Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Luke Hampton is a 17 year old Senior at Alleghany High School in Sparta, North Carolina. His parents are Randy and Benita Hampton. He broke his neck in a wrestling accident during a tournament on Saturday 12/3/11. He’s being transported to the Sheperd Spinal Trauma Facility in Atlanta, Georgia. In order to help the family with expenses some community members have joined together to sell Christmas wreaths.

Wreaths will be for sale for $10 and all proceeds will go to benefit Luke Hampton and family to cover expenses. You can also make donations at the State Employees Credit Union – account # 6100252 and is set up in Luke’s name. Wreaths will be available at the JV and Varsity Basketball games tonight and at the Wrestling tournament this Saturday 12/10 at AHS. Wreaths will also be for sale at 4 Brothers Country Junction, 21 Quick Stop, Glade Valley Country Store, CJ's Hardware and Alleghany Beauty Shop.

This community effort has been made possible by Mike & Julie Sprinkle, C. Grove Farms, Wishon Evergreens and more.

For more information contact Julie Sprinkle (336) 657-0563 , Brad Edwards (336) 200-1708 or Bill Nilo (336) 200-3411.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Crouse Park/Sparta Greenway Public Hearings

Please try to attend the Crouse Park/Sparta Greenway public hearings scheduled for October 25th at the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation conference room, 1889 Hwy 21 South, Sparta, NC. This is an opportunity to hear from you about the proposed greenway and walk system that the Town of Sparta is working toward to provide fitness opportunity and improve the walkability of our town. There will be two morning meetings beginning at 10am and two afternoon meetings beginning at 5:30pm. The Comprehensive Greenway Master Plan will be presented at the first of both the morning and the evening meetings.

The Site Plan of Phase One will be presented at the second of both the morning and evening meetings. It is imperative for purposes of securing a Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) Grant that we have a large turnout with lots of input from the public. We anticipate this proposed greenway and walk system will ultimately enhance the livability of our town and improve the health of our citizens.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Alleghany County Ag. Fair

The 24th annual Alleghany County Agricultural Fair starts tomorrow, August 22. Tomorrow we will be accepting entries into the Exhibition Building from 12 pm - 6 pm. There are both youth and adult categories with over 70 categories for youth and more than 400 categories for adults. This is when youth and adults can enter their favorite picture, prettiest flower or best Lego construction for competition in our Exhibition Building.

We will also be having a horse show beginning at 6 pm. Come out an enjoy the fun.

For more information please visit the fair blog by clicking HERE or contact the office at 336-372-5597.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Pressure Canner Testing

A FREE pressure canner testing will be held inside of Farmer's Hardware on Friday, July 29th from 10am until 1pm.  For more information, contact the Extension office at 336-372-5597.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Carquest Mowdown


Gates will open at 12 pm and tickets are $6
Children 8 and under FREE.
Concessions available at 3pm.

For more information contact the Extension Office at

Justice Carlisle Higgins Fairgrounds
1525 US Hwy 21 N
Sparta, NC

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Appalachian joins Bee Informed Partnership USDA project will monitor honey bee health

BOONE—Appalachian State University’s Department of Computer Science is part of a nationwide network to monitor and maintain honey bee health.

The Bee Informed Partnership is a five-year, $5 million program funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and is led by Penn State.

Other university partners are the University of California, University of Illinois, University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, University of Minnesota, North Carolina State University and Lincoln University. The Florida Department of Agriculture and NASA are also part of the project.

The Bee Informed Partnership will use an epidemiological approach to identify common bee management practices and use them to develop best practices on a regional and operationally appropriate level. The partnership will include many institutions already involved in pollinator work, but will also strive to include citizens involved in bee keeping or other aspects of the problem for data collection and integration.

The multistate team hopes that their work and especially their educational efforts to introduce the best management practices will reduce national losses in honeybee populations by 50 percent in the next five years.

“We would like to reduce honey bee mortality, increase beekeeper profitability and enhance adoption of sustainable management systems in beekeeping,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, senior extension associate with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture who will lead the project. “At the same time we want to increase the reliability of production in pollinator dependent crops and increase the profitability of pollinator-dependent producers.”

Appalachian’s Department of Computer Science, housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, was awarded $729,736 through the project to create and maintain a honey bee health database with an interactive web-based interface that also will provide valuable feedback to beekeepers as well as information for future research. Appalachian’s funding will support full-time research associate as well undergraduates who will work part time on various aspects of information technology support.

Department chairman James Wilkes’ experience as a beekeeper and his desire to blend computer science with the science of beekeeping led to the university’s involvement in the project. “Personally, I had a horrible winter this past year with my own bees,” he said. “I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do, but something happened and I lost a lot of bees. That’s what’s been happening in the beekeeping world for the past several years.”

Wilkes said the database will enable beekeepers to provide real-time information about their hives, which in turn may help others determine if winter losses are related to a virus, pesticides or other causes. “Everyone in the beekeeping world is trying to discover what’s causing these losses,” he said.

Wilkes said the Bee Informed Partnership database also will provide historical as well as current data that will become a much-needed source of information for future research.

Computer science majors and faculty at Appalachian have already developed an Android mobile phone application that will help beekeepers keep track of beehive maintenance. Hive Tracks, the Web application found at www.hivetracks.com, provides a simple electronic way for beekeepers to record data and keep track of maintenance they have performed and future maintenance needed for the hives.

Penn State and project partners will also survey colony mortality, pathogens and parasites, as well as beekeeping management strategies, costs and outputs. They will create a pollinator quality and availability reporting system and an emerging-issues alert system.

Some of the surveys planned by the partnership include the continuation of the colony winter loss survey, an annual survey of management practices and a survey of pollinator availability. Other surveys will focus on determining colony mortality, parasite loads and socioeconomic factors.

“By surveying beekeepers about their management practices as well as their colonies’ overwintering success, we can use epidemiological methods to tell beekeepers which practices work and which do not,” vanEngelsdorp said.

For more information about the Bee Informed Partnership, visit http://beeinformed.org.

'Bee Informed' to inform beekeepers

May 17, 2011

Media Contact: Dr. David Tarpy, associate professor of entomology and N.C. Cooperative Extension apiculturist, 919.515.1660 of david_tarpy@ncsu.edu

'Bee Informed' to inform beekeepers

North Carolina State University will play a central role in a 5-year, $5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture effort to compile a nationwide honey bee database designed to make beekeepers more productive.

Dr. David Tarpy, associate professor of entomology and North Carolina Cooperative Extension apiculturist in N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will direct the North Carolina part of an effort that has been dubbed the Bee Informed Partnership.

The partnership is an effort “to fill a void at the national level in our ability to collect data and information about the managed honey bee population,” Tarpy said. The nationwide effort, which is being led by Penn State University, will involve entomologists around the country.

Tarpy explained that surprisingly little is known about the nation’s honey bees, which play an indispensible role in pollinating many crops.

“Honey bees tend to fall between the cracks,” Tarpy explained. “If you have a cow, you know it’s there, and it’s going to be there. With honey bees, you have a hive. All of a sudden next week, it can swarm, and then you have two hives, or you have half a hive. Or they (the bees) die out. And they get moved all across the country. It’s much more of a fluid thing.

“That lack of information or the fuzziness of that information has hindered our ability to make strong, concrete recommendations.”

The Bee Informed Partnership is designed to rectify this situation by creating a database that will contain information about all things related to honey bees. N.C. State’s role in creating the database will be to try to get a handle on important pathogens and parasites that afflict honey bees.

“There’s no systematic mechanism to track patterns of disease and disease outbreaks (in honey bees),” Tarpy said. “That’s what our component is going to do.”

Project field teams will collect honey bees around the country, then ship them to N.C. State, where the bees will be analyzed for the presence of disease or parasites. What is learned about bee health at N.C. State along with a range of other information collected as part of the project will be compiled in a database that will be available to beekeepers and others through a website.

“A very large component of this initiative is to develop an infrastructure to take those data and turn them into useful information, and through a web conduit broadcast that information so that beekeepers can see where disease outbreaks are in real time so that they can make informed decisions (about their bees),” Tarpy said.

Tarpy added that the interactive website that is developed as part of the project should allow beekeepers to enter information about their bees -- information, for example, about a parasite that is afflicting their bees -- then get back strategies for dealing with that parasite or other problem.

The website will provide beekeepers with the information they need to assess the risks and rewards of using various strategies to deal with a problem.

It is hoped that the project’s educational efforts will introduce beekeepers to best management practices that will reduce national losses in honeybee populations by 50 percent over the next five years.

Project collaborators, in addition to N.C. State and Penn State, are the University of California -- California Cooperative Extension, University of Illinois, University of Georgia, University of Tennessee, University of Minnesota, Appalachian State University, Lincoln University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Florida Department of Agriculture.

Written by: Dave Caldwell, 919.513.3127 or dave_caldwell@ncsu.edu

More news from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is available at http://www.cals.ncsu.edu/agcomm/news-center/

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011 Carquest Spring Mowdown

The spring lawnmower race will take place May 14th at the Alleghany County Fairgrounds beginning at 5 pm. Don't miss out on the first mower race of the season! Proceeds go to support the Alleghany County Fair. Without this race the fair would not be possible.

Gates will open at 2 pm and tickets are $6
Children 8 and under FREE.
Concessions available at 3pm.

For more information contact the Extension Office at 336-372-5597.

Justice Carlisle Higgins Fairgrounds
1525 US Hwy 21 N
Sparta, NC


Monday, February 21, 2011

4-H Plant Sale

Alleghany County 4-H is currently taking orders for the 2011 Annual Spring Plant Sale.

The following types of plants are available to purchase:


All orders are due by March 15th. Payment is due at the time orders are placed. Click here for your plant description / order form. The tentative pick-up date is Friday, April 15th. For more information, contact the Extension Office at 336-372-5597. All proceeds will help send kids to summer camp & other summer fun opportunities.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Regional Christmas Tree Marketing Worshop

A Regional Christmas Tree Marketing Workshop will be held on Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 at the Watauga County Cooperative Extension Conference Center.  The registration fee, which included lunch and materials, is $15 and will be collected at the door.  Registration begins at 8:30am and the program will start at 9 am.  

This workshop will help producers "fine tune" their current marketing program and maximize marketing investments.  Local speakers, as well as specialists from NCSU will share information focusing on wholesale, retail and Choose & Cut.

Please contact the Extension Office (372-5597) to register.  The registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 14, 2011.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Pesticide Recertification Classes

On February 17th there will be 2 pesticide training classes, as well as a pesticide applicators exam, offered at the Upper Mountain Research Station (Hwy. #88, Laurel Springs).

8:00 am - V class (2 hours credit)
10:00 am - X class (2 hours credit)
1:00 pm - Exam

If you plan to attend either of the trainings and/or the exam, please call the Extension office (372-5597) to register.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

ACTA Business Meeting & Program

The Alleghany Christmas Tree Association will hold a general business meeting and program on Tuesday, February 15, 2011.  The program and meeting will follow the meal, which will begin at 6 pm. If you plan to join us for the meal, you must RSVP (336-372-5597) by Friday, February 11th. 

Due to the sales directory being printed much earlier this year, the deadline to turn in your membership form and dues is March 1, 2011.  NO EXCEPTIONS will be made.  

Click here to download and print your form.  You can bring it to the meeting on Feb. 15th or to the Extension Office.  You may also mail it to P.O. Box 892, Sparta, NC 28675.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Economics in 90 Minutes or Less

What Policymakers, the Public, the Press, and Parents Need to Know about Economics… in 90 Minutes or Less

Tuesday, February 1, 2011 • Noon-1:30 p.m. ET

Everybody has something to say about economics -- and a lot of it is outdated, out of bounds, even outrageous. To help those making economic decisions -- all of us, really -- five outstanding scholars and scribes will distill the essence of their field in less time than it takes to watch Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. They’ll cover what you need to know now -- from the theories that explain economic fundamentals to the taxes that fuel government programs, from the hum and hiccups of the American economic engine to the bottom line on how government uses your dollars.

To watch the video webcast or a recording, click HERE

(No registration is necessary)

* *Greg Ip*, U.S. economics editor, The Economist; author, The
Little Book of Economics: How the Economy Works in the Real World

* *Donald Marron*, director, Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center;
former member, President’s Council of Economic Advisers; editor,
30-Second Economics: The 50 Most Thought-Provoking Economic
Theories, Each Explained in Half a Minute

* *Robert Reischauer*, president, Urban Institute; former
director, Congressional Budget Office (moderator)

* *Diane Lim Rogers*, chief economist, Concord Coalition; former
chief economist, House Budget Committee; blogger, EconomistMom.com

* *Eugene Steuerle*, Institute fellow, Urban Institute; former
deputy assistant secretary of the treasury for tax analysis;
author, Contemporary U.S. Tax Policy

**For those not familiar with The Urban Institute, this is a nonpartisan economic and social policy institute that gathers data, conducts research, evaluates programs, offers technical assistance, and educates Americans on social and economic issues — to foster sound public policy and effective government.research. It is a well respected, unbiased source for information.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Leadership & Cattle Handling for Women Producers

On Wednesday, April 6, 2011 April Shaeffer and Jeannette Moore, of N.C. State University Department of Animal Science will be working with the North Carolina Cattlemen's Association to provide women cattle producers with a chance to network and enhance their cattle handling skills at the Leadership and Cattle Handling for Women Producers.  This workshop is designed to offer leadership training for women cattle producers in North Carolina and to offer them the opportunity for hands-on experiences led by professionals in the field.

The goal is to encourage more women to be active as leaders in the North Carolina Cattlemen's Association and in their communities.  This event is limited to twenty-one participants so that work groups will be small and the opportunity for active, hands-on experience will be maximized. The workshop will cover Low Stress Cattle Handling, Reproductive Health Practices, Pasture Management, and General Health Management (including proper vaccination techniques, deworming, and eartagging).

If you are interested in attending this event, contact Teresa Herman at 336-372-5597 or teresa_herman@ncsu.edu.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Cattle Meeting Reminder

Reminder - Alleghany County Cattlemen's meeting, 1/13/2011 at Blue Ridge Electric Conference Room 6 pm ~~ Meal, Please RSVP to the Extension Office (336-372-5597) by 1/11/11.