December 2023

December 2023

Growing Chatham

Growing Chatham

Chatham County Center

Chatham County Center

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christmas ornament
christmas ornament
christmas ornament
christmas ornament
Christmas Snowflakes Background

General Updates

Office Closure Notice

for the upcoming Holidays

Office Closure Notice

for the upcoming Holidays

Santa Claus pointing in blank sign

Please be aware that our office will be closed on the following dates for the festive season:

  • December 25th - 27th, 2023
  • January 1, 2024

We would like to extend our warmest wishes to you and your loved ones for a joyous holiday season!

Christmas Decoration.
Santa Claus pointing in blank sign
Green Christmas background

Save the Date for the Winter Program Day on December 15th!

Mark your calendars and join us for a winter program day on December 15th, which is also a teacher workday. Stay tuned for more information regarding the program's specifics - we'll share the details with you soon!

Watercolor Christmas Gifts

Chatham County 4-H is headed back to camp summer of 2024. Located near Reidsville, NC, BJP Educational Center is 220 acres of beautiful recreational property for youth ages 8-14. We will spend a week of overnight camping and exploring under the guidance of nurturing, caring, and capable camp staff. While at camp, your child will have the opportunity to experience many different activities, programs, and facilities!

Chatham County 4-H will be attending Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center July 28 – Aug 2, 2024. Send your 8-14 year-old as a gift this year!

Chatham County 4-H member,

Sara Richardson featured in Chatham Magazine

We are thrilled to announce that one of our talented 4-H'ers, Sara Richardson, has been showcased in the latest edition of Chatham Magazine. As the Horsekateers' president, Sara was recognized for her outstanding achievements both on the horse and in the classroom.

On October 30th, Chatham County 4-H members spent the afternoon crafting at the Chatham County Center, immersing themselves in everything autumn. The event was a memorable one, and we had a blast with some of our 4-H'ers!


Chatham County 4-H's Fun-Filled Fall Afternoon

watercolor cute children with christmas tree and gifts

Give the Gift of Camp This Holiday Season!

Red Ribbon Bow
Watercolor Christmas Gifts

It's that time of year again – 4-H re-enrollment is now open! Ensure your active participation in the upcoming year by re-enrolling before January 15th.

You can re-enroll here

A big congratulations to the NC 4-H Horse program for all their amazing accomplishments in Kentucky at the Eastern National 4-H Horse event. The NC 4-H team held four of our very own Horsekateers. Kyra, Austen, Sara and Sam spent much of their time preparing and studying for this competition. It was very evident in their performances and results.

Horse Bowl: Kyra

Team Overall: Champion

High Individual: Reserve Champion

Hippology: Sara

Team Overall: Champion

Team Written Phase: Champion

Team Judging Phase: Champion

Team Station Phase: Reserve Champion

Team Problem Phase: 5th

Individual Overall: 4th

Individual Written Phase: 5th

Individual Judging Phase: Reserve Champion

Individual Station Phase: 8th

Judging: Austen and Sam

Team Overall: Champion

Team Performance Placing: Champion

Team Halter Placing: Reserve Champion

Team Oral Reasons Placing: Champion


Individual Overall: Champion

Individual Performance Placing: 9th

Individual Halter Placing: Champion

Individual Oral Reasons Placing: 3rd


Individual Overall: Reserve Champion

Individual Performance Placing: Champion

Individual Halter Placing: 8th

Individual Oral Reasons Placing: Champion

Celebrating the Outstanding Achievement of the

NC 4-H Horse Program

Don't Miss Out on 4-H Activities in 2024

Re-enroll Online Today!

 Child Singing Christmas Carols
Happy kids singing Christmas Carols
Girl Singing Christmas Carols
Boy Singing Christmas Carols
Happy Kid Singing Illustration
Fabric Patterns - Poinsettia
White poinsettia Christmas watercolor
White poinsettia Christmas watercolor
White poinsettia Christmas watercolor


Gold star illustration

Purchasing a Real North Carolina Tree

NC State Extension Master Gardener Volunteers

Assist Pollinator Research

There are many ways for people in North Carolina and around the country to enjoy real, farm-grown North Carolina Christmas trees. The following information will help you make the perfect choice for you and your family.

Read more

Ceratina bees are one of the pollinators found nesting in old stems.

Christmas Tree Care

As the perils facing pollinators continue to rise, many people want to know what they can do in their home landscapes to protect them. In addition to planting pollinator-friendly plants that provide nectar and pollen resources, how you manage plants can increase or decrease their value to pollinators. This includes practices such as not spraying flowering plants with pesticides and how and when you trim perennial stems. Read more

Real Christmas trees quickly lose quality if handled improperly after they are cut. People who grow, sell, handle, or use real Christmas trees should know something about tree keepability. This is true of the consumer who may use only one tree each year, as well as brokers or growers who handle thousands of trees.

Read more

How to choose the right poinsettia for you?

According to Erv Evans, select plants which have brightly colored bracts and dark green foliage covering most of the stem. Avoid plants that have dropped their leaves, are wilted, or have faded, torn, or discolored bracts. This indicates the plants were not properly cared for (i.e. not watered, boxed or sleeved too long, or diseased) and the length of enjoyment of the plant will be dramatically shortened. Traditionally, the presence or absence of the true flowers or cyathia (the small, round, yellow parts located in the center of the bracts) has been the measurement of freshness. As the plant ages, the cyathia typically drop. However, many of the newer cultivars have improved cyathia retention or there are few cyathia present, which limits the use of cyathia as an indicator of age.

Christmas Poinsettias

A Touch of Green in Our Dull Winter Landscape:

Running-cedar and Mistletoe

During my winter hikes, I have noticed two evergreen perennial plants that are very prominent this time of year because their bright green color contrasts with the brown of the forest floor and the barren top of a leafless tree. These plants, of course, are running-cedar (Diphasiastrum digitatum) and mistletoe (Phoradendron leucarpum) respectively, and are native plants that I became curious about after moving to the Piedmont and so I decided to do a little research.


Sustainable Ag

Dog Merry Christmas Card

Save the Date for Our 2024 Chatham County Spring Ag Fest!

Chatham County invites residents to join us for our 4th annual Spring Ag Fest at the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center on Saturday, March 23, 2024, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Spring Ag Fest is a celebration of Chatham County’s agriculture, forestry, and natural resources. The event will offer something for everyone: livestock, exhibits, demonstrations, food trucks, and more.

Livestock including cattle, sheep, poultry, goats, horses, rabbits, and more will be on display for an up-close look. We will have FREE pony rides for kids and a new section featuring ag activities for kids sponsored by Chatham County 4-H!

Indoor and outdoor exhibitors and vendors will highlight local farms, farmers’ markets, sustainable agriculture, agricultural support and advocacy, agribusiness, beekeeping, livestock, forestry, green industry, wildlife, conservation, and much more. Visitors will get to meet Smokey Bear!

Several food trucks will offer tasty options for lunch.

The event is free and open to the public.

For more information visit the Growing Small Farms website.

Cute Paws Christmas Tree
Dog Merry Christmas Card

NC AgVentures Program Chatham County Farm Tour

NC AgVentures is a NC State Extension program that provides grants to North Carolina farmers and community groups for new and innovative agricultural project ideas that will increase farm profits. The program is supported by the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.

Each year the AgVentures program selects a county to host a farm tour for representatives from the Tobacco Trust Fund Commission so they can visit some AgVentures Grant recipients. It’s a great opportunity for the funding agency to see first-hand the impact the grants have on these farms. This year Chatham County was selected to host a tour.

Visit Cooperative Extension's Growing Small Farms website to learn more and view photos of the tour stops to the Pittsboro Farmers' Market, Okfuskee Farm, and Dutch Buffalo Farm.

Read more here.

"Integrated Pest and Pollinator Management Deep Dive

Join us for the "Integrated Pest and Pollinator Management Deep Dive" at the Lee County Cooperative Extension Center (2420 Tramway Road, Sanford, NC 27332) on Saturday, December 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a

day-long, intensive workshop on all things pest and pollinator management, including IPPM, diagnostics, insects ID, and common diseases of North Carolina and what to do about them.

Cost is $20 and lunch is provided!

This workshop is for new and beginning farmers, as well as seasoned farmers! Learn more about integrated pest management, diagnostics, insects and diseases to help you on your farm!

Please bring class fee (CASH OR CHECK) to the class or pay ahead at

NC Cooperative Extension- Lee County Center,

2420 Tramway Road, Sanford 27332

Upcoming Webinar

Farm Planning Resources for New & Aspiring Farmers

Christmas goats
Five Reindeers with Scarves


Silhouette Color with Reindeer Jumping
Winter Hat Illustration

2023 All Category Pesticide Classes

The Alamance County Center is fortunate to be able to be approved for 2 Hours of A, B, D, G, H, I, K, L, M, N, O, T, X on three different classes for 2023.

These classes will be hosted at the N.C. Cooperative Extension, Alamance County Center this year, (No Zoom Option) and each class will have a limit of 70 people.

These classes will be held on December 6–7. Two classes will be held 9–11 a.m. on both Dec. 6 & 7, and the third class will be held 6–8 p.m. on December 7. We have a different platform to register for these classes too, called Eventbrite. Think of it being similar to Ticketmaster or something like that. So click on which class you would like to attend. It will pull up a website that will allow you to register. Fill in your information and it will send you an email to confirm your registration. Please use an email address that you regularly check when you register, all further correspondence will come to that email.

NC Farm School Starts February 2024 in Randolph County

North Carolina Farm School (NCFS) is a unique strategic business planning program for aspiring, new, or transitioning farmers. Its mission is to increase the number of successful farms in North Carolina. Farm School is a blend of classroom activities and field days.

One-on-one support to help you take the next step

Learn from a group of extension specialists, extension agents, and local farmers

Farm School for our region starts in February 2024 and will be based at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Randolph County Center.

Please see the NC Farm School website for more details and to register.

2024 NCFS North Central Brochure

Camping Christmas Australia
Christmas Garland With Ribbon
Christmas Garland With Ribbon


Happy Family

Save-the-Date: Heirs Property Summit

When: Wednesday, January 31st

9am - 3pm

Where: NC A&T University Farm Pavilion

3020 McConnell Rd, Greensboro, NC

Who: Open to residents of Guilford and surrounding counties

Registration: FREE (lunch included) |

N.C. A&T and N.C. State Cooperative Extension are working together to educate the public about heirs property! We are hosting six heirs property summits across the state. Join us for hands-on training sessions that will provide valuable materials and guidance to avoid involuntary property loss, and protect and preserve family land for generations to come.

Attend our hands-on, practical workshop about heirs property. Learn about the origin and history of heirs property and estate planning and legal strategies to secure their land. Come to connect with resources and other technical assistance including some potential opportunities to listen from a panel who are dealing with heir’s issues.


9 - 9:10 am: Introductions

9:15 - 10:30 am: Overview of Heirs Property

10:30 - 10:45 am: 15-minute Break

10:45 - 12 pm: Heirs Property Prevention

12 - 1:15 pm: Lunch and Panel with Farmers

1 - 2:15 pm: Heirs Resolution

Instructor Noah: Group exercise

Instructor Andrew: Selecting an attorney/legal structure to hold land

2:15 - 2:30 pm: Wrap-up discussion/Q&A

2:30 - 3 pm: Evaluation

For more information, please contact any of the following:

Biswanath Dari,

Noah Ranells,

Kurt Smith,

Andrew Branan,

North Carolina Timber Prices in Decline

Dr. Bob Bardon (NCSU Department Extension Leader in Forestry & Environmental Resources) noted that state-wide timber stumpage prices for third quarter 2023 mirror south-wide timber stumpage price trends with decreases for four of the five major product classes. Prices decreased for pine sawtimber, pine chip-n-saw, pine pulpwood and hardwood pulpwood. However, there was an increase in hardwood sawtimber prices.

Bardon noted that the drop in pine prices and increase in hardwood sawtimber prices are not unexpected.

Wildfire Resources in North Carolina

North Carolina is finally receiving some much-needed rain to end a dry spell that had the unfortunate timing to coincide with the seasonal leaf fall in the mountains. Those dry leaves acted as fuel for wildfires and over the past few weeks wildfires have burned thousands of acres in the mountains

like the Poplar Drive Fire which destroyed multiple homes in Henderson County, and the Collett Ridge Fire which has burned over 5,500 acres. The high fire activity and high fire risk prompted burn bans, public land closures, and a declaration of a state of emergency by state officials.

Although the current rain will be an enormous boost to efforts to control these fires and will greatly reduce near-term fire risk, we should use this moment as a reminder to make sure we are prepared for the next time we face dangerous wildfire conditions. It’s often surprising for many folks to hear that North Carolina experiences some of the greatest number of wildfires in the country as compared to other states. Coupled with the fact that we also have the most wildland urban interface in the country (, wildfire risk is an important issue for our state.

There are many resources available regarding wildfire in our state that can help you keep informed of current wildfire conditions, learn about wildfire, and take action to reduce your wildfire risk.

Christmas food

At Home

Christmas Garland Illustration
Christmas Garland Illustration
Christmas Garland Illustration

Safely Serving Holiday Appetizers

Family Cooking Class

Our first Family Cooking Class filled up fast, so we added more! These classes will be offered monthly and are best suited for children ages 5 and up.

Space is limited and registration is required for these classes.

Registering for one class does not register you for every class. Each child must be accompanied by an adult, but accompanying adults do not need to register.

Each class will be held from 4-5pm on the following dates

  • December 13th
  • January 17th
  • February 21st
  • March 20th
  • April 10th
  • May 15th

These classes are Free.

Money rain. Flying Money

Home Finances

5 Tips to Manage Holiday Spending

The gift-giving season can leave you with a financial hangover in the new year if you do not have a spending plan.

If the gift-giving season is more stressful than cheerful for you, don’t panic. Get prepared!

These tips can help you manage your spending this holiday season:

  • Make a spending plan. Know how much you can spend on holiday-related expenses by making a budget. Then, decide who you will buy gifts for and the amount you will spend on each person. Make sure to include other holiday-related expenses like greeting cards, gatherings, travel, office parties, holiday groceries, and charitable donations.
  • Use cash instead of credit to make purchases. It’s easier to overspend when paying with credit.
  • Shop early rather than later. This can help you avoid overspending under pressure or needing to spend extra for expedited shipping.
  • Consider cutting back on the number of gifts you buy. Draw names with family and friends or pool your gift budgets and make a charitable donation as a group.
  • Choose thoughtful or practical gifts, such as homemade food items, kitchen supplies, or gift certificates to a recipient’s favorite retail outlets.

It’s easy to overspend during the holidays, which can leave you with a financial hangover in the new year. But making a plan now and sticking to it will help you avoid debt next year.

Christmas Garland with Striped Ornament Illustration
Christmas Garland with Striped Ornament Illustration
Christmas Stocking Full of Money

Ag History

Stories from the Farm: Century Farms in Chatham County

"Oh Christmas Tree!"

Since the late 1700's, the Norwood family has owned their farm in Chatham County, NC. The Norwood siblings reminisce about their cherished Christmas memories growing up on the farm.

garland with red bow and mistletoe branches
corner with red bow and mistletoe garland
corner with red bow and mistletoe garland

Catch a Sneak Peek of what's to come in 2024 by watching the entire video!

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In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, NC State University will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities. Please direct accommodation requests to: Dr. Ginger Cunningham, Requests can be served more effectively if notice is provided at least 10 days before the event.