By: Eileen A. Coite County Extension director
September 2, 2013
Its been a busy spring and summer at Cooperative Extension. It is often hard to keep up with the many different events and programs going on, so I thought it might be nice to highlight and recap some of our major activities and accomplishments, as well as look towards our fall calendar.
Through the 4-H Program, Extension has offered many summer activities to keep our youth active and learning over the summer months. Some of these included Teen Court training activities, leadership and team building skills, and various summer workshops. Youth livestock workshops and competitions were also offered, such as livestock judging, skillathon, and quiz bowl, as well as the Prestage Youth Livestock Roundup, which gave youth the opportunity to learn and compete with their lambs and heifers through the Eastern Carolina Showmanship Circuit.
The Family and Consumer Science Program has been busy as well, holding many EFNEP (Expanded Food & Nutrition Education Program) classes around the county, teaching healthy eating and promoting active lifestyles. The Senior Health Insurance Information Program has offered education to seniors to help them make the right healthcare decisions, and the annual Childcare Conference was offered for local childcare providers, to help build their toolkit with learning activities and techniques to ensure learning and positive impacts on our pre-school age youth.
Of course, agriculture is a huge part of what we do in Cooperative Extension, and our ag staff has been busy this summer too! Our animal waste continuing education training has provided credit hours to over 200 Sampson County producers this year, along with assistance to farmers with area sludge surveys and calibrations of irrigation equipment to help them manage and maintain their animal waste treatment systems. The Sampson County Livestock Association has met and has a full line-up of educational meetings scheduled for the fall. The poultry program has focused on poultry farm composting, alternative uses for poultry litter, and nutrient management planning. The Friends of Horticulture is continuing to develop, while the Sampson County Beekeepers and Master Gardeners have been active this summer too. GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) training has been offered, pesticide education, tobacco barn air quality testing, soybean variety test and palmer amaranth control on farm test in soybeans. Additional work continues with commercial horticulture field trials, extending the growing season through horticultural crop high tunnel production, animal health plans for small farms, local foods marketing. The Voluntary Agricultural District program continues to support agriculture throughout the county.
This fall, we have many events scheduled. Whether you are a young person or senior, parent or child, farmer, gardener, horse owner, beekeeper, or anywhere in between, there is probably something for you to learn!