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NC Cooperative Extension Service_Conference Listening Session_11-6-13

NC Cooperative
Extension Service Announces Strategic Plan

The Cooperative Extension Service at NC State outlines its vision for restructuring over the next 22 months by targeting its strengths and improving access to services across the state.

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NC Cooperative Extension Service_Conference Listening Session_11-6-13

NC Cooperative
Extension Service Announces Strategic Plan

The Cooperative Extension Service at NC State outlines its vision for restructuring over the next 22 months by targeting its strengths and improving access to services across the state.

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EastForkFarm-edited

Grants Help Mountain
Region's Farms Succeed

WNC AgOptions intent to apply deadline Oct. 12; application deadline Nov. 16 MARSHALL — Mountain farms will soon benefit from N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission's recent funding of WNC Agricultural Options. With support from the Commission, WNC AgOptions will award area farmers a new round of $3,000 and $6,000 grants, for a total of $145,000. WNC AgOptions is accepting applications until November 16. WNC AgOptions, a program of N.C. Cooperative Extension and WNC Communities, continues its nine-year history of helping farmers diversify their businesses. "I am excited that the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission funded this program again this year," said Ross Young, Madison County Extension Director and WNC AgOptions steering committee leader. "There is no doubt that agriculture in Western North Carolina has become stronger because of WNC AgOptions and we expect the 2013 program to continue with outstanding applications from farmers hoping to keep their farms strong in these ever-changing times." WNC AgOptions awards farmers who propose diversification projects that will help their businesses grow and succeed. The seed money offsets the risk of trying something new and gives farmers the chance to demonstrate new farming techniques and marketing tactics to the agricultural community. Applications are available at www.wncagoptions.org and at local Cooperative Extension Centers. Interested applicants should contact their local Extension Agents by October 12 to notify them that they intend to apply. The application postmark deadline is November 16. One recent WNC AgOptions recipient, Wildwood Herbal in Buncombe County, is harvesting tilapia from a new sustainably designed aquaponics system and will include fish in CSA shares this fall. Another 2012 recipient, David Hughes in Mitchell County, is transitioning entirely from tobacco to potatoes. He is thrilled with the results of his project, as soils in his county often produce at least twice the yield that is expected for potatoes. In part due to the publicity of her grant project, Donna Gains of High Mountain Meadows Farm in Clay County is already taking calls from customers requesting goat cheese even before the completion of her new creamery, due to open this fall. "The innovative ideas that farmers undertake, the opportunity to showcase these ideas to whole communities, and the proven and continuing success of the WNC AgOptions program are key reasons why our board chose to fund this great project for another year," said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. Eligible farms are in: Avery, Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties as well as the Cherokee Indian Reservation. The WNC AgOptions steering committee strongly encourages eligible farmers who have never received grant funding to apply. The administrator of WNC AgOptions is WNC Communities, a non-profit organization that has roots as far back as 1947 and hands in the development of such influential regional projects as the N.C. Arboretum, the WNC Agricultural Center, and, most recently, the WNC Regional Livestock Center. WNC Communities is dedicated to providing a unique forum for leaders in western North Carolina to carry out innovative programs to improve the quality of life for rural communities and to enhance the agriculture economy. Members of the WNC AgOptions steering committee include: representatives from N.C. Cooperative Extension, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services–Marketing Division, WNC Communities, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and other leaders in agribusiness. RAFI-USA's Tobacco Communities Reinvestment Fund manages a similar grant program for farmers in the Piedmont, Central and Coastal regions of North Carolina. For more information, see the following: WNC Agricultural Options: www.wncagoptions.org; N.C. Cooperative Extension Centers: www.ces.ncsu.edu; N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission: www.tobaccotrustfund.org; WNC Communities: www.wnccommunities.org.

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Munsell color book being used to determine the hue, value and chroma of a soil.

Soil 101: Introduction
to Soil – Online!

Understanding soil is a basic skill needed by anyone interested in agriculture, environmental science, gardening, natural resource management, and water quality. Traditionally, to gain that skill, a person has had to pay college tuition and spend long hours in a classroom. Now, with the power of the internet at your fingertips, the NC Cooperative Extension Service is bringing a first class Introduction to Soil education to your office, dining room table, or local coffee shop. Learn more about this open online course at http://go.ncsu.edu/introduction-to-soil

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soiltest.jpg

Free Soil Testing

Fall is the season for taking soil samples.   The Cherokee County Cooperative Extension Service will ship all samples brought to the office during the months of October and November.  The soil lab in Raleigh will usually run the samples within a couple of weeks during these two months.  Samples will be shipped each Friday.  The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services does not charge North Carolina residents for the testing service.  This service is available to gardeners, farmers, homeowners and anyone else wanting to test their soil.  It is recommended to test your soil every two years.  Taking a soil sample is easy and directions can be found on our website at http://cherokee.ces.ncsu.edu.  Soil test results can be viewed online at http://agronomy.agr.state.nc.us/NewPALS/GrowerLogin.aspx.  If you have questions about taking soils samples or understanding the results, you can call Keith Wood at 828-837-2210 or email at keith_wood@ncsu.edu. NC is one of the few states in the country that provides free soil sampling, although mailing them to Raleigh can cost as much as $3-4 per sample.  For the months of October and November, Cherokee County Cooperative Extension will provide shipping for all samples that are brought to the office. Soil sample boxes, information sheets and instructions can be picked up at the Extension Office Monday-Friday 8:00-12:00, 1:00-5:00.  The office is located at 40 Peachtree Street in downtown Murphy. We recommended that soils be tested every 2-3 years.  Samples will be shipped weekly and results can be expected within approximately two weeks from the shipping date.

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NEWS View All

Comment Now on FDA’s New Food Safety Rules popular

From the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA): In September 2014, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released several reproposed sections of food safety regulations originally proposed in January 2013: Standards for produce production (Produce Rule) MORE » – from   Growing Small Farms

Lawn & Landscape Professionals Seminar

Dr. Barbara Fair an NC State Extension Horticulture Specialist; Cliff Ruth, Extension Area Horticulture Agent; Silas Brown, Clay County Extension Agent; and Keith Wood, Cherokee County Extension Agent will be presenting a Lawn MORE » – from   Clay County Center

Corn-Maze_Centennial-300x237

Lee County Corn Maze Honors Extension Centennial

(Photo courtesy Gross Farms) Gross Farms in Lee County used the Extension centennial logo in their corn maze this fall.Gross Farms in Lee County has joined N.C. Cooperative Extension’s centennial celebration this fall. Guests to their MORE »

htunnel

Learn to Grow in a High Tunnel

The Cherokee County Cooperative Extension Service is offering a high tunnel production series of classes.  A high tunnel is a non-heated greenhouse structure where crops can be grown year round in the soil.  Growing crops MORE »

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EVENTS View All
Healthy Lifestyles Classes for SeniorsMon Dec 1, 2014
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Where:
Andrews Community Center Main St Andrews, NC 28901
— 4 days away
Moog Components Group Sensible Fitness Mon Dec 1, 2014
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Where:
1995 N Carolina 141, Murphy, NC 28906
— 4 days away
Penland SeniorsTue Dec 2, 2014
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM— 5 days away
Sewing and So-OnTue Dec 2, 2014
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM Where:
Mountain Folk Center, Hwy 64 Murphy, NC
— 5 days away
Pesticide Review and ExamWed Dec 3 - Wed Dec 3, 2014 - ALL DAY Where:
Clay Co Extension
— 5 days away
Moog Components Group Sensible Fitness Wed Dec 3, 2014
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Where:
1995 N Carolina 141, Murphy, NC 28906
— 6 days away
Moog Components Group Sensible Fitness Mon Dec 8, 2014
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM Where:
1995 N Carolina 141, Murphy, NC 28906
— 2 weeks away
BQA trainingTue Dec 9 - Tue Dec 9, 2014 - ALL DAY Where:
Office
— 2 weeks away
More Events