Catawba County Center

Catawba County Center
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2nd Specialty Crops Series

We have some awesome workshops lined up for the 2nd specialty crop series. Remember to save these dates so that you can be first in line to learn about these crop systems. 

Get Growing with Microgreens
Tuesday October 18th, 2016
Agricultural Resource Center

Cost: $15
Deadline to register: October 4th, 2016

Microgreens, although tiny, pack a nutritious punch. Whether you plan to grow these for your own personal consumption or for marketing, growing this superfood is simple and easy with practice. Christina Newhouse joins us again to talk about how to grow microgreens both small and large scale. Participants will be able to start their own microgreens to take home with them. Please fill out the micrgreens workshop registration form and mail to the Cooperative Extension.

Hydroponic 101
Date & Time TBD
Curious about hydroponics? Want to know what the hype around Hydroponic is all about. Join us as we learn about the basics to hydroponics. More information soon to follow. 

For more information on any of these specialty crops series or to register, please contact Der Xiong at or 828-465-8240.


2016 Fall Beef BBQ Fundraiser
Catawba Valley Cattlemen's Association
Place: Hickory American Legion

Date: Saturday, October 8
Time: 5 - 8 pm               
   Cost: $ 10.00  per plate
Carry outs available

For more information, visit the Catawba County Cooperative Extension website or call Beth Rogers at 828-465-8240

4-H Club Spotlight:

Top Shots 4-H Shooting Sports Club

New Member Night
Wednesday, October 5
5:30 p.m.
Agricultural Resources Center 

Shooting sports is a growing area of 4-H. Youth in the club have the chance to learn discipline, sportsmanship and leadership as they work on shooting. They also have the chance to participate in regional, state and even national 4-H shooting sports contests.

The Shooting Sports Club meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday evenings of each month at 5:30 at the Conover Rifle and Gun Club.  They currently offer four disciplines--archery, muzzleloading, rifle and shotgun.  The club is for ages 9 and older.  Children can participate in all four areas or focus on ones that they are interested in.  At the current time, there is a $5 charge per discipline to participate to cover the shooting supplies.  In order to participate, youth need to have completed the NC Hunter Safety Course.  An adult is expected to attend shooting sports meeting with their children.
Currently, the schedule is Week 1, rifle and muzzleloading and week 3, archery and shotgun.  Practice lasts approximately 2 hours for the combined events.  

The club is now ready to add some new members. If you are interested in learning more about the club and/or joining make plans to attend the next meeting on Wednesday October 5th at 5:30pm at the Agriculural Resources Center. 

For more information or to sign up you can contact the extension office at 828-465-8240 or contact  Karen Harris at 381-6619 or
Catawba Valley Cattlemen's Association Meeting
Educational Program: - Veterinary Feed Directive (VDF)
Speakers: -  Greg & Amanda Whitener, DVMs

Time and Location: Tuesday, October 11, 2016 (2nd Tuesday of the month)

APP-address: Agricultural Resource Center 1175 South Brady Ave. Newton, NC


    6:00 pm - Supper

    7:00 pm - Business Meeting - TW Wall, President

    7:15 pm - Educational Program - Greg & Amanda Whitener, DVMs

    8:15 pm - Meeting Adjourned
ServSafe Food Safety Manager's Certification Course. 

October 4 and 11 at the Extension Center.  
Visit for details.
 Family & Consumer Sciences Advisory Committee Mtg. 
Monday, October 10, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.
Room A at the Extension Center.
The FCS Food Safety Advisory/Policy Council Mtg. 
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 at 10 a.m.
Catawba County Environmental Health

 The Food Safety committee is currently working on guidelines for safe food handling during food demonstrations at farmers markets. 

Artisanal, Safe and Efficient: The Way Forward for Dairy Producers

October 5, 2016
8:30 am - 5:00 pm
NC Agricultural and Technical State University, Coltrane Hall
$40 Cost

Registration Deadline: Monday, October 3

Taught by Dr. Michele Pfannenstiel, CEO of Dirigo Food Safety, this 8 hour class is designed for cheesemakers and dairy producers to focus on the basics of Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and documented food safety planning. 

Participants will learn how to write Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), write process flow diagrams, describe their product accurately and understand what it truly means to be a leader as a value added dairy operation.

At the end of the course, participants will earn a certificate in Food Safety for Value Added Dairy Production.

Geared toward producers selling into wholesale markets, as well as Extension Agents who are assisting growers with wholesale market expansion, this full-day, hands-on workshop will offer a variety of tools to assist dairies in food safety procedures.

Seed Saving: Techniques to Maximize Seed Quality and Germination

Tuesday, October 11, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Newton Public Library
115 West C Street, Newton, NC 28658

Thursday, October 13, 2016
6:00 - 7:00 PM
Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
375 3rd St NE, Hickory, NC 28601

Tuesday, October 25, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Maiden Branch Library
11 South A Ave., Maiden NC 28650

Get a jump on next year's garden by learning techniques for saving seeds and better germination practices.  

College Admission & Success

October 17, 2016
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Catawba County Main Library, Newton 

Register by contacting 

High School students and their parents are invited to join with the Catawba County Youth Council and summer ASPIRE class  to  learn how to prepare for college admission and success. Learn about NCSU and the College of Ag and Life Sciences, how CVCC can be a pathway to a 4-year degree, and how ASPIRE can help students tackle the ACT. 

Speakers include:
Joanna Eglinton, NCSU Academic Advisor, College of Ag and Life Science
Laurie Wegner, Admission Director, CVCC 
Donna Mull and Hannah Burke, ASPIRE instructors 

The Catawba County ECA Camisole Group would like to have some new volunteers who can sew and assist in making camisoles for breast cancer patients who are in Catawba County Hospitals.  

The group meets the first Monday of the month at 9:30 a.m. at Catawba County Cooperative Extension, 1175 S. Brady Avenue, Newton, N.C. If you are interested in volunteering, please call the Catawba County Cooperative Extension office  at 828-465-8240, leave your contact information, and someone from the group will contact you.

2016 - 2017 4-H Afterschool

4-H afterschool programs are already in full swing for both Catawba County Schools QUEST and Hickory City Schools Community Schools sites as well as Inspired Learning!

We are offering Acres of Adventure as well as Reading Makes Cents this Fall. At Inspired Learning for our middle school group we are offering Health Rocks!

It is an exciting and busy time with many educational contacts being made!

Our Fall schools are:
- Lyle Creek Elementary
- Catawba Elementary
- Claremont Elementary
- Maiden Elementary
- Oxford Elementary
- St Stephens Elementary
- Clyde Campbell Elementary
- Mt View Elementary
- Longview Elementary
- Southwest Elementary
- Inspired Learning

If you have any questions about 4-H Afterschool contact Michelle Smith at 828-465-8240 or

Upcoming Training for Catawba County 
Early Childhood Educators

Food Safety in the Child Care Setting 
Presented by Ann Simmons, FCS Agent

Thursday, October 13, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. 
Children's Resource Center in Hickory

For more information or to register contact Ashley Benfield at 828-695-6565.

Food Safety: Rethinking Your Food Handling Habits

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. The PROBUS Club of Lake Norman. The PROBUS Club is a meeting of retired business professionals from the Lake Norman/Sherrill's Ford Area. The meeting will be held at the Berea Baptist Church on Highway 150 in Mooresville, N.C. All are welcome. Ann Simmons will present the program.

NCDA&CS offers organic certification cost-share assistance

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (NCDA & CS) is offering organic growers the opportunity to recoup up to $750 of their certification cost. Growers must have been certified between October 1, 2015 and September 30, 2016 and complete an application available at

Visit the NCDA website to see more information about this cost share opportunity.

USDA Low Interest Loans For Storage Facilities

The Farm Storage Facility Loan Program provides low-interest financing so producers can build or upgrade permanent facilities to store commodities. Eligible commodities include grains, oilseeds, peanuts, pulse crops, hay, honey, renewable biomass commodities, fruits and vegetables. Eligible facility types include grain bins, hay barns and facilities for cold storage.

Sarah Gwyn, Dietetic Intern

Sarah Gwyn, Dietetic Intern from the Solmaz Institute at Lenior-Rhyne University, has completed a portion of her community rotation with Catawba County Cooperative Extension. During August and September, Sarah worked on projects related to local foods and community nutrition. Since FCS Agent Ann Simmons serves both Catawba and Iredell, Sarah had the opportunity to work in both counties. Sarah (center) is shown discussing nutrition information with attendees at the City of Statesville Employee and Community Health Fair in Iredell County. In October, Sarah will continue her community experience at the Catawba County Health Department. We appreciate Sarah's contributions to Extension and to Catawba and Iredell counties.

31st Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Nov 4-6, 2016
Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center 

Durham, NC

The Sustainable Agriculture Conference is an unparalleled opportunity for beginning farmers to learn how to be successful in their sustainable farming enterprises.  Special programming for beginning farmers includes: land access, farm business finances, tool maintenance, carpentry skills, general farming practices for new growers, and an in depth panel conversation with CFSA's Lomax Incubator Farmers in Training. Other conference workshops cover a range of topics essential for new farms to thrive, including organic weed control, four season farming, soil fertility, pasture-based livestock, pollinator preservation, food safety and processing, agritourism, and direct marketing.

For more information contact:

Leah Joyner - Education Coordinator
PO Box 448 Pittsboro, NC 27312

 Healthy, Stress-free Holiday Cooking   

Thursday, November 10, 2016, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Newton Library, 115 W. C Street. 

Topics include:  Modifying your favorite holiday foods to make them healthier, foods that may be prepared ahead of time and holiday food safety tips. Ann Simmons, FCS Agent will present the program.

Garden Berries: Grow and Pick Your Own

Tuesday, November 1, 2016
6:30-7:30 PM
Newton Public Library
115 West C Street, Newton, NC 28658

Thursday, November 10, 2016
6:00 - 7:00 PM
Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
375 3rd St NE, Hickory, NC 28601

Expand your gardening horizons into berry growing in this last lecture of the 2016 curriculum. 
2016 Farm City Banquet
Catawba Country Club
Tuesday, November 22nd
Cost: $15 per person

Mark your calendar. Catawba County Cooperative Extension Center will be hosting their 2016 Farm City Banquet. Tickets must be presented at the door to attend the banquet.

Farm City Celebration is an opportunity to recognize the role agriculture plays in Catawba County and to increase understanding between the urban and farming communities. Scott Millar, Catawba County Economic Development Center President, is our guest speaker this year. Scott will be sharing his perspective on the history of Catawba County rural and urban economy and where its headed. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Der Xiong or Beth Rogers at 828-465-8240. Deadline to purchase tickets is November 11th, 2016.  
Local Food List Serv

The Local Foods Action Plan Listserv is a statewide listserv to facilitate a local food economy moderated by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS).  The listserv is open to the public and members are encouraged to post on any topic dealing with the cultivation of local food, farms and communities by emailing Posters are responsible for the content they submit.   To receive the digest version or for questions about the listserv, please e-mail  Please visit our website

NC State Gardening, Agriculture, and Pest Updates

You can sign up for the latest news on gardening, pest advisories, livestock, energy, and many others.  Check out the complete list of NC State News that you can subscribe to and get the latest research based info.  Be the first to know! 
Plant Management Network Newsletter

Check out the latest issue of this incredible agriculture resource.  Take a look at the massive list of information links for all things related to agriculture.
Got To Be NC Agriculture

Visit the Got to Be NC website and see excellent resources for starting your own food business.

Visit the NC Growing Together website to see the latest newsletter, recent resources, and schedule of upcoming workshops, webinars, and meetings.

Small Farm Grant and Loan Assistance

We will post various grant and loan opportunities that arise in this space of our monthly updates.  Simply click on the opportunity of interest for more information.

Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination statement

2.1.  North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equaopportunity regardless of racecolor, religion, creed, national origin, sexage, disability, or veteran'status. In additionthe two Universities welcome all person without regard to sexual orientation.  North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
2.2.  Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations   to participate by contacting Catawba County Extension Director, George Place, at (828)465-8240 or or in person at the County Extension Office at least 14 days prior to the event.


Dr. George Place
Catawba County Cooperative Extension Director

Agricultural Resources Center, Newton, NC 28658


Catawba County Center | Agricultural Resources Center | 1175 S Brady Ave | Newton | NC | 28658