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New County Extension Director Agents Educate the Public

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New County Extension Director Agents Educate the Public Powered By Docstoc
					                                                   EXTENSION NEWSWATAU G A CO U NT Y C ENTE R
Volume 9, Issue 3                                                                                                                                                                                   Winter 2009




  Inside This                                                    New County
  Edition
  40 Years ............................Page 2
                                                                 Extension
  Plants to Enjoy.................Page 3

  Operation Med Cabinet ...Page 3
                                                                 Director
                                                                                           After over a yearlong
  How Much Feed? .............Page 4                                                  vacancy, we are pleased
                                                                                      to announce that the po-
  Time to Prune? ................Page 5                                               sition of Watauga County
                                                                                      Extension Director has
  Stress-Free Cooking .......Page 6                                                   been filled. Jim Hamil-
                                                                                      ton has accepted the po-
  4-H Dream Come True .....Page 7                                                     sition.
                                                                      Hamilton is no stranger to Watauga
  Eat Smart ..........................Page 7                     County and Cooperative Extension as he
                                                                 worked previously as the Christmas Tree
  Calendar ...........................Page 8                     Agent for almost three years before taking a
                                                                 faculty position at Alabama A&M University
                                                                 in 2005. However, Hamilton says his love of
  Contact Us                                                     the mountains brought him back to western
                                                                 North Carolina after just a year. Jim has been
                                                                 at Haywood Community College since 2006
  Watauga County Center
                                                                 serving as the college’s Forestry Program Co-
  971 West King Street                                           ordinator and Grant Writer. He was recently
  Boone, N.C. 28607                                              awarded the 2009 Master Teacher Award for                  FRONT ROW, L-R: Margie Mansure, Karee Mackey, Meghan Baker, Kathy Lee
  (828) 264-3061 (Phone)                                         the college.                                            BACK ROW, L-R: Eddy Labus, Richard Boylan, Wendy Patoprsty, Susanne Winebarger
  (828) 264-3067 (Fax)                                                Hamilton has worn many hats and brings
  Website: watauga.ces.ncsu.edu/                                 experience from a diverse background to his       diversification, and pesticide safety. As a      management practice combining timber with
                                                                 new position as County Extension Director.        worker-training consultant with the Michigan    livestock production.
                                                                                                                   Cooperative Extension, NC Cooperative Ex-            Hamilton says he is looking forward to
  Watauga
                                                                 He received a Bachelor’s degree from the
                                                                 University of the South in Sewanee, Tennes-       tension, and the Southern Coastal Agromedi-     being back in the Boone office and serving
                                                                 see, in Natural Resources and Anthropology        cine Center, he expanded an outreach model      Watauga County as its new Extension Direc-
  County Staff                                                   and earned a Master’s degree from Auburn
                                                                 University and a doctorate from North Caro-
                                                                                                                   for Integrated Pest Management and pesti-
                                                                                                                   cide/farm safety education for the Christmas
                                                                                                                                                                   tor. Having worked with most of the current
                                                                                                                                                                   staff, he feels welcome coming into the posi-
  CURRENTLY VACANT, Watauga County Ex-                           lina State University in Forestry.                tree industry. While at Haywood Commu-          tion. He and his wife, Silvi, have two sons,
  tension Director. Responsibilities: Administra-                     His experience in the Peace Corps in         nity College, Hamilton gained proficiency in     Cristian and Lucas. In his spare time, you can
  tion, Community and Economic Development                       South America led him to his career in edu-       online course development and collaborated      find Hamilton enjoying the outdoors with his
  EDDY LABUS, Extension Agent, Agriculture,                      cation and Extension. As a Peace Corps            with the National Agroforestry Center to edit   boys or on the racquetball court.
  Responsibilities: Livestock, Tobacco, Field and                                                                  and develop a handbook and online training           We hope you will join us in welcoming
  Forage Crops, Pesticide Education.                             Volunteer and Trainer, he worked on various
  RICHARD BOYLAN, Extension Area                                 outreach projects such as beekeeping, small       course for landowners and natural resource      Jim to our office and county.
  Specialized Agent, Agriculture. Responsibilites:               tree nursery, soil conservation methods, crop     professionals interested in silvopasture -- a
  Alternative Agriculture
  MELANIE CASHION, Program Assistant.



                                                                                      Agents Educate the Public
  Responsibilites: Expanded Food & Nutrition
  Education Program (EFNEP)
  MARGIE MANSURE, Extension Agent,
  Family & Consumer Sciences. Responsibilities:
  Family & Consumer Education focusing on
  Nutrition & Wellness                                                In our county centers across the state,      provide publications, newsletters, computer          • Strengthening and sustaining
  WENDY PATOPRSTY, Extension Agent,
  Natural Resources. Responsibilities: Watershed
                                                                 county Extension agents are the bridge be-        programs, videotapes and other educational             families
  Protection in Watauga County                                   tween the state’s people and Extension spe-       materials.                                           • Developing responsible youth
  KAREE MACKEY, Extension Agent, 4-H Youth                       cialists working at the state’s land-grant uni-       Our educational programs focus upon:             • Building quality communities, and
  Development. Responsibilities: 4-H and Youth                   versities. Agents educate the public through                                                           • Conserving and improving the
  MEGHAN BAKER, Extension Agent,                                 meetings and workshops, field days, personal            • Enhancing agricultural, forest and              environment and natural resources.
  Agriculture. Responsibilities: Christmas Trees,
  Commercial and Consumer Horticulture                           consultations and other broadcasts. They also            food systems
  KATHY LEE, Extension Secretary.
  Responsibilites: Family and Consumer Education,
  4-H, Community and Economic Development
  SUSANNE WINEBARGER, Administrative
  Secretary. Responsibilities: Administration,
                                                                                     Watauga County Advisory Leadership Council Members
  Agriculture, Community and Economic                              Betsy Anderson                      Al Childers                        Bill Herring                        Nancy Reigel
  Development
                                                                   Bryan Belcher                       Loana Childers                     Winston Kinsey                      Bill Sherwood
                                                                   Elaine Brookshire                   Lillian Danner                     Richard McDonald                    Carrie Steury
                                                                   Cheryl Brown                        Diane Deal                         Kathleen McFadden                   Scott Suddreth
  North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T           Jim Buchanan                        Dick Hearn                         Bill Moretz                         Marcia Alayon
  State University commit themselves to positive action to
  secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed,       Jim Bryan                           Joan Hearn                         Diane Price
  national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or dis-
  ability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all per-
  sons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina       Visit Us Online at:

                                                                  watauga.ces.ncsu.edu
  State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S.
  Department of Agriculture, and local governments coop-
  erating. The use of brand names in this publication does
  not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Coopera-
  tive Extension Service of the products or services named
  nor discrimination against similar products or services not
  mentioned.
  Page 2
                                                                         EXTENSION NEWS CORNER                                                                                                 FALL/WINTER 2009




                                               Farm-City Celebration
                                       For the last couple of years, the Farm City Planning Committee has had the idea of creating a more family-oriented, on-the-
                                  farm, picnic sort of atmosphere for the Farm City Banquet. That was enacted this year with a change of venue.
                                       The 54th annual Farm City Celebration was held on Saturday, August 15 at the Blair Farm. The event was moved to an earlier
                                  date in the year so it could be outdoors and include activities and exhibits for families in addition to the traditional awards and
                                  banquet. Exhibits included farm animals, beekeepers, Christmas tree growers and more. During the awards ceremony, individuals
                                  and groups were recognized for their involvement in agriculture and the community.
                                       It was a successful event, which received positive feedback. The committee would like to try the new venue for a year or two
                                  more and see how it grows.

                                                                                                                                                                          (ABOVE) The Blue Ridge Fiber Guild pro-
                                                                                                                                                                          vided a carding, spinning and weaving dem-
                                                                                                                                                                          onstration.



                                                                                                                                                                          (FAR LEFT) Lee Rankin received The Wom-
                                                                                                                                                                          an in Agriculture Award.



                                                                                                                                                                          (MIDDLE) The Farm and Food Steward
                                                                                                                                                                          Award went to Bill Moretz. (On Right).



                                                                                                                                                                          (RIGHT) Amy Johnston received the Bee-
                                                                                                                                                                          keeper of the Year Award.




                                     AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT

 WHAT 40 YEARS AS A COUNTRY VET WILL TEACH YOU
by Robert McCrory, DVM
                                                    - Get pasture before you get animals.                     - You can afford to pay for a bull what five                and the big old cow dies in labor.
                                                                                                                cows cost.
- A cull is a cull no matter what the pa-           - Reduce the herd to fit your feed supply.                                                                           - The eye of the master fatteneth the cattle.
 pers say. Too many animals of all types                                                                      - Lease a good bull or co-op with a neighbor                It’s all about skill.
 are kept simply because they are regis-            - The time to fatten a cow is before she                    but by all means get the best bull possible.
 tered.                                              gets too poor.                                                                                                     - The falling tree always hits the newest
                                                                                                              - A feedlot grain-tested bull will never                   fence.
- Make excuses for a heifer and you will have       - A thin cow may be a credit to her and a                  live long enough to overcome the bad
  to apologize for the herd. To make prog-           discredit to you.                                         effects of the experience.                               - Build a bull proof fence then add a hot wire
  ress you must subtract as well as add.                                                                                                                                  on both sides. Good fences make good
                                                    - Enter winter with flesh on the cow and                   - A cheap bull is the most expensive animal                 neighbors. Everybody has an SOB for a
- The time to sell is when someone wants             cover on the pasture. Stockpiled forage                    on the place.                                             neighbor. Even your neighbor!
  to buy. It’s better to sell a good one too         is as good as stored hay.
  high than a poor one too cheap.                                                                             - Everyone brags on your cattle to your                   - Sale barns are for selling, not buying.
                                                    - Learning about the cattle business from a                face.
- A steer an inch longer is an inch heavier. A        cow trader is like learning about poker from                                                                      - A good name is better to have than great
  steer an inch taller is an inch taller.             a gambler.                                              - Aged cows may be a good way to get into                   riches. Riches can be regained but not a
                                                                                                                some good animals.                                        good name.
- If you pick over a man’s herd and select          - If she has pones she should be gone.
  his biggest, he will be happy.                                                                              - Your neighbor won’t buy from you be-                    - Never deal with a person who thinks ev-
                                                    - If it is not convenient, it won’t get done.              cause it infers that your animals are bet-                 eryone else is a crook.
- The herdsman will tell you which animal is                                                                   ter than his.
  best if you lead him right.                       - Put the working pens where cows want                                                                              - The best thing about the cow business is
                                                     to go.                                                   - Eternal vigilance is the price of AI.                    the people you will meet. Bad cow people
- Check the performance and production                                                                                                                                   don’t last long.
  history of a registered animal before             - Filter material and rock to prevent mud are             - The ugliest cow is always the best pro-
  you look at the animal.                             good long-term investments.                               ducer - otherwise you would have sold                   - Job grazing saves bush hogging fuel
                                                                                                                her.                                                     and labor and improves the pasture.
- Energy is the most lacking nutrient. Don’t        - A $6.00 bucket is better than a $10,000
  work yourself to death paying for conve-            Quarter Horse for rounding up cattle.                   - People with thin cattle worry about foun-               - Some people feel guilty if they are not
  nience.                                                                                                      dering. People with obese animals claim                   working themselves to death in the cattle
                                                    - Long feet and corns should be treated with               they never feed them.                                     business. The smart ones let the cows do
- It’s hard to cut hay too early.                     a ride in the stock trailer.                                                                                       the work.
                                                                                                              - Inconvenience has lost many an ani-
- Too much hay is seldom a problem.                 - Cattle handling equipment is sometimes                   mal.                                                     (Courtesy of The Stockman GrassFarmer, The
                                                      made for ease of construction and not                                                                              Grazier’s Edge, October, 2009, Volume 10, #9)
- All hay is not created equal.                       for safety and efficient use.                            - The owning of one cow requires the pres-                 For a free issue of The Stock GrassFarmer call
                                                                                                                ence of a pen and head catcher.                          1-800-748-9808.
- Buying hay by the bale is like buying bulls       - If your customer fails to make money on
  by color.                                          your cattle so will you.                                 - The smaller heifer typically calves okay
  FALL/WINTER 2009
                                              AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT                                                                                                                                      Page 3




                         Organic Gardening 101                                                                                      NCDA&CS Announces Online Soil
                                                                                                                                    Tests and Agronomic Reports
         The next Organic Gardening 101 series will be held   ing herbs, landscape planning and edible landscaping.
  June 21- 24, 2010, 9 A.M. until 12:30 PM. The series        Classes will be held at the ASU Sustainable Develop-
  is designed for beginning gardeners or those who would      ment Farm in Valle Crucis, N.C. Cost is $20 for all four
  like to switch to organic methods. Topics include garden    days. Reserve your spot by paying in advance at the NC            Beginning November 1, the N.C. Department            all clients via e-mail when their reports are available
  planning, seed starting, companion planting, how to at-     Cooperative Extension, 971 West King Street in Boone.      of Agriculture and Consumer Services will no longer         online. Clients who provide a valid e-mail address
  tract beneficial bugs, pest management, soil tests and      For more information call 264-3061.                        routinely mail out paper copies of agronomic reports.       on their sample information form or who register an
  amendments, composting and vermi-composting, grow-                                                                     This policy will apply to reports for soil tests and        e-mail address with the Agronomic Division online,
                                                                                                                         nematode assays, as well as plant tissue, waste, solu-      can receive electronic notification. In the interim, all



         Financial Opportunities for North
                                                                                                                         tion and soilless media analyses. All these reports are     other clients will receive a postcard with instructions
                                                                                                                         readily available through the NCDA&CS Agronomic             on how to find their reports.
                                                                                                                         Division’s website, www.ncagr.gov/agronomi.                       Clients who visit the Agronomic Division home
                                                                                                                               “By making the switch to electronic-only reports,     page should select the “Find Your Report” link from



           Carolina’s Forest Landowners
                                                                                                                         the NCDA&CS will work within its limited budget             the left-column navigation bar. This link takes visitors
                                                                                                                         to save significantly on postage, printing and paper         into the division’s laboratory information site, known
                                                                                                                         costs,” said Dr. Colleen Hudak-Wise, director of the        as PALS. For most people, using the “Quick Report
                                                                                                                         Agronomic Division. “Although environmental and             Search” link is the most convenient way to access re-
                                                                                                                         fiscal benefits are driving this change, clients should       ports. Basic instructions are outlined at www.ncagr.
by Robert Bardon, PhD., Department Extension Lead-            Agency (FSA), and have a management plan. To find           also see increases in convenience and efficiency. On-        gov/agronomi/reportsearch.htm. Anyone who has
er and Associate Professor, Department of Forestry            the nearest office, visit the following websites:           line reports are available to clients faster than mailed    difficulty using the PALS report-search feature or has
and Environmental Resources, NC State University.                                                                        reports and make record keeping much easier.”               questions can call (919) 733-2655 for assistance dur-
                                                                   • NRCS offices in NC: www.nc.nrcs.usda.gov/                  Eventually, the NCDA&CS would like to notify          ing regular weekday office hours.
      This past year, North Carolina woodland owners
                                                              contact/directory
became eligible to participate in expanded cost share
                                                                   • FSA offices in NC: www.offices.sc.egov.usda.
programs focusing on woodland management prac-


                                                                                                                             Plants to
                                                              gov/locator/app?state=nc&agency=fsa
tices that protect water quality from non-point pollut-
ants; conserve ground & sur-
                                                                                           The management plan
face water resources; improve
                                                                                      is a site-specific plan that is


                                                                                                                            Enjoy This
forest health and biodiversity;
                                                                                      prepared by a professional re-
and reduce soil erosion from
                                                                                      source manager and approved
agricultural and forest lands.
                                                                                      by NRCS. The plan outlines
This opportunity for wood-


                                                                                                                              Winter
                                                                                      the values and goals a wood-
land owners is the result of the
                                                                                      land owner has for their prop-
“Food, Conservation, and En-
                                                                                      erty and how they will manage
ergy Act of 2008”, also known
                                                                                      the woodlands for long-term
as the 2008 Farm bill.
                                                                                      sustainability. These values
      Under the Farm bill two
                                                                                      can include wildlife, recre-             Winter is often considered a time of blandness in
main working lands conserva-
                                                                                      ation, aesthetics, timber, wa-     the landscape; however, there are many plant species
tion programs, Environmental
                                                                                      tershed protection, and others.    that provide wonderful visual appeal during the winter
Quality Incentives Program
                                                                                      To be eligible for NRCS cost-      months. Take for example the plant known as Winter-
(EQIP) and Wildlife Habitat
                                                                                      share programs, you will need      berry, Ilex verticillata, which is a deciduous holly that
Incentives Program (WHIP),
                                                                                      to ensure that your current plan   develops bright red berries along the stems in the fall.
were expanded to include for-
                                                                                      includes specific information       Berries persist for many months and can provide food
estry. These programs provide
                                                                                      on forest management, con-         for hungry birds during the depths of winter. Win-
cost-share assistance to land-
                                                                                      servation practices, and an        terberry usually grows to a height and width of eight
owners whose future plans
                                                                                      updated map that clearly in-       feet and has a suckering habit that is best highlighted
or goals for their property in-
                                                                                      dicates locations of proposed      in mass plantings. At home in both full sun and part
clude:
                                                              cost-share practices. Work with your forester and local    shade, Winterberry does best in moist to wet soils
                                                              NRCS office to ensure your plan has all necessary in-       though can tolerate a range of soil conditions. Like
     • Conserving soil and water resources
                                                              formation. To get assistance with plan development,        all hollies, at least one male plant is needed to produce
     • Establishing wildlife habitat
     • Sustaining your woodlands
                                                              contact your local NRCS office, NC Division of For-         fruit on female plants. During the growing season, it       Winterberry, Ilex verticillata
                                                              est Resources, The wildlife Resource Commission, or        provides nectar for hummingbirds and is a host plant
     • Implementing your forest management plan
                                                              seek assistance from a professional consulting forester    for butterfly larvae.                                        plant for both butterflies and pollinators and are a host
                                                              or industry forester.                                            Red Twig Dogwood, Cornus sericea, is also an
     These programs are administered by the Natural                                                                                                                                  plant for butterfly larvae. They thrive in moist soils
                                                                   To learn more about these programs and other          attractive shrub providing winter interest. Also called
Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and provide                                                                                                                                     and can adapt to both full sun to part shade.
                                                              opportunities related to the Farm bill, contact the fol-   Red Stem or Red Osier Dogwood, this plant species
government funds to share the cost of implementing                                                                                                                                         Cinnamonbark Clethra (Clethra acuminata), also
                                                              lowing agencies: the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and         displays bare, bright red stems in the winter on ju-
your forest management plan. To participate in these                                                                                                                                 called Mountain Pepperbush, is a great choice for a
                                                              the Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS),          venile branches. To maintain the intensity of the red
programs, landowners will need to sign up with US                                                                                                                                    small showy shrub. Reaching a mature height of 12-
                                                              both of which are conveniently located at 971 West         coloration, mature plants are often pruned back to the
Department of Agriculture NRCS, have a farm num-                                                                                                                                     20 feet tall, Cinnamonbark Clethra gets the name from
                                                              King Street in Boone, NC.                                  ground in early spring and young plants are pruned
ber which can be obtained from the Farm Service                                                                                                                                      the peeling bark that reveals mottled coloration as the
                                                                                                                         every other year. Red Twig Dogwoods reach a mature          inner bark becomes visible. Through pruning, this
                                                                                                                         height similar to that of Winterberry and are a great       species can be trained into a shrub or tree-like form.
  Practices                                                        EQIP                             WHIP                 choice for forming masses on banks, as they also have
  (Focus on wildlife)                                                                                                                                                                Adaptable to both sun and shade, this plant can be at
                                                                                                                         a suckering habit.                                          home as an understory plant under larger trees or as
                                                                                                                               Two Hawthorne species, Washington Hawthorne           a focal point in the open landscape. Moist soils with
  Forest Stand Improvement                                         X                                X                    (Crataegus phaenopyrum) and Winter King Green
  Tree/Shrub Establishment                                         X                                X                                                                                good drainage are ideal, but drier soil conditions are
                                                                                                                         Hawthorne (Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’) both            tolerated. Clethras are excellent for supporting wild-
  Restoration & Management                                         X                                                     provide an attractive branch architecture enhanced by
  Critical Area Treatment (erosion in forests)                     X                                X                                                                                life, as they provide nectar for bees, butterflies, and
                                                                                                                         glossy red fruits that persist all winter long. Both spe-   hummingbirds, and the seeds are great for birds.
  Firebreak                                                        X                                X                    cies grow to a mature height of about 20 feet with a
  Fuel Break (in conjunction w/firebreak)                           X                                X                                                                                      Keep an eye out for these visually exciting plant
                                                                                                                         similar width. On older stems, the branches of ‘Win-        species during the cold winter months, and consider
  Prescribed Burning                                               X                                X                    ter King’ exfoliate and provide a medley of muted           adding one or more of these species to your landscape
                                                                                                                         coloration. Hawthornes are also an important nectar         for next year.



      OPERATION MEDICINE CABINET A HUGE SUCCESS!
     Law Enforcement officials and river conser-               Blowing Rock, Boone and Seven Devils Police De-            success, and it will probably be an annual event now        what to do with all these drugs. I am so grateful that
vationists collected a large amount of drugs during           partments participated in the joint operation at four      that we see the outcome of what was produced today.”        our law enforcement is pro-actively keeping prescrip-
Watauga County’s first ever prescription drug take-            separate locations.                                        More than one and a half 55-gallon drums were filled         tion drugs out of teenagers hands.”
back event on Saturday, October 3, 2009. The hugely                Approximately 56 people turned in their expired,      with drugs dropped off by residents in the region.                Volunteer Crystal Simmons said, “Operation
successful event captured approximately 40,000 pills,         unwanted and unused medications for safe destruction.            “I am so happy y’all are doing this,” said one par-   Medicine Cabinet is a result of a MountainKeepers
12 gallons of liquid medication, 2,000 sharps-needles,        Drugs collected included hydrocodone, oxycodone,           ticipant [names are withheld to protect anonymity]. “It     resiliency meeting on January 24, 2009. For the High
syringes and lancets, and a glucose meter. These phar-        blood thinners, anti-allergens, iodine, insulin, antibi-   makes so much sense for the health and well being of        Country to create such an event is a real testament
maceutical drugs have been incinerated in an EPA-ap-          otics, steroids, hormones, anti-depressants, cough syr-    our kids and the planet - what a wonderful program.”        to our commitment to a healthier environment and a
proved facility.                                              up, topical creams, over-the-counter medications, flu             Other positive responses to the event included,       safer community. I give kudos to all the volunteers
     More than 18 volunteers and 8 members of law             vaccinations, heart, blood pressure, cancer and heart-     “I needed to get rid of the out-of-date drugs, because I    that helped make this event happen and to the people
enforcement from the Watauga County Sheriff’s                 burn medicine and even some pet medications. Boone         don’t want prescription drugs around my teenage son”        that turned out to responsibly dispose of unused phar-
Department, the State Bureau of Investigation, and            Patrol Officer Toby Ragan said, “I feel it was a great      and “Thank you so much for doing this. I didn’t know                                      Continued On Next Page
  Page 4
                                            AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT                                                                                                                       FALL/WINTER 2009




                                                                                                                             Results of the Watauga River
                                                                                                                              Clean Up on Sept. 12, 2009
                                                                                                                              Thank you to all the volunteers who got stinky,      much more. It’s disappointing to see so much trash
                                                                                                                        dirty, and wet picking up trash in the High Country’s      every year, but it is awesome to see the volunteers
                                                                                                                        waterways. It is amazing what a group of people can        getting out there and cleaning up.
                                                                                                                        accomplish in a few hours working together!                      The Watauga County Cooperative Exten-
                                                                                                                              Volunteers set an all-time record this year with     sion would like to thank all of this year’s Watauga
                                                                                                                        pounds of trash collected. 172 volunteers covered          River Clean Up sponsors, partners, and volunteers:
                                                                                                                        the river from Foscoe down to Guy Ford Road in             River and Earth Adventures, Appalachian Angler,
                                                                                                                        Bethel. Over 6,000 pounds of trash was extracted           Watauga River Anglers, Foscoe Fishing Company,
                                                                                                                        from the Watauga River and its banks. Everything           Upper Watauga Riverkeeper, Watauga River Con-
                                                                                                                        from lawn mowers, car parts, bed springs, kids’ toys,      servation Partners, High Country Waste Solutions,
                                                                                                                        construction materials, and, of course, a large vol-       GDS, PACT, Footsloggers, EarthFare, Mast General
                                                                                                                        ume of beer bottles and cans. Volunteers harvested         Store, Watauga County Sanitation, MountainKeep-
                                                                                                                        15 tires, some with the rims and hubcaps still in tact.    ers, Watauga County DOT, Valle Crucis Commu-
                                                                                                                        The Riverkeeper and ASU Geography Club set up a            nity Park, ASU Outdoor Programs, ASU Geography
                                                                                                                        Z-line to pull one of the tires out!                       Club, ASU First Year Seminar Students, Teaching
                                                                                                                              The Watauga River is our playground all year         Fellows, the Outdoor Residential Learning Commu-
                                                                                                                        long, from swimming and tubing to fishing, loung-           nity, the ASU ACT program, and many, many more
                                                                                                                        ing, birding, wading, photography, boating, and            community volunteers.




Continued From Page 3                                       ing, the Smoky Mountain Center, Towns of Boone,
maceuticals.”                                               Blowing Rock and Seven Devils, the Watauga County
    Community partners who helped make the event            Sheriff’s Office, Boone Police, the State Bureau of
such a great success included the MountainKeepers,          Investigation, Blowing Rock Police, Seven Devils Po-
Watauga River Conservation Partners, Boone Drug,            lice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Ap-
Watauga County Recycling/Solid Waste Department,            palachian State University.
Watauga Riverkeeper/Appalachian Voices, Food Lion,                The team is working on details to have another
The National Committee for the New River, MPrints,          collection in the spring to coincide with the Watauga
NC Cooperative Extension Service, Precision Print-          County Hazardous Waste Day on May 22, 2010.




                                                                                                                        ASU Geography Club teamed up with The Watauga Riverkeepers to finish up the Watauga River clean up
                                                                                                                        at Guy Ford Road in Bethel. Photo by Mike Mayfield




  HOW MUCH FEED IS ENOUGH?
                                                                                                                               HOW TO LIMIT HAY INTAKE
      I am often asked this time of year, “How much         who sold the baler told you the maximum weight the         and you have 50 cows. You want to feed those cows           can eat at the same time. Therefore, multiple hay bale
hay do I need to feed?” Beef cows need a sufficient          baler can manage, but this isn’t necessarily the weight    10 lbs. of hay each, so you need to feed 1/2 of the bale.   feeders may be needed. However, with the price of
amount of long stem hay to stimulate rumen function         of your bales. Rolls vary in weight due to forage va-      On the first day, you roll out the outer 8 inches of the     hay, you can afford to buy a couple of new hay feed-
and salivation. Salivation is critical to maintaining the   riety, moisture, and the humidity when rolled. It is a     bale. On the second day, you roll out the rest. Wast-       ers.
rumen at the correct pH. A minimum of 5 pounds of           good idea to weigh your bales when you start to feed;      age is still a factor with unrolling. Cows and calves             One very simple method that does not save as
hay per cow per day is needed.                              it is best to weigh a couple of bales and calculate an     will trample and soil about 5 to 10 percent of the hay      much hay as other methods but allows most produc-
      Back when small, square bales were commonly           average.                                                   unrolled. In high winds, you may be feeding the             ers to achieve some reduction in hay usage is called
fed, limiting intake was easy. Knowing the weight of              The number one way to limit hay intake is to feed    neighbor’s cows. Losses due to waste are increased          two on one off. Cows are fed all the hay they want
the bales, it was simple to figure the cow’s needs and       with a bale processor that unrolls or delivers a precise   in wet or snowy conditions.                                 for two days, and then hay feeding is skipped on the
then feed the correct amount of hay by weight. With         amount of feed. These machines are very expensive                Another method is by limiting access to hay for       third day. Cows should be fed any supplemental feed
the large bales of hay fed today, limiting hay intake       and are not practical except for the largest operations.   only a few hours per day, then moving cattle to an ad-      as normally fed on the skipped day. Skipping a day
                     is more difficult. The first step        Unrolling hay is the second most precise method we         jacent pasture. This method is extremely effective for      of hay feeding if supplements such as corn gluten are
                            is to know how much the         have to limit hay. This sounds easy enough; just un-       smaller herds. Temporary fences can be used to limit        fed will not compromise cow performance. Cows will
                                  bales you are feeding     roll the amount of hay you wish to feed. This is not       access to the hay feeding area if they are maintained       have sufficient rumen fill to continue to have cud to
                                           weigh. The       as easy as it sounds; let’s look at the math. In a 5 ft.   with an adequate charge.                                    chew and produce extra heat for fermentation on the
                                                  g u y     diameter bale, 1/3 of the hay is in the outer 4 inches           Recent research from the University of Illinois       day without hay. It takes 48 to 72 hours for the rumen
                                                                      and 1/2 of the hay in the bale is in the outer   indicates that as little as three hours of access is        to empty if cattle receive no feed.
                                                                           8 inches. For example, you have a 5 x       needed with high quality hay, and six to nine hours               It is critical that with all of these methods, con-
                                                                              5 bale that weighs 1,000 lbs.                                             of access is needed for    sideration is given for weather conditions. If a week
                                                                                                                                                        medium quality hays        of extremely cold weather is predicted, then limiting
                                                                                                                                                        to achieve cow perfor-     hay intake may not be the best idea. During these ex-
                                                                                                                                                        mance similar to un-       treme periods, using more hay will provide additional
                                                                                                                                                        limited access. In this    nutrients needed by the cattle. In addition, cow body
                                                                                                                                                        particular    research,    condition should be monitored throughout the winter
                                                                                                                                                        hay was the only feed      and feeding practices adjusted to maintain a body con-
                                                                                                                                                        offered to these gestat-   dition score of 5 to 6.
                                                                                                                                                        ing cows. If hay is to           There are several affordable feeds that can help
                                                                                                                                                        be stretched by feed-      stretch hay supplies or improve nutrition while feed-
                                                                                                                                                        ing by-products, then      ing hay that may have been put up after being rained
                                                                                                                                                        three to four hours        on. The first starting point is to take a forage sample.
                                                                                                                                                        may be sufficient. It
                                                                                                                                                        is important that there        (Information from “Limiting Hay Intake by
                                                                                                                                                        are enough feeding         Cows”, Dr. John B. Hall, Extension Beef Specialist,
                                                                                                                                                        locations so all cows      VA Tech)
FALL/WINTER 2009
                                           AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT                                                                                                                                              Page 5




                                                                                  WINTER IS THE TIME TO PRUNE APPLE TREES,
                                                                                      BLUEBERRIES, AND OTHER FRUITS
                                                                                   If you have plantings of apples, blueberries, and other types of              Boone) on Thursday, February 4, 2010. The workshop will be
                                                                             fruits, winter can be nearly as busy as the growing season, as dor-                 led by NCSU Specialist Bill Cline, with assistance from Watauga
                                                                             mant-season pruning is essential for the long-term health of many                   County Extension Agent Meghan Baker, Ashe County Extension
                                                                             fruit-bearing plants. Winter pruning removes dead, diseased, and                    Agent Della                            Deal, and Area Extension
                                                                             damaged tissue, and channels the plant’s new growth into produc-                                                           Agent Richard Boylan.
                                                                             tive patterns. But many people find winter pruning intimidating.                                                                 The Apple & Peach Prun-
                                                                             What is too much? What is too little?                                                                                  ing Workshop will be held at the
                                                                                   Cooperative Extension has numerous printed                                                          small orchard of Jake Rijdes’ just outside of
                                                                             and on-line resources about winter-pruning                                                 West Jefferson, NC, on Tuesday, February 23, 2010. It will
                                                                             fruit trees and shrubs available                                                     be led by Area Extension Agent Richard Boylan, Ashe County Ex-

       Goat and Sheep                                                        to those who want to learn
                                                                             on their own. But many
                                                                             growers find that a
                                                                                                                                                                 tension Agent Della Deal, and Watauga County Extension Agent
                                                                                                                                                                 Meghan Baker.
                                                                                                                                                                      These workshops will be a great way to learn first-hand the

      Management Tips                                                        hands-on learning ses-
                                                                             sion communicates much more.
                                                                             In the past, field sessions on
                                                                                                                                                                   pruning techniques that will keep your own fruit plantings healthy
                                                                                                                                                                               and productive. Printed resources will be available
                                                                                                                                                                                          at each workshop to take home, but most
• Does bred in November will kid in April.                                   winter pruning have been                                                                                             importantly, each workshop will
• Evaluate forage and feed inventory and purchase if needed.                 very successful in assisting                                                                                              offer the chance to try some
• Monitor internal parasites through fecal examination or FAM-               growers toward better man-                       agement of                                                                 pruning on-site, so plan to
  ACHA. If the parasite load is heavy, treat after the first hard             their own orchards. During 2010, Cooperative Extension            i s               bring your prun-                          ing tools.
  freeze.                                                                    planning two winter pruning workshops: one for blueberries a n d                         For the exact times, di-             rections, and other details
• Start to plan for kidding and lambing season, check pens, finish            one for apples (plus other pome fruits) and peaches (plus other                     of these workshops, contact any of       the above-listed agents at
  sanitizing. Order kidding or lambing supplies, check nipple feed-          stone fruits).                                                                      either the Watauga County Extension Center (828) 264-3061 or
  ers and tubes to see if deterioration has occurred.                              The Blueberry Pruning Workshop will be held at the farm of                    the Ashe County Extension Center (336) 846-5850.
• Check for lice and treat if needed.                                        Wayland Cox, just east of Jefferson, NC (less than an hour from




  Rain Garden Certification                                                   COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE:
                                                                                                    For The Health of Small Farms and Your Family
 Coming to the High Country,                                                      Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has                   - Receive payment early in the season, which helps with

     March 23-24, 2010                                                       become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly
                                                                             from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of
                                                                                                                                                                        the farm’s cash flow
                                                                                                                                                                      - Have an opportunity to get to know the people who eat
                                                    As homeowners and        “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables,
                                              property managers become       but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase                     the food they grow
                                              more aware of the issues of    a share (a “membership” or a “subscription”) and, in return, receive a box
                                              stormwater management,         of seasonal produce each week throughout the farming season. This ar-               Advantages for consumers:
                                              many of them are choosing      rangement creates several rewards for both the farmer and the consumer.                - Eat ultra-fresh food, with all the flavor and vitamin benefits
                                              to manage the runoff from                                                                                             - Get exposed to new vegetables and new ways of cooking
                                              their homes and businesses                                                                                            - Usually get to visit the farm at least once a season
                                              with rain gardens. Rain
                                              gardens are shallow de-                                                                                               - Find that kids typically favor food from “their” farm - even
                                              pression landscape features                                                                                           veggies they’ve never been known to eat
                                              that can effectively collect                                                                                          - Develop a relationship with the farmer who grows their
                                              and treat stormwater and                                                                                              food, and learn more about how food is grown
                                              reduce localized flood-
                                              ing. Rain gardens can be                                                                                                 It’s a simple enough idea, but its impact has been profound. This
                                              integrated into the existing                                                                                       model was very successful in our community for 2009. There are cur-
landscape as a retrofit or be included in the initial landscaping plan.                                                                                           rently around eight community supported agriculture projects available
To effectively manage stormwater, rain gardens must be accurately                                                                                                to Watauga citizens. The largest CSA is a multi-farm model and was
sized and properly constructed. This workshop will present a simple                                                                                              supported by a grant from the N.C. Rural Center. It provided 70 families
method for sizing and designing rain gardens and detail proper con-                                                                                              fresh produce for 20 weeks from more than 14 area farms. They hope to
struction techniques.                                                                                                                                            double in size in 2010. Some growers are starting CSA projects for the
      As a result of this training you will: understand why stormwater       Advantages for farmers:                                                             first time in 2010. For more information about CSA projects, contact the
needs to be managed; understand the principles of rain garden loca-             - Get to spend time marketing the food early in the year                         Extension office at 264-3061.
tion, design, construction and maintenance; be able to select appro-              before their 16-hour days in the field begin
priate vegetation; tour local rain gardens; and be eligible to take a test
at the conclusion of the training to be certified in rain garden design

                                                                                  National Demand Up For Fresh Produce, But
and construction.



        Cattle Artificial                                                                N.C. Consumption Falls Short
    Insemination Workshop                                                           Despite the current economic conditions and rising costs, consumers are
                                                                             still very interested in fresh fruits. In a 2009 Fresh Trends study conducted by
                                                                                                                                                                 as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Health is expected to continue to be a
                                                                                                                                                                 growing factor in consumer buying decisions.
     The Cooperative Extension Program at NC State University                The Packer, a business newspaper for the produce industry, one-third of the con-           As reported in Healthy Eating Trends 2009, Steve Lutz, vice president of
and NC A&T State University will be presenting a cattle artificial            sumers who participated said they bought more fresh produce this year than          The Perishables Group, West Dundee, Ill., said, “Consumers seem to understand
insemination (AI) workshop hosted by the NCDA&CS at the Cherry               they did a year ago. Forty-two percent of the respondents said their produce        that healthy eating promotes healthy aging. So as consumers age, healthy eat-
Research Farm/CEFS in Goldsboro, NC, on Saturday, December 12.               purchasing habits remained the same last year, and one-third said they bought       ing increases in importance.” Fresh fruits and vegetables receive credit from
Dr. Gary Hansen (NCSU) will be conducting the workshop in col-               more whole produce than fresh-cut in the past 12 months.                            consumers for being unprocessed and natural, Lutz said, and that increases their
laboration with Dr. Ralph Noble (NCA&TSU) and Dr. Niki Whitley                      In the 2008 Produce Department Annual Review conducted by Produce            health appeal.
(NCA&TSU). Producers and Extension field staff who would like                 Merchandising, produce sales were reported to have increased 4.6 percent dur-              The demand for berries has especially been influenced by increased con-
to learn more about this useful breeding tool are invited to attend.         ing the marketing year ending July 26, 2008. Fresh fruit sales accounted for 45.5   sumer awareness of their health benefits because of the many vitamins, miner-
Sign-in starts at 8:30 a.m., and the program begins at 9 a.m. and ends       percent of these sales, up from 44.8 percent the previous year. Berries led fruit   als, fiber and antioxidants contained in the fruits. Berries are also a quick and
at 3:30 p.m. Space is limited in order to accommodate everyone               sales, contributing 6.8 percent to the total. Apples made up 6.6 percent, bananas   healthy snack option, as the only preparation needed is to wash the fruit and eat
for the “hands-on” portion of the program, so please register soon.          accounted for 5.8 percent and grapes contributed 5.6 percent. Together these        it. In the United States, fresh blueberry consumption was up 65 percent in 2007,
                                                                             fruits represented nearly 25 percent of the total produce sales.                    fresh raspberry consumption was up nearly 300 percent and fresh strawberry
Deadline to register is December 9. Cost is $20 for the first person
                                                                                    What is driving this increase in fresh fruit sales?                          demand was up 45 percent from 2001 to 2006.
from a family or farm and $15 for additional family/farm members.
                                                                                                                                                                        Consumers believe a food is healthy based on these factors: color, season-
Checks should be made payable to NCA&TSU Extension. For more                 HEALTH CONCERNS HELP INCREASE FRUIT CONSUMPTION                                     ality and whether the product is organic, raw and local, according to Healthy Eat-
information, please contact Dr. Gary Hansen (252-793-4428 Ext.                                                                                                   ing Trends 2009. This study also suggests that consumers view farmers markets,
137 or gary_hansen@ncsu.edu) or Dr. Niki Whitley (336-334-7956                    First and foremost, health concerns have driven demand for fruits as con-      health food stores and specialty stores as healthier sources for food than grocery
Ext. 2102 or ncwhitle@ncat.edu). To register, please contact Andrea          sumers look for healthier and more nutritious options for their diets. With the     stores and supercenters.
Brooks (336-334-7956 or albrooks@ncat.edu).                                  increased media attention on obesity and associated health problems, consum-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Continued On Next Page
                                                                             ers are trying to eat healthier foods, placing an increased focus on items such
  Page 6
                                              AGRICULTURE, NATURAL RESOURCES & ENVIRONMENT                                                                                                                                   FALL/WINTER 2009


National Demand Cont.                                         consumption. Adults aged 45 to 54 years spend the most
                                                              money on fresh fruits, as do consumers in the middle- and
                                                                                                                             YEAR-ROUND AVAILABILITY                                                 In the short run, much of the demand for fresh fruits
                                                                                                                                                                                              will depend on the economy. In the long run, however, given
                                                              upper-income levels, according to Demographics of Con-               A greater variety of fruits has also helped to increase    the growing health concerns, changing demographics and
BUYING LOCALLY INCREASES SALES                                sumer Food Spending, 2008. In addition, females typically                                                                       the desire for more variety and convenience, the demand
                                                                                                                             the demand for fruit and many Americans shop at super-
                                                              purchase more fresh fruit than men. Consumers of Asian         markets where there are many different brands of fruits to       for fresh fruit is expected to increase.
       Some consumers believe that it is important to buy     backgrounds spend the most on fresh fruits, whereas His-
locally grown produce or foods produced in a sustainable                                                                     choose from. In addition, consumers are demanding a vari-
                                                              panics spend the second highest amount. Couples with           ety of produce that is available year-round, especially during   GOOD NEWS, BAD NEWS FOR NORTH CAROLINA
environment. The growing trend to eat locally has led to      children usually buy more than couples without kids, and
a rising consumer group known as “locavores,” or those                                                                       off-seasons. Globalization along with improved transporta-
                                                              consumers who are college graduates spend significantly        tion and cold chain management techniques have helped                   Although consumption has increased, the 2009 State
consumers who focus on purchasing, preparing and con-         more than those without a four-year college degree.                                                                             Indicator Report on Fruits and Vegetables from the Cen-
suming foods grown locally. Locavores believe that food                                                                      increase the number of fruit sources from Mexico and
                                                                    Consumers in households with children are more likely    countries in the Southern Hemisphere which has enabled           ters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that
grown locally will be fresher and therefore more nutritious   to buy apples, grapes and peaches than those without kids;                                                                      Americans still have a ways to go when it comes to eat-
than food shipped in from distant locations. This trend has                                                                  consumers to purchase fresh fruit year-round.
                                                              93 percent to 86 percent, 84 percent to 72 percent, and 63           In North Carolina, a research team that includes sci-      ing fruits and vegetables. The objectives of the Healthy
induced consumers to shop at farmers markets and local        percent to 51 percent, respectively, according to 2009 Fresh                                                                    People 2010 initiative is for 75 percent of Americans to eat
farm stands in increasing numbers. Direct-to-consumer                                                                        entists from N.C. State University and the N.C. Department
                                                              Trends. Income is a driving factor in most berry purchases,    of Agriculture and Consumer Services is studying the use of      the recommended two or more daily servings of fruit and
sales increased 104.7 percent from 1997 to 2007, while to-    however, with the likelihood of a purchase strongly increas-                                                                    at least 50 percent to eat the recommended three or more
tal agriculture sales grew 47.6 percent, according to Facts                                                                  high tunnels to help farmers extend the growing season for
                                                              ing as household income rises. The Fresh Trends study          local strawberries.                                              daily servings of vegetables. But the CDC findings show
on Direct-to-Consumer Food Marketing, May 2009, from          also showed that shoppers in the highest income bracket                                                                         that just 33 percent and 27 percent eat fruits and vegetables
the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. In addition to                                                                            Convenience continues to play a large role in fruit de-
                                                              ($100,000+) comprised the group most likely to buy black-      mand. The average time to prepare a meal has dropped             respectively. It’s worse for high school students: North
recognizing the health benefits associated with buying lo-    berries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries while                                                                        Carolina is near the bottom of the list, with only 6 percent of
cally grown produce, some advocates, such as Stacy Miller,                                                                   from 49 to 31 minutes over the last decade, according to
                                                              those in the lower income brackets were least likely to buy.   the 2009 North American Food & Agribusiness Outlook by           adolescents consuming the daily recommended amounts of
executive director of the Farmers Market Coalition in Mar-    In addition, female shoppers were more likely to buy straw-                                                                     fruits and vegetables.
tinsburg, W.V., suggests that consumers are buying more                                                                      Rabobank International. As household disposable income
                                                              berries, at 74 percent, than male shoppers, at 59 percent.     increases and free time diminishes, consumers desire more               While these numbers are abysmal, they demonstrate
produce from direct markets because “there’s accountability         Not surprisingly, older consumers are normally the                                                                        a clear need for educational marketing that encourages
in knowing where your food comes from ... some inherent,                                                                     convenient products that frequently command higher prices.
                                                              most receptive to a “healthy eating” message and women         According to the Rabobank outlook report, convenience            youth and families to eat their fruits and vegetables.
built-in credibility and traceability.”                       place more importance on the consumption of fresh fruits       food purchases increased 50 percent in the past decade
                                                              than men and are more likely to adjust their eating habits     and fresh-cut produce sales grew almost 170 percent be-                (Written by Dr. Charles D. Safley, Professor and Ex-
THE DEMOGRAPHIC SHAKEDOWN                                     accordingly, as reported in Meeting Fruit and Vegetable Tar-                                                                    tension Economist, N.C. State University Department of
                                                                                                                             tween 1997 and 2006, reaching an estimated $13.4 billion
                                                              gets, Datamonitor, June 2005.                                  annually.                                                        Agricultural and Resource Economics.)
     Demographics also make a major impact on fresh fruit



                                                                              FAMILY & CONSUMER SCIENCES

                 What’s in Season?                                                                                                         N.C. TAKE CONTROL
      Cranberries are at their peak from October              frozen cranberries are easy to include in your daily                  To help families deal with the economic                   foreclosure and other timely topics were devel-
through December, which has led to their traditional          fare. Cranberries are tart, firm, red, and are a great            downturn, North Carolina Cooperative Exten-                    oped by N.C. Cooperative Extension Family and
presence in holiday meals. Today cranberries are as           addition to salads, muffins and other baked goods, as             sion has developed this website with fact sheets               Consumer Sciences specialists in the College of
traditional to Thanksgiving as turkey and pumpkin             well as to compotes and beverages. Try adding one                on how to cope with personal and financial cri-                 Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State Uni-
pie.                                                                             cup of whole cranberries to a dish            ses. These fact sheets on saving money, talking                versity. Check out the fact sheets at: http://www.
      Cranberries provide about                                                  of bread dressing, and warm in the            to children about the economy, shopping for                    nctakecontrol.com/
100 calories per quarter-cup and                                                 oven until the berries pop. Cook-             healthy foods on a tight budget, avoiding home
are a rich source of antioxidants.                                               ing longer will result in mushy, bit-
A compound found in cranberries                                                  ter berries. These bright-red whole
keeps bacteria from sticking to the                                              berries add attractive color and


                                                                                                                                          SAVE MONEY and STAY
walls of the bladder and has been                                                texture as well as good nutrition.
shown to help prevent and treat                                                  Purchase brightly colored, dark red
urinary tract infections. Labora-                                                cranberries. Sort and discard any

                                                                                                                                           WARM THIS WINTER
tory studies have also shown that                                                soft or bruised berries. Refriger-
these tiny red berries are anti-car-                                             ated cranberries can be stored for
cinogenic, although this finding is                                              one month. Try freezing cranberries
not yet verified in human studies.                                          in an airtight container - either whole or             Take steps now to improve energy efficiency dur-             lower the temperature of the water heater to 120
      Although fresh cranberries contain higher levels        sliced for year-round use.                                     ing the home heating season. Energy dollars can pour             degrees F, and install low-flow water restrictors on
of beneficial nutrients, cranberry juice and dried or               (Taken from “Extension’s Successful Family” Newsletter)
                                                                                                                             out of homes through drafty doors, windows, and un-              showerheads and faucets. Repair all leaky faucets.
                                                                                                                             insulated attics, walls, floors, and basements. Most

   STRESS-FREE COOKING FOR THE
                                                                                                                             winterizing investments pay for themselves relatively                     • Replace or clean the furnace filter according
                                                                                                                             quickly with lower heating bills. Weather-                                to manufacturer’s instructions.
                                                                                                                             stripping and caulking are inexpensive                                               Check the filter at least once a

         HOLIDAY SEASON                                                                                                      and among the simplest, most ef-
                                                                                                                             fective ways to boost efficiency
                                                                                                                             and cut energy costs year round.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      month and replace when dirty.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Dirty or clogged filters can
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       reduce the efficiency of the
      The fall and winter seasons offer opportunities         in a shallow bowl and carefully inserting a wide can-
to entertain family and friends. A little planning and        dle; or arranging sprigs of evergreen with small white         A small investment now can pay                                                            system and block air circula-
preparation can simplify your holiday dinner gather-          candles.                                                       big dividends in keeping your                                                             tion. If you have pets, you
ings. Follow these tips for less stressful, more success-                                                                    home warm this winter.                                                                    may need to change your fil-
ful entertaining:                                                   - Involve guests. If guests offer to bring some-              Don’t overlook simple                                                              ters more often.
                                                              thing, take them up on it. Suggest that they bring a           energy-saving steps that are low
       - Plan menus that won’t keep you in the kitchen        salad, bread, or dessert. This will make them feel a part      cost or no cost:                                                                          • Use drapes, blinds, curtains,
the entire time. It’s no fun to be too busy to visit with     of the occasion and help you at the same time. You may                                                                                              or shutters on all windows to re-
guests. Avoid foods that require last-minute prepara-         want to ask one of the guests to help out in the kitchen            • Set your thermostat as                                                        duce heat loss through the glass.
tion. Slow-cooker or one-pot meals are great when             or with dispensing beverages.                                  low as is comfortable in the                                                        To maximize thermal energy from
company’s coming. All the work is done well in ad-                                                                           winter. Turn down the ther-                                                     the sun, open window coverings during
vance, and the slow cooker keeps your meal warm until               - Clean up later. After the meal, stack the plates in    mostat when you go to bed,                                               sunny days, and close them at night to keep
it’s time to enjoy it.                                        the kitchen. Refrigerate leftover food. Move to another        leave for work, or when you                                            heat inside.
                                                              part of the home and enjoy the company.                        will be away for an extended
      - As you plan your menu, keep in mind the likes,                                                                       period of time. According to                                                • Use kitchen and bathroom vent fans spar-
dislikes, and food allergies of your guests.                        - Keep it SIMPLE, including the guest list, the
                                                                                                                             the Department of Energy’s Ener-                                       ingly during the winter to minimize the heated air
                                                              menu, and the decorations. Keep your guest list small.
                                                                                                                             gy Savers, setting your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees                   that escapes to the outdoors.
      - Choose an appetizer that will be ready to eat         Inviting two or three friends is much more relaxing than
when your guests arrive. Appetizers can be as simple          a larger crowd. Make the meal special with one treat,          lower for eight hours can save you up to ten percent on
as cheese and crackers or raw vegetables and dip. Be          such as homemade bread or an elegant dessert, and              your annual heating and cooling costs.                                • Make certain that furniture and window cover-
sure to place appetizers wherever you want your guests        serve other dishes that are easy to prepare and that can                                                                        ings don’t block air flow from supply ducts and air re-
to congregate.                                                be made ahead of time.                                                • Wear multiple layers of clothing and warm               turns. Arrange the sitting area so that sofas and chairs
                                                                                                                             socks and slippers inside. Dressing warmly will help             are away from drafty windows.
     - Use glass or ceramic plates, cups, and glasses to           Preparing simple, nutritious, and delicious food          you stay comfortable while your thermostat is set a
make the occasion more formal and “greener” than us-          for special occasions helps your family and friends            little lower.                                                         • Close the damper and the glass doors on the
ing disposable items.                                         practice healthy eating year round.                                                                                             fireplace when not in use.
                                                                                                                                  • Make sure a throw blanket is located within
     - Making the table look special does not have to             (Taken from “Extension’s Successful Family”                easy reach when relaxing.                                             (Taken from “Extension’s Successful Family” Newsletter)
be expensive. Create a center-piece by filling a vase          Newsletter)
with lemons, apples, or other fruit; putting sand or rice                                                                         • To reduce water-heating costs and water bills,
  FALL/WINTER 2009
                                                                          FAMILY & CONSUMER SCIENCES                                                                                                                          Page 7




EAT SMART, MOVE MORE, WEIGH LESS
      Margie Mansure, Registered Dietitian, and Amanda Davis,                        -    Ways concepts can be adopted by the whole family                          10.   Eat Out Less
Certified Personal Trainer with a B.S. in Exercise Science, are                       -    Opportunity for sharing and celebrating                                   11.   Move Strong
offering “Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less” on Thursday eve-                         -    Suggestions for living mindfully                                          12.   Start Smart
nings, January 21st until April 15th, 5:15-6:15 p.m. at the Agricul-                 -    Guided discussion of strategy for the week                                13.   Tame the Tube
tural Conference Center, 252 Poplar Grove Road in Boone. Cost                        -    Time for each participant to assess body weight in                        14.   Pack Smart Lunches
of the entire series is $30.                                                              a non-public setting                                                      15.   Keep Your Commitment
      “Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less” is a weight-manage-
ment program that uses strategies proven to work. Each lesson                       There are 15 lessons that will be covered in 13                                 Each participant receives:
informs, empowers and motivates participants to live mindfully                  weeks in the “Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less”
as they make choices about eating and physical activity. The                    curriculum:                                                                         - “Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less” Magazine --
program provides opportunities for participants to track their                                                                                                        A full color magazine that contains the most salient
progress and keep a journal of healthy eating and physical activ-                    1.    Introduction                                                               points from each lesson, recipes and more.
ity behaviors.                                                                       2.    Make Your Commitment                                                     - “Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less” Journal -- A small
                                                                                     3.    Re-Think Your Drink                                                        booklet that helps participants track their weight, food
     Each lesson includes:                                                           4.    Eat Fewer Calories                                                         eaten and physical activity.
                                                                                     5.    Move More
     - In-depth information about why the behavior is important                      6.    Check the Facts                                                         “Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less” teaches you how to be
       for weight loss and                                                           7.    Enjoy More Fruit and Vegetables                                    mindful of your physical activity and nutrition choices. Whether
       weight maintenance                                                            8.    Right-Size Your Portions                                           your goal is to maintain your weight or lose a few pounds, this
     - Strategies for adopting the behavior                                          9.    Plan, Shop, Fix and Eat                                            class can help. Register in advance by calling 264-3061.



                                                                                                        4-H NEWS
     A 4-H Dream Comes True                                                                                               2009 4-H National Science Experiment:
                                                                                                                                                          Biofuel Blast
                                                                                       On Sunday, October 4th,
                                                                                  the 4-H clover and website ad-
                                                                                  dress were featured on the back
                                                                                  panel of the No. 24 racecar driv-
                                                                                  en by Jeff Gordon at the Kansas             In October, all across the nation, 4-H sponsored          The experiment explores the production of the
                                                                                  Speedway. This promotional op-        a science experiment to encourage interest in science     biofuel ethanol and demonstrates how organic mate-
                                                                                  portunity generated more than 70      and current issues. The theme this year was biofuels.     rials can be converted to fuel to supply energy. The
                                                                                  million media impressions and               Renewable energy sources like                       kids “make” their own “biofuel” and experiment with
                                                                                  put 4-H in front of millions of       biofuels are constantly making                            different biomass which might make biofuel. Biofu-
                                                                                  NASCAR fans, 4-H alumni and           headlines in the news today. As                            els are typically made in the US by converting the
                                                                                  new friends.                          our nation grapples                                                   starches from corn kernels into the sugars
                                                                                       Our State 4-H leader, Mar-       with important en-                                                         in corn syrup and then adding yeast to
                                                                                  shall Stewart went to Kansas for      vironmental issues                                                            break down the sugars, which re-
                                                                                  the running of the 4-H clover at      such as global                                                                  leases carbon dioxide and ethanol
                                                                                  the NASCAR race. Here is his          warming, sustain-                                                                  as by-products. The ethanol
                                                                                  story:                                ability and energy                                                                      is blended with gasoline
                                                                                       “It was truly a great experi-    independence, “biofu-                                                                        and then sold at some
                                                                                  ence that I will always remem-        els” -- sources of energy                                                                     gas stations. You
                                                                                  ber as we had the opportunity to      obtained from recently                                                                         might see a sign
                                                                                  watch the race from the pit area      harvested plant mate-                                                                           at the pump that
and to assist National 4-H with their media efforts related to the event.                                               rials -- are at the fore-                                                                       says “E10,” which
      However, the most important part of this past weekend for me was to see someone that I work with every-           front of the discussion of                                                                     means 10 percent
day have a dream realized. For over ten years, Jackie Helton has worked as a 4-H agent, 4-H Foundation staff            alternative energy sources.                                                                   ethanol and 90 per-
member and 4-H state staff member, to see the 4-H clover run on a car at a NASCAR race. On Sunday, we saw               It is vital for youth to under-                                                            cent gasoline.
his dream come true.                                                                                                    stand and engage in the important environmental                                           The experiment was
      In our business we teach youth and adults to dream and to work hard to pursue their dreams. Over these            issues our global community faces together and the               done locally in after-school settings and is still
past ten years, Jackie has never given up on his dream for 4-H. As the #24 car made its way around the track, I         opportunities available for a greener tomorrow.           available for groups that might be interested.
cannot tell you how much it meant for me to be there with him to see this dream realized.
      I commend Jackie for his leadership, persistence and hard work. While many others would have given up
long ago, he never stopped. There is a great lesson in that for all of us. We must never forget to dream big and
pursue those dreams.
      Because of Jackie Helton, the 4-H clover has now reached a larger audience in one single event than at any
                                                                                                                                      Youth Gardening Series
                                                                                                                              Plans are in the works for garden-related activi-   We will offer lots of ideas on neat things you can do at
time in its history. Only time will tell what the impact of that will be, but rest assured that there are millions 4-
                                                                                                                        ties for youth in the spring. Is your family thinking     home with plants. Initial dates are:
H’ers, volunteers, alumni and supporters who are feeling greater pride in 4-H because of Jackie’s efforts.
                                                                                                                        about starting a garden but have a black thumb? Want
      Jackie, on behalf of six million 4-H’ers...keep dreaming...we need more dreams...sometimes, they do come          to encourage an interest in gardening with your chil-         Saturdays, 10 a.m. - 12 noon
true!”                                                                                                                  dren? Kids’ sessions on how to start a garden will be         March 20, April 24, May 15,
      See more at http://www.nc4h.org                                                                                   offered. These workshops are designed to interest kids        Location: March and April will start off at the
                                                                                                                        in gardening but will offer some basic information for    Agricultural Conference Center


        Give the Gift of an Experience
                                                                                                                        beginning parent gardeners as well. The workshops
                                                                                                                        are targeted for 5-12 year olds. We will offer some           Contact Watauga County 4-H at 264-3061 for
                                                                                                                        hands-on activities, some fun instruction, and support.   more information.

              for Young People
                  4-H CAMP REGISTRATION OPENS
                                                                                                                                                     Fruit Plant Sale
                                                                                                                             Ordering for the Watauga County 4-H Fruit Plant           Available plants will include strawberries, blue-
     Trying to come up with a meaningful gift for a         July 25-30. To guarantee a spot, register by January        Sale will open by January 15. If you would like to        berries, blackberries, raspberries and grapes. An order
child or grandchild? Why not give the gift                          29. The good news is you can reserve your           help support youth programs in Watauga County,            form will be online at the 4-H link at http://watauga.
of an Experience? Consider the gift of                                 spot with a $100 deposit and have until          place your order by March 29, 2010. Supplies are          ces.ncsu.edu. Profits from this sale help provide fund-
a week at camp, something that will                                      June to save up for the rest of the fee,       available at a first-come, first-ordered basis.             ing for Watauga 4-H Programming.
create memories for a lifetime. Now                                       which is $290. The fee covers meals,

                                                                                                                                               Kids in the Garden
is the time to begin enrolling for 4-                                     lodging, t-shirt, transportation to camp
H Camp for Summer 2010. Watauga                                          and more. Registration will continue
County 4-H will escort a group of 8-14                                    beyond January 29, but spaces may not              Bring your kids with you to the Organic Garden-           Fee: $4.00 per day
year old campers to Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-                                     be guaranteed. Contact the 4-H office         ing 101 workshop series.                                       Who: Ages 6-12
H Center. The center is located above                                      at 264-3061 for more information or to
Greensboro in Rockingham County,                                         register. Check the website out at http://          When: Monday, June 21 - Thursday, June 24                 Explore the garden, meet some chickens, insects
near Reidsville. The camping week is                                     www.nc4h.org/centers                                Time: 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon                            and plant lovers, and do some hands-on activities.
Page 8
                                                                      CALENDAR of EVENTS                                                                    FALL/WINTER 2009



 DECEMBER                                                        30    MountainKeepers Resilience Summit             23    Raising Pork Workshop - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.,
 10    4-H Cloverbud (5-8 year old) Club Meeting                                                                           Agricultural Conference Center
 12    Cattle Artificial Insemination Workshop, Goldsboro        FEBRUARY                                            23-24 Rain Garden Certification Workshop
 24-25 Extension Office Closed for Holidays                      16  Backyard Chicken Workshop - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.,   29    Deadline to Order 4-H Fruit Plants
                                                                     Agricultural Conference Center
 JANUARY                                                         23  Composting Basics - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.,           APRIL
 1   Extension Office Closed for Holiday                             Agricultural Conference Center                  20  Vegetable Gardening: Part 1 - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.,
 8   WNC AgOption Grant Proposal Deadline                                                                                Agricultural Conference Center
 14  4-H Cloverbud (5-8 year old) Club Meeting                   MARCH                                               24  Kids Gardening workshop, 10 a.m. - 12 noon
 15  4-H Fruit Plant Sale Begins                                 4  Blueberry Pruning Workshop, 2 p.m., Jefferson    27  Vegetable Gardening: Part 2 - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.,
 18  Extension Office Closed for Holiday                         8  Watauga County Master Gardener Application           Agricultural Conference Center
 21  “Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less”                             Deadline
     Thursday evenings, 5:15-6:15 p.m.,                          13 Seed Swap & Garden Classes, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.,     MAY
     Agricultural Conference Center                                 Ashe Co. Family Central in Jefferson             15  Kids Gardening workshop, 10 a.m. - 12 noon
 28  Fruit & Essential Plants for Your Yard, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.,   20 Kids Gardening workshop, 10 a.m. - 12 noon       18  Ornamental Plant Care - 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.,
     Agricultural Conference Center                              20 Watauga County Beekeeper Short Course                Agricultural Conference Center
 29  Deadline for 4-H Camp Registration                          23 Apple & Peach Pruning Workshop, West Jefferson



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                                               and technology that enrich the lives, land and economy of North Carolinians.”




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