of Agriculture, which involves the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the College of Veterinary Medicine, the Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service.

Before joining the University of Tennessee, Britt served six years as the associate dean for research and graduate programs at the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine and spent 15 years as a professor of animal science in the NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He was also a professor of dairy science at Michigan State University. He is the author or co-author of more than 540 scientific and technical publications and has been the invited speaker at conferences throughout North America and 20 countries.

About the Food Animal Scholars Program
The Food Animal Scholars (FAS) Program was initiated in response to a significant need for food animal veterinarians. Through FAS, up to six qualified sophomore students and two alternatives who are majoring in animal science or poultry science are selected annually to join the program. An academic plan and work experiences are devised for the students who receive mentoring through their CALS undergraduate degree. Upon graduating, successful scholars are admitted to the CVM where they continue their studies to obtain the four-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree, with a focus on animal agriculture. For more information on the Food Animal Scholars program please call 919.513.6463 or visit: http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/an_sci/FoodAnimalScholars/

Posted by Natalie at 10:20 AM

September 12, 2006

Spivey is Johnston County director

Bryant M. Spivey, a long-time North Carolina Cooperative Extension agent, has been named director of Cooperative Extension’s program in Johnston County.

His appointment, effective November 1, was announced by Dr. Jon Ort, assistant vice chancellor, associate dean and director of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service at North Carolina State University, and Rick Hester, Johnston County manager.

Spivey succeeds Kenneth Bateman, who retired in June after holding the county director’s position for 33 years.

Spivey has been with Cooperative Extension since 1994 in Onslow, Duplin and Pender counties. Before that, he was assistant farm manager for Preston Monds and Son Inc. at Tyner, N.C.

He holds two degrees from N.C. State, a 1993 bachelor’s with a concentration in crop science and a 2001 master’s in crop science. While working on his master’s, he was awarded a Phillip Morris Graduate Fellowship in 1998. He participated in the Phillip Morris Agricultural Leadership Development Program from 2002 to 2004.

Spivey has received numerous agriculture-related awards, including the Lois G. Britt Outstanding Extension Agent Award in 2003 and the Charles M. Brickhouse Award in 2001, also from Extension. Also: the Certified Crop Adviser Excellence Award from the N.C. Farm Bureau in 2002, the National Association of County Agricultural Agents’ award for 1999 (in 2000) and the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina’s N.C. Extension Tobacco Agent of the Year Award in 1999.

“Bryant Spivey brings a strong agricultural background to the Johnston County extension staff, ” said Dr. Donald Cobb, North Central District Extension director. “He possesses strong leadership skills that will be useful in working with the staff to address changes taking place across the county. He is well respected by his peers and we are fortunate to have him come to Johnston County.”

Posted by Natalie at 10:59 AM

September 11, 2006

'Summer Salsa Sizzle' held in Guilford

Dancers on stage
The Caifazes Capoeira Group preforms a traditional dance during the Summer Salsa Sizzle. (Photo courtesy of Karen Neill)

Guilford County held its first-ever cultural awareness event called the "Summer Salsa Sizzle" on Tuesday, August 26. The event helped create fun and provide educational opportunities to unite the culturally diverse communities, in this case the Latino community.

Developing a sense of friendship and trust is important to this audience before they will work with structured organizations, and this event went a long way towards this goal.

The Guilford County Cooperative Extension staff and colleagues from the Center for New North Carolinians at UNC-Greensboro hosted the event. With this partnership, these groups hope to continue reaching the diverse audience of Guilford County.

Tours of the Extension gardens, which were coordinated by the Guilford Master Gardeners, took place with an overview at the Latin vegetable demonstration and our tropical plants collection.

In the kitchen, a salsa cooking demonstration was held. Members of the community and the Extension advisory board helped to judge a homemade salsa contest.

Youth activities were also popular, with hands-on crafts and games created with help from the Americorps Volunteers and the Guilford 4-H staff. The Spanish 101 class was also popular.

A Spanish-language interpreter was provided for all activities. To top off the evening, local musical and dance groups performed while participants mingled, and vendors sold ethnic foods.

Mary Holderness emailed in, "What great fun! A wonderful blend of diversity of people and activities brought four friends to this Extension event, and they were amazed and delighted."

Posted by Natalie at 03:04 PM

eXtension launches HorseQuest site


eXtension is pleased to announce the launch of its first Community of Practice Web site: HorseQuest. Available at http://www.extension.org/horses, this is the first of many communities of practice to go public in 2006 and throughout 2007.

"We are very excited to launch HorseQuest today and to demonstrate the capacity that eXtension brings to America's Cooperative Extension System," said Dan Cotton, eXtension Director.

HorseQuest provides Internet visitors with reliable and up-to-date horse information through a knowledge base of commonly asked questions that have science-based, per-reviewed answers. In addition, online lessons use self-paced learning objects to help users learn more about specialized areas of equine science. The newest lesson being introduced is a module for new and prospective horse owners.

Read more at the "About eXtension" Web site

Posted by Natalie at 02:58 PM