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March 30, 2010

N.C. 4-H honors Sen. Dan Blue and Larry Stogner

The North Carolina 4-H Lifetime Achievement Awards Celebration will be held Tuesday, April 6, at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in Durham, N.C. The annual fundraising event will honor the lifetime achievements of former 4-H members, families and supporters. Media are invited.

North Carolina Sen. Dan Blue and ABC-11 senior anchor Larry Stogner will receive 4-H Lifetime Achievement Awards. Dr. Chester Black, former state 4-H program leader, will be honored for his recent induction into the National 4-H Hall of Fame.

“We are thrilled to honor Senator Blue, Larry Stogner and Chester Black at the 4-H Lifetime Achievement Awards event,” said Dr. Marshall Stewart, state 4-H program leader. “These gentlemen epitomize the very best of North Carolina 4-H and set a tremendous example for our young people to follow.”

The event also will include a “Showcase of Excellence,” with 4-H’ers from across the state demonstrating 4-H science and technology, community service and leadership projects. Their interactive exhibits will feature topics such as technology, the environment, entrepreneurship and volunteerism.

“We’re very proud of our young people,” Stewart said. “This event highlights the wonderful work they’re doing in their communities and demonstrates the power of 4-H in their lives.”

The cost of the event is $100 per person, while corporate sponsorships are available for $500 to $25,000. Event support helps provide a strong foundation for 4-H, a program that helps young people become future community and business leaders. Ticket or sponsorship information is available from Dr. Michael Martin, executive director, N.C. 4-H Development Fund, at 919.513.8254 or mjmartin@ncsu.edu. In 2009, the Lifetime Achievement Awards event raised $182,815 to support the program.

The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. It took root as corn and tomato clubs in Ahoskie, N.C., in 1909, and soon evolved from a rural youth program into a statewide organization with more than 241,000 active members and 21,000 volunteers and youth development professionals.

For more information about or to register for the North Carolina 4-H Lifetime Achievement Awards Celebration, please visit: www.nc4h.org/donors/nc4h-lifetime-achievement.html.

-S. Stanard

Posted by Natalie at 10:46 AM

van der Hoeven is Extension's tax man

Guido van der Hoeven
(Marc Hall photo)

You could call him North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s taxman:

But unlike the taxman made famous by the Beatles, Guido van der Hoeven doesn’t tax streets, seats, heat, feet – or anything else, for that matter. But he does spend most of his working days helping others understand income and estate tax rules and how they relate to people’s lives and businesses.

For the first four months of the year, right up until April 15, van der Hoeven fields a steady stream of income-tax-related questions by phone and email. And throughout the year, he researches, writes about and provides statewide training related to income taxes, estate planning and farm financial management.

Right now, the agricultural and resource economist is serving a two-year term as president of the Land-Grant University Tax Education Foundation. That organization is a partnership of 26 universities to develop educational materials useful across state lines.

The foundation recently won a grant to create a tax guide for operators of small- to medium-size farms, and every year it publishes about 26,000 copies of the annual National Income Tax Workbook. The well-regarded 600- to 700-page book is used by the participating universities in tax schools and institutes around the country.

University faculty members who are part of the foundation create the book’s contents anew every year, focusing on changes to the tax code as well as rules about timely tax topics. For example, given 2009’s economic downturn, the latest book includes a chapter on net operating losses.

The book comes packaged with a searchable CD that contains the entire workbook contents since 2003.

In North Carolina, the workbook, which van der Hoeven helps write, is used in intermediate and advanced income tax schools he directs for the Office of Professional Development in N.C. State University’s McKimmon Center. These schools are targeted at accountants and others who help people prepare their income tax returns.

The two-day schools, which take place in the weeks after Thanksgiving every year, draw about 1,200 to 1,300 people. The schools are held in Winston-Salem, Wilmington, Asheville, Greenville, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh.

A former professional tax preparer himself, van der Hoeven teaches the intermediate classes for four of the locations, and he also created and teaches an introductory income tax workshop offered through the McKimmon Center. His curriculum for the introductory course has also been adopted in seven other states.

In addition van der Hoeven has for 11 years offered workshops around the state on income-tax issues specifically related to agriculture and forestry. Extension specialist Mark Megalos, in N.C. State’s College of Natural Resources, also participates in those workshops.

Van der Hoeven says he also conducts county Extension meetings related to taxes for farmers and others, but he finds it more beneficial to focus on income-tax professionals.

“Almost 90 percent of the people that I talk to at county meetings say, ‘I use a professional tax preparer.’ So what I quickly learned was I could leverage my time and my efforts by educating the practitioners,” he says.

And that’s especially important now, he adds, because recent new rules mean that all tax preparers will need to be registered with the Internal Revenue Service and will need to meet continuing education requirements. The tax schools van der Hoeven offers lead to continuing education credits.

As a tax educator, van der Hoeven says that, “at the end of the day, my goal is that the tax returns are done accurately and completely, and that the taxpayer pays the minimal amount of tax that he or she owes -- and the federal government and state government is reported the maximum amount of income that is owed and due to them.”

In his tax schools, van der Hoeven places a premium on clarity and precision – with an occasional dash of humor.

”Just remember,” he says, “taxes and birthdays are like television commercials; the more you see them, the less you like them.”

-D. Shore

Posted by Natalie at 10:45 AM

March 25, 2010

Smith, Hoover are new DEDs for West and Southeast districts

Two new district Extension Directors have been named for North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Dr. Dan Smith, Extension director in McDowell County, has been named district Extension director for North Carolina’s West District. He replaces Harvey Fouts, who retired March 1.

Greg Hoover, County Extension Director in Davie County, has been named the Extension director for the state’s Southeast District. Hoover replaces Danny Shaw, who retired last July.

Dan Smith

Dan Smith

Smith, who lives in Nebo, received his 2008 doctoral degree in agriculture and extension education from N.C. State University. He earned both his 1983 master’s degree in agronomy and 1979 bachelor’s degree in economic biology (entomology) from Clemson University.

He has served as Extension director in McDowell County since 1994. Prior to that, he was county director in Alexander County (1990 to 1994) and Hyde County (1987 to 1990). He was agricultural Extension agent in Alexander County from 1988 to 1990 and associate agricultural agent in Hyde County from 1984 to 1987. He also served as an assistant county agent with the Clemson University Extension Service from 1979 to 1981.

Among the activities, issues and projects he has focused upon are alternative agriculture, beekeeping, consumer horticulture, farmland preservation, pesticide education, recycling and water quality.

Smith also brings extensive international agricultural experience to the job. He served in 2000 as team leader of a Rotary International Group Study Exchange program in South Korea. With a Hyatt Scholarship Award, he was part of a 1997 study tour of the extension programs in Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. And he served in 1993 as Extension adviser to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Polish American Extension Project, presenting educational programs under a new democratic government and free market economy.

A member of the state’s Association of County Agricultural Agents and Epsilon Sigma Phi, he is a past winner of the ESP state and county performance awards. He is also a Journeyman Master Beekeeper with the N.C. Beekeepers Association, which named him Extension Worker of the Year in 2003.

Greg Hoover

Greg Hoover

Hoover, who came to North Carolina from Indiana in 1981, is a 1993 graduate of N.C. State University with a master’s degree in crop science. He earned his 1978 bachelor’s degree in agricultural mechanization from Purdue University.

From 1978 to 1980 he farmed with his father and brother on the 700-acre family farm in Tipton, Ind. He moved to Bladen County, N.C., in 1981, where he raised corn and soybeans and supervised a 500-acre farmland clearing operation till 1985, when he became an agricultural Extension agent, serving Lincoln and then Catawba county till 1995.

From 1995 to 2003, he worked with the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Headquartered in the Guilford County Extension Center, he served 10 counties in support of the university’s Farm Business Management System. He also served as a horticulture Extension agent from 1998 to 2003 in Davie County, before becoming Davie County’s Extension director in 2003.

During his career, he has overseen programming and activities ranging from consumer and commercial horticulture and environmental sciences to improved farmer skills in accounting and tax management; from water-quality, pesticide and waste management education to community resource development; from field crops and tobacco to youth programs and Master Gardener initiatives.

He is currently state treasurer for the North Carolina Association of County Agricultural Agents, national chair of the Teaching and Education Technology Committee for the National Association of County Agricultural Agents Association and president-elect for Epsilon Sigma Phi Xi Chapter.

Hoover and his wife, Carol, live in Winston-Salem and have two grown daughters. His objective as district director is to “support county directors in ways to enable them and their staffs to succeed and to continue to strengthen stakeholder relationships,” he says, while serving as “a valued resource and member of the state Cooperative Extension administrative team.”

—T. Leith

Posted by Natalie at 11:05 AM

Communication Services and Creative Services will merge

Two of N.C. State University’s largest communication units -- University Creative Services and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Communication Services -- are merging to enhance the image and awareness of NC State and to create an efficient and effective one-stop shop for communication services.

The merger was announced to the communication staffs Wednesday afternoon, March 24. Joe Hice, the university’s chief communication officer, will continue to provide overall leadership for University Communication, with Mark Dearmon – now head of the Communication Services Department – providing direction for a unit to be known as Communication Services.

Communication Services will include graphic designers, printers, photographers, customer service providers, multimedia programmers and designers, broadcast and video production services, extension publication editors and internal communicators. The unit will serve both the university and the college, with Dearmon reporting to Hice, with a dotted-line to CALS Dean Johnny Wynne.

Members of University Communication’s current Web Communications and Creative Services units will move into the Butler Communication Services Building on Friday, March 26.

Five members of the current CALS Communication Services staff will continue to serve and report to CALS and Cooperative Extension: writers Dave Caldwell, Natalie Hampton, Dee Shore and Suzanne Stanard as well as Perspectives editor Terri Leith. They will continue to be housed in Butler.

CALS faculty and staff who need communication services can continue to secure assistance through Dearmon (mark_dearmon@ncsu.edu; 513-3108) or their current CALS ComServ contacts. This includes requests for county Extension centers services, including name badges, letterhead, publication and exhibit orders. (See www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/resources.html for order forms and other details.)

In announcing the merger, Hice praised Dean Wynne for his commitment to ensuring a win-win arrangement for the college and the university. Wynne and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business Charlie Leffler worked together to explore a reorganization recommended by an earlier study conducted as part of PACE, the UNC President’s Advisory Committee on Efficiency and Effectiveness.
Hice and Dearmon cited several goals:
• to present a unified approach that enhances the image and awareness of the university with key audiences and thus increases the university’s ability to achieve unit and institutional goals,
• to reduce costs and create a highly efficient, cost-effective unit that provides high-quality services to everyone across campus,
• to focus and refine communication efforts for CALS and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in a way that increases the awareness of the university’s land-grant mission throughout the state and nation,
• to provide a host of central services from a single location to improve cooperation as well as customer access and service,
• and to demonstrate the university’s commitment to providing highly effective communication materials and programming.

Dearmon noted another immediate benefit of the merger: enhanced video production services. The two formerly separate video units will soon acquire and share high-definition video equipment that will enhance the appearance of some of the university and college’s most visible and far-reaching communication efforts.

A steering committee including Hice, Dearmon and other University Communication directors will meet regularly to oversee the reorganization, and Hice, Wynne and the steering committee will monitor progress and make adjustments as needed to meet the needs of the college, Cooperative Extension and the university in general.

-D. Shore

Posted by Natalie at 10:42 AM

New Extension publications now available online

Recent Cooperative Extension publications are now available online, at the links listed below. For more information, visit Extension’s educational resources database: www.ces.ncsu.edu/xrdb/

The Pour-Through Extraction Procedure: A Nutrient Management Tool for Nursery Crops (AG-717W)
By routinely measuring the electrical conductivity (EC) and pH of growing media and irrigation water for container-grown nursery crops, growers can monitor nutrient availability and scout for problems. Learn how to use the pour-through extraction procedures as part of your nursery's quality control program.

Forage Legume Inoculation (AG-719W)
Rhizobia are bacteria that add nitrogen to a forage system by forming a special association with legume roots. Inoculation of legume seeds ensures that the correct bacteria are available to form active nitrogen fixing nodules on the legume roots. This publication explains the proper way to inoculate legume seeds with rhizobia so seeded stands will be well-nodulated and add nitrogen to the forage system.

Checking Forage Legume Nodulation (AG-720W)
Legume nodulation is essential for nitrogen fixation—the biological process that adds nitrogen to the forage system. Inoculation of legume seeds assures that the correct bacteria are available to form the nodules on the legume roots. This guide describes how to check nodulation on legume roots and what to do if roots are not nodulated properly.

Baseball Field Layout and Construction (AG-725W)
If you know a few basics and have some appropriate tools, you can build your own baseball field. These illustrated instructions can be used to set up a baseball field on a relatively level, open area of ground.

Maximizing the Durability of Athletic Fields (AG-726W)

Durable athletic fields begin with sound construction and careful planning. Good management practices can increase a field's durability. The basic concepts presented in this guide can help field managers extend the usability of athletic fields.

Managing Equipment Traffic to Limit Soil Compaction (AG-439-72W)
Most soil compaction from equipment traffic occurs where tires contact soil during the first pass over soil. Farmers can reduce compaction by limiting traffic to interrows that have already been trafficked. The authors report their research on traffic patterns and recommend ways that farmers can manage field traffic to limit soil compaction.

Posted by Natalie at 10:30 AM

March 19, 2010

New appointments announced in CALS

Dean Johnny Wynne, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at N.C. State University, has announced three new appointments in the college.

* Dr. Lisa Guion, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education, has been named assistant dean for diversity, outreach and engagement.

* Dr. Tom Melton, N.C. Cooperative Extension assistant director and director of the National Science Foundation Center for Integrated Pest Management in the College, has been named interim head of the College’s Department of Crop Science.

* Joy Martin has been named the College's interim assistant dean for finance and business.

Guion has served as assistant dean for diversity in an interim capacity since 2008. As assistant dean for diversity, outreach and engagement, she will provide leadership and coordination for all diversity efforts of the College. She will direct a CALS Diversity Initiative that includes the design, implementation and evaluation of programs, projects and activities to enhance the overall organizational climate and increase diversity among students, faculty and staff.

The initiative also includes an outreach component, which involves collaborations designed to achieve strategic goals with external organizations such as K-12 schools, other colleges and universities and community groups.

Guion holds four degrees from North Carolina State University, including a doctorate in adult and community college education, a master’s degree in public administration and two bachelor’s degrees, in business management and speech communication.

A member of the CALS faculty on two occasions, Guion was a North Carolina Cooperative Extension 4-H specialist from 1996 to 2000. She then joined the University of Florida faculty in the Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences from 2000 to 2006, returning to CALS and the Department of Agricultural and Extension Education in 2006.

Melton joined the N.C. State University faculty in 1988 as an assistant professor of plant pathology and N.C. Cooperative Extension specialist working with tobacco. He came to N.C. State from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was an assistant professor and Extension project leader in plant pathology.

He succeeds Dr. David Smith, who was named CALS associate dean for research and director of the College’s North Carolina Agricultural Research Service in January.

Melton holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from N.C. State, the bachelor’s in botany and the master’s in pest management. His doctorate is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in plant pathology.

Melton was named a Philip Morris professor in 1995 and Plant Pathology Department Extension Leader in 1999. He served as department Extension leader until 2004, when he was named Cooperative Extension assistant director and associate state program leader for agriculture and natural resources/community and rural development. He was named director of the Integrated Pest Management Center in July 2008.

Martin joined the CALS Business Office as director in January 2007 after working in the N.C. State University Budget Office and for the N.C. Community College System for 17 years. She holds a master’s of business administration degree from Campbell University, a bachelor’s degree in business management from Mount Olive College and two associate degrees, in business management and accounting, from Wayne Community College.

As interim assistant dean for finance and business, she will be responsible for developing CALS budgets based on University and College guidelines and providing information and analytical support for policy and resource decision making.

The CALS Business Office also provides oversight of the fiscal management and planning systems within the College; prepares financial planning and forecasting documents across all College budgets and functions; and coordinates accounting processes and systems. As interim assistant dean, Martin will also serve as the primary liaison with central University fiscal administration and lead the College Business Office staff.

Posted by Natalie at 02:00 PM

Regional editions of Extension Gardener now available

The regional editions of Extension Gardener's spring e-newsletter are now available online via the Extension Gardener Web site. Editions for the coastal plain, mountains and Piedmont include regional events, gardening tips, information on garden spots to visit, and articles about food crops and ornamentals for home gardeners:


The spring 2010 editions also include statewide articles on fragrant shrubs for the home garden, asparagus and pollinators. A seasonal pest alert focuses on gypsy moths.

Posted by Natalie at 01:39 PM

March 17, 2010

Appreciation for Extension, on Employee Appreciation Day

N.C. Cooperative Extension Service Employees,

At N.C. State University, today is Employee Appreciation Day. I
understand that most of you are unable to travel to Raleigh to
participate in the activities planned for this day.

Extension Administration appreciates the work that you do in all parts of North Carolina every day of the year. Whether it is answering the telephone and greeting clients, conducting educational programs or visiting clients on their farms, at their workplace or in their homes, you are N.C. State’s strongest and largest outreach link to the yniversity. The value of your work is noticed at all levels of the UNC System.

On this Employee Appreciation Day, I wanted you to know how much I
value the work that you do. Thank you for making the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service the best Extension organization in the country.

Joe Zublena, Acting Director and County Operations Director, N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, N.C. State University

Posted by Natalie at 10:25 AM

March 11, 2010

Extension educators are all a-Twitter

Debbie Roos and her Twitter page
Debbie Roos is among the Cooperative Extension agents using Twitter to reach people with research-based information on agriculture. She tweets @GrowSmallFarms. (Marc Hall photo)

When agricultural Extension agent Debbie Roos first learned about the Internet service Twitter, she was, as she puts it, a decided non-believer. Why in the world, she wondered, would people want to send and receive messages limited to just 140 characters –- fewer letters than are in this sentence?

But today, after 383 "tweets" and counting, Roos –- or @GrowSmallFarms, as she's known in the Twitterverse –- has done an about-face.

"I fell in love with Twitter last summer. It really works," she says. "A lot of people who follow me now on Twitter weren't familiar with my programs, and the potential to reach even more people is high," she says.

Read more from N.C. State's Bulletin

Posted by deeshore at 08:50 AM

N.C. A&T State faculty to present workshop series

The School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences' Center for Post-Harvest Technologies in Kannapolis has inaugurated a Tuesday night seminar series in March that will wind up with presentations by Dr. Leonard Williams on March 16, Dr. John O’Sullivan on March 23 and Dr. Ram Rao on March 30. All the March seminars in the Center for Post-Harvest Technologies’ “Food Science for a New Age: Safer, Healthier Food for the 21st Century” series are open to the public without charge, and all will begin at 7 p.m. in the in the Event Room of the David H. Murdock Core Laboratory Building, at 201 N. Main St., in Kannapolis.

Read more in ag e-dispatch

Posted by Natalie at 08:38 AM

March 10, 2010

Burke is Northeast District Extension Director


Dr. Travis Burke, Pasquotank County Extension director, has been named the Northeast District Extension director for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. Dr. Joe Zublena, Cooperative Extension associate director and director of county operations, announced that Burke will begin the new assignment effective March 1. Burke replaces Dr. Wanda Sykes, who retired in October.

“We're excited to have Dr. Burke on the County Operations Team which oversees all the Extension employees and programs in the counties,” Zublena said. “He is an outstanding people person who excels in establishing relationships and networks.”

Burke has served as Pasquotank County’s Extension director since 1998. Prior to that role, he was the Extension agricultural and 4-H and Youth Development agent in Pasquotank from 1982 to 1998.

Read more from Perspectives Latest News

Posted by Natalie at 08:35 AM