Monthly Newsletter
June/July 2022

Extension programs and resources are available to all county residents. Feel free to forward our newsletters on to family and friends. Watch out for monthly announcements of events as this newsletter arrives in your inbox each month or keep up with us on Facebook or Instagram.

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Agriculture Contributes 20% to the US Economy

Findings from the sixth annual Feeding the Economy Report show that 20% of the nation’s economy and 14% of American jobs are linked to the food and agriculture sectors, either directly or indirectly. In NC, the study revealed that 1,394,274 jobs are related or depend on agriculture which generates 229.2 billion of revenue in the state.

The Feeding the Economy Annual Report is sponsored by 30 agricultural groups and associations, including the American Farm Bureau Association. 

Find out more about the Feeding the Economy Report and read more about how agriculture is an integral put of the local, state, and national economy.
Scared of Spiders?

Many people are scared of spiders. Let's face it, spiders look frightening and creepy. They reside in corners and dark places. Your spidey sense may be tingling, but don’t let it send the wrong signal! The vast majority are friendly neighborhood spiders doing all of us a service, and chances are good you’ve been living peacefully alongside spiders for some time. As with all things in nature, caution is still needed in certain situations, as there are poisonous spiders in North Carolina whose bites can be problematic.

Discover more as our expert entomologist at NC State, Matt Bertone, reviews the amazing spiders of North Carolina! Watch the latest from NC State Extension"s Homegrown series: The Amazing Spiders of North Carolina


Bring on the Hummingbirds

Many residents of the South feed the ruby-throated hummingbirds that spend the warm months here. Special feeders attract these delightful visitors. But there are also several vines that will bring these avian acrobats to the property, and allow gardeners to add some height to their plantings by installing a trellis for the vines to climb.

The best known is the trumpet vine, Campsis radicans. This species is frequently seen growing along roadways and fences in rural areas. With its distinctive, orange-colored, and trumpet-shaped flowers, this vine is appropriately named. If your space is limited, however, this is not the best choice, as it is a rampant spreader that will climb trees and take over a small lot quickly.

A better choice for the typical homeowner is the coral honeysuckle, Lonicera sempervirens. A commonly-available cultivar, “Major Wheeler” can be found at nurseries and even at big box stores. Hummingbirds
love the coral-colored blooms that appear in mid-Spring and remain throughout the Summer and into the early Autumn.

A final choice that resembles trumpet vine but without the vigorous spreading is cross vine, Bignonia capreolata. The common name refers to the cross-shaped pattern visible when the stem is cut. This species is offered in several colors. “Tangerine Beauty” is a popular and widely available cultivar.

All of these vining species are hardy and native to the Southeast, so if you want to enhance your hummingbird numbers and add to the beauty of your landscape, these vines are made to order.

For more information, contact the Extension Master Gardener Helpline at 910-947-3188, Monday-Friday

By: Larry Allen, EMGV, Moore County

Spring into Farmers' Markets

Moore County Farmers' Market

Downtown Park, Southern Pines, Saturdays,
April 16-October 29, 2022, 8AM-Noon

Armory Sports Complex, Southern Pines, Thursdays,
Year-Round, 9 AM-1PM
(closed Thanksgiving, November 23)

Sandhills Farmers Market In Pinehurst

Tufts Park, Pinehurst,
Saturdays, April 16-October 1, 10 AM-1 PM
Wednesdays, April 20-September 28, 3 PM-6 PM

Sandhills Farm to Table
Community Supported Agriculture
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Deliveries from April 20-November 10

See what Moore County farms have going on. Download the Visit NC Farms app to find out where to buy local plants and food, where to eat or drink at local restaurants, breweries and wineries, or where to tour local farms and learn about agriculture in Moore County.

Raised without Antibiotics & Hormones: Fact or Fiction?

“Our chickens are raised without antibiotics”, or “raised without hormones” are claims heard in commercials.  But are there chickens that are really raised with hormones or antibiotics?  Do you need to worry about the health risks of consuming hormone or antibiotic raised poultry, or are companies capitalizing on your fears by their advertising claims? What is the truth?

Let's consider hormones in chickens. At the grocery store, for example, you may find several packages of chicken breasts from different companies. Comparing the packages there does not seem to be a noticeable difference. The breast sizes, color and textures appear to be the same; they all look alike. However, the prices are different, generally because of what the labels claim. One package may state something like “raised without hormones,” and may be higher per pound than a package without such a claim. Differences in labeling often creates confusion regarding the use of hormones in meat production. In fact, it is illegal to give chickens hormones at all! Chickens that are bred and raised for consumption are called broilers. Through many years of selective breeding, farmers are able to raise chickens that are bred to grow fast with little physical activity. Broilers like to eat and sit around, and with little physical activity they grow quickly and are off to market within 4-7 weeks.

Now, consider the use of antibiotics in poultry. Companies use a variety of management tools to keep birds healthy including: more individualized nutrition plans; the use of probiotics and vaccines; barns with better air circulation and temperature controls; and additional training programs and education efforts for farmers and service technicians. But just like people, chickens sometimes get sick, and treating illness is a responsible part of animal care. When this happens, farmers work with animal health experts and veterinarians to determine if an antibiotic is needed.

“Raised without Antibiotics” label is typically only one of a company’s product lines. Some flocks on a no antibiotic program may get sick, and may have to be treated with antibiotics. When flocks are treated with antibiotics, they are no longer eligible to be marketed as “raised without antibiotics.” A no antibiotics program is not a magical program for producing disease-free birds. Rather, it’s a program which intends to raise birds without antibiotics and a company can label those which are successfully raised without antibiotics as such.

However, even if a chicken is given antibiotics in the course of its life to treat or prevent disease, the bird must go through a withdrawal time before leaving the farm. In addition, FDA and USDA have extensive monitoring and testing programs to make sure that food at the grocery store does not contain harmful antibiotic residues.

Even though has been much discussion on antibiotic resistance in humans and the link between antibiotic use in poultry, the antibiotics that are FDA-approved for use in raising chickens, the majority of them are not used in human medicine and therefore do not represent any threat of creating resistance in humans. The chart below indicates that antibiotics listed are not administered to humans and poultry at the same rates or by the same type:

Grill Food Safely and Enjoy Sizzling Summer Celebrations

Summer means bringing out the grill, gathering with family and friends and enjoying outdoor games and festivities. As meat sizzles on the grill, don’t let food safety fizzle out of your summer celebrations.
Where ever your summer grilling adventures take you this summer, be sure to take along safe food handling practices.  As temperatures rise, the risk for foodborne illness does too. Always remember that whether you’re grilling in your backyard, camping, or boating, food safety is the key to combating foodborne illness.

Sanitize and Clean
Always wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling raw meat and poultry. A recent USDA study (PDF, 1.3 MB) showed that 56% of participants didn’t attempt to wash their hands during meal preparation. When preparing your Fourth of July meal, don’t skip this step. Remember, hand sanitizer is not as effective as hand washing, but it’s better than nothing. If you’re out camping and have no access to running water, use hand sanitizer as a backup.Wash surfaces and utensils with soap and warm water before cooking and after contact with raw meat and poultry. After cleaning surfaces that raw meat and poultry have touched, apply a commercial or homemade sanitizing solution (1 tablespoon of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water). Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Avoid Cross-Contamination
Cross-contamination is another risk to your summertime fun. Don’t let it spoil your plans or your food. Cross-contamination can happen even when grilling or getting food prepared to grill. In USDA’s recent observational study, 32% of participants contaminated plates and cutting boards and 12% contaminated spice containers while preparing food.
Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after handling raw meat. Any utensils that contacted raw meat must also be cleaned. Use separate plates for taking raw meat to the grill and then pulling cooked meat off the grill. USDA recommends using separate cutting boards; one for meat, and another for fruits and vegetables.

Keep Hot Foods Hot and Cold Foods Cold
Whether you’re transporting food to go hiking, camping, to a barbeque, or a picnic, the rule stays the same: keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. Food is in the “Danger Zone” when it is in the temperature range of 40 F and 140 F. If in the “Danger Zone” for too long, bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels. Perishable foods (such as hamburgers, hotdogs, and chicken wings) should be discarded if left out longer than two hours, or one hour if outdoor or indoor temperatures in the area are above 90 F.

· Keep cold foods at a temperature of 40 F or below by keeping food nestled in ice, in a cooler with a cold source, or refrigerated until ready to serve.

· Keep hot foods at a temperature of 140 F or above by placing food on a grill, in a preheated oven, warming trays, chafing dishes or slow cookers.

The warmer the temperature, the sooner food needs to be refrigerated. Be sure to bring a cooler with ice to the next cookout to preserve any perishable foods.

Use a Food Thermometer
Many people use cues like grill marks, color, taste, and firmness to see if their food is fully cooked, but these tests come with great risk of getting food poisoning. Measuring the internal temperature of meat with a food thermometer is the safest way to see if your food is fully cooked. Be sure that the thermometer reaches the thickest part of the meat, through the side, for the most accurate temperature reading. USDA research showed that an alarmingly low number of participants in the control group, just 55%, relied on a food thermometer to determine if their food was safe to eat. This is a stark decline from the previous study where 77% used a food thermometer.
Whatever you’re cooking this summer, be sure to use a food thermometer. The following foods are safe to eat once they’ve reached these internal temperatures:

· Cook beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops and roasts to 145 F. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.

· Cook fish to 145 F.

· Cook ground meats (beef, pork, lamb and veal) to 160 F.

· Cook ground beef, pork, lamb and veal to 160 F.

· Cook egg dishes to 160 F.

· Cook poultry (whole or ground) to 165 F.

Although July Is National Blueberry Month, Celebrate Their Health Benefits All Year

Blueberries are considered a sweet summertime treat, because the blueberry season peaks in July. However, they have become a year-round staple for health-conscious individuals. Blueberries are considered one of the highest sources of antioxidants.
Studies have shown that antioxidants fight free radicals, preventing or reducing cellular damage that may have a role in fighting disease.
Already considered a “superfood,” research has also linked blueberries to weight loss, improved memory, virus prevention and diabetes management among other health-promoting properties. NC State University scientists led by Mary Ann Lila, director of the Plants for Human Health Institute, are working to better understand the beneficial bioactive compounds in blueberries. Hear what their research has revealed about berry consumption at

Ways to Eat Blueberries

Fresh or frozen, pureed or canned, no matter how you eat blueberries, they always provide a blast of flavor along with their beneficial nutrients. Blueberries Visit to find blueberry recipes like the Frozen Blueberry Breakfast Bar below:

  • 3 1⁄4 cups granola, separated     
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 32 ounces vanilla yogurt
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh blueberries


  1. Add 3 cups of the granola to a blender or food processor and pulse until no large chunks remain. Transfer to a bowl and add the melted butter; stir until combined.
  2. Line a 9×13 baking dish with parchment paper and transfer the granola mixture to the dish. Using your fingers, press the mixture down until it covers the entire dish. Transfer the pan to the freezer for at least 10 minutes while you make the filling.
  3. Add the yogurt and frozen blueberries to a blender and blend until smooth. Take granola base out of the freezer and pour the blueberry mixture on top.
  4. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of granola and fresh blueberries. Carefully transfer the dish to the freezer and let it set up for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  5. Once frozen solid, remove from the freezer and slice into bars.

Moore County Government and Volunteers Make District Activity Day a Success

This year Moore County Extension was responsible for hosting the South Central District’s 4-H District Activity

Day (DAD) which comprises of 19 counties located in the central southern region of North Carolina. DAD was held on Saturday, June 18 in Lillington, NC at Highland Middle School. Moore County Assistant Manager, Janet Parrish, represented Moore County Government and its commitment to provide youth with positive and rewarding opportunities. Janet capped off a day of 4-H competitions at the awards assembly and gave words of congratulations and encouragement to 4-H youth who competed at DAD. She honored the youth who had the highest competitive scores in their presentation categories by handing out their awards, but Janet also inspired everyone who competed to continue to hone their speaking and leadership skills.

Along with Assistant County Manager, Parris, the Moore County Extension staff would like to thank other Moore County employees and community volunteers who answered the call to help at DAD. Our gratitude extends to Janet Parris, Towanna Dixon, Dina Viburs, Dena Barner, Mary Ellen Bailey, Taylor Wright, Mamie LeGrand, Gloria Jean Polakof, Linda Laur, Alayna Melby, and Linda Piechota. These special and considerate volunteers devoted their Saturday to make DAD a smooth and memorable day for the 4-H'ers who competed and for their families.  
Youth are our most valuable resource and our future. 4-H experiences help youth develop life skills that promote academic success and encourage their development into productive, well-adjusted adults. DAD is one such experience. At DAD, held annually, youth ages 9-18 compete in their respective age groups to demonstrate what they have learned in their chosen areas or categories of interest from the previous year. Those placing first in their competitions have the opportunity to compete on the state level at NC 4-H Congress also held annually in July in Raleigh. But DAD is more than a completion. More important than winning first, second or third place are the skills youth gain in project development, public speaking and poise, as they plan, prepare and ultimately present their individual projects or talks. 4-H DAD is an opportunity for young people to develop the confidence and speaking skills that will benefit them throughout life.

Please, contact Kaley Lawing at or at
910-947-3188 if you want to know more about 4-H and the opportunities youth gain in 4-H.

Read more Moore County Extension news »
NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to form a strategic partnership called N.C. Cooperative Extension.

Accommodation requests related to a disability should be made at least 5 days before the scheduled event
to Deborah McGiffin at or 910-947-3188.


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