Tuesday, December 6, 2011

2011 NC Southern Piedmont Area Beef Cattle Conference

North Carolina Cooperative Extension is pleased to announce the 2011 NC Southern Piedmont Area Beef Cattle Conference.  The event will be held at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center on December 13, 2011 from 1:00-5:00pm.  The registration fee for the event is $10 and is payable at the door.  A light meal and refreshments will be included as well as a tradeshow.

The speakers for this event are Dr. Garry Lacefield and Dr. Don Ball, authors of Southern Forages, Modern Concepts for Forage Crop Management, and Dr. Matt Poore, Ruminant Nutrition Specialist with NC State.

Registration for the even begins at Noon.  Please come mingle with fellow cattlemen while you learn how to make your forages profitable!

For more information on this event, please contact Jamie D. Warner at 910-576-6011.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

North Carolina Equine Activity Liability Statute

 For many North Carolinians horseback riding and equestrian events are relaxing and fun.  The last thing anyone wants to think about is getting injured.  However, accidents do happen and the best way to be prepared is to know the law and how it is going to affect you.  The North Carolina Equine Activity Liability Statute can be found online at http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bychapter/chapter_99e.html.

All horse and equine owners should read and be familiar with this law.  Just because you are unaware of your legal responsibilities, does not excuse you from them.  According to the law “equine” includes horses, ponies, mules, donkeys and hinnies. Be aware that the statute protects but only to a limit.  It covers injuries categorized as “inherent” risks but not those caused by negligent acts.  Inherent risks are those that are an “integral part of engaging in an equine activity”.  They consist of damage or death caused by unruly animal behavior and the reaction of the animal to its surroundings specifically sounds, movements, unfamiliar objects, people and other animals but does not cover accidents involving motor vehicles.  Just because the injury falls into one of the categories above does not mean that an owner will not have a lawsuit filed against them by the injured.

All equine owners should always have appropriate insurance coverage.  Talk to your local insurance agent to make sure that your current policy covers injuries sustained by your animals.  If not, you may seriously think about upgrading it.  The law requires a specific warning be posted “in a clearly visible location” anytime an equine professional or equine activity sponsor holds an event.  Signs can be purchased through the NC Horse Council online (http://www.nchorsecouncil.com/store.htm).

For more information on the statute, please feel free to contact the NC Horse Council in Raleigh by calling 1-800-529-9206.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Food Safety Tips for Preparing a Holiday Turkey

Safe Thawing
The USDA recommends three ways to defrost turkeys: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the

Never defrost a turkey on the counter!!!

Refrigerator Thawing
Plan ahead for slow thawing in the refrigerator. For every 5 pounds of turkey allow approximately 24

hours of thawing time in a refrigerator set at 40°F. After thawing, keep turkey refrigerated for only 1-2

days, or use the following chart to help you countdown to the holiday.

Size of Turkey Thawing Time in the

8 to 12 pounds 1 to 2 days

12 to 16 pounds 2 to 3 days

16 to 20 pounds 3 to 4 days

20 to 24 pounds 4 to 5 days
Cold Water Thawing
If you forget to thaw the turkey or don’t have room in the refrigerator for thawing, don’t panic. You can

submerge the bird or cut-up parts in cold water in its airtight packaging or in a leak-proof bag. Allow

about 30 minutes defrosting time per pound of turkey. Change the water every 30 minutes to be sure

it stays cold. The following times are suggested for thawing a turkey in water.

Size of Turkey Hours to Defrost
8 to 12 pounds 4 to 6 hours

12 to 16 pounds 6 to 8 hours

16 to 20 pounds 8 to 10 hours

20 to 24 pounds 10 to 12 hours
Turkeys thawed by the cold water method should be cooked immediately.
Microwave Thawing
Follow the oven manufacturer’s instructions when thawing a turkey in the

microwave. Check the instructions for the size turkey that will fit in your

oven, the minutes per pound, and the power level to use for thawing. Plan

to cook immediately after thawing because some areas of the turkey may

begin to cook during microwave thawing.

Safe Cooking
Set the oven temperature no lower than 325°F. Preheating the oven is not necessary.
Place turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey and a meat thermometer.

For food safety and uniform doneness of the turkey, cook stuffing separately in a casserole dish. Use a food thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the stuffing has reached 165°F in the middle, thickest part.

Check the temperature in several locations, being sure to include the wing joint. Whole poultry is safe when the meat is cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. All turkey meat including any that remains pink is safe to eat as long as all parts reach at least 165°F. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, it is still best to cook turkey to higher temperatures such as 180° F to remove pink appearance and rubbery texture.

If the turkey has a “pop up” temperature indicator, it is also recommended that a food thermometer be used to test in several places, including the innermost part of the thigh.

Many factors can affect the roasting time of a whole turkey:

• A frozen or partially frozen turkey takes longer to cook than a completely thawed turkey.

• A turkey will cook faster in a dark roasting pan.

• The use of a foil tent for the entire cooking time can slow cooking.

• Putting a lid on the roasting pan speeds up cooking.

• An oven-cooking bag will shorten cooking time.

Judging cooking time for your turkey will be easier if the following chart is used. The times listed are for a fresh or thawed turkey in an oven at 325°F. These times are approximate; the only way to determine doneness is by using a thermometer.
Size of Turkey

Estimated Cooking Time
8 to 12 pounds 3 to 3.5 hours

12 to 14 pounds 3.5 to 4 hours

14 to 18 pounds 4 to 4.25 hours

18 to 20 pounds 4.25 to 4.75 hours

20 to 24 pounds 4.75 to 5.25 hours

When turkey is removed from the oven, let stand 20 minutes.
Storing Leftovers

Cut the turkey into small pieces; refrigerate turkey and stuffing separately in shallow containers within

2 hours of cooking.

Use left over turkey and stuffing within 3-4 days; gravy within 1-2 days; or

freeze these foods.

It is safe to refreeze leftover turkey and trimmings – even if you purchased

them frozen. Wrap tightly for best quality.
Reheat leftovers thoroughly to a temperature of 165°F or until hot and steaming.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2nd Annual Montgomery County Livestock Show

2nd Annual Montgomery County Livestock Show this Saturday August 20th at the Ag Center on Glen Road in Troy, NC. The show begins around 10am with the heifer show, followed by the goat show. Come support the youth of Montgomery County! For more information, call Jamie at the Extension Office 576-6011.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Season's Harvest!

Things are sure brewing here in Montgomery North Carolina! The great thing is that it is the time of year to start canning your bountiful harvest!

Are you interested in learning the basics of water-bath canning? If so you need to come to our canning class being held on June 30th.  This will be a hands on training where you will learn the basics of canning tomatoes that you will be able to take home with you. The class will be held from 1pm to 4pm at the NC Cooperative Extension office in Troy. The registration deadline is June 27th with a fee of $10.00. For more information please contact Molly Alexi or Hayley Napier at (910) 576-6011.

We will also have a Pressure Cooker test day July 14th at the Troy Farmers' Market (417 N. Main St, Troy, NC).

There are other festivities going on at the markets as well.
July 7th at the Troy Farmers' Market Montgomery Cooperative Extension will be showcasing Dezern Farms Blackberries, so be sure to stop by 3-6pm for some delicious foods!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Farmers' Markets

Ahhh, it's that time of year again! Spring has coined a new term for our farmers' and ourselves, it means we have to SPRING into action.

That's a good thing right? For the most part it is (minus all of the work), the great part is that everyone is getting outside and planting! It is also awesome because our Farmers' Markets are starting to open.

Troy, NC Farmers' Market is already opened and has a great assortment of goodies, the market is open Thursday's 3-6pm at 417 N. Main St. The market boasts a variety of LOCAL vendors who provide meats, baked & canned goods, plants, fresh eggs, handmade crafts, and much more!

Here are some of the current farms and what they provide:

Whipowill Hill Farm-Montgomery County: Pastured PORK and POULTRY (will have fresh poultry soon!) and some produce (salad mixes and spinach for now!)

Uwharrie Heirloom- Montgomery County: Provides HEIRLOOM variety plants (flowers, herbs, and plants for your vegetable gardens!)

Fox Squirrel Farm- Moore County: Provide fresh PRODUCE, right now they are bringing spinach, salad mixes, bok choy, radishes, and more!

Dezern Farm- Randolph County: Canned & BAKED goodies as well as a variety of plants in decorative planters for your home garden!

Hope Farms- Montgomery County: Every week Hope Farms provides FRESH eggs and handmade cloth rugs!

A Wing and A Prayer Farm- Stanly/Montgomery County: This farm family works in Stanly but has a farm in Montgomery County. They provide a unique assortment of HANDMADE goats milk lotions, lip balm, soap, and even helps to increase the population of a variety of butterflies.

Delicious Creations from McAllister Farms- Montgomery County: Come try what makes the South great! McAllister Farms provides SCRUMPTIOUS baked goods and canned items!

Parson's Farm - Montgomery County: Parson's provides a variety of locally grown produce items, they currently have STRAWBERRIES in season!

Ingold Farm- Randolph County: This Santa Gertrudis farm has delicious GRASS FED beef and will even show you how to cook it!

Walkapaca Farm- Montgomery County: If you are interested in wearing some of the finest fiber in the world, Walkapaca can help you! They provide an assortment of Alpaca fiber clothing, the farm also provides fresh poultry EGGS!

Be sure to check the market out! The markets' are gearing up for an eventful season and each week something new is showing up!

If you are a locavore (people who like buying LOCAL) join our 10% Campaign if you are interested in whats available there is also a great Seasonality Chart which provides whats in season, and even the availability of NC Seafood!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Anyone in the Montgomery County Area - We have LOTS and LOTS of plants (landscape and edible) at the 4-H office for sell. Please stop by to check them out on Wednesday (9 AM - 5 PM), Thursday (8 AM - 7 PM) and on Friday (8 AM - 5 PM). All proceeds help to support the 4-H youth programs offered in the county!