WEST JEFFERSON — The N.C. Cooperative Extension State Advisory Committee held its tri-annual meeting at the Holiday Inn Express in Ashe County July 16-17.

According to N.C. State Cooperative Extension Director Dr. Rich Bonanno, those gathered at the state advisory committee meeting included directors from each of the state’s five extension districts, plus administrators from N.C. State University, representatives for the extension’s 4-H and Family & Consumer Sciences programs, volunteers and others.

“This is a very important meeting for us to relay information, and also get feedback,” Bonanno said. “Our role with the university and the cooperative extension is to ensure our farmers are the best they can be.”

The state advisory committee spent the morning of Tuesday, July 16 hearing agricultural, budget and program updates, Bonanno said. As of presstime Tuesday, the assembly was readying to look at the broader picture — discussing goals, problems and challenges for the upcoming year, according to Bonanno.

Ashe County Cooperative Extension Director Travis Birdsell said he would guide the state advisory committee on an agricultural tour of Ashe County the morning of Wednesday, July 17.

“This is the most agricultural leadership we’ve ever had in the county, as far as I know,” Birdsell said.

With extension offices in each of North Carolina’s 100 counties, the N.C. State Cooperative Extension expends $98.8 million in state, county, federal and other funding to create a $2.1 billion economic impact for North Carolina, according to an independent analysis conducted by TEConomy Partners in 2018.

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