Featured stories and content

FEATURED CONTENT
agoptions

WNC AgOptions: Grants
for Diversifying Farmers Now Available

WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $178,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2016. The application deadline is November 13. WNC AgOptions helps offset farmers' risk of trying new ventures with $3,000 and $6,000 grants. "The WNC AgOptions program is an excellent example of grant funds providing direct support to those who need it most," said Ross Young, Madison County Extension Director and WNC AgOptions steering committee leader. "Our farmers are arguably the most important people in our society. I sincerely appreciate the Commission's interest in supporting Western North Carolina agriculture." The Commission has supported the mountain region throughout major changes in agriculture, ensuring farmers continue farming. "Farmers in western North Carolina have proven time and time again that they are very innovative, resourceful and creative in how they produce and market their products," said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. "Our board is committed to the success of farmers in the targeted counties and we know these grants will encourage many successful projects." Applicants should contact their Cooperative Extension Agents by Oct. 16 to set up an appointment to discuss their projects. In Swain County, contact Christy Bredenkamp at (828) 488-3848. Applications are available at www.wncagoptions.org or at the Swain County Cooperative Extension (60 Almond School Road, Bryson City). Extension Agents remain a resource for farmers throughout the year as they complete their projects. Since 2004, WNC AgOptions has awarded nearly $2 million to farmers. Grants often pay for a simple improvement that make a big difference, such as the purchase of an air-forced refrigerator at Perry's Berry's in Burke County. The cold storage reduced Owners Debbie and Terry Perry's blueberry losses from 20 percent in 2014 to less than 5 percent in 2015. Cooling their berries immediately after harvest enhances the quality of their product, which they sell to a variety of customers, including Food Matters in Transylvania County, Fonta Flora Brewery in Burke County and Blind Squirrel Brewery in Avery County. Wehrloom Honey in Graham County has exceeded their expectations since opening a new retail store in Robbinsville in May. With the help of a WNC AgOptions grant, Owner Jessica Wehr added new products such as spun honey, which is a thick spreadable honey, and bee pollen, which is considered a superfood due to its rich source of vitamins. Hoopers Creek Botanicals expanded production with a 2015 WNC AgOptions grant, and Owner Wallace Souther says he is able to sell all the medicinal herbs that he can grow. He also secured a contract with Sow True Seeds in Asheville to grow winter squash, which he says he wouldn't have been able to do without the grant. "I feel so honored," Souther said. WNC AgOptions offers grants to farmers in the following counties/units: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties as well as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Applicants are encouraged to attend information sessions, which will be held throughout the region in the next two months. See below for Grant Informational Sessions dates or check the WNC AgOptions website for exact dates and locations. You may also call Project Coordinator, Jennifer Ferre at (828) 252-4783. The administrator of WNC AgOptions is WNC Communities, a non-profit organization that has been improving agriculture in the region since 1947. WNC Communities provides a unique forum for leaders in western North Carolina to carry out innovative programs to improve the quality of life for rural communities and to enhance the agriculture economy. "WNC Communities is delighted to serve as administrator for WNC AgOptions," said L.T. Ward, Vice President of WNC Communities. "We are grateful to the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and North Carolina legislators for their support for twelve years." Members of the WNC AgOptions steering committee include: representatives from N.C. Cooperative Extension, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services–Marketing Division, WNC Communities, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and other leaders in agribusiness. For more information, see the following: WNC Agricultural Options: www.wncagoptions.org NC Cooperative Extension Centers: swain.ces.ncsu.edu NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission: www.tobaccotrustfund.org WNC Communities: www.wnccommunities.org _____________________________________________________________________________ 2016 Grant Informational Sessions You are invited and encouraged to attend an informational meeting about the WNC AgOptions grant program for growers and producers in 2016. Representatives from the WNC AgOptions program will be present to discuss the program, go over the 2016 application time line and answer questions. THURSDAY, SEPT. 10, 2015 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Swain County Extension Center in Bryson City, NC THURSDAY, SEPT. 10, 2015 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Extension Center in Sylva, NC TUESDAY, SEPT. 22, 2015 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Watauga County Extension Center in Boone, NC THURSDAY, SEPT. 24, 2015 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center in Mills River, NC TUESDAY, SEPT. 29, 2015 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Caldwell County Extension Center in Lenoir, NC EARLY OCTOBER 2015 (DATE AND TIME TBD) at Cherokee County Extension Center in Murphy, NC

READ THE REST »
agoptions

WNC AgOptions: Grants
for Diversifying Farmers Now Available

WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $178,000 to western North Carolina farmers in 2016. The application deadline is November 13. WNC AgOptions helps offset farmers' risk of trying new ventures with $3,000 and $6,000 grants. "The WNC AgOptions program is an excellent example of grant funds providing direct support to those who need it most," said Ross Young, Madison County Extension Director and WNC AgOptions steering committee leader. "Our farmers are arguably the most important people in our society. I sincerely appreciate the Commission's interest in supporting Western North Carolina agriculture." The Commission has supported the mountain region throughout major changes in agriculture, ensuring farmers continue farming. "Farmers in western North Carolina have proven time and time again that they are very innovative, resourceful and creative in how they produce and market their products," said Bill Teague, Chairman of the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission. "Our board is committed to the success of farmers in the targeted counties and we know these grants will encourage many successful projects." Applicants should contact their Cooperative Extension Agents by Oct. 16 to set up an appointment to discuss their projects. In Swain County, contact Christy Bredenkamp at (828) 488-3848. Applications are available at www.wncagoptions.org or at the Swain County Cooperative Extension (60 Almond School Road, Bryson City). Extension Agents remain a resource for farmers throughout the year as they complete their projects. Since 2004, WNC AgOptions has awarded nearly $2 million to farmers. Grants often pay for a simple improvement that make a big difference, such as the purchase of an air-forced refrigerator at Perry's Berry's in Burke County. The cold storage reduced Owners Debbie and Terry Perry's blueberry losses from 20 percent in 2014 to less than 5 percent in 2015. Cooling their berries immediately after harvest enhances the quality of their product, which they sell to a variety of customers, including Food Matters in Transylvania County, Fonta Flora Brewery in Burke County and Blind Squirrel Brewery in Avery County. Wehrloom Honey in Graham County has exceeded their expectations since opening a new retail store in Robbinsville in May. With the help of a WNC AgOptions grant, Owner Jessica Wehr added new products such as spun honey, which is a thick spreadable honey, and bee pollen, which is considered a superfood due to its rich source of vitamins. Hoopers Creek Botanicals expanded production with a 2015 WNC AgOptions grant, and Owner Wallace Souther says he is able to sell all the medicinal herbs that he can grow. He also secured a contract with Sow True Seeds in Asheville to grow winter squash, which he says he wouldn't have been able to do without the grant. "I feel so honored," Souther said. WNC AgOptions offers grants to farmers in the following counties/units: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga and Yancey counties as well as the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Applicants are encouraged to attend information sessions, which will be held throughout the region in the next two months. See below for Grant Informational Sessions dates or check the WNC AgOptions website for exact dates and locations. You may also call Project Coordinator, Jennifer Ferre at (828) 252-4783. The administrator of WNC AgOptions is WNC Communities, a non-profit organization that has been improving agriculture in the region since 1947. WNC Communities provides a unique forum for leaders in western North Carolina to carry out innovative programs to improve the quality of life for rural communities and to enhance the agriculture economy. "WNC Communities is delighted to serve as administrator for WNC AgOptions," said L.T. Ward, Vice President of WNC Communities. "We are grateful to the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and North Carolina legislators for their support for twelve years." Members of the WNC AgOptions steering committee include: representatives from N.C. Cooperative Extension, N.C. Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services–Marketing Division, WNC Communities, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project and other leaders in agribusiness. For more information, see the following: WNC Agricultural Options: www.wncagoptions.org NC Cooperative Extension Centers: swain.ces.ncsu.edu NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission: www.tobaccotrustfund.org WNC Communities: www.wnccommunities.org _____________________________________________________________________________ 2016 Grant Informational Sessions You are invited and encouraged to attend an informational meeting about the WNC AgOptions grant program for growers and producers in 2016. Representatives from the WNC AgOptions program will be present to discuss the program, go over the 2016 application time line and answer questions. THURSDAY, SEPT. 10, 2015 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the Swain County Extension Center in Bryson City, NC THURSDAY, SEPT. 10, 2015 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Extension Center in Sylva, NC TUESDAY, SEPT. 22, 2015 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Watauga County Extension Center in Boone, NC THURSDAY, SEPT. 24, 2015 6:00-7:30 p.m. at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center in Mills River, NC TUESDAY, SEPT. 29, 2015 5:30-7:00 p.m. at the Caldwell County Extension Center in Lenoir, NC EARLY OCTOBER 2015 (DATE AND TIME TBD) at Cherokee County Extension Center in Murphy, NC

READ THE REST »
Swain County 4-H Summer

Swain County 4-H
Summer Wrap Up

Swain County 4-H’s summer program was a success!! Youth began their summer with a little dirt, some muddy water, cool gemstone finds and loads of fun as they enjoyed a morning of 4-H Gem Mining at Mason Mountain Mine!! Along with making new friends, 4-Hers took home a nice collection of gemstones (rubies, rose quartz, jasper and pyrite)! Youth donned safety goggles and put their science hats on for a fizzy, bubbly, slimy afternoon of 4-H Science Experiments! Did you know you can mix hydrogen peroxide, food coloring, dish soap and yeast to make elephant toothpaste? Elephants not required! And Mentos dropped in a bottle of soda will create a soda geyser?  Not only did they have a blast there were some wiggling worms, lots of messy black slime, amazing walking water and drinkable fizz!!! 4-Hers had soy much fun exploring The World of the Wonder Bean program! They enjoyed learning about the history of the soybean and the many products soy is used in. Youth even sampled a variety of foods made with soy. Yummy! Youth grabbed their backpacks and put on their hiking shoes for the 4-H Oconaluftee River Trail Hike. They learned about the 10 backpack essentials that are a must for any hike as they walked the 3 mile round trip trail. 4-Hers ended their day with a picnic lunch. Summer isn't summer without sun! During the Solar Energy & Robots program, 4-Hers spent some time in the sun trying out their solar powered creations! They also, experimented with UV beads and solar paper. Youth even toured the Swain County History Museum to catch up on some local history and the culture of our great county! They enjoyed exhibits and memorabilia from years gone by. Oh, and don't forget the ice cream treat to end the day!! Weather you like sunny days or cloudy days coming up with your own forecast can be fun! Youth picked you some knowledge about wind speed and direction, and searched the sky for clouds to make a weather prediction during the 4-H Weather Program. There just might be a future meteorologist in this group! A huge THANK YOU goes out to our wonderful 4-Hers; their parents, grandparents, etc. and the amazing volunteers and Extension staff that made this summer such a great success! For more information about Swain County 4-H program, clubs and more, call the Swain County Cooperative Extension at 488-3848. Also, be sure to LIKE Swain County 4-H on Facebook. Click on links above to see even more 4-H Summer Pictures!!

READ THE REST »
PonyExpressClipart

NC Mountain State
Fair’s Pony Express is Coming to Town

Are you a craftsman, artist, seamstress, food preserver, beekeeper, etc…adult or youth and wish to enter your items in the North Carolina Mountain State Fair? Participation is EASY! Bring your non-perishable items to the Swain County Cooperative Extension Office before August 24, 2015. Wrap and pack all items securely for transport. Please label your box with your name and county. Also include a completed entry form inside the box with your items. Your entries will be picked up from the Swain County Extension Office between August 25 & 27 and will be transported to the Mountain State Fair for judging and display. Items will be returned to the Swain County Extension Office after the fair by September 23. Any prize money will be mailed directly to you. Pony Express Pick-Up August 25-27, 2015 Swain County Cooperative Extension Office 828-488-3848 For More Information NC Mountain State Fair 828-687-1414 www.mountainfair.org

READ THE REST »
FMfacebookSquare

Swain County Farmers
Market

Are you involved in any activities such as gardening, farming, growing flowers and other woody ornamentals, or beekeeping (Honey)? If you answered yes to any of these endeavors and would like to sell the “fruits of your labor” then, set-up a booth and join us! Potential vendors must agree to Farmers Market policies and submit an application prior to any sales. Please contact Christy Bredenkamp for an application and/or more information: Swain County Cooperative ExtensionChristy BredenkampPO Box 2329Bryson City, NC 28713 (828) 488-3848 Policies of the Swain County Farmers Market (pdf) LIKE on Facebook - Swain County Farmers Market _________________________________________________________________________ Sellers must reside and produce the items they sell within Swain and adjacent counties (Graham, EBCI, Jackson, Macon and Clay). Sellers must be the original producer (or family member) of all items being sold.  No buying and reselling of produce or other products are allowed.  

READ THE REST »
SHIIPLogo

Need Help Choosing A
Medicare Part D Drug Plan?

SHIIP Senior Health Insurance Information Program is a consumer information division of the NC Department of Insurance that assists people with choosing a Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Call 488-3848 for an appointment. Swain County Cooperative Extension 60 Almond School Rd. Bryson City, NC _________________________________________________________________________ Do You Need Help Paying for Your Medicare Prescription Medications?  If you answered yes to this question and have limited income and resources, you may qualify for 'EXTRA HELP' (the low-income subsidy) to pay your prescription drug costs. Receiving this help will not change your monthly Social Security benefits. (This program is not available to Medicaid recipients). INCOME GUIDELINES are $1,471.25 per month for an individual and $1,991.25 per month for a couple living together. Call 488-3848 for an appointment. This is a FREE community service, and we do not sell insurance. __________________ For more information: http://www.ncdoi.com/shiip/default.aspx

READ THE REST »
NEWS View All
20102012AgOptionsRec

WNC AgOptions: Grants for Diversifying Farmers Now Available

WNC Agricultural Options is now accepting grant applications from farmers diversifying or expanding their businesses. With funding from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, WNC AgOptions is distributing a total of $178,000 to western North Carolina MORE »

800x600_buff_flock

What is Avian Influenza? popular

Avian Influenza aka bird flu has finally made its way to the US this year and while it has missed North Carolina so far we are just starting to experience the far-reaching effects of this MORE »

http://polk.uwex.edu

Avoid Hay Barn Fires

Hay making time is upon us, so it is time to not only think about harvesting, but also plans for long-term storage. Spring rains can rush farmers in the hay making process and MORE »

tea

Summer Equals Time for Tea!

You are not alone if you enjoy drinking tea, since there are about 37 billion glasses of iced tea served in the U.S. each year. Black tea makes up three quarters of all MORE »

Moles_img_3

Moles – No Easy Answer

Popping up in yards all over North Carolina – mole tunnels! Though moles tunnel actively all year, the tunnels they make in spring and fall are usually more obvious because they are closer MORE »

FMtuesdaysquare

Tuesday Market

Beginning June 16 the Swain County Farmers Market will be open on Tuesday evenings. This day is in addition to the Friday market that is open from 9AM to 1PM. The Tuesday Market will run MORE »

More News
EVENTS View All
In-Step Line DancingThu Aug 27, 2015 Today
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Swain County Cooperative Extension (SCC Auditorium), 60 Almond School Road, Bryson City, NC
— 4 hours ago
Swain County Farmers MarketFri Aug 28, 2015
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Where:
Island Street, Downtown, Bryson City
— 11 hours away
SHIIP AppointmentsMon Aug 31, 2015
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM— 4 days away
Tuesday Market - Swain County Farmers MarketTue Sep 1, 2015
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Island Street, downtown Bryson City
— 5 days away
Clogging Classes for All AgesTue Sep 1, 2015
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM Where:
Swain County Cooperative Extension, 60 Almond School Road, Bryson City, NC
— 5 days away
In-Step Line DancingThu Sep 3, 2015
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM Where:
Swain County Cooperative Extension (SCC Auditorium), 60 Almond School Road, Bryson City, NC
— 7 days away
Swain County Farmers MarketFri Sep 4, 2015
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM Where:
Island Street, Downtown, Bryson City
— 1 week away
SHIIP AppointmentsMon Sep 7, 2015
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM— 2 weeks away
More Events