The Yadkin County Cooperative Extension has been involved in several projects this past year, such as planting trees at Starmount Middle, promoting healthy lifestyle programs, and providing Yadkin County with welcome signs.
The Yadkin County Center of the Cooperative Extension held a meeting Feb. 20 at the Yadkinville Senior Center reporting on the ways that the organization has given back to Yadkin County.
Melissa Staebner, 4-H Youth development extension agent, reported that 4-H has been working towards improving their Hispanic outreach. The group also planted 75 trees at Starmount Middle School, which had no landscaping prior to the project.
Staebner also said that the organization has been working with the Chef’s Association to sponsor a one-week program where students learn to create healthy, balanced meals in a classroom setting.
Leah Thomas of Forbush Middle School was asked to speak on her experience as a 4-H student. Thomas has been a member of the organization for five years. She shows sheep in competition and notes that she was one of eight students chosen to go to Missouri to pick out a yew. She also won at the state level in the “Make it with Wool” contest.
“4-H has given me a lot of new experiences that I wouldn’t have gotten to experience otherwise,” Thomas said.
Marilyn Wells presented on the activities of the family and consumer sciences department of cooperative extension. One of the main focuses of the department is to help low-income families learn budgeting and healthier lifestyles through their “Money In/Money Out” and “Cook Smart, Eat Smart” programs.
Extension and Community Association member Donna Love spoke on behalf ECA’s accomplishments the past year. She shared that the ECA was able to provide Yadkin County welcome signs with money predominately supplied by cookbook sales.
“We’re glad to be a part of and help out in our community,” Love said.
Nancy Keith, county extension director, announced that a producer in the county was named number one in the state for soybean production with 86 bushels per acre.
The county was also able to acquire a pesticide container recycling unit which resulted in the recycling of 3,020 two and a half gallon containers, 701 one gallon containers and 44 five gallon containers. Keith notes that the most difficult part of the program is educating farmers how to prepare the containers to be recycled.
Keith says that the extensions greatest accomplishment last year was the creation of the Yadkinville Farmer’s Market. The market was funded with a $30,000 grant from Rural Advancement Foundation International, which was matched with $30,000 from the Town of Yadkinville. The facility is equipped with parking, electricity and restroom facilities.
Sandra Keiffer, president of the farmer’s market board, was in attendance to testify to the importance of the market. Keiffer and her husband started farming to provide additional income after retiring. She says that the market only features items that were grown or made by citizens in the county.
“You know it’s healthy, and you are sure of the quality of what we have there,” Keiffer said.