Dare Cooperative Extension reports to the people

Published 7:01 pm Sunday, July 17, 2022

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The Dare County Cooperative Extension Service delivered its annual report to the county’s board of commissioners in mid-June and it’s always a spirited presentation.

Cooperative Extension Service is “an educational partnership helping people put research knowledge to work for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and an improved quality of life,” said the county’s Extension eirector Tanya Lamo.

Cooperative Extension’s Dare program concentrates on horticulture, food and nutrition and 4-H and youth development.

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Volunteers “are at the heart of the work we do and they are an integral part of our organization thriving in the community. They are connected, invested and dedicated,” said Lamo.

At the meeting, some of those dedicated volunteers wore their green or gray shirts calling attention of the Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardener program. In 2021, some 15 Dare County residents signed up for the classes, attended every class, passed an exam and started on the volunteer hours required to become a Master Gardener.

Currently, 60 people in Dare County are certified Master Gardeners.

Got a question about a plant? Ask a Master Gardener on Wednesdays at the Outer Banks Arboretum and Teaching Garden, next to the Kill Devil Hills Library. The booth is open, weather permitting, from 9 to 11 a.m. Or, Ask a Master Gardener in Manteo at the Cooperative Extension offices, located at 517 Budleigh St. in Manteo, on Fridays during the same hours. Drop by either location to pick up a soil test kit.

This great group of gardeners also sets up a Coastal Gardening Festival, where 1,600 plants grown by the Master Gardeners are offered for sale. This year 975 people attended and purchased all but 50 of the plants.

For 30 years, Dee Furlough has been delivering programs dealing with family and consumer sciences. She works in Dare and Tyrrell counties. And she’s a video star with her Dee-Lish in Dare. The COVID pandemic didn’t crimp the style of Furlough. In 2021, in cooperation with Current TV, Furlough produced regular programming that was integrated into the station’s schedule.

Like bread and butter pickles? Learn how to make them by attending a class on Thursday, July 21 at 10 a.m. at Dare County Extension Office. The cost is $10 and includes all the supplies and ingredients. Participants will take a jar or two of pickles home. Space is limited. Sign up online at the center’s website, dare.ces.ncsu.edu.

Ruth Perkins is the Extension agent for 4-H and youth development.

In 2021, sewing classes were started. Young people came; in fact 20 youth have been involved in this program. Soon, a sewing club will start.

This summer, 4-H will learn about repurposing natural products in a free activity called Trash Talks. The program starts at 9 a.m. on Thursday, July 21 at the center. Sign up online at dare.ces.ncsu.edu.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension has offices in every county in North Carolina and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee. The statewide program is found at North Carolina State University, which funnels information and research results through Cooperative Extension.

About those volunteers in Dare County: In 2021, volunteers contributed 4,763 hours to the Dare County Center for Cooperative Extension.

In 2021, the agency in Dare had 2,926 direct contacts, 28,130 indirect contacts, 504,870 digital media contacts and 6.58 million mass media contacts.