Catawba County Center
March, 2015
Catawba County Center

Fresh Produce GAP Training 

Lincoln County Extension Center
115 West Main Street, Lincolnton, NC 28092
March 4 and 18, 9 AM - 4 PM


A working GAP plan makes it much easier for small farmers to sell to retail markets. A two day workshop series on Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) will be offered on March 4th (Session 1) and 18th (Session 2) from 9 AM - 4 PM at the Lincoln County Extension Center. Participants will develop a food safety plan for their farm during the workshop and will be eligible for a $600 GAP certification cost share. Registration is $20 and includes lunch both days. Click here for more details.
Mushroom Workshop 
Agricultural Resources Center
1175 S Brady Ave, Newton, NC 28658
March 5, 1 - 4 PM


Unfortunately due to the winter storm that we received, the February 18th Mushroom workshop had to be re-schedule for March 5th from 1pm-4pm at the Catawba County Agricultural Resource Center. For more questions please contact Der Xiong at 828-465-8248 or 


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4-H Plant Sale
Deadline to Order - March 6

Orders are being accepted for bluebird houses, strawberry
 and blueberry plants. Several varieties recommended for this area are available for purchase. Blueberries plants will be in gallon containers and strawberries are sold in bundles of 25 plants. Plants arrive later in March for springtime planting. Proceeds benefit 4-H programs. More information on the plant varieties and specifics can by seen on the order forms, accessed by clicking here.
Soybean Production and Pesticide Resistance: 
How to Avoid It
March 9, 2015
Cooperative Extension Service

130 S Post Rd Suite 1, Shelby, NC 28152

This soybean program will begin with a trade show from 3-4 PM.  At 4 PM Dr. Dominic Reisig will present recommendations regarding insect management in soybean and some of the insecticide resistance concerns facing us. At 4:30 PM Dr. Jim Dunphy will provide soybean production updates and recommendations. At 5:30 PM Dr. Wes Everman will present soybean weed management and herbicide resistance information to help area growers avoid some of the expensive herbicide resistance problems faced by row crop producers in the eastern part of the state. Dinner will be served at 6:30 PM but please contact our office to RSVP your dinner. Credits (2 hours) will be earned for N, O, D, and X pesticide certification.


Carolina Home and Garden Show
Hickory Metro Convention Center
March 13-15

Catawba Cooperative Extension will be in full force at this annual event with help from the Master Gardener's and 4-H volunteers. The Carolina Home and Garden Show will be a great opportunity to get a few more tips and ideas for your garden, lawn, soil, and trees this spring.
Click here for more info.

Mushroom Production Workshop 
Second Session (due to the full enrollment of the March 5 workshop)
Agricultural Resources Center
1175 S Brady Ave, Newton, NC 28658
March 17, 5-8 PM

Shiitake mushrooms ready to be harvested
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Based on popular demand, a second mushroom workshop has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 from 5-8 pm. Learn how to grow shiitake and oyster mushrooms for personal consumption or to sell as an alternative agricultural crop. We will discuss all aspects of mushroom production and inoculate logs. Each participant should bring two freshly cut oak or sweet gum logs (from live trees) for inoculation. Logs should be cut two weeks before the workshop and should be approximately 4-6 inches in diameter and 4 feet long.


For additional information or questions please contact Der Xiong at 828.465.8248

Space is limited. Pre-registration is required to attend this session. Deadline to register is Friday, March 13th, 2015. Participants can register for the program online or in person at our office.

North Carolina Agriculture Awareness Day

Wednesday Mar 18, - 9:00 AM-3:00 PM. 


Where: Raleigh


Come celebrate North Carolina's largest industry! Agriculture earns $78 billion today - and could grow to $100 billion in just seven years. Meet elected officials, see ag-related exhibits and celebrate the tremendous contributions agriculture provides to North Carolina and the world. Watch this video for more info.


Park at the N.C. State Fairgrounds. There are free buses to the legislature and back - and we're providing lunch!

2015 Small Farms Week
March 22-28

The 29th annual observance of Small Farms Week is March 22-28, and features workshops, tours, demonstrations and the announcement of the 2015 Small Farmer of the Year. This year also marks the 125th anniversary of the Second Morrill Act, which created 1890 land-grant institutions such as N.C. A&T State University, as well as 18 other historically black colleges and universities. "Planting a Legacy, Growing a Future," the theme of 2015 Small Farms Week, is emphasized in discussions about generational farming and community engagement in agricultural enterprise, among other activities. Tours of dynamic small farms and opportunities to question experts from agricultural agencies and organizations are also program highlights of this year's schedule.


Small Farms Week recognizes the producers of small-scale agriculture in North Carolina who generate $250,000 or less, annually, in gross sales. The celebration begins March 23 with festivities in Yancey County -  home of the 2014 Small Farmer of the Year, Ryan Wiebe of Wiebe Farmin' - and culminates with Small Farmers' Appreciation Day, March 25 at A&T. 


 Click here for more information about events or call 336.334.7956. 


Healthy Soils and Composting
Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
SALT Block
375 3rd Street NE
Hickory, NC 28601

March 23, 6-7 PM

Join Dr. George Place, Catawba Cooperative Extension Director, for this presentation about the importance of healthy soils when it comes to garden, lawn, and landscape success. We will discuss soil basics, how to test your soil, and how to convert household waste into black garden gold.  You are just one presentation away from having the tastiest backyard tomatoes yet - don't miss out!

Foothills Minority Farmer and Rancher Resource Seminar
Catawba County Agricultural Resource Center
1175 S. Brady Ave
Newton, NC 28658
Friday, March 27
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Minority and Immigrant farmers are invited to participate in the Foothills Minority Farmers and Rancher Resource Seminar. 
Come learn about pesticide safety, changes in sale tax rules and regulations, increasing your farm profitability with cover crops, and listen to a USDA panel talk about USDA programs for socially disadvantaged farmers. Our guest speakers will talk about the importance of farm family and developing leadership within your local communities.

 For more information, please visit our website or contact Der Xiong ( at 828.465.8248. Pre-registration is required to attend.
Elected Leaders Forum for Teens
Highland Recreation Center
1451 8th St Dr NE
Hickory, NC 28601
Monday, March 30
6:00 - 8:00 PM

High school  students are invited to interact and learn about local issues at the Elected Leaders Forum. A panel of elected leaders will address questions from area teens. Some of the leaders who will be part of the panel discussion are Senators Tillis and Burr, Judge Hayes, Hank Guess from Hickory City Council, and Hickory's Mayor Rudy Wright. Co-sponsored by the Catawba County and Hickory City Youth Councils. Pre-registration by contacting 
4-H Award Winners

Congratulations to 4-H'ers that were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in 2014 during 4-H Achievement Night. Achievement Awards winners were: Abigail Holdsclaw from Balls Creek Adventurers 4-H Club, Kat Stulpin, who is a member or DIG and several other clubs, and Lauren Williams, a member of Brookford Equestrians. Thanks for Newton Kiwanis for sponsoring the 4-H Achievement Awards for more than 50 years! 4-H'ers also received awards for project work, new members were recognized, and club leaders were honored and presented 4-H shirts. For information about joining or starting a 4-H club, contact Donna Mull or Kate Littlefield, 4-H staff at Cooperative Extension or e-mail 
Coming Next Month - Earth Day Celebration
SALT Block
375 3rd Street NE
Hickory, NC 28601

April 25, 10 AM - 2 PM

OK - so we know that Earth Day is really April 22 but we're going to celebrate the following Saturday too!  Come out to the SALT block to see all kinds of demonstrations, hands-on activities, and cool ways to be creative and environmentally conscious.

Coming Soon - Eat, Drink, and Be Local
3rd week of June

That's right - EDBL is back and soon to be a Catawba County tradition.  Set your calendar for the 3rd week in June and plan to celebrate Father's Day with some great food from Catawba County's farm community.  Local food improves our local economy, preserves our agricultural heritage, and tastes great!  Be a part of the fun - more to come on event specifics.  Follow us on Facebook for all the details.

Millstone 4-H Summer Camp
June 21-26

Now  accepting registration for youth ages 8-14 to attend Millstone 4-H Camp with the Catawba County camping group, June 21-26.  Millstone is located in Ellerbee and offers traditional camp activities along with shooting sports, a unique feature for this 4-H camp. The cost is $450 and includes all the camp fees and round-trip transportation from Newton.  4-H membership is not necessary to attend. Scholarship assistance is available with Kiwanis. Camp scholarships are due March 6. Contact Donna Mull at to request a scholarship application. The camp registration form can be accessed by clicking here.

Catawba Valley Beekeepers Association
Catawba County Agricultural Resources Center, 
1175 S Brady Ave., 
Newton, NC 28658 
Third Monday of each month at 7 PM 

The Catawba Valley Beekeepers Association meets at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the Agricultural Resources Center.  The meetings are open to anyone that has an interest in beekeeping from beginner to experienced.  For further information contact Dr. Doug Vinson 828-464-0431 or Gary Winebarger 828-234-6935 ( or George Place ( 
Catawba Valley Master Gardener's Association

The purpose of the Catawba Valley Master Gardener Association (CVMGA) is to enhance Master Gardener Volunteers' knowledge and interest in horticulture and related activities, and to engage members' expertise and skills in delivering educational assistance to gardeners through the consumer horticulture program efforts of the Cooperative Extension center in Catawba and surrounding counties.  A pre-requisite to become a Certified Master Gardener Volunteer is completion of the Master Gardener Training Program offered each Spring through the Catawba County Cooperative Extension.

Master Gardeners will be available to answer phone calls and walk-in visits from the general public regarding home gardening issues at The Master Gardener Phone Clinic, beginning March 9 through Sept. 30, from 9-11 AM and again from 12-2 PM.  Please contact Catawba County Cooperative Extension at 828-465-8240 with any home gardening related questions. 

Catawba Valley Cattlemen's Association (CVCC)

Catawba Valley Cattlemen's Association, organized and chartered in the early 1970's, is a membership organization for cattle producers and cattle supporters in Catawba and nearby counties.  The purpose is to provide educational opportunities for members in the development and improvement of beef quality in the valley.  With over 100 members, the association meets the second Tuesday of each month either at the Agricultural Resources Building or on a member's farm.


A beef BBQ is held each March and October on the third Saturday at the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds to promote eating beef and to raise funds for the activities of the association.


Youth involvement and participation in the cattle industry is important.  Several 4-H livestock events are contributed to as well as several college scholarships are given each year. 

George Place, Extension Director
Agricultural Resources Center, Newton, NC 28658