We Grow Union County NC Cooperative Extension - Union County Center

We Grow Youth

This month Union County Cooperative Extension worked on multiple projects with variety of County and State partners to positively impact the lives of Union County children. Aaron Moore, Small Farms Agent for Union County partnered with Monroe Middle School, NC State Plants for Human Health Institute and Heart For Monroe to start a new school garden program. This exciting opportunity and partnership continues to grow and we are looking forward to expanding it into other Title I schools throughout the County. Grants, volunteers, and curriculum are being provided through these partnerships.

Dot and Dash Robots

On February 8, Union County 4-H club members were recognized for their quality work within the past year at the annual Achievement Night. Youth between the ages of five to eighteen years old received awards for project areas ranging from agriculture (horse, livestock, and poultry) to shooting sports, STEM (science, engineering, technology, and math) as well as talent.

February also marked the kick off of the annual embryology curriculum project that 4-H provides to UCPS 2nd grade classrooms. Over 1000 students participate in this wonderful opportunity to study the development of chicks.

Finally through the generosity of the Union County 4-H Youth Development Foundation the first 4-H Robotics club was formed. Students are gaining hands on coding skills working with dot and dash robots.

Union County Employees participating in Chainsaw Safety Class

We Grow Knowledge

Debbie Dillion, Union County Horticulture Agent participated in a Train the Trainer program on Chainsaw safety where she received a thousand dollars worth of equipment to aid in instructing. The first session on Personal Protective Equipment was held in February. Participants were from Union County Public Works and Parks & Recreation. This series will continue throughout the year.

Food Chemistry Class Wingate University

Marcus McFarland, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent for Union County was a guest instructor in Dr. Heather Clontz's class on Food Chemistry at Wingate University. Students learned the science behind fermentation and food preservation. They were able to try fermented foods, learned about their processes and experimented with making their own fermented foods.

Forage Production Meeting

Agricultural Education was in full swing during February. The Winter Production Meeting was held on February 4th with specialists from NCSU Extension speaking on Soybean production. Participants received continuing education pesticide credits.

Union County Cooperative Extension partnered with Southeast AgriSeeds to provide a Forage Production Meeting on February 14th. V credit pesticide classes were also held in February for a total of eight hours of continuing education credits made available to our Ag Community.

Extension Gardener Workshop Series Launched

We Grow Citizens

Debbie Dillion, Union County Horticulture Agent launched the Extension Gardener Workshop Series in February. This series provides research based education on topics ranging from Fruits for the Home Garden, to Lawn and Lawn Alternatives. Union County residents have the opportunity to take these classes during the evening or daytime hours. The series continues through March and is the foundation for those wishing to continue into the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Training Program.

Video Training

All UC Cooperative Extension Employees have taken or are scheduled to take a three day video production workshop made available to us through NC State Cooperative Extension. The course has given us the fundamental skills to produce videos from recording to post production editing.

We have extended this training program to Union County Soil & Water Conservation District employees and the Union County Ag Events Center employees and look forward to the opportunities we will have to share our programs and facilities with the residents of Union County.

We hope you enjoy this video featuring Cheri Bennett, Educator for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program.

Union County Farmers Market

We Grow Economy

Leigh Coulter, Union County Farmers Market Coordinator and Aaron Moore, UC Small Farms Agent have been visiting the local farms who are vendors at the Union County Farmers Market. These visits are instrumental in developing the relationships with small farmers which provides them access to resources that help grow and strengthen their small businesses from their farms to their customers.

Tree Seedling & Fruit Plant Sale

Union County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers held one of their three annual fundraisers throughout the year. This sale is one of their most anticipated events and completely sold out as residents had access to varieties of small fruit and tree fruit trees as well as native trees. Extension Master Gardener Volunteers offered advice on planting and growing all plants purchased.

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