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NC Cooperative Extension Service

Providing Solutions
for another Century: Extension Strategic Vision & Planning Initiative 2013-2014

N.C. Cooperative Extension has launched a Strategic Vision and Planning Initiative that will take place over the next several months. This process will support and sustain Our Vision and promise to the citizens of North Carolina.

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NC Cooperative Extension Service

Providing Solutions
for another Century: Extension Strategic Vision & Planning Initiative 2013-2014

N.C. Cooperative Extension has launched a Strategic Vision and Planning Initiative that will take place over the next several months. This process will support and sustain Our Vision and promise to the citizens of North Carolina.

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Old 4-H Van

New Jackson County
4-H Van

If you were involved in Jackson County 4-H anytime after 1994 you probably rode in the 15 passenger 4-H van. This vehicle transported 4-Hers to camp, state events, leadership workshops, 4-H Congress, hiking excursions, livestock events, sewing camps, the Mountain State Fair, District Activity Day, and much, much more. In addition it was utilized by members of the adult ECA clubs for various educational and craft excursions. I wonder how many individuals have been transported in that van? Well, twenty-one years later, and thanks to the foresight of folks in the 90’s, we have a new van.

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WNC AgOptions -
Grants for Diversifying Farmers - Now Available

WNC AgOptions intent to apply deadline Oct. 16; Application deadline Nov. 13. ASHEVILLE, N.C. — WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $178,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2016. The application deadline is Nov. 13. WNC AgOptions helps offset farmers' risk of trying new ventures with $3,000 and $6,000 grants. "The WNC AgOptions program is an excellent example of grant funds providing direct support to those who need it most," said Ross Young, Madison County Extension Director and WNC AgOptions steering committee leader. "Our farmers are arguably the most important people in our society. I sincerely appreciate the Commission's interest in supporting western North Carolina agriculture." The Commission has supported the mountain region throughout major changes in agriculture, ensuring farmers continue farming. "Farmers in western North Carolina have proven time and time again that they are very innovative, resourceful and creative in how they produce and market their products," said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. "Our board is committed to the success of farmers in the targeted counties and we know these grants will encourage many successful projects." Applicants should contact their Cooperative Extension Agents by Oct. 16 to set up an appointment to discuss their projects. Applications are available at www.wncagoptions.org or at local Cooperative Extension Centers. Extension Agents remain a resource for farmers throughout the year as they complete their projects. Since 2004, WNC AgOptions has awarded nearly $2 million to farmers. Grants often pay for a simple improvement that make a big difference, such as the purchase of an air-forced refrigerator at Perry's Berry's in Burke County. The cold storage reduced Owners Debbie and Terry Perry's blueberry losses from 20 percent in 2014 to less than 5 percent in 2015. Cooling their berries immediately after harvest enhances the quality of their product, which they sell to a variety of customers, including Food Matters in Transylvania County, Fonta Flora Brewery in Burke County and Blind Squirrel Brewery in Avery County. Wehrloom Honey in Graham County has exceeded their expectations since opening a new retail store in Robbinsville in May. With the help of a WNC AgOptions grant, Owner Jessica Wehr added new products such as spun honey, which is a thick spreadable honey, and bee pollen, which is considered a superfood due to its rich source of vitamins. Hoopers Creek Botanicals expanded production with a 2015 WNC AgOptions grant, and Owner Wallace Souther says he is able to sell all the medicinal herbs that he can grow. He also secured a contract with Sow True Seeds in Asheville to grow winter squash, which he says he wouldn't have been able to do without the grant. "I feel so honored," Souther said. WNC AgOptions offers grants to farmers in the following counties/units: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties as well as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Applicants are encouraged to attend information sessions, which will be held throughout the region in the next two months. Check the WNC AgOptions website for exact dates and locations or call Project Coordinator Jennifer Ferre at (828) 252-4783. The administrator of WNC AgOptions is WNC Communities, a non-profit organization that has been improving agriculture in the region since 1947. WNC Communities provides a unique forum for leaders in western North Carolina to carry out innovative programs to improve the quality of life for rural communities and to enhance the agriculture economy. "WNC Communities is delighted to serve as administrator for WNC AgOptions," said L.T. Ward, Vice President of WNC Commuities. "We are grateful to the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and North Carolina legislators for their support for twelve years." Members of the WNC AgOptions steering committee include: representatives from N.C. Cooperative Extension, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services–Marketing Division, WNC Communities, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and other leaders in agribusiness. For more information, see the following: WNC Agricultural Options: www.wncagoptions.org; N.C. Cooperative Extension Centers: www.ces.ncsu.edu; N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission: www.tobaccotrustfund.org; WNC Communities: www.wnccommunities.org. 2016 WNC AgOptions Grant Application

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Summer fiddle GUM 13

Mountain Youth Talent
Contests

To showcase the musical and vocal talents of our children, 4-H in association with Catch the Spirit of Appalachia will again produce a Youth Talent Contest at the Greening Up the Mountains, April 25, 2015 in Sylva, NC. Contest time is 10:00 a.m. Cash prizes are offered. Entry Deadline is Wednesday, April 15, 2015.

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Food Processing and Manufacturing Initiative

Food Processing and
Manufacturing Initiative

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

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NEWS View All
Ice-cream

July is Ice Cream Month

President Ronald Regan declared July as Ice Cream Month in 1984. What a great way to celebrate summer by having ice MORE »

2015 - Summer Camp - BJP

Jackson County 4-H Goes to Camp

Remember summer vacation? For many of us it was filled with roaming around, playing with the kids in the neighborhood, building forts, creating stuff, staying outside until it was dark, and catching MORE »

Dairy Time

On June 15-17, 2015 I had the pleasure of hosting a day camp that offered nutrition, field trips, and sewing to our 6-8 year olds. Our day began with the pledges to the MORE »

IMBRF-00102243-001

Moles – No Easy Answer

Moles tunnel through the soil with their over sized front paws. Forget the ground hog, there’s one sure sign spring is on the way popping up in yards all over North Carolina – MORE »

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EVENTS View All
YLCSun Aug 30, 2015
5:45 PM - 7:30 PM— 2 days away
New JAM Registration deadlineMon Aug 31 - Mon Aug 31, 2015 - ALL DAY— 2 days away
Cloverbuds-postponedWed Sep 2, 2015
3:45 PM - 5:00 PM— 5 days away
New JAM InterviewsThu Sep 3, 2015
3:30 PM - 7:00 PM— 6 days away
Returning JAM forms/payment deadlineFri Sep 4 - Fri Sep 4, 2015 - ALL DAY— 6 days away
BJP Camp Deposit dueFri Sep 4 - Fri Sep 4, 2015 - ALL DAY— 6 days away
Railfest Talent ContestSat Sep 5 - Sat Sep 5, 2015 - ALL DAY— 1 week away
JAM PerformanceSat Sep 5 - Sat Sep 5, 2015 - ALL DAY— 1 week away
More Events