Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Forestry News

The December Forestry Newsletter is now available online. Click here to view.

Monday, December 14, 2009

ECA Newsletter

The December ECA newsletter is now online. Click here to view.

Friday, October 30, 2009

NCDA&CS Makes Changes to Agronomic Reporting

Beginning Nov. 1, the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services will no longer routinely mail out paper copies of agronomic reports. This policy will apply to reports for soil tests and nematode assays, as well as plant tissue, waste, solution and soilless media analyses.

Testing results can be easily accessed & downloaded. For more information you can can contact the Extension Office at 336-372-5597 or visit the NCDA&CS website.

RAFI Grants For Farmers Workshop

Agriculture producers in Alleghany County who are thinking of new ways to improve their farm income have an opportunity to discuss those ideas with organizations that can be of assistance with planning and funding. Cooperative Extension along with the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) will host a “How to Apply” grant workshop for Alleghany County farmers on Monday, November 9th at 5:30 pm. The workshop will be held in the meeting room of the County Building at 90 South Main Street, located between the Kangaroo station and Medi-Home Care.

The Grants are for agriculture operations considering new or expanded production, processing, and marketing approaches for their enterprises. Supported by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, the grant program is designed to keep farmers in farming and to maintain the agricultural economic base of North Carolina’s rural communities. Qualifying producers must be farmers (or farmer “groups”) actively engaged in full or part-time farming. Priority is given to projects providing opportunities for a new generation of farmers.

The grant program is designed to help farmers put their own ideas to work to develop new income sources. These cost-share grants can help reduce the risk of trying innovative and new ideas that can help sustain the bottom-line of the business. Some farmers may have ideas for improved methods of production, processing, or opening new markets, but are hesitant to shift operating costs or to borrow money to try new approaches. This is where this program can assist farm businesses. The maximum amount available to individual farmers is $10,000, and for collaborative farmer or community projects the amount is $30,000.

To RSVP for this workshop and/or for more information, contact David Isner at 336-372-5597.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cut Flower Production Workshop

Are you interested in adding cut flower production to your operation? Are you currently growing cut flowers and looking for the latest production information? The NC Cooperative Extension Service, McDowell Center is offering a program on cut flower production for small growers.

The program will be held on Thursday, October 22nd, at 2:00 pm in the Extension Conference room, 60 East Court Street in Marion NC. Craig Adkins, Extension Area Specialized Agent - Commercial Horticulture will be speaking on all aspects of cut flower production including, site selection, species selection, fertilization, pest control and more. Meredith McKissick, of Sweet Earth Flower Farm will be speaking about her experience growing and marketing cut flowers. Meredith has experience growing flowers and marketing them at tailgate markets and for weddings and other events. She will also be talking about 3-5 different annual cuts that can be easily grown for each spring, summer, and fall.

This program is free, but pre-registration is required by calling the Extension Office at 828-652-8104 or by emailing Jane McDaniel at Jane_McDaniel@ncsu.edu by October 20th. For additional information please call 828-652-8104.

Christmas Tree Newsletter

The September Christmas Tree News is now available online. Click here to view.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

4-H Zooms into National 4-H Week

National 4-H Week will take off with a speedy start on October 4th, as the 4-H emblem makes its debut appearance in a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race. The well-known national icon will be featured on the 'TV panel' of the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet driven by Jeff Gordon at Kansas Speedway that day. The placement of the 4-H clover on the No. 24 Chevrolet was made possible through a generous donation by DuPont, sponsor of both the No. 24 team and of 4-H.
National 4-H Week is an annual celebration for the 100-year old youth development organization. The highlight of the week includes the highly anticipated, 4-H National Youth Science Day, which brings together millions of youth to participate in the National Science Experiment. This year's experiment, Biofuel Blast, will introduce youth to alternative energy. DuPont is a premier sponsor of 4-H National Youth Science Day and the Biofuel Blast National Science Experiment.

"The appearance of the 4-H emblem on Jeff Gordon's car in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup is a wonderful salute to 4-H by DuPont, and an amazing way for us to begin National 4-H Week," said Donald T. Floyd, Jr., president and CEO of National 4-H Council. "Now, millions of current 4-H'ers, 4-H alumni and racing fans alike can watch with excitement as the clover takes to the track for the first time."
The Kansas event is the third in the 10-race Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, and the 1.5-mile track is the site of two of Gordon's 82 career victories in NASCAR's premier division.

"4-H has been a leader among youth development organizations, enriching the lives of millions of young people for more than100 years," said Gordon. "It is an honor to have such an iconic emblem featured on the DuPont Chevrolet and to provide such an exciting way to help the nation kick-off National 4-H Week."

4-H National Youth Science Day was created to spark an early youth interest in science education and to combat a national shortage of young people pursuing science in college and future careers. Participants in this year's National Science Experiment will learn how cellulose and sugars in plants - such as corn, switchgrass, sorghum and algae - can be converted into fuel, and how alternative energies can be used in their own communities. Youth will create their own biofuel through Biofuel Blast, lead discussions about what they've learned, and see how their small creations are a part of a larger, global discussion.

"Research into biofuels and bio-based materials is an important area for our company, and we are proud to sponsor 4-H in their extraordinary effort to help young people understand one of the most important issues facing our nation today," said James C. Borel, group vice president, DuPont Agriculture.

Currently, more than five million youth across the nation take part in 4-H science, engineering and technology (SET) year-long programming that introduce youth to new areas of interest and help them explore environmental and scientific issues. 4-H SET programming span from robotics, rocketry, and computer science, to agricultural science, GPS mapping and renewable energy.

According to a longitudinal study by Tufts University, youth who participate in 4-H programs are more likely to get better grades in school, to seek out science classes, to see themselves going to college, and to contribute positively in their communities. In addition, 4-H youth have been shown to better resist peer pressure and are less likely to engage in risky behaviors.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Open Youth Horse Show

The second Open Youth Horse Show of 2009 will be held on Saturday, September 12th. The gates will open at 7:30 a.m. and Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. Click here for the Show Program which lists all the classes for the day.

The cost to participate in the show is $4 per class or $20 to show all day. Friday night (September 11th) there will be a show pre-registration as well as an open ring from 7 - 8:30 pm.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fencing Clinic

The Ashe County Center is hosting a fencing clinic on Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. This clinic will be held at the Upper Mountain Research Station in Laurel Springs.

Lewis Sapp, Territory Manager for Stay-Tuff Fence Manufacturing, will be providing his expertise on correct procedures for installing woven wire and Hi-tensile fencing. He can help with fencing projects from start to finish. He will have encing products and the latest tools on hand. There will also be a demonstration on flat and steep grades. If you have any questions, please contact the Research Station at 336-982-2501 or the Ashe Extension Office at (336) 846-5850.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

4-H camps get much deserved recognition

In addition to traditional 4-H camp sessions, we conduct a variety of specialty camps each summer. Two of those camps were featured by local TV stations. Thought you would like to see the coverage on one of our /Operation Purple Camps /(at Swannanoa) and /Take Off 4-Health Camp/ at the Eastern 4-H Center. We are justly proud of all of our camps. It is gratifying to see two of them featured in such a positive way by area media.


http://www.wlos.com/shared/newsroom/top_stories/wlos_vid_695.shtml (look for Operation Purple)http://www.wnct.com/nct/news/local/article/take_off_for_health_camp_in_its_second_week/46680/
Larry Hancock
Extension 4-H Specialist

Monday, July 27, 2009

Alleghany 4-H’er Inducted into Honor Club

An Alleghany County 4-H’er received one of the highest honors a 4-H’er can achieve during the annual state 4-H Congress.

Congress is the high point of the 4-H year, bringing young people from across the state to the North Carolina State University campus and Raleigh for a week of activity. This year’s Congress was July 20-24 and included a celebration of 100 years of 4-H in North Carolina.

Cate Hall, 19, daughter of Bonnie C. and Al Hall of Sparta, was inducted into the 4-H Honor Club. Cate, a student at Wilkes Community College, has been active in the 4-H program for nine years.

New Honor Club members were tapped during a candlelight ceremony Monday night, July 20. Membership in the Honor Club is based on service to the 4-H program, leadership, moral standards, 4-H activities and project achievement. Less than one-half of 1 percent of North Carolina 4-H’ers are selected for membership each year. Members must be at least 16 years old and have a minimum of three years 4-H experience.

Approximately 800 4-H’ers, volunteer leaders and North Carolina Cooperative Extension agents attended 4-H Congress.The 4-H program is the youth education program of North Carolina Cooperative Extension, based at North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State universities. More than 239,000 young people between the ages of 5 and 19 participate in North Carolina 4-H activities each year with the help of 23,000 adult and youth volunteers.

For more information about 4-H in Alleghany and how you can get involved, please contact Amy Lucas at (336) 372-5597 or amy_lucas@ncsu.edu.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

2009 Farm Expo

The Ashe and Alleghany County Cooperative Extension, the Ashe and Alleghany County Christmas Tree and Cattlemen's Associations and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture are hosting an all-inclusive Farm Expo on Saturday August 29 from 12:30 pm until dark at the Upper Mountain Research Station in Laurel Springs, NC.

The 2009 Farm Expo will highlight research projects at Upper Mountain Research Station, farm diversification opportunities, and have vendors showing off new farm equipment, conservation opportunities, farm related funding, area banks, and many other for profit and nonprofit agricultural services.

The Ashe and Alleghany County Cattlemen's Associations will be grilling fresh roast beef for dinner and the NCDA will be providing a "Taste of North Carolina" exhibit with strawberries, and other farm fresh produce to highlight the abundance and diversity of crops grown in North Carolina.

The 2009 Farm Expo is being co-sponsored by NC Farm Bureau and Carolina Farm Credit. NC Farm Bureau's ice cream truck (free ice cream all day) will be on hand for the Expo.

Click here for the brochure that gives all the information needed about attending this event.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Open Youth Horse Show

The first Open Youth Horse Show of 2009 will be held on Saturday, July 25th. The gates will open at 7:30 a.m. and Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. Click here for the Show Program which lists all the classes for the day. The cost to participate in the show is $3 per class or $15 to show all day. Friday night (July 24th) there will be a show pre-registration as well as an open ring from 7 - 8:30 pm.

Alleghany County Fair

The 22nd Annual Alleghany County Agricultural Fair will be August 22-29, 2009. Click here for more information about the fair. There is a complete Schedule of Events, as well as Rules and Entry forms for the Demolition Derby, Livestock Shows and the Exhbibition Building.

We hope to see you and your family at the fair!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Community Health Fair

Be Happy Be Healthy Community Health Fair

Friday, June 19, 2009

3 - 6 pm @ the Alleghany Memorial Hospital Lawn

Alleghany Memorial Hospital and the Wellness Center will be having a health fair on hospital grouds and will include health services information, lab work for adults, as well as tons of fun activities for the kids. Everything is free except for lab services. Snow cones, bounce house, jump rope, climbing wall, train rides, live music, and a FireHouse to learn about fire safety and calling 911 for help. The helicopter will also be on site. Bring the whole family and enjoy a fun afternoon to learn about healthcare services from our local hospital.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Insulin Resistance in Horses

I’ve had several questions about insulin resistance – here’s a good abstract from the late Dr. Kronfeld from Virginia Tech (J. Animal Science, 2005). Take home message is to avoid high starch, high fructan, high glycemic feeds in these types of horses.

Insulin resistance in the horse: Definition, detection, and dietetics1,2
D. S. Kronfeld*,3, K. H. Treiber*, T. M. Hess* and R. C. Boston
* Middleburg Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Middleburg 20117; and and School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square 19348
3 Correspondence: Dept. of Anim. and Poultry Sci., Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0306 (e-mail: kronfeld@vt.edu

Specific quantitative methods for determining insulin resistance have been applied to obesity, activity/inactivity, reproductive efficiency, and exercise in horses, but only nonspecific indications have implicated insulin resistance as a risk factor or component of equine diseases. Insulin resistance derives from insulin insensitivity at the cell surface, which regulates glucose availability inside the cell, or from insulin ineffectiveness due to disruption of glucose metabolism inside the cell. Interplay of insensitivity and ineffectiveness should be considered in regard to patterns of disease, such as laminitis. Detection of insulin insensitivity is made weakly on the basis of fasting hyperinsulinemia, more strongly with a statistically validated surrogate, such as the logarithm of the reciprocal of basal insulinemia, or best by a specific quantitative method. Subjects found to be at risk can be managed to improve their insulin sensitivity by dietetics. Claims for dietetic prevention of a disease should be distinguished from claims for avoidance of a dietary risk factor. The evidence required for a claim of prevention is a controlled intervention trial as for a therapeutic drug, according to the U.S. FDA. In contrast, the evidence required for a claim of avoidance is association revealed by population studies plus causation shown by mechanistic experiments, as formulated in the Surgeon General of the Public Health Office’s (1988) Report on Nutrition and Health. In this view, no appropriate evidence is available for the prevention or treatment of insulin resistance in an equine disease. Evidence is available, however, to justify avoidance of high-glycemic feeds, such as high starch intakes in grains, clover, and alfalfa, and high fructan intakes in grasses, to decrease the risk of acute digestive disturbances associated with rapid fermentation, and chronic metabolic disorders associated with insulin resistance. During submaximal exercise, high-glycemic meals have been shown to increase glucose utilization immediately. On the other hand, chronic adaptation to feeds that exchange corn oil and fiber sources for sources of sugar and starch confers benefits to athletic performance that may be due to several aspects of fat adaptation, including the regulation of insulin sensitivity, as well as glycolysis and lipid oxidation by signals from insulin receptors. Information regarding insulin resistance suggests methods for protecting health and promoting horse performance.
J.Tim Potter, Ph.D., PAS
Area Specialized Agent-Equine

Thursday, April 30, 2009

RC Car Race

During the intermission of the 2009 Carquest Spring Mowdown Lawnmower Race on Saturday, May 9th there will be a RC(remote control) Car Race. If you are a student in grades 6-8 or an adult and would like to participate in the race, click here for your entry form. Entry forms are due to Joe Whisnant or to the Extension Office by Thursday, May 7th.

There is also a raffle taking place. If you would like a chance to win a RC Car (valued at $200) stop by Carquest in Sparta to enter. Tickets for the raffle are $1 each or 6 for $5.

Monday, April 27, 2009

2009 Strawberry Field Day

The Piedmont Research Station in Salisbury is hosting the 2009 Strawberry Field Day on Tuesday, May 5th. Registration is at 9:30 a.m. and the program will begin at 9:50 a.m. Highlights of the program includes: strawberry tunnel research, plant material considerations for tunnels, strawberry breeding research and biological mite management. Click here for directions. For more information, contact Barclay Poling at 919.418.9687 or barclay_poling@ncsu.edu.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Did you know it is National Park Week?

National Park Week is an annual Presidentially proclaimed week for celebration and recognition of National Parks. Consider visiting one of the National Parks in North Carolina!

Here is a little challenge-can you name all the National Parks in NC? (there are nine).

For more information and a list of National Park Week events in NC, go to http://www.nps.gov/npweek/

Miss America gives credit to 4-H

Ask Katie Stam about her passion for community service, and she'll tell you it all started with 4-H. Long before winning her title as Miss America, Katie Stam from Seymour, Ind. would spend hours in 4-H performing in creative dramatics, competing at the Jackson County fair, and visiting with 4-H friends and family. It was there that she learned the values of leadership, mentorship, and community service. And like most 4-H kids, she collected blue ribbons and trophies along the way to mark her accomplishments.

In January the Indiana farm girl was crowned Miss America 2009 and now that she's in the national spotlight, Stam is getting the message out that community service is important and rewarding. Stam's platform, Promoting Community Service and Involvement, aims to get youth involved in their own neighborhoods.

With community service as her national platform, Stam could potentially transform the way millions of young people think about giving back to their communities and 4-H. "4-H is such an advocate for community service," says Stam. "It encourages you to reach out to people in so many different ways."

She is also the National Goodwill Ambassador for Children's Miracle Network and is the official spokesperson for Zerosmoke.Stam is currently being considered for Time Magazine's annual 100 Most Influential People List. The annual list asks the public to rate each candidate on their influence on the world. Those recognized fall in one of five categories: Leaders & Revolutionaries, Builders & Titans, Artists & Entertainers, Scientists & Thinkers, and Heroes & Icons. Within each category, the 20 most influential people are selected, for a grand total of 100 each year.

This article was reprinted from The Cattle Business Weekly.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Soil Testing

Have you ever wondered what a soil test is or what the purpose of one is? Here is a in-depth fact-sheet from NCDA that gives you the answers to these questions and more. If you have further questions or need more information regarding soil testing, please feel free to contact our office.

Aquaculture Workshop

The McDowell County Center of NC Cooperative Extension is hosting a Small Scale Aquaculture Workshop on Monday, May 4, 2009. The registration deadline is Thurs., April 30th. Click here for the flyer that contains all the information regarding this workshop.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ACTA Membership

REMINDER.... The deadline for sending in your Alleghany Christmas Tree Association Membership Form and dues is Tuesday, March 31, 2009.

Growing the Blue Ridge Farmers Market

There will be an informational workshop on how gardeners and producers of vegetables, fruits, meats, processed foods and baked goods can utilize the consignment method of marketing their goods with this newly organized retail market, the Blue Ridge Farmers Market. The workshop will be held on April 9th, 2009 from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM in the conference room of County Office Building.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pesticide Recertification

Alleghany County Cooperative Extension will be offering several classes that will help you meet your pesticide recertification credit requirements this year. Please click here for the class listing that was sent out.

Also, if you are unable to attend the classes being offered in Alleghany County, please be sure to check the NCDA website to view up-to-date recertification classes. You can also look up your credit information and current exam schedules.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

FDA Peanut Recall News Release

On March 23, 2009, the FDA issued a press release with more information about the recent peanut product recalls. To read the full press release, please click here. Included in this release is a website address that lists all of the products being recalled.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Riverside Advisory Board Meeting

This is a reminder to the members of the Riverside Advisory Board that there is a planning meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 1, 2009.

Your Diet and Diabetes

Diabetes is the leading cause of premature deaths and the sixth leading cause of all deaths in the United States. If you fail to manage diabetes properly, it can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, nerve damage, leg and foot amputations and death. According to health experts at NC State University, minor changes in your lifestyle can greatly reduce your chances of getting the disease.

Diabetes is a disorder in which the body does not use the sugars in food in the usual way. Normally, some of the food you digest is changed into glucose (sugar) which the body uses for fuel. Diabetics produce too little insulin or none at all, or cannot use insulin properly. Then dangerously high levels of glucose can build up in the blood. If left untreated, high blood glucose can lead to all of the serious and potentially fatal conditions listed above.
Type I is the most severe form. It usually occurs early in life around age 12 or 13. Type I is often called “juvenile-onset” or “insulin-dependent” diabetes.
Type II is the most frequently occurring form, and is adult-onset, and sometimes insulin-dependent. Most Type II diabetics are older adults who are overweight and have or had a blood relative that has or had diabetes.
Gestational occurs in pregnant women. This type of diabetes generally disappears after childbirth.
Abnormal thirst, frequent urination, weakness, excessive hunger, rapid or unexplained weight loss, poor growth, flushed skin, fruity breath or nausea and vomiting may be symptoms of diabetes. If you have any of these problems, on a regular basis, you should contact your doctor.
Each person needs individualized treatment. Type I requires insulin, diet and exercise. Type II usually can be treated with diet and exercise only. If you have diabetes, the American Diabetic Association suggests the following guidelines:
  • Maintain a healthy weight;
  • Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol;
  • Increase your intake of fiber foods;
  • Control sugar consumption;
  • Use salt (sodium) only in moderation;
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.
  • Get regular exercise (always consult with your doctor prior to beginning any exercise program.)

There is no cure for diabetes, however, you can manage or delay diabetes through diet, exercise, weight control and if necessary, medication. For additional information on diabetes, contact Jacquelyne Gordon, via email or by calling 372-5597.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Home Vegetable Gardening

Spring is here and it is time to start thinking about gardening. Click here for a Home Vegetable Gardening Guide, created by Cooperative Extension, that is full of helpful information.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome to the new Alleghany Extension Blog

This blog has been created as way to get information to the residents of Alleghany County. We will try to cover a wide range of topics, as well as information regarding our associations, community events, etc. We hope that you will enjoy the blog and find the posts here helpful.