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Hen under close scrutiny at FFA poultry evaluations at the State Fairgrounds.

Avian Flu Information

Extension and NCDA&CS are working together to develop a response plan for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Find the latest information regarding this at NCDA&CS.

Hen under close scrutiny at FFA poultry evaluations at the State Fairgrounds.

Avian Flu Information

Extension and NCDA&CS are working together to develop a response plan for Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). Find the latest information regarding this at NCDA&CS.

Food Processing and Manufacturing Initiative

Food Processing and
Manufacturing Initiative

NC food processing and manufacturing initiative feasiblity study released The agricultural resources, industrial capacity and research innovation assets present in North Carolina create opportunities to catalyze development of value-added food processing and manufacturing businesses, according to a joint NC State-NCDA&CS economic feasibity study released Jan. 12. One page summary of the Initiative View the Full Report


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.


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.

Plant Sciences Initiative Study Report

Plant Sciences

Plant sciences initiative could spark NC economic growth, study finds A new economic study, released Jan. 12, shows that North Carolina has an opportunity to be the global hub for advanced plant sciences research and for the application of that research to expanding agricultural productivity. One page summary of the Initiative  View the Report

NEWS View All

Seed Saving and Seed Swap (Updated)

Date Changed to October 29th. The Cherokee County Extension is offering a seminar on how to save your own seeds. On Thursday October 29th starting at 6pm, we will offer a seed saving MORE »


Grow Your Farm With Facebook

The Smoky Mountain High Tunnel Initiative along with Cherokee County Extension is offering a workshop on developing a Facebook page for your farm. This workshop is a hands-on session where you will build MORE »

AgOptions logo

AgOptions Grant Writing Workshop

The Cherokee County Extension is offering a grant-writing workshop for farmers interested in applying for an AgOptions grant. This workshop will be held at Tri-County’s Center for Applied Technology building in Marble NC MORE »

AgOptions Grant Applications Now Available

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total MORE »


Scarecrow Contest Coming Up!

The Valley River Art Walk presents their Scarecrow Contest!  Entries are due to the Extension office by Wednesday, September 30th.  This year, there will be a $50 prize for the winning scarecrow!  The MORE »

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2015 Master Gardener Training

The Cooperative Extension Offices of Clay and Cherokee Counties will be offering a Master Gardener Volunteer Certification training beginning Monday, February 2, and continuing on Mondays and Thursdays through March 30th. The training MORE » – from   Clay County Center

More News
High Tunnel TechniquesMon Oct 5, 2015 Today
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Where:
9554 US-19, 9554 U.S. 19, Marble, NC 28905, USA
— 5 hours ago
AgOptions Grant Writing WorkshopTue Oct 6 - Tue Oct 6, 2015 - ALL DAY Where:
Tri-County Community College - Marble
— 33 minutes away
High Tunnel TechniquesThu Oct 8, 2015
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Where:
9554 US-19, 9554 U.S. 19, Marble, NC 28905, USA
— 3 days away
Appalachia Farm SchoolThu Oct 8, 2015
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Southwestern Community College Small Business Center
— 3 days away
Pollinator ConferenceMon Oct 12 - Wed Oct 14, 2015 - ALL DAY Where:
Kanuga, 130 Kanuga Chapel Drive, Hendersonville, NC 28739, United States
— 6 days away
High Tunnel TechniquesMon Oct 12, 2015
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Where:
9554 US-19, 9554 U.S. 19, Marble, NC 28905, USA
— 7 days away
Master Gardener Association meetingWed Oct 14, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Where:
Murphy Public Library, 9 Blumenthal Street, Murphy, NC 28906, United States
— 1 week away
High Tunnel TechniquesThu Oct 15, 2015
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM Where:
9554 US-19, 9554 U.S. 19, Marble, NC 28905, USA
— 1 week away
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