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December 16, 2008

Turfgrass conference, show scheduled in January

Experts from North Carolina State University will discuss a range of topics related to growing and managing turfgrass during the 2009 North Carolina Turfgrass Conference and Show in late January in Raleigh.

The conference, which is sponsored by N.C. State University and the Turfgrass Council of North Carolina, is scheduled for Jan. 26-29 at the Hilton North Raleigh, 3415 Wake Forest Road.

The event is designed for professionals in the turfgrass industry who manage the turf in areas such as golf courses, athletic playing fields and landscapes. Presentations will focus on topics such as disease, weed and insect control. Presentations on sod production are also scheduled.

The conference also includes sessions that provide the information necessary to obtain and maintain a license to apply pesticides in North Carolina and a trade show.

A number of conference packages are available, with the cost depending on the sessions attended. Early registration ends Jan. 9; after that date, registration fees increase.

Conference program and registration information is available on line through the N.C. State University Center for Turfgrass Environmental Research and Education Web site at http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/.

Posted by Dave at 02:25 PM

December 12, 2008

Wiggins is appointed grievance coordinator

Dr. Sandy Wiggins, Extension specialist for environmental health and housing in the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences, has been named grievance coordinator for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, effective Oct. 1. She replaces Dr. Wayne Matthews, who retired June 30.

The grievance program applies to all county level employees of NC Cooperative Extension at N.C. State University and N.C. A&T State University. In this role, Wiggins will:
* Coordinate a system for counseling an aggrieved employee
* Attempt to resolve informally the matter raised by the aggrieved person
* Arrange for the receipt and assessment/coordination of individual grievances
* Arrange for the receipt and assessment/coordination of general allegations by organizations or third parties of discrimination, which are necessary on individual complaints
* Recommend any disciplinary action(s) that may be warranted when an employee has been found to have engaged in a discriminatory practice
* Make recommendations to the Director/Administrator that she considers desirable, including disciplinary action that is warranted by the circumstances

Cooperative Extension is committed to the rights set forth in our grievance procedures. You may view these procedures at: http://intra.ces.ncsu.edu/DeskRef/handbook/eah-61.htm.

Posted by Natalie at 09:35 AM

December 08, 2008

N.C. State, N.C. A&T State announce historic endowment

CEFS grant announcement event
UNC System President Erskine Bowles, NC A&T State Chancellor Stanly F. Battle, Ricardo Salvador of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and NC State Chancellor James L. Oblinger participated in the CEFS grant announcement event. (Photo by Becky Kirkland)

Nearly 75 people packed into a conference room at UNC General Administration on a soggy fall day – Election Day, no less. They were there to celebrate a $3.15 million endowment from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, in support of the Center for Environmental Faming Systems (CEFS) and its efforts to a build a sustainable, community-based food economy statewide.

The first of its kind, the award will create two endowed chairs – one at N.C. State University and one at N.C. A&T State University – as well as support CEFS efforts to increase production, processing, distribution and consumption of local, sustainably raised foods in North Carolina.

"This is an historic day," said Erskine Bowles, president of the UNC system. "We've never had a dual endowment in the university. This is also an excellent example of how sister institutions can work together for sustainable development all across North Carolina."

Telling the story of his personal ties to agriculture, Bowles said, "With our rich agricultural history, I can't think of a better place than North Carolina to build sustainable food economies. This will put us in the forefront of what I believe is a growing industry."

The W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Community Based Food Systems awards N.C. State and N.C. A&T State $1.575 million each.

"This award will make a real difference in the lives of the people of North Carolina, from farmers struggling with difficult economic times to consumers looking to put a healthy meal on the table," said N.C. State Chancellor James L. Oblinger.

Oblinger was associate dean for Academic Programs in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences when CEFS was created in 1994. "Back then, I saw not just tremendous opportunities for students, but also for research and extension that are relevant and responsive," he said.

Ricardo Salvador, program director with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, described how the foundation is endowing chairs at select universities across the country, in an effort to establish a network of 14.

"We are extremely pleased to add N.C. A&T State and N.C. State to this peerless group of institutions that are leaders in the agricultural realm," Salvador said. "N.C. A&T State and N.C. State have been leaders in community-based food systems."

Speaking of the "precarious energy environment" in which we live and its interconnectedness to the global food supply, Salvador painted a picture of a very challenging – and critical – time for universities to make a difference.

"There is nothing more relevant that N.C. State and N.C. A&T State could be doing now," he said. "That is what we are investing in. We envision a future food system that creates benefits fairly and in perpetuity for all."

N.C. A&T State University Chancellor Stanley F. Battle also delivered remarks at the event, as did Simon Rich, chair of the CEFS Board of Advisers.

Chancellor Oblinger best summed up the spirit of the celebration, saying, "This is a great day for the university system, it's a great day for our two institutions, and it's a great day for agriculture in North Carolina."
-S. Stanard

Posted by Suzanne at 09:03 AM

James Pearce says goodbye to Extension

James Pearce spoke in a solemn tone when he reflected on his 31 years with the N.C. Cooperative Extension, thanking coworkers for years of dedication and area farmers for their commitment to working the land.

Read more in The Rocky Mount Telegram

Posted by Dave at 08:55 AM

December 01, 2008

Moore County officials focus on water re-use techniques

Dr. Mike Hoover, left, professor of Soil Science and Extension soils specialist at NC State University, describes hands-on technology demonstrations and educational displays at the training site. (Photo by Rebecca Kirtland)

Moore County community leaders visited NC State University’s Lake Wheeler Road Field Training Facility in Raleigh in October to learn about the importance of water-use and re-use technologies in community resource development.

Moore County Cooperative Extension Center personnel helped design the Moore County Leaders Decentralized Water and Wastewater Planning Forum at which U.S. and Canadian industry leaders shared their technologies and experiences.

Also speaking at the J. Edward Booth Field Learning Laboratory, NC State researchers and extension specialists from the College’s Soil Science and Biological and Agricultural Engineering departments covered these wastewater-related topics: centralized management of decentralized water-use technologies, including water re-use; preliminary soil and site assessments for on-site wastewater systems in developments, groundwater planning, water re-use standards and challenges of water reuse in affordable housing.

“The forum provided a direct and immediate linkage and transfer of research-based wastewater treatment technology trends from NC State University researchers to local county decision-makers,” said Dr. Mike Hoover, professor and North Carolina Cooperative Extension on-site waste disposal specialist in the Soil Science Department in NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

“Our community leaders must make important water and wastewater infrastructure decisions that will affect the future of our county and these leaders valued coming to NC State to not only receive research-based information, but also to have a one-on-one exchange with researchers and industry experts in this field,” said Craven Hudson, Moore County Cooperative Extension director.

The Moore County group included two county commissioners, the county manager, the planning director and planning board members, public works director, county engineer, environmental health staff and a Sustainable Sandhills Association leader.

After the leaders viewed on-site wastewater technologies and discussed wastewater re-use techniques at Lake Wheeler Labs, they toured water re-use developments in Chatham County, including a stop at “The Preserve” development, where they saw a community-scale water re-use system in action.

The Booth Field Learning Laboratory is a hub for hands-on field training and demonstrations focusing on environmental uses of land conducted throughout the Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory.

Related industries financially sponsored the forum through donations to the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation donation.
-A. Latham

Posted by Art at 02:02 PM

Organic Grain Project receives NCRS grant

The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) has awarded a Conservation Innovation Grant to N.C. State University to support development and education of a cover crop and no-till production method for organic grains.

The NRCS awarded N.C. State and its collaborating partner, the Center for Agriculture Partnerships, $249,289 to demonstrate and promote adoption of an innovative cover crop management system (roll kill/no-till) that significantly reduces tillage and resource concerns in organic grain rotations in the Southeast.

Dr. Chris Reberg-Horton, project director and professor in the Department of Crop Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said that the intensive tillage needed in organic grain production to control weeds can be the biggest environmental resource concern in an otherwise environmentally-friendly production method. Cover crop mulches are used by farmers to control weeds, supply nitrogen and reduce soil erosion.

Read more from The Southeast Farm Press

Posted by Natalie at 11:06 AM