We Grow Ashe County NC Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center

April 2020

We Grow Gratitude

We Grow Community

Over the past month Travis Birdsell has been serving as the Ashe County Feeding Unit Coordinator through the Emergency Operations Center. These pictures show staff and volunteers all working hard to unload, repackage and distribute food and other emergency items through the network of organizations that serve our community every day.

Musicians Misson of Mercy helped coordinate shipments of food from Operation Blessing

While we haven't been able to meet face to face, all staff have been working diligently to provide resources through our county website. We encourage everyone to visit our website for programmatic information.

We Grow Nutrition

County Extension Director Travis Birdsell and his daughter Alice made this video to teach about the many spring edible plants available in your own yard. There were over 5000 views in a one week period and NC State Extension featured it on their Home Grown Series.

FCS Agent Amanda Butalla showcased the versatility of pesto in her latest Pantry Possibilities video series.

We Grow Youth

EFNEP Associate Rhonda Church has continued teaching school age youth through a variety of video lessons.

We Grow Agriculture

Balsam Twig Aphid

IPM Program Assistant Brad Edwards provided scouting information for numerous farms to combat different pest in Christmas trees.

Employee Spotlight

Rhonda Church

EFNEP Associate

Rhonda moved from Wake County to Ashe County in 2002 when she married the man of her dreams who lived in Ashe County. It felt like home to her from the start. It doesn’t take long to become attached to the people in this area. Rhonda and Alan love to spend time with their family and often go hiking, fishing and kayaking together.

Working for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) for the past 11 years seems like the job she had been training for all her life. Rhonda began taking an interest in cooking for her family when her grandmother let her stand on a chair to help her cook. Later Rhonda learned the importance of making healthier food choices when she was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at the age of 14. Her mother changed the way the whole family ate. Her mom was a wonderful role model. Through a life of trial and error to learn how to take care of herself, Rhonda has personal experience to bring to the classroom.

When she began working for EFNEP, the educator in her came to life. Rhonda found a passion to bring the science behind nutrition information to those struggling to make healthier food and physical activity choices. Helping families experience the benefits of taking care of themselves is so rewarding. Rhonda especially enjoys going into the classroom and guiding students in the nutrition education process. She loves making them delicious snacks and sharing recipes that they can make at home. If she can give someone just one tip that makes sense for them and makes their life healthier she has done her job.

NC State University and N.C. A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), gender identity, sexual orientation and veteran status. NC State, N.C. A&T, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.

Created By
Jessica Ham


John Lambeth, NC Farm Bureau and NC Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center Staff