Catawba County Cooperative Extension Service

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    Advanced Gardener Graduation

Come out and celebrate those that are completing the Advanced Gardener Program with certification.  We will have light hors d' oeuvres and drinks along with garden knowledge challenges and prizes.  This is open to everyone but if you are hoping to graduate you must contact George Place prior to the event:

Tuesday, December 5, 2017
5:30 PM. - 7:00 PM
Newton Public Library
115 W. C St 
Newton, NC  28658

    Healthy Holiday Eating with Chronic Conditions

I f you have diabetes, high blood pressure or another chronic condition, you are probably concerned about holiday eating. Come and learn healthy tips for managing your condition while enjoying many of your holiday favorites.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017
10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Maiden Public Library
11 S. A Avenue 
Maiden, NC  28650

Presented by Ann Simmons, Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences     
Small Farmers Group

T hursday Dec. 7th 6-8pm
Catawba Extension Office
1175 S. Brady Ave. Newton, NC

Are you a small farmer or hope to be soon? Come to this first meeting of the Catawba County Small Farmers Group to meet other farmers and help Cooperative Extension  better serve Small Farm needs. In this preliminary meeting we will discuss how often the group can meet, what is most needed for small farmers in this region to succeed and areas of possible collaboration.
Please call 828-465-8240 if you plan to attend.
or email April Vigardt at
Parents Night Out

Saturday, December 9
Newton Main Library
5:00 - 10:00 p.m. 
Ages: 4-11
Cost: $30, sibling discounts available

Children can enjoy after-hours activities at the Newton Main Library while Youth Council teens. There will be games, holiday crafts, library hide-n-seek, movies, and computer time. A light dinner provided. Great chance for parents to do some holiday shopping or evening out. Registration form posted on the Extension website at  or email  4-H families may use earned scholarship money toward the cost of attending. 

Sponsored by Catawba County Youth Council  as a fundraiser to benefit the United Way Youth grants program.      

Agriculture Resource Workshop:
Highway Patrol and 
Cost Share Programs

Monday, Dec 11, 2017
6:00 - 8:00 PM
1175 S. Brady Ave
Newton, NC  28658

Talk to representatives from the NC Highway Patrol in regards to laws and regulations when it comes to hauling your equipment and driving it on the roads.  Stay safe and avoid expensive tickets with the information.

Learn about available $$$ in cost share programs with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Soil and Water, and the Farm Service Agency (FSA).  Representatives from each group will explain current programs that could save you thousands of dollars on needed upgrades.

Bring your questions!   Dinner will be provided.

Please call our office at 828-465-8240 to reserve your seat and dinner or reserve your spot on-line.
Holiday Gift Ideas.....
Blueberry Plant Combo
2 Blueberry Plants AND Blueberry Worksho p
Cost: $20

The perfect gift for that person that enjoys gardening. We will provide you with a gift certificate to give in December and the person receiving the gift can pick blueberry plants in March, just in time for spring planting. You will receive two different varieties of plants in gallon pots. Individuals will also have a seat in the February 27 Blueberry workshop. 

Contact Cooperative Extension for ordering details. 

4-H Camp for Christmas
Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Camp 
July 8-12
Ages: 8-14

Betsy-Jeff Penn offers a week of traditional camp activities, such as canoeing, swimming, climbing wall, archery, horseback riding and more! There is a special outdoor adventure tract for teen campers.

Our special discounted registration price for Christmas is $400, and includes transportation from Newton. A $100 deposit will hold your space with the remaining balance due later in the spring. It is not necessary to be a 4-H member to attend camp. 

Contact Donna Mull, 4-H Agent, for more information about camp and a registration form. Check-more information about Penn 4-H camp at

Do you want to learn more about the state and federal data collection from Livestock Markets to better you livestock marketing decisions?         You are invited to attend the:

Catawba Valley Cattlemen's Association Meeting
       (2nd Tuesday of the month, Dec. 12)
Educational Program: Explanations of Livestock Data Collection
                                    &  Data Interpretation Tips to Increase
                                                 Your Bottom Line
Speaker:     Mr. Robert Eaton and Mr. Ed Birdsell
Date:           Tuesday, December 12, 2017 
Location:     APP-address: Agricultural Resource Center
                                          1175 South Brady Ave.   Newton, NC            Agenda                                                                                      
        6:00 pm - Supper is served.
        6:45 pm --- Business meeting - Donald Beard, president 
        7:00 pm Educational presentation - Mr. Robert  & Mr. Ed 
                                                                       Eaton          Birdsell
        8:15 pm - Meeting adjourned        

    Advanced Gardener Program 2018

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library - 2nd Thursday of the month from 6-7 PM
Newton Library - 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6:30-7:30 PM
Maiden Library - 4th Tuesday of the month from 6:30-7:30 PM

Jan - Pruning - How, When, and on What
Feb - Manage Your Lawn
Mar - Soil, Composting, and Plant Nutrients
April - Flowers, Shrubs, and Pollinator Gardens
May - Vegetable Gardening For a Resilient Community
June - Garden and Landscape Diseases and Disorders
July - 2 Minute Talks - Fire Ants, Brown Patch, Soil Testing, and 20 Other Topics
Aug - Identify and Control Your Weeds
Sept - Home Food Production - The 4 Season Strategy
Oct - Edible Landscaping With Fruit
Nov - Landscape Design - Putting It All Together

These presentations are free and open to the public.  Persons can attend programs of interest or attend all presentations for program certification. 

This year's curriculum will offer two different certification programs
Master Gardener Certification
                Cost: $100
Requirements - Attend all 11 presentations, complete 10 hours of extension workshop education , complete on-line quizzes and exams, complete weed collection project, complete home landscape project, complete 1000 ft2 garden design project, complete 40 hours of community service in gardening activities.
Advanced Gardener Certification:
                Cost: Free
Requirements - Attend 9 of the 11 presentations, complete 20 hours of service/learning activities.     
Master Gardener  Volunteer Course

Enrollment is now open for the 2018 course.


Only 20 seats available so reserve yours now 

by calling 828-465-8240 or register here!


The 12 week course consists of two semester sessions:

Spring Semester Feb 28 - April 4

Fall Semester Aug 29 - Oct 3 

Class each Wednesday     9 AM to noon


Course is led by Dr. George Place, Director of Catawba County

Cooperative Extension Service


This course is designed for beginners and advanced gardeners alike with a focus on hands-on learning, field trips, and direct interaction with regional experts.


We will cover a diverse set of topics relating to home gardens, landscape, ornamentals, pruning, soil health, weeds, insects, diseases and disorders, vegetables, fruit, and more.


Cost: $100 non-refundable deposit will cover entire cost of course.

    Turf and Ornamental Pest ID Class

This 2 hour course will revolve around turf and ornamental pest ID and treatment options. 

2 pesticide credits available for categories:
D, L, N, O, X

Tuesday, January 30, 2018
10 AM - 12 PM
Catawba County Cooperative Extension
Meeting Room A
1175 S. Brady Ave
Newton, NC 28658

United Way Giving From the Heart Volunteer Award

Congratulations to Sue and Kat Stulpin, who are were nominees from 4-H for the United Way Giving From the Heart Award. They were recently recognized and honored at a special luncheon, along with all the Catawba County
Sue and Kat Stuplin

Sue and Kat are a dynamic mother-daughter duo.  Together, they lead DIG  (Discoveries in Gardening), Speak-Out 4-H clubs.  and  teach monthly 4-H STEM programs at Sherrills Ford library. They have taught several Summer Fun classes, including our "Chopped". Sue has coordinated several 4-H scholarship fundraisers, too. In addition to volunteering with 4-H, Sue is chair of the Extension Advisory Committee and also part the Farm-City committee. 

If you are looking for a rewarding volunteer opportunity for 2018, consider becoming a 4-H volunteer club leader. Being a club leader is also a wonderful way to model volunteering for your children, spend time together, and build your own personal skills. For more information about becoming a 4-H volunteer, contact Donna Mull at 828-465-8242 or 

4-H Clubs & Groups

A variety of 4-H clubs are available in Catawba County for youth ages 9 and older. The clubs are led by volunteer leaders and meet at different times and places. Most of the clubs are special-interest, meaning they focus on a particular topic or theme.General interest clubs are also part of 4-H. Below is a list of clubs and 4-H affiliated groups. Email or call Donna Mull at 828-465-8242 or to request a club list with details about meeting times, locations and ages.. 

Community-Based Clubs & Grioups
Snowy Creek 4-H Horse Club
Catawba County Livestock Club
Balls Creek Adventurers 4-H Club
Robotics Competition Team
Catawba County Youth Council
Archery Club
Sew Awesome Sewers
Junior Rangers
Snack Makers 4-H Club
DIG (Discoveries in Gardening)
Top Shots Shooting Sports
Bright Ideas STEM Club

School Clubs:
Montessori Leadership Club
St. Stephens High School Juntos 4-H Club

Coming Soon - Early 2018
Global Cultures Club 
Electric SPIN Club  

Our club offerings change, so check this spot each month for club updates. We welcome the chance to grow this list, add new clubs, and new 4-H'ers! Contact Donna Mull or Tina McGillvary at Cooperative Extension to learn more about starting a 4-H Club. 

Our next ServSafe Food Safety Manager Certification class will be held on Fridays, December 8 and 15, 2017. This will be the last class before February 2018,

Contact Beth Cloninger at 828-465-8240 or visit for registration information.

NC Agritunity 
Trade Show and Conference

Feb 10, 2018
8 AM - 2:30 PM
Iredell Cooperative Extension Center
444 Bristol Drive
Statesville, NC 28687

Track 1: Value Added Products and Food Business

Value Added Meat Products With Choice Cuts -  9:00-10:00 AM  
Canning Guidelines: Food Safety For Home Prepared foods -  10:30-11:30 AM
Rules & Regulations For Home Prepared Foods -  1:30-2:30 PM

Track 2: Vegetable and Fruit Production

Vegetable Pests and Problems -  9:00-10:00 AM
Small Fruit Pests and Problems - 10:30-11:30 AM
issue Sampling For Nutrition -  1:30-2:30 PM

Track 3: Small Farm Livestock

Backyard/Pasture poultry - 9:00-10:00 AM
Grazing Management for Small Ruminants 10:30-11:30 AM
Parasite Prevention and Management in Sheep & Goats1:30-2:30 PM

Call the extension office today to register: (704) 873-0507
Landscapers and Green Industry Pro Day

Killian's Hardware
3790 Springs Rd NE
Hickory, NC  28601
Thursday, March 1, 2018
8:00 AM - noon.

Calibration for Pesticide and Fertilizer Application
8-10 AM
2 pesticide credits available for categories:
A, D, G, H, L, M, N, O, X

Insect Identification and Management
10 AM - noon
2 pesticide credits available for categories:
A, D, G, H, L, M, N, O, X

Thanks to Cameron Forbes, Lenoir-Rhyne Dietetics Intern, for Choosing Cooperative Extension as His Community Rotation Site.                             

We appreciate Cameron for sharing his knowledge and skills with our audiences and we wish him the best as he works toward his credentials to become a Registered Dietitian.

Left: Cameron provides a nutrition and physical activity seminar at the Maiden Seniors Morning Out program.
                       Food Safety During a Power Outage

When the power goes out, you may wonder about the safety of your refrigerated or frozen foods. If the power is out for 48 hours or less, and your freezer is nearly full, your food may still be fine.  According to food safety experts, a closed freezer can keep food at 40°F or below for up to 48 hours--if full and kept cold. A closed refrigerator will keep food 40°F or below for about 4 hours after a power loss.The following link will take you to a fact sheet that will help you decide what you need to keep and what you should toss when the power is out longer than expected:

If you still have questions after reviewing the fact sheet, please call Ann Simmons at 704-878-3157 or email for more information.
Extension Video Highlight 

Need help with food preservation?

Stop by the Extension office and pick up a free guide with instructions on how to can and freeze selected fruits and vegetables. 

Call Ann Simmons at 704-878-3157 or email if you have questions or need to schedule an appointment for dial-gauge pressure canner lid testing.

Visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation  website for information on how to preserve your favorite foods by canning or freezing. 

N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund Grants

County governments, nonprofit groups and certified beekeepers pursuing farmland preservation projects and beehive grants have until Dec. 15 to apply for funding assistance from the N.C. Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund. This year's request for proposals includes statewide general appropriations for traditional farm preservation projects and the new N.C. Beehive Grant Fund for the purchase and construction of beehives.

The trust fund's purpose is to support projects that encourage the preservation of qualifying agricultural, horticultural and forest lands to foster the growth, development and sustainability of family farms.

Grants can be awarded to secure agricultural conservation easements on lands used for agricultural production; to support public and private enterprise programs that promote profitable and sustainable agricultural, horticultural and forestland activities; for the development of agricultural plans; and for the purchase and construction of new beehives.

The N.C. Beehive Grant Fund is accepting its first cycle of applications this fall for certified beekeepers to establish new beehives. The request for proposals includes $25,000 for beehive projects on a first-come, first-served basis to eligible recipients.

"The new beehive grants will further support family farms in North Carolina," said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. "NCDA&CS is committed to conserving working lands throughout our great state and enhancing the agribusinesses that keep farms productive."

Grant application and guidelines. Call 919-707-3072 with any questions. 

Applications are due by 5 p.m. on Dec. 15.

NCSU Official Variety Test Results for Wheat and Oat

The 2017 NC OVT Wheat and Oat data is now available, and can be found on the new NC OVT website ( or by clicking the following link:
For any questions please contact Ryan Heiniger, NCSU Official Variety Testing Program Director at 919.515.2827 or  

NCDA&CS offers organic certification cost-share assistance

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA & CS) is offering organic growers the opportunity to recoup up to $750 of their certification cost. Growers must have been certified between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 and complete an application available at .

Visit the NCDA website to see more information about this cost share opportunity.

USDA Low Interest Loans For Storage Facilities

The Farm Storage Facility Loan Program provides low-interest financing so producers can build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include grains, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, hay, honey, renewable biomass commodities, fruits and vegetables. Eligible facility types include grain bins, hay barns and facilities for cold storage.

Visit the USDA Farm Storage Facility Loan website for more info.
NC State Gardening, Agriculture, and Pest Updates

You can sign up for the latest news on gardening, pest advisories, livestock, energy, and many others.  Check out the complete list of NC State News that you can subscribe to and get the latest research based info.  Be the first to know! 
Got To Be NC Agriculture

Visit the Got to Be NC website and see excellent resources for starting your own food business.

Visit the NC Growing Together website to see the latest newsletter, recent resources, and schedule of upcoming workshops, webinars, and meetings.

NC Farm Link

Take at look at this incredible website that helps connect farmland seekers with farmland owners. There is also an amazing list of resources for farmers.
Small Farm Grant and Loan Assistance

We will post various grant and loan opportunities that arise in this space of our monthly updates.  Simply click on the opportunity of interest for more information.

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination statement

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equaopportunity regardless of racecolor, religion, creed, national origin, sexage, disability, or veteran'status. In additionthe two Universities welcome all person without regard to sexual orientation.  North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations to participate by contacting Catawba County Extension Director, George Place, at (828) 465-8240 or or in person at the County Extension Office at least 14 days prior to the event.

Dr. George Place
Catawba County Cooperative Extension Director
Agricultural Resources Center, Newton, NC 28658