1) Lees-McRae Names Chris Parker as Director of Sports Information
In January 2014, Lees-McRae College named Chris Parker as Director of Sports Information. Parker was most recently the Assistant Sports Information Director at Brevard College, a member of the South Atlantic Conference and a fellow NCAA Division II institution. Parker has a strong background in sports information with more than six years of experience in a variety of capacities. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Parker earned his Bachelor of Arts in Communications Studies and then continued to work for UNCG media relations. From there, he spent time as part of the game day crew for the Dallas Mavericks basketball team in Dallas, Texas where he assisted with radio and television broadcasts and distribution to the media of postgame quotes and statistics. Prior to accepting a position at Brevard, Parker served as the Communications Assistant for Southland Conference in Frisco, Texas where he managed media relations for 17 Division I varsity sports while also coordinating several large tournaments. “I am excited to have Chris as our sports information director,” said Craig McPhail, vice president of athletics and club sports. “His knowledge of sports media will continue to elevate our athletic department and his experience at various positions will enable him to apply new measures and techniques, allowing us the chance for great exposure and recognition.” Having a strong sports information department is critical for the promotion of the College’s athletic achievements. In just the past year, Lees-McRae athletics has been honored with several awards and accolades including the Allen Sharp Award (given to the institution having the highest graduation rate among student-athletes), the Conference Carolinas Sportsmanship Award for women’s cross country and the Division II Presidents’ Award for Academic Excellence. Additionally, two former Bobcat cyclists, Brent Bookwalter ’06 and Andrew Talansky competed in the Tour de France, earning 91st and 10th place, respectively. As the Director of Sports Information, Parker will be responsible for all aspects of sports information for Lees-McRae’s 17 Division II intercollegiate programs, including media relations, website and social media development and game statistics among other tasks.
2) Organic Farming Course Offered by NC Cooperative Extension
Have you heard about expanding sales opportunities for Organic growers? The High Country’s own New River Organic Growers cooperative is presently seeking more growers to supply local produce to their buyers and organic local produce continues to be in increasing demand and area farmers’ markets. Perhaps you feel that your farm is too small to break into the conventional commercial vegetable market. Do you have some land that has been idle for a few years and are now looking to put it into potentially profitable production? Do you want to farm more sustainably? Answering yes to any of these questions may mean that the upcoming class on Organic Production taught by NC Cooperative Extension is for you. Whether you eventually choose to become a Certified Organic producer or not, the class will be filled with information on proven techniques for successfully growing vegetable, small fruit and field crops while building your soil health and foregoing the use of synthetic inputs on your farm. The class is geared primarily toward growers who are already set up to begin commercial scale production, with an acre of tillable land or more and the desire to grow crops for sale to retail or wholesale customers. Smaller scale growers are also welcome, but all class participants should know that sections of the class will cover how to produce to the USDA Organic standards and enter the expanding Certified Organic Market. Topics covered will include soils and fertility, disease identification and control, insect identification and control, weed management, post harvest handling, certification and record keeping and selling to wholesale and retail markets. The class will meet on Mondays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Watauga County Agricultural Conference center located at 252 Poplar Grove Road in Boone. Participating growers will receive books on organic agriculture, weed management, disease identification and organic pest control plus resource CDs with additional information on organic production. The cost of the class is $50 and is limited to 20 growers. To register call 828-264-3061.