Friday, June 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Mr. & Mrs. Shipley!

Last Saturday, Robert and Agnes Shipley co-celebrated their late June birthdays. Mr. Shipley turned 100 and Mrs. Agnes turned 95!!! The Shipleys have been active members of the agricultural community for more decades than most have been alive! The couple also has attended every single one of the 56 Farm City Celebrations that have been held in Watauga County!

Mr. Shipley was an agriculture teacher at the Cove Creek school and an inductee into the western North Carolina Agriculture Hall of Fame. He was also an Ag Extension Agent once upon a time. Five years ago the Shipley family established the Robert G. and Agnes D. Shipley Agricultural Endowment to support youth related agricultural activities in Watauga County. Happy Birthday from all of us at Watauga Cooperative Extension!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sustainable Equine Management Class

Stop Horsing Around and Learn about 
Sustainable Equine Management!
The class would offer:
*Sustainable pasture management tips
*Nutritional management tips
*Natural Pest and fly control strategies
*Water management ideas
*Greening your horse: fly controls, conditioners, products, and hooves
*Improvement on worming strategies
*And guest Speaker, Ian Snider, on the utilization of horses for profit
If you would like to see this class offered in late July, let us know! Call 264-3061 or email Kristy at

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sustainable Agriculture

The Cooperative Extension Program at A&T hosted the S.A.R.E.’s (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program) 11th Annual Small Farms Field Day at the University Farm this past Thursday, June 21. Four research projects and Extension demonstrations at the farm were open for inspection, and farmers and the general public were as welcome as Extension agents and other professionals working to promote and support small-scale agriculture. Guided tours of research plots were conducted, and topics included:
• Pastured poultry
• Alley cropping: pecan trees and watermelons
• Mixed grazing: meat goats and hair sheep
• Managing small ruminant parasites in conjunction with mixed grazing
• Managing collards pests using IPM strategies
Small Farms Field Days are excellent opportunities for anyone wanting to learn more about exciting new economic developments in rural as well as urban communities, new technologies that promote a cleaner and healthier environment, and promoting education for the next generation of farmers and consumers in order to engage more citizens in the food and ag system. To find out about upcoming events, visit The Center for Environmental and Farming Systems website: or S.A.R.E,
Speaking of engaging, Watauga Cooperative Extension will offer the program “Identifying Poisonous Plants: Protecting your Pastures and Livestock”, Tuesday, July 10th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Not only will this class help you positively identify poisonous plants that threaten the health of your livestock, it will also offer management strategies using IPM principles and renew IPM credits. Contact Kristy at for further details.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Where Have All the Japanese Beetles Gone?

- Written by Steve Toth, NC Cooperative Extension Specialist
It is late June and so far I have not seen any Japanese beetles. I have a couple reports from around North Carolina and even reports that they are emerging in Maryland. So I guess they are trickling out but populations seem to have gotten lower and lower in the past several years. For three years in a row we have had severe droughts during the time Japanese beetles are ovipositing. They need moist soil so their eggs do not dehydrate and so tiny young larvae can borrow into the soil. Droughts have restricted successful reproduction to only well irrigated areas.

So keep an eye out and remember a few key things. Japanese beetle traps do not offer any protection to landscape plants and may actually attract more beetles on to your property so hang them in your neighbor’s yard. Likewise, treating a lawn for Japanese beetles grubs will not reduce defoliation of plants on that property since beetles fly in from great distances. Long-term protection for landscape and nursery plants can be achieved a neonicotinoid insecticide such as imidacloprid (e.g., Merit, Marathon II) or acetamiprid (Tri-Star). A new product with extremely low vertebrate toxicity but good efficacy for a number of pests including Japanese beetles is Acelepryn (chlorantraniliprole). For more information on the biology and management of adult Japanese beetles in nurseries and landscapes consult the insect note at

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fermented Foods Workshop--July 15-16

Register now for the upcoming “Building Fermented Foods Businesses” workshop featuring Sandor Katz!
Sunday July 15th – Monday July 16th, 2012  Boone, NC

Folks interested in starting or expanding a small food-based business, or just increasing their home food preservation expertise, are invited to a two-day workshop on fermented foods and beverages. Presenters from across the region, including nationally-recognized fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz, will provide information on fermentation science, skills, and business considerations.

Organized by the Appalachian State University Fermentation Science program in collaboration with Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture and Maverick Farms, the workshop will provide sessions on the “how-to’s” of various food and beverage ferments, and cover production, logistics, and financial issues of scaling-up home fermented or acidified foods and beverages to small commercial scale.

Monday evening, Sandor Katz, renowned fermentation and local foods advocate, will share his observations on fermented foods businesses and economic revival. Katz’s work serves to empower people to increase their own food self-reliance and has inspired countless small foods businesses following the release of his first book, Wild Fermentation, in 2003. Since then he has continued to encourage and inspire the food world with The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved, and The Art of Fermentation (2012).

Registration cost for the workshop is $25 for a day or $40 for both days. For more information and to sign up, see the registration website: or contact Franya Hutchins (, 828-262-8158,

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Landowner Woodland Stewardship Series

The Forestry Education and Outreach Program is pleased to announce the Summer 2012 offering of the Woodland Steward Series, Mountains Program. This series of 4 workshops offered between July 18 and August 17 is designed for property owners (especially those with 20 acres or less) to learn the basic principles of forest stewardship. The course will be offered in Asheville and Brevard.

The Western NC Woodland Steward Series: Mountains Program is designed to share with landowners the knowledge and resources necessary to enrich their experience as woodland owners and managers. The series takes place between July 18th and August 17th at various locations in the Asheville area. Each workshop will be a 1.5 day meeting led by natural resource and land management specialists, including both hands-on activities in the field and instruction in the classroom.

Pre-registration and a modest fee are required. Landowners are encouraged to attend one or more of the workshops according to their interests. Registration is available online, by mail or by phone. Details are at:

Sponsored by: NC State University’s Forestry & Environmental Outreach Program, the Cradle of Forestry Interpretive Association, North Carolina Forest Service, NC Cooperative Extension Service, USDA Forest Service, the Cradle of Forestry in America, The NC Arboretum, and Bent Creek Experimental Forest.

Monday, June 4, 2012

4-H Presentations

Watauga County 4-H’ers are participating in the 4-H Presentation Program.  They prepare a 5-12 minute demonstration on a topic they have been exploring.  Participants are encouraged to share their illustrated speeches with others at a club level, or to another group.  They may participate at a competitive level too.  By presenting at the county level, they are eligible to go on to district level and may even earn their way to state competition. 
4-H’ers recently shared interesting speeches on topics such as rabbits, horses, fishing, seeds, and more!