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August 28, 2009

Evaluation page offers resources

A new Web site provides educational resources and evaluation tools to help North Carolina Cooperative Extension agents learn how to conduct Extension evaluations. The evaluation tools allow agents to document program outcomes and impacts and determine needed program improvements. The page was developed by Dr. Jay Jayaratne, state leader for program evaluation and assistant professor. These tools are based on evaluation theory and practice. For more information, visit the Web site: www.cals.ncsu.edu/agexed/exeval/Home_Page.html.

Posted by Natalie at 09:17 AM

August 27, 2009

Cooperative Extension focuses on lamb, goat

dish from goat cookoff
(Becky Kirkland photo)

Eaten any good goat lately?

Well, I have.

I was invited last Friday to the Guilford County Agricultural Center to help judge a cook-off featuring goat and lamb meat.

The cook-off was part of the third N.C. Goat and Sheep Producers Roundup, held by the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service.

Read more from the Winston-Salem Journal.

Posted by Suzanne at 09:13 AM

A rain garden grows in McDowell County

Master Gardeners, teachers, Cooperative Extension Director Dan Smith and others joined sixth graders to plant the rain garden at a McDowell County school.
Read more in the McDowell News

Posted by Dave at 08:14 AM

August 26, 2009

Pikeville wheelchair hockey star receives award

Jon Greeson

Jonathan Greeson, a 4-H budget analyst in the Cooperative Extension Wayne County center, has received the Muscular Dystrophy Association's 2009 Robert Ross Personal Achievement Award for North Carolina.

Read more at WRAL.com

Posted by Dave at 08:31 AM

August 18, 2009

Produce Lady can help with fruits, vegetables

A couple of years ago, a farmer pulled up to the Rockingham County Farmers Market with a truckload of plump, just-picked eggplants.

A few hours later, he was taking most of them back home unsold.

The problem? When customers asked him how to prepare eggplants, he had no idea what to tell them.

Brenda Sutton, extension director in Rockingham County, says that farmers and others like him are the inspiration behind a series of videos that instruct people on ways to prepare fruits and vegetables.

And, Sutton is the star: The Produce Lady, as she's becoming known far and wide.

Read more from the News & Record.

Posted by Suzanne at 09:30 AM

August 11, 2009

Poultry science hosts Chinese group

Chinese poultry delegation

N.C. State's Poultry Science Department and Feed Science Program continues to expand its extension and outreach programs. In June, the department hosted a group of 30 workshop participants from China. Participants attended a Poultry Production and Feed Manufacturing Workshop at N.C. State, sponsored by the American Soybean Association International Marketing office in Beijing, China. The participants work for poultry production and feed manufacturing companies located throughout China.

The group attended lectures and worked in laboratories on campus and at the Feed Mill Education Unit located on Lake Wheeler Road. The group toured the Mountaire Farms feed mill in Candor, Southern States feed mill in Farmville, Cargill soy processing plant in Raleigh, East Coast Soy Processor in Pantego and Reggie Strickland’s soybean farm in North Carolina.

Cooperative Extension specialists in poultry science and biological and agricultural engineering presented the workshops. Topics included: broiler breeder and incubation management (Mike Wineland), layer nutrition and management (Ken Anderson), broiler nutrition and management (Edgar Oviedo), bio-security and disease control (Donna Carver), ventilation and brooding (Sanjay Shah), feed manufacturing processes (Peter Ferket) and feed mill operations and management (Charles Stark).

The group also completed a feed mill quality assurance laboratory and manufactured feed using the new state-of-the art Repete® automation system at the Feed Mill Education Unit. The group toured the JC Raulston Arboretum, met with members of the N.C. Soybean Board and attended a pig pick’n. The workshop provided an excellent opportunity for participants, faculty and staff to share experiences and ideas that will improve poultry production and feed manufacturing throughout the world.

-C. Stark

Posted by Natalie at 08:23 AM

August 07, 2009

The hunt is on; 4-H'ers 'treasure' learning experience

PINNACLE — More than a dozen children went on a treasure hunt along the Yadkin River Isle at Pilot Mountain State Park armed with only a 25-foot rope, a compass and a set of rather simple instructions.

Read more in The Mount Airy News

Posted by Dave at 08:43 AM

August 06, 2009

Storyfest celebrates 4-H centennial in Henderson County

A winged storyteller entertains during Henderson County's Do-Tell Storyfest in July. (Photo by Tracie Wallace)

The deep booming voice that led the crowd singing “Happy Birthday” to 4-H at the Do-Tell Storyfest on July 11 belonged to former Extension 4-H Agent Earl Smith. Many 4-H alumni came to the celebration of 100 years of 4-H in North Carolina with one goal in mind: To see Earl Smith, Henderson County 4-H agent from 1957 through 1977, who continued to work as the ornamentals, small fruits, turf and forestry agent until 1985.

The Do-Tell Storyfest, which attracted 500 people, celebrated 4-H’s centennial in 2009. The event attracted professional storytellers, authors, musicians, poets and performers enchanted audiences to downtown shops and the historic county courthouse.

4-H’ers also demonstrated poultry judging, weaving and showed baby chicks. 4-H clubs provided cupcakes and punch for the birthday celebration. Dickens the Clown entertained the crowd with a juggling performance. Visitors to Mountain Lore Bookstore enjoyed reading to dogs provided by 4-H members.

Highlights of the 4-H displays inside the historic courthouse included photos of the first 4-H camps at the Biltmore Estate in 1919, a calf show in downtown Hendersonville in the 1930s, Fashion Revue winners in the 1940s, and Jim Barnette giving Earl Smith a “chain pig” for 4-H’ers in the 1960s. 4-H members also demonstrated their public speaking skills by giving presentations: planned speeches with props and posters.

4-H alumnus Jim Clark of N.C. State University taught a workshop on “Collecting Personal Stories.” The Do-Tell Storyfest was directed by 4-H alumna Karen-Eve Bayne. Mark your calendars now for the Do-Tell Storyfest on July 10, 2010.

-D. Sherrill

Posted by Natalie at 11:01 AM

Third Goat and Sheep Roundup will be Aug. 14-15 in Greensboro

North Carolina Cooperative Extension, along with several goat and sheep producer associations in North Carolina, will host the N.C. Goat & Sheep Producers Roundup III, Aug. 14-15 in Greensboro.

The event will be held at the Guilford Cooperative Extension center, 3309 Burlington Road in Greensboro, and N.C. A&T State University Research Farm, also in Greensboro. Goat and sheep producers, along with youth in the Southeast, are invited to this educational event to share and learn more about the latest issues related to the production of sheep and dairy and meat goats.

Experts from around the United States will address many topics of interest to sheep and goat producers. Special features of the conference will include an North Carolina Chefs Cook-Off of both chevon and lamb for Friday’s lunch. On Saturday, a youth program will be added, targeting youth interested in fitting and showing goats and sheep for competitions.

Read more from CALS News

Posted by Natalie at 10:31 AM

August 05, 2009

SAC conference brings 62 to Charlotte

SAC conference photo
Noland Ramsey, left, CARET representative for N.C. Cooperative Extension, and Jeff Christie, coordinator of Georgia Cooperative Extension Leadership System, clarify new material. (Photo by Joy Staton)

A feeling of anticipation was in the air as 62 Extension specialists and advisory leaders met on in May in Charlotte for the 4th Southeast Region “Strengthening Extension Advisory Leaders (SEAL) Conference.”

The conference was started in 2000 by a small group of dedicated professionals from six southeastern states who saw the value of maximizing the dedication of advisory leadership.

They organized a venue where collaboration among the southeastern states could occur biannually, working as a team to share resources, with the goal of enhancing the capabilities of advisory leaders’ skills and support.

Under the direction of N.C. Cooperative Extension’s Advisory System Leader Joy Staton, the SEAL planning team and a writing team representing seven states hosted the conference. These teams developed objectives that would identify critical needs in advisory systems and pooled resources to develop curriculum, materials, and training to address those needs.

Staton showcased the successful use of advisory leaders’ skills by enlisting ten members of the NCSAC to help with hosting, assessing, setting up technology, introducing speakers and reporting.

The conference opened on Tuesday with a welcome from N.C. Cooperative Extension, a history of the objectives of SEAL by Dr. Paul Warner from Kentucky Cooperative Extension and comments about the value of volunteer leaders to Cooperative Extension by Dr. Jon Ort, director of N.C. Cooperative Extension.

Dr. James H. Johnson Jr., director of Urban Investment Strategies Center, Kenan Institute at the University of North Carolina, challenged the group with comprehensive and precise statistics showing the changing demographics of volunteers.

During the following day, participants were offered a choice of concurrent sessions covering: 1) Orienting New Advisory Board Members and New Faculty, 2) Teaching Extension Volunteers How to Advocate and Market Cooperative Extension, 3) New Methods in Extension Volunteerism and How They Impact Advisory Leaders, 4) Maximizing Impact Through Advisory Leader Involvement.

The conference was wrapped up Thursday by Dr. Chris Boleman, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, and Noland Ramsey, past chair of NC SAC. The two challenged advisors to discern why people volunteer and how to engage their passions.

Group sessions, moderated by Dr. Eric Kaufman from Virginia Tech & Virginia Cooperative Extension and Eddie Hannah from Appalachian School of Law, gave advisors the opportunity to share with one another those ideas that had been ignited and what we planned to do with them when we returned home.

The conference was well organized, fast paced and filled with information and new ideas. This is a must training session for both volunteers and professionals. To view the curricula developed for this conference and those in previous years, go to srpln.msstate.edu/seal/09curriculum/index.html.

-S. Churchill

Posted by Natalie at 10:17 AM

August 04, 2009

New LEAD issue is available

A new issue of L.E.A.D. (Learn - Educate - Appreciate -
Develop) newsletter is now available online. The L.E.A.D. newsletter is published by the Personal and Organizational Development team and involves Extension leaders who contribute to the content. L.E.A.D. is designed to assist you in honing your personal leadership skills and provides you with cutting-edge ideas and information as you develop yourself and those around you.

The newsletter contains relevant articles on leadership, book reports, administrative perspectives and more. One valuable piece that is offered in the newsletter is the “Leadership Excellence” magazine. This electronic magazine is recognized and read by many leaders throughout the country.

Access the L.E.A.D. newsletter through: intra.ces.ncsu.edu/lead.

Posted by Natalie at 10:42 AM

Program targets minority male high school students

A new program designed to provide minority male high school students with hands-on science research experiences began in July at North Carolina State University.

The program is a partnership of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. Called Creating Awareness of Agriculture and Life Science Disciplines, Discoveries and Degrees (CAALS3D), it is designed to introduce minority male high school students to innovative, high-tech research in the food, agricultural, environmental and life sciences.

Twenty-four School of Science and Math students spent a week in July (July 20-23) in N.C. State laboratories working under the guidance of N.C. State professors and graduate students. The high school students experienced research in a variety of disciplines, including forensic science, biochemistry, microbiology, biotechnology, organic agriculture, plant biology, food science, soil science and natural resources.

The School of Science and Math was the nation’s first public high school to offer a specialized curriculum in science and math for high school juniors and seniors, says Dr. Lisa Guion, associate professor of agricultural and extension education at N.C. State. Guion adds that American colleges and universities have found it difficult to recruit and retain minorities, particularly minority males, to study science, technology, engineering and math.

The CAALS3D program is designed to show students that an education in these fields can lead to a bright future, says Guion. The program targets male African-American, Latino and native American students who will be juniors this fall. It is to continue for two years, providing additional opportunities during the school year and summer for this group of students.

-D. Caldwell

Posted by Natalie at 10:30 AM