Anson County Center
Spring Report to the People
April 2021
Happy New Year and Happy Spring!

As we slowly see the temperatures warm, daylight lasting longer and the pandemic trends decrease, we know we are heading in the right direction of new possibilities, opportunities and what normalcy will be moving forward. Last year required us all to quickly change our day to day lives. Anson Extension went from being an open space to visitors, clients and stakeholders to a complete virtual office. Although our methods were changed, our message remained the same, which was to provide services to meet the needs of Anson citizens.

Programs, classes, webinars, meetings and much more have all been offered virtually at the office with many of you participating and attending. As restrictions continue to ease, opportunities for in person interaction will be available. I commend the staff for moving strategically and swiftly to continue to do their job and stay in connection with the community.  We continue to provide relevant, responsive, accessible and inclusive programs that result in positive changes in the lives of our customers. This has been maintained by using advanced information technology for educational program delivery, communications, and accessing research-based information.
This edition of our 2021 Report to the People will give you program updates along with current and futures projects. We have also included NC State Extension Impact Summary Sheet for your viewing pleasure. As always thank you for your continued support as we continue to learn, grow, share and lead.

Hope you enjoy!

Community and Rural Development
Roshunda Terry, CED & FCS Agent
2020 Census:

Since the end of 2019, the county’s Complete Count Committee were busy making sure information and materials were sent out to citizens educating them on the importance of completing the Census. Roshunda Terry Chaired this Committee.  Some strategies were halted to due COVID, but the committee stayed the course and partnered with many community agencies, churches and businesses throughout the county to get the word out as best as possible. The diligence of this committee increased response rates in areas of the county by more than 80%. Total percentage of Anson County citizens responding to the Census was 52.7%. Despite all that was going on, Anson County citizens did well.
Visit NC Farms App

Anson County along with 11 other counties have come together to create the South Central Region of this app. Visit NC Farms cell phone app connects North Carolina residents & visitors by helping find farms closest to them with products and activities of interest. Visit NC Farms app shows where farms, roadside stands, agribusiness events and agribusinesses are located. Each of these different ag related businesses are called assets and can go under the categories of Farm & Fisheries, Pick your Own, Farmers Markets, Local Food and Drink, Shop Local, Farm Stays and Lodging, Tours & Trails and Special Agricultural Events. They each have a link on this app to show the viewers background information, location and what they highlight. There is even a push notification feature for special events, hours of operation changes, etc. We currently have 11 assets from our county and there is room for more! There is literally nothing to lose by being a part of it. We handle all the information that is being put on the app and it is as simple as calling down to the office or sending an email about something that may need to be highlighted or changed. I encourage all that may be interested, please feel free to contact the office for more details.
Family & Consumer Science
Roshunda Terry, CED & FCS Agent
Although face to face programs stopped in 2020, virtual programs took a front row seat. The beauty of being able to offer programs virtually is to also be able to work with fellow agents and participants across the district and state. Two programs were done this year and both received positive feedback. Lifelong Improvement Through Fitness Together (LIFT) program was offered for eight weeks, twice a week for one hour each. Participants and Agents from Alexander, Anson, Montgomery and Stanly Counties were able to learn strength training exercises that help with stability and balance. A total of 49 individuals registered to participate in the program. Feedback from post survey stated most participants gained confidence with strength training exercises and increased fruit and vegetable intake. Another round of LIFT will be coming in May, 2021. Be on the lookout for upcoming marketing materials with dates, time and registration information.

Med Instead of Meds was a six week, one-hour session and cross county collaboration with Alexander, Anson, Iredell, Mecklenburg, Montgomery, Stanly and Union counties that focus on eating a healthy Mediterranean-style eating pattern ( the Med Way). The Med Instead of Meds sessions helped participants Go Med by explaining 7 simple steps to eating the Med Way. Participants also learned tips, life hacks, recipes and cooking skills that helped them eat the Med Way every day. A total of 75 individuals registered to participate in this program.
4-H Youth Development
Sam Cole, 4-H Youth Development Agent
Programming for Anson County 4-H continues to provide educational opportunities for the youth and adults of Anson County. Beginning in August 2020, Anson County 4-H had three youth participated in the 2020 Virtual 4-H Farm Credit Showmanship Circuit which consisted of 5 virtual shows for each of the 3 species (cattle, goats, sheep). The Virtual Circuit was open to youth in: Anson, Cabarrus, Chatham, Cumberland, Franklin, Guilford, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Person, Randolph, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Stanly, and Union counties. In September we co-taught with volunteer leader and teacher at Ansonville Elementary, Justin Jones. The lesson was taught virtually and used Oreos to demonstrate the different phases of the moon. Five Anson County 4-H Volunteer Leaders participated in the 2020 South Central District Volunteer Leaders Association Fall Day on Saturday, November 7th which was hosted virtually on the Zoom platform. In February, the Anson County 4-H Agent and eight volunteer leaders attended the 2021 Volunteer Leaders Conference which was held virtually. In March, Anson County 4-H hosted its annual 4-H Achievement Night and Volunteer Leaders Appreciation Ceremony. The event was hosted virtually. 

Horticulture and Forestry
Aimee Colf, Horticulture & Forestry Agent
Consumer/Commercial Horticulture and Forestry outreach efforts have continued virtually through Zoom meetings with schools, organizations, and agricultural producers. Other examples include social media outreach, educational videos, traditional phone/email/mail, and socially distanced site visits. Since Fall 2020, the has program has continued to evolve, providing education and technical assistance in innovative ways and reaching new audiences; 802 social media contacts, 25,500 mass media contacts, 235 YouTube views, 81 in-person site visits, and 254 indirect contacts via phone/email/mail, and social media. Personal protective gear and supplies have been distributed to agricultural employees working in close contact, including, 250 cloth masks, 50 Tyvek suits, 50 hair coverings, hand sanitizers, and surface disinfectants. Future programs, both virtual and in-person are being planned in the coming months. Stay tuned to our website and social media pages!
Livestock and Row Crops
Kinsey Everhart, Livestock and Row Crops Agent
Six pesticide credit hours have been offered and 64 pesticide applicators were trained in pesticide application and applicator safety in Anson County. Three equine owners were educated in pasture and dry lot management. Assistance was given to these owners in renovating and establishing perennial and annual pastures. Two small ruminant farms were assisted in internal parasite resistance and management on their farms. Five beginning small ruminant owners were educated on the basics of small ruminant nutrition, facilities, husbandry, and marketing of animals. Two Soybean variety trials were planted and harvested looking at maturity group 3 and 5. Sixty-one field crop growers learned about current pesticide regulations, weed management, and nutrient management. Anson County Voluntary and Enhanced Voluntary Agriculture programs now celebrate a total of 15243.05 acres, 238 tracts of land and 81 landowners.
4-H Youth Promise
Jason Barrino, 4-H Youth Promise Director

Community Service/Restitution youth focused on paying a debt back to the community and accepting responsibility for their actions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic we are unable to conduct face to face community service, but we here at 4-H Youth Promise didn’t let that stop us from helping youth achieve their goals in our community service/restitution program. We created at-home work assignments for youth to complete weekly. Assignments were tailored for each youth by grade and assignments ranged from math, reading and comprehension and social studies. We had 11 kids complete community service/ restitution. In total those 11 kids completed over 500 hours of community service hours. 
Our Anson Connecting Families program completed both fall and spring cycles successfully. We covered a variety of topics such as communication skills and learning how to effectively express emotions. All meetings were conducted via Zoom and families from both fall and spring sessions attended all scheduled meetings. We stayed in constant contact with parents and youth during the pandemic to keep them updated on all things related to 4-H Youth Promise and programs. The COVID-19 virus has greatly changed our program structure with not being able to provide face to face, but we have found new innovative ways to continue to provide quality service to the community of Anson County.
Awards and Recognition

Anson Extension Staff Wins Epsilon Sigma Phi- County Performance Award

The Anson staff was recognized for winning this award at the Virtual Extension Awards Ceremony last November. Here is a little blurb from the nomination form-With little to no training, all staff has implemented the use of Constant Contact, programmatic video, text messaging and video calls to maintain contact to clients. Staff have kept groups involved by participating in food pantry drives, tornado relief drive, participation in pesticide training and program workshops. Parents and youth are using virtual format to attend an eight-week series that target whole family component to improve behavior and parenting skills. Sending out informational flyers to county employees have increased interest and participation for future programs with many first-time participants. Collaborations efforts with cross county programs have also been initiated. Change is ever present and during these times it is critical. This year, Anson staff has grown, expanded and maneuvered to ensure clients and citizens of the county are being served. Being amateur in the technology world, we came together, attacked the issue and created our new path for programming. We are a small staff, but together we have become a mighty force that have made lasting impacts in our county with implemented outreach strategies.
Spencer Recognized as County Employee of the Quarter

Raven Spencer, Case Manager for 4-H Youth Promise, was recognized at the February County Commissioner Meeting as one of three county employees who received the Employee of the Quarter.
Spencer has been with 4-H Youth Promise since November 2018. She works with court referred youth and offer them life skill development and whole family programming, while working closely with the Juvenile Court Counselors in Anson County. Raven was nominated for this award for her superior job performance and initiative. When the pandemic started to shut down all face-to-face programming efforts, Raven stepped up to initiate Anson Extension to move into being a virtual department. She developed our office You Tube page, produced our introductory video and has assisted the majority of the staff on video production, formatting and editing to make sure programmatic content was available to our clients. Raven did all of this in addition to her daily job duties and converting her own programs to a virtual format. Raven seen the problem and took the bull by the horns to shift our office into the world of technology and pre-recorded program content.
Raven is an upbeat, optimistic employee. She is never hesitant to offer help or take a role in a staff wide initiative. She is a go getter. We are lucky and blessed to have her on our staff. She is one essential puzzle piece to our puzzle that makes our staff awesome. Congratulations again, Raven. We are proud of you!