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Originally published: 2013-01-04 14:18:13
Last modified: 2013-01-04 14:18:13

Avery County Cooperative Extension: Thankful for a productive 2012

Adam Keener / Special to The Avery Journal-Times

What a year 2012 has been. As the year comes to a close it is a time for reflection, thanksgiving and planning for the future, especially since Dec. 21, 2012, came and went with no bang or whimper. From my perspective I can say that Avery County Cooperative Extension Center has been particularly busy. We have had workshops and programs with topics ranging from apples to Zoonotic diseases.
I have been and continue to be ever impressed with the quality of work and dedication that comes from the limited staff size of Avery County Cooperative Extension Center. It amazes me how the tireless efforts of so few can make such a positive effect on so many. The efforts of our Heirloom Apple Project; the education of parents and students on eating habits through EFNEP programs; the social and educational advancements in students through the 4-H YO! Afterschool and Summer WOW programs; the safety of home kitchens through canning classes; and the expansion of knowledge about area agriculture through the educational days at the Avery A&H Fair are just a few of the many great outreach programs and impacts made by the fine people I work with everyday.
Also, there is no way for me to express the amount of respect and gratitude I have for Jerry Moody, county Extension director; Tami Hagie, administrative assistant; Kim Davis, county secretary; Bobbie Willard, Extension agent; Melanie Cashion, Nutrition Program assistant; Debra Buchanan-Hughes, program associate; and Doug, Hundley, Integrated Pest Management technician. (Also, Jennifer Woodruff, W.A.M.Y., and Alicia Hicks, W.A.M.Y.)
The entire staff brings a multitude of partners to the table day in and day out. Groups and agencies, such as: Avery A&H Fair Board, W.A.M.Y., Historical Society, Board of Education and of course our Avery County government partners, etc. And as thankful as I am for them and their hard work, I am more thankful for you. You are the reason all of us are here, making our efforts to improve the lives of the citizens of Avery County. As the ever changing needs and landscape of lives change we are here for you, to help you in your times of need, to answer questions and provide guidance, as well as expanding your knowledge and abilities, to enable you to be better citizens and live fuller lives.
If you have never utilized Avery County Cooperative Extension Center, located at 805 Cranberry Street in Newland, I hope that you take the opportunity to during the new year. I hope that you will come to know some of the names listed above. They are always working hard to provide workshops and assistance for a plethora of needs.
The Avery County Cooperative Extension staff has already started making plans for 2013, and I am very excited about the upcoming workshops, tours and events. It is an exciting time; change happens so fast now, and good or bad as that may be, it provides us all an opportunity to grow, to learn and to become better citizens, a better Avery County, a better North Carolina, even a better country. Be on the lookout for the multitude of workshops and programs offered by Avery County Cooperative Extension Center throughout the year and may your 2013 be one of the best years of your life.
The Cooperative Extension staff is currently working on the 2013 workshops, educational programs/tours and camp calendars. If you have an interest that you feel that we should be focusing on or would like additional information on any of the on-going programs, please feel free to contact Avery County Cooperative Extension Center at (828) 733-8270.