About Cabarrus County
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Cabarrus County is located in the south-central part of the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont region, the county was developed largely for subsistence farming.
Who We Are
Our team is growing and excited to be back! With three newly hired colleagues this year and one still awaiting to be filled, we are a beautiful mix of new and experienced staff with a myriad of backgrounds. With three members with 30+ years of experience, some who were raised here, others who have made their home and life here, a veteran, a teacher, a social worker and a dairy farmer, we represent a wide array of knowledge. We have grandmothers, a new dad, and two soon to be newlyweds all bringing their life experiences to the table. Our passions range from dog rescue to mental health awareness, crafts to houseplants, and even wildlife rehabilitation. We celebrate our differences, respect the rich institutional knowledge some bring while blending it with the new ideas and excitement from newer staff. Thank you for all the support in 2022 and we look forward with excitement and hope for 2023!
Cabbarus County Fair
Extension was “all in” at the Cabarrus County Fair this year. Before the fair doors opened, we were busy with setup, entry judging and display organization. Our staff helped with livestock care and show facilitation, held live demonstrations nightly in our interactive booth and helped manage volunteers in both our 4-H and Extension Master Gardeners live booths. Our ECA and 4-H clubs brought real world experience to life with their educational booths. Together we were all able to share how Extension is helping to Grow Cabarrus County!
Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Meeting the Need
With seeing a need in the region for mentors to help new Horticulture agents, Stacey joined in starting a Central Region Horticulture Group. This new team not only gives guidance to new Horticulture agents but encourages collaboration between colleagues, This group currently meets every
NC State Extension’s Horticulture Program Team helps to provide agents with greenhouse and nursery subject matter training. This training is for Horticulture agents statewide. Stacey serves as co-chair on the Horticulture Program Team, offering her wisdom from years of
Livestock and Field Crops
The Cabarrus County Cattleman’s Association hasn’t been meeting for a few years due to COVID. Thankfully they have been able to start holding regular meetings again this past year. Mackenzie has been working with local companies related to agriculture to recruit speakers for the Cattleman Association Meetings. There has been roughly 25-45 people in attendance at each meeting. Topics ranged from bull health, nutrient management, selling local, farm finance and more. These meetings are a great way for the cattleman of Cabarrus County to learn new information, get refreshers on the content they already knew and socialize with other cattlemen.
Grain production is always changing and growers in the Piedmont Regions are constantly looking for better management practices. In order to provide grain farmers with up-to- date information, Extension Agents from Cabarrus, Iredell, Rowan, Davie, & Alexander Counties partnered with specialists from NCSU to provide a Winter Grains Meeting. NC State Specialists were invited to discuss best management practices for auxin herbicide, corn, soybean and controlling deer populations. This meeting was an in-person event, held at the Iredell County Office. Two hours of pesticide credits were offered. The participants who came were excited to have the chance to learn and interact in person with specialists, and local agents.
Planting for Pollinators
Pollinators have been in decline due to habitat loss, new diseases and pollution. Seeing the need in our community for more healthy and abundant pollinator populations, we were able to work with Cabarrus County Extension Master Gardeners, Cabarrus County and the City of Concord to add a beautiful pollinator garden to our office located at 715 Cabarrus Ave West. Planting and maintaining a pollinator garden will help to support these amazing and essential creatures.
Not My Garbage
During the Spring our Agent, Morgan Menaker, received a call from a local produce farm, about a voracious pest, the Diamondback Moth. After visiting, Morgan consulted with Area Specialized Agent, Craig Mauney, and NC State Specialist, Dr. Jim Walgenbach to develop a plan with the grower for the fall planting season, After developing the plan, Morgan and the grower put the plant into action. Morgan and Dr. Walgenbach used pheromone traps and weekly monitoring to assess adult Diamondback moth populations. In the Spring the traps averaged 120 adult males per week. In the Fall the traps averaged 2 adult males per week. Damage to the crop went from 100% affected in the Spring to under 5% in the fall.
4-H Youth Development
Cabarrus County Youth Market is a hands-on learning experience for youth to become youth entrepreneurs. The second Saturday of each month youth are able to set up and sell items for their small business. This is a great opportunity for them to learn about marketing, building their brand, profit margins and so much more. We currently have six youths who have their own businesses and are selling at the Youth Market. Some examples of the items that are include; homemade crafts, woodworking projects, jewelry, and pet treats.
Bridging the Gap
We are excited to give youth the opportunity to work with a Livestock and Field Crops Agent (Mackenzie Hall) and learn the lifelong skills that come with that. We were able to collaborate with Rowan, Iredell and Cabarrus County to give youth the opportunity to raise a show rabbit for a couple of weeks. Mackenzie and Molly worked with youth individually in the office, teaching them to show rabbits. We also had a Cabarrus County Livestock Sheep and Goat Show for an extra opportunity for youth to get in the show ring and put their skills to the test before the start of the show season. We are thankful for opportunities like this and the
collaboration with other counties
There is a need nationwide to promote education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Cabarrus County 4-H is working with afterschool sites, as well as, Cabarrus and Kannapolis schools to bring awareness to the importance of STEM programming. By youth participating in high quality positive youth development programs, like the National 4-H STEM Challenge, youth and adults can engage in scientific exploration and work together to build the next generation of our nation’s scientists, engineers and mathematicians. To promote STEM awareness, over 7,000 students from across Cabarrus County participated in the “Explorers of the Deep” National 4-H STEM challenge where students developed observational and critical thinking skills while exploring the interconnected nature between the ocean and humans, regardless of where they live.
Educational Afterschool Kits
When COVID first hit and in-person classes were not allowed in afterschool centers, 4-H decided to expand their 4-H educational kits. This innovative process has taken off and over 900 kits have been utilized by 21 afterschool sites this past year. The 4- H kits are all made possible by a generous Cannon Foundation grant. This $25,000 grant provides a program assistant and funding for materials for afterschool kits. The children can hardy contain their excitement when they see the new kits arrive and know they are in for a tremendous 4-H adventure in the coming days.
Family and Consumer Sciences
This year we have been able to test 50 pressure canning dial gauges. By testing your dial gauge annually, you know if the canner will process high or low. If a dial gauge reads high, it can result in under-processing resulting in unsafe food, like deadly botulism. At low, the food will be over-processed, which affects quality. During our testing of these gauges, we discovered that 5 needed to be replaced.
Eating like those who live in the Mediterranean region has been shown to promote health and decrease the risk of many chronic diseases. We hosted a 6 week series of MED classes, which was a great success. One participant shared that “she has totally adopted the MED way of eating. It has changed my life, and I have lost 36 pounds. Because of these I feel better and my knees no longer hurt!”