Monday, August 17, 2015

2016 WNC AgOptions grant application cycle!

WNC AgOptions will be offering $3000 and $6000 cost-share grants to individual farm businesses, this includes green industry operations!

The application is now available for download on the WNC AgOptions website. 

Here are some important dates to keep in mind:

September  2015: Outreach to farmers 
WNC AgOptions has scheduled regional application workshops throughout the West District to reach as many potential applicants as possible. We find that applicants who attend these sessions have an easier time completing the application and submit higher quality applications. Please encourage any farmer who is interested in applying for an AgOptions grant to attend one of these meetings. More details on the sessions will be available soon on the AgOptions website. So far, here are the workshops:

Jackson County Extension Center (Sylva): Thursday, September 10th (time TBD)

Watauga County Extension Center (Boone): Tuesday, September 22nd (time TBD)

Caldwell County Extension Center (Lenoir): Tuesday, September 29th (5:30-7:00 p.m.)

Cherokee County Extension Center (Murphy): Date TBD

Mountain Horticultural Crops Research & Extension Center (Mills River): Date TBD

October 16, 2015: Intent to apply deadline 
Interested applicants should contact their County Ag Agent by this date to set up an appointment to discuss their project.

November 13, 2015: Applications due (must be post-marked by this date)

November 30/December 01, 2015: Application review days. 
Review locations will be in Asheville and Marshall.

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Horticulture IPM Symposium

Horticulture IPM Symposium 2015

Mark you calendars for October 1 and plan to attend the areas premier Horticulture Symposium.  Pesticide Credits are available for licensees in both Carolina's and Tennessee.   Landscape Contractor CEUs have been applied for and a short press release will be shared as soon as they have been approved.   Please read the attached links:

IPM Symposium Press Release

Registration Form and Agenda

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Landscape Contractor Continuing Education Credits

CEUs for Landscape Contractors

A question keeps coming up regarding classes to get the 7 hours of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) or hours to keep your NC Landscape Contractor's License.   I have been in contact with the Executive Director of the NCLCLB to address this issue and here's the answer:

The continuing education committee is diligently working on the process to approve courses that will qualify for credits toward the Landscape Contractors’ License.  While that process is still being finalized, I do expect we will have something, hopefully by the end of this month."

What is the time frame for credits to be received: 

"To be eligible to renew, licensed landscape contractors will need to have obtained seven (7) credit hours from August 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016.  .......  the renewal period relative to continuing education is an Anniversary date relative to the license valid date."

So anyone acquiring a new license now that the grandfathering period is over (and it was entirely over on August 1st 2015, 11 days ago)  will have a year until their Anniversary date to obtain the 7 hours. 

While we are still unsure about the process of getting classes qualified for credits, it does not appear that it will be long before that has been resolved and I don't personally expect there to be a problem with most of our existing classes qualifying for CEUs  so don't panic you will have several opportunities between now and next July 31st to get your credits.

One opportunity that did not get proper publicity as the credits were granted literally at the last minute will be the Summer Green Road Show starting tomorrow in Hickory.  I'm not clear on the actual number of hours granted for each event but it appears that attendance on both days could get you most of the required hours.  Got to the bottom of this page and click on Brochure to get more information.

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.