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September 30, 2008

Congressman Etheridge visits Harnett County

Harnett County visit
From left, George Quigley and Jon Ort greet Rep. Bob Etheridge, along with Lisa Childers. Etheridge visited the Extension center in Harnett County recently. (Photo courtesy of Lisa Childers)

Rep. Bob Etheridge, second congressional district, visited his home county and Harnett County Extension Center recently to learn about the impacts the local Cooperative Extension program is having on the county and its residents. Cooperative Extension Advisory Board members, along with Extension customers and administrators, were among those who attended this event.

“Back Home” visits are held annually for U.S. congressional representatives in order to showcase quality Extension programs and provide a forum for Extension Advisory Leaders to interact with members of Congress.

Harnett Advisory Leadership Chair Leon McKoy and County Extension Director Lisa Childers welcomed Etheridge, and Extension agents and volunteers shared impacts and accomplishments. Some of the highlights are listed below.
• 4-H members Rossie Blinson and Veronica Campbell shared how 4-H had impacted their lives through public speaking opportunities and life skills trainings.
• Mason Poe and Johnny Barefoot described how they had worked with Extension agents and participated in agricultural programs offered including the pesticide certification program.
• Eugene Gonzales of Central Carolina Community College spoke of how the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) had enabled the college to expand efforts to reach more Hispanic and Latinos in the county.
• To highlight programs addressing families, Mr. and Mrs. Brian Dinges, parents of three children, described how the Parents As Teachers and Incredible Years parenting programs have helped their family.
• Trinity Faucett, director of human resources for Harnett County, spoke of the benefits her family has reaped as a result of her involvement in Cooperative Extension’s Parents As Teachers program. She emphasized the importance of parenting and the need for parenting information being available to parents of all educational and income backgrounds.

Dr. Jon Ort, associate dean and director of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, and George Quigley, State Extension Advisory Leadership Chair, made closing remarks.

Before the 2008 “Back Home” visit to Harnett County came to a close, Etheridge was invited to speak to the group. “Extension has really changed over the years. It’s not just food safety and preparation, and soil testing anymore,” he said.

“Today’s Extension Service assists families in nutritional awareness, health and well-being, community development and environmental issues, like conservation and water usage. North Carolina has one of the top Extension Services in the nation, second only to Texas. We have Extension offices in all 100 counties, and we still do soil testing and food safety. Just like your old Extension Service, only better," Etheridge said.

Posted by Natalie at 09:39 AM

September 26, 2008

ESP to host annual meeting, development tour

ESP shield

The Xi Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, Oct. 30, at the Guilford County center of Cooperative Extension. The meeting will begin at 1 p.m. with an education program, followed by a business session, awards ceremony, silent auction and dinner banquet. A professional development tour has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 31. The session will begin at the Guilford County center with a program focusing on an internal look at Extension's visionary leadership, followed by lunch. The afternoon session will be held at the facilities of the Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro. The center has developed a session specifically for Cooperative Extension titled, "How to be an Innovative Leader." For more information on the annual meeting and the professional development tour, visit the Web site:
Epsilon Sigma Phi Annual Meeting and Professional Development Tour

Posted by Natalie at 10:28 AM

Help choose ice cream flavor for 4-H Centennial

It's official -- the Top 10 flavors in our North Carolina 4-H Centennial Ice Cream Cone Test have been selected! In partnership with the NC State Creamery, North Carolina 4-H wants your help in selecting the flavor that will be featured as 4-H celebrates its centennial in 2009.

The top three flavors will be made in small batches at the creamery for a final taste test, and the Grand Champion will be announced this spring, just in time for a North Carolina heat wave and all the 4-H Centennial birthday parties across the state.

To help us choose, please follow the link to the survey below and select the flavor that sounds like winner to you. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=2J7JtyKpmtaKAIuPULwqXg_3d_3d

The survey will be open until Oct. 31, so pass this link along to your faculty, staff, youth, volunteer leaders, friends and family. The more votes we have, the closer we will be to finding a flavor everyone is sure to enjoy.

With more than 60 entries, this was a tough job for the selection committee. Sarah Kotzian and Sarah Ray would like to thank Gary Cartwright, Carl Hollifield and Randy Kotzian for all their hard work!

Congratulations to the counties who are in the Top 10. Though the ice cream flavors are not listed by county name, the Top 10 flavors suggestions were submitted by the following counties, in alphabetical order: Buncombe, Chowan, Gates, Henderson, Johnston, Lenoir, Madison, Orange, Tyrrell and Union. At the end of the voting, we'll reveal what counties submitted the winning flavors.

The Top 10 flavors are:
* Centennial Pie A la Mode (Apple Cinnamon Ice Cream with Graham Cracker Bits and a Caramel Swirl)
* 100 S'more Years (Chocolate Ice Cream with Graham Cracker Pieces and Marshmallow Cream Swirl)
* Centenimint (Vanilla Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Pieces and Mint Swirl)
* Clover Crunch (Chocolate Ice Cream with Caramel Crunch Pieces and a Butterscotch Swirl)
* Centennial Clover de Mint (Vanilla Ice Cream with Oreo Cookie Crumbles and a Cream de Mint Swirl)
* 4-H Cinnamontennial (Vanilla Ice Cream with Apples and a Cinnamon Swirl)
* Centennial 4-H Mint Blast (Mint Chocolate Ice Cream with Oreo Chunks and Marshmallow Cream Swirl)
* NC 4-H Centennial Sweet Tea (Tea Flavored Ice Cream with Mint Tea Cookies and Lemon Swirl)
* 4-H Campfire Delight (Graham Cracker Flavored Ice Cream with Hershey Bar Chunks and Marshmallow Cream Swirl)
* Mint 2 Be Green (Mint Ice Cream with Brownie Chunks and Fudge Swirl)

If you have any questions, please contact either Sarah Ray (sarah_ray@ncsu.edu) or Sarah Kotzian (sarah_kotzian@ncsu.edu).

Posted by Natalie at 09:56 AM

September 24, 2008

Franklin County third graders learn about agriculture

Field day participant

Agriculture Field Day at Riverbend Park in Louisburg, held in September, was sponsored by the Cooperative Extension center in Franklin County. The event gives third-graders in the county an opportunity to learn about rural life, farming and agriculture. Field day organizers also teach students that food comes from the farm, and then to grocery stores and restaurants. Here, youth listen to a presentation.
(Photo by Carey Johnson, The Franklin Times)

Read more from The Franklin Times

Posted by Natalie at 11:52 AM

September 23, 2008

Secretaries association presents 2008 awards

Awards were presented at the recent meeting of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Secretaries Association in Wilmington. The awards are listed, below, along with recipients by district. State winners are listed in each category as well. Congratulations to all these winners.

Secretary Award for Excellence, Technology Utilization and Implementation:
Campus - Donna Stewart
Northeast District - Risha Foreman
Southeast District - Debra West
West District - Ivy Olson
North Central District - Kay Evans
South Central District - Devona Beard
West Central District - Brenda Bowman
State Winner - Debra West

Secretary Award for Excellence, Special Leadership
Campus - Vicky Merritt
Northeast District - Teresa Story
Southeast District - Pamela Brylowe
West District - Cheryl Mitchell
South Central District - Susan Johnson
West Central District - Joyce Dorsey
State Winner - Vicky Merritt

Executive Board Award - Peggy Elliott
Sue Mills Lighthouse Award - Nancy Miller
Dr. Jon and Mrs. Debbie Ort Scholarship Award for Outstanding Cooperative Extension Personnel - Elizabeth Wilson
NCCESA Professional Improvement Scholarship - Anita Wright

Posted by Natalie at 02:55 PM

September 15, 2008

Liles inducted into Hall of Fame

Richard Liles

Dr. Richard T. Liles, retired from the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, is among seven exemplary educators recognized with one of the most coveted awards in the adult and continuing education field, induction into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. This special induction ceremony for the Class of 2008 was held Sept. 8 in the Hall’s institutional home at the University of Oklahoma.

Educational scholars and practitioners whose contributions provide the foundation for continuing education and adult learning are inducted into the Hall of Fame.

During his 36-year career at NC State University, Liles served with distinction in a variety of significant leadership roles. His contributions to the body of knowledge and practice of non-formal adult education were derived from his position as a practitioner, leader and scholar in the roles of county 4-H extension educator, state 4-H extension specialist, state extension training leader, state director of Cooperative Extension’s Personal and Organizational Development System, associate head and interim head of the Agricultural and Extension Education Department and associate professor.

The induction ceremony was held in conjunction with the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame Symposium. The symposium’s guest speaker was Dr. Bobby Moser, 2005 Hall of Fame Inductee. Moser oversees one of the largest adult, continuing education and extension programs in the nation as vice president for Agricultural Administration and University Outreach at Ohio State University. He is also the founding leader of the American Distance Education Consortium.

The official home for the Hall of Fame is the University Outreach Oklahoma Center for Continuing Education (OCCE), Thurman J. White Forum Building, Norman, OK. The late Thurman J. White, founder of OCCE, envisioned a hall of fame to honor and document contributions of the past to better build the future. White worked with the University Continuing Education Association, American Society for Training and
Development, American Association of Adult and Continuing Education, ECOP/National Association of State University and Land Grant Colleges, to establish the Hall of Fame in 1995.

For more information about the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame and for a gallery of past inductees see www.halloffame.outreach.ou.edu.

Other inductees for the 2008 Induction were:
• Hazel Benn, posthumous, Colonel and creator of the voluntary education program within the United States Marine Corps
• Paulo Freire, posthumous, Brazilian philosopher, social activist and adult educator
• Paula Harbecke, Ph.D., vice president for Academic Affairs, Regis College
• Mortimer Neufville, Ph.D., executive vice president of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges
• Michael Omolewa, professor, ambassador of the Permanent Delegation of Nigeria to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
• Thomas Sork, Ph.D., professor of educational studies, University of British Columbia

Posted by Natalie at 03:10 PM

September 12, 2008

Ag agents group presents awards

North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents has announced its 2008 award winners, listed below:

Della King, Sampson County Extension horticultural agent, received the NCACAA Young Agent Scholarship Award.
Kim Woods, Extension livestock agent in Person County received a NCACAA Achievement Award.
Amy Andrews, Extension area livestock agent based in Craven County, received Achievement Awards from NCACAA and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Keith Walters, Hoke County Extension director and agricultural agent, received Achievement Awards from NCACAA and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Silas Brown, Clay County Extension Agricultural Agent, received Achievement Awards from NCACAA and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Charles Young, area agriculture agent based in Onslow County, received Distinguished Service Awards from NCACAA and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Diana Rashash, area Extension environmental education agent based in Onslow County, received Distinguished Service Awards from NCACAA and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Jeff Carpenter, area Extension livestock agent based in Catawba County, received Distinguished Service Awards from NCACAA and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Nelson Brownlee, Extension area farm management agent based in Robeson County, received Distinguished Service Awards from NCACAA and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.
Ron Hughes, Johnston County Extension livestock agent, received Distinguished Service Awards from NCACAA and the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

Posted by Natalie at 02:57 PM

Dr. Jon Ort: Update on Extension team at research campus

The new North Carolina Research Campus at Kannapolis is an exciting development for our state and for N.C. State University, along with the other seven universities that have programs at the campus. I am pleased to share with you that North Carolina Cooperative Extension is also a part of this new venture. Our Extension team at the new campus will move into the N.C. State University building in October, just in time for the building dedication on October 20.

Earlier this year, the Program for Value-Added and Alternative Agriculture, initiated by Dr. Blake Brown, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, relocated to temporary offices at the new campus. With the move came the development of a multidisciplinary team to build on the value-added program and to develop programs that will complement the work of N.C. State University’s Fruit & Vegetable Science Institute at the new campus.

Here are the members of the new team:
* Dr. Blake Brown, the Hugh C. Kiger Professor in Agricultural and Resource Economics, directs Cooperative Extension program faculty.
* Gary Bullen, Extension associate, specializes in new enterprise evaluation, business skills development, direct marketing and financial management. He provides in-service training, programs and supporting resources for Cooperative Extension and community and government agencies.
* Leah Chester-Davis, coordinator of communications and community outreach, and Extension communication specialist with the Department of Communication Services, provides team leadership for communication plans, program delivery, packaging and marketing, and media relations.
* Diane Ducharme, Extension associate, horticulture and food safety, shares leadership of the N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force, which is developing a comprehensive educational program on fresh produce safety.
* Rod Gurganus, Extension associate, entrepreneurial horticulture, works with agribusinesses, economic development officials and farmers to identify and develop horticultural opportunities for value-added and innovative agriculture.

These new positions have been set up so that team members retain their status as faculty members of their respective subject matter departments or are closely aligned with the appropriate subject matter department. We expect this to help strengthen collaboration and linkages throughout the system.

The team, under the direction of Dr. Brown, has secured more than $1.8 million in grant funding, which will be used to develop educational resources and to support statewide Extension efforts in the areas of value-added and alternative agriculture, and fresh produce safety. As things progress, we will keep you informed. For now, I encourage you to visit the team’s new Web site: www.cals.ncsu.edu/value-added/. This site has more information on our Extension program at the campus plus information about the campus itself. The site is your resource center for entrepreneurship in value-added and alternative agriculture.

-Dr. Jon Ort
Assistant Vice Chancellor, Associate Dean and Director

Posted by Natalie at 02:40 PM

Iredell agent's training will be featured in national Webcast

Iredell County Extension Agent Ann Simmons, family and consumer sciences, recently worked with the Thorlo Sock Co. of Statesville to pilot “Prepare to Care: A Planning Guide for Families.” AARP wanted to see how the project would work in a 30-minute lunch time session. Many Thorlo workers only get 30 minutes for lunch, so their wellness workshops have to fit that time frame. Dr. Luci Bearon, aging specialist in family and consumer sciences and program coordinator, asked Simmons to participate in the pilot project.

A camera crew from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, a group working with AARP, came to Statesville after the workshop to interview Simmons, Suzanne Black of AARP-North Carolina, the Thorlo wellness coordinator and an employee who benefited from the workshop. The video will be featured during an online training program Sept. 17, 1-2 p.m. The link to the training site is:

“Prepare to Care” is a workplace-delivery program designed to help families prepare for the role of elder care. North Carolina is one of four states piloting the new program through a partnership between AARP-North Carolina and N.C. Cooperative Extension. For more information on the program, contact Bearon at luci_bearon@ncsu.edu.

Posted by Natalie at 01:50 PM

Sue Counts endowment fund established

Sue Counts is stepping down as director of the Watauga County center of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, but her name will live on as a contributor to local educational and community-development programs. An endowment fund is being established that will support local programs in the years ahead, and Counts has asked that people contribute to the fund instead of commemorating her retirement with gifts. A retirement event is scheduled for Oct. 12 that will also raise money for the endowment.

Read more in The Mountain Times

Posted by Dave at 01:33 PM

Song celebrates NC 4-H centennial

Note: To read the complete song lyrics, click on "Continue reading..."

“We are 4-H, a whole new generation
We are 4-H, we lift our standards high,
Pledging our heads,
Pledging our hearts,
Pledging our hands, united and strong
We are 4-H, come hear tomorrow’s song.”

As North Carolina 4-H prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday in 2009, youth and adults alike will tap their toes and hum the snappy tune to a song written especially for the occasion by John Hood, Mecklenburg County 4-H alumnus and winner of the 2008 4-H Lifetime Achievement Award.

The song, unveiled in April at the 4-H Gala, was the brainchild of Hood and Mark Dearmon of N.C. State’s Communication Services, who have worked together in performing arts for many years. Dearmon was asked to develop “a big number” for the 4-H Gala. With expressive arts as the theme for this year’s gala, Dearmon felt that a song celebrating the centennial of North Carolina 4-H would be the perfect solution.

Hood wrote the anthem, “We are 4-H (Tomorrow’s Song),” which was scored by his younger brother Robert Hood. With the help of 4-H professionals across the state, Dearmon organized the 31 singers who came to Raleigh in April to rehearse and choose soloists. After several hours of rehearsal, the singers recorded the anthem. Gala guests received DVD recordings of the song.

The singers learned stage blocking for “We are 4-H” on the day they performed it at the gala. The song debuted as the gala’s closing number, with both youth and adult singers from more than 20 counties. The number was a big hit, and will certainly be rolled out again in the coming years.

Writing the centennial song for North Carolina 4-H was an interesting challenge, says Hood, adding, “How do you write an anthem about 4-H – there’s so much to say?”

The symbols, pledges and learn-by-doing philosophy of 4-H don’t really lend themselves well to lyrics, he said. So Hood focused on concepts that evoke images: thought, study and knowledge for the “head,” one of the four “Hs,” and loyalty and emotions for the “heart.”

Dearmon, who has worked in Communication Services since 1976, first met John Hood and his twin brother, David, in 1980 when he saw them perform a tap dance number as youth in a 4-H district talent show. Their mother, June Hood, was a 4-H agent in Caldwell County, so of course the brothers spent much of their youth in 4-H activities.

John and David Hood participated as youth in the 4-H Performing Arts Troupe, a program that Dearmon conducted. At the gala in April, the two brothers took a step back in time, performing a tap dance number they had performed together as 4-H’ers.

John Hood later became music director for 4-H Performing Arts Troupe while he was a college student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Seventeen years ago, he joined Dearmon to develop the Teen Arts Program, a Raleigh-area summer musical theater program where teens perform an original musical after two and a half weeks of intensive rehearsals. Hood has written more than 100 songs for the TAP musicals.

Some members of the choral group that performed at the gala will have the opportunity to perform the song again as the finale of the talent show for the National Association of Cooperative Extension Agricultural Agents to be held in Greensboro this summer and as part of the State 4-H Congress Talent Show. -N. Hampton

Song Lyrics: We Are 4-H (Tomorrow’s Song)
by John Hood

It starts with a thought,
A dream of what you can do,
Breaking through all doubt and fear
A clearer path to view.

Then deep down inside,
You feel a passion to grow,
And you know the place to start,
A heart to set aglow.

To be loyal and true, to do what’s right
When the easy way is wrong,
And the world says “go along.”

And in service to lead, in deed and word,
In a cause that others shelf,
When it’s larger than yourself.

We are 4-H
A whole new generation
We are 4-H
We lift our standards high,
Pledging our heads,
Pledging our hearts,
Pledging our hands, united and strong
We are 4-H, come hear tomorrow’s song.

From fields, lush and green,
To campus, city and stage,
Every age and culture reach,
To teach and to engage.

With knowledge and skill,
With confidence and with pride
Such a wide horizon scan,
And span each deep divide.

Healthy body and mind, combined in one,
Firm foundation to achieve,
In our future to believe.

Better living for all, a call to sound,
Build communities to share,
And in freedom, just to dare.

We are 4-H
A whole new generation
We are 4-H
We lift our standards high,
Pledging our heads,
Pledging our hearts,
Pledging our hands, united and strong
We are 4-H, come hear tomorrow’s song.

We are 4-H
A whole new generation
We are 4-H
We lift our standards high,
Pledging our heads,
Pledging our hearts,
Pledging our hands, united and strong
We are 4-H, come hear tomorrow’s song.

We are 4-H, come hear and sing along,
We are 4-H, we are tomorrow’s song.

Posted by Natalie at 08:56 AM

September 09, 2008

Childers named Harnett County Extension director

Lisa B. Childers, Harnett County family and consumer sciences agent since 1999, has been named Harnett County Extension director.

Her appointment was approved and announced by Harnett County Manager Neil Emory and Dr. Jon Ort, director, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Childers succeeds Jennifer Walker, who retired from Cooperative Extension on July 1 after 15 years as county extension director.

Childers is no stranger to Harnett County, having worked there for nine years.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in family studies and child development from Campbell University and a master’s degree in extension education from N.C. State University.

“Lisa Childers is experienced in securing outside funds to support the Cooperative Extension program in Harnett County, and this experience will be a valuable asset in her role as county extension director as she looks to expand Extension programming,” said Dr. Donald Cobb, director of Cooperative Extension’s South Central District, which includes Harnett County. “She also brings good vision for future programming in Harnett County.”

-N. Hampton

Posted by Natalie at 02:45 PM