2020 Alamance County Plan of Work

Approved: January 14, 2020

I. County Background

Alamance County is in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina. North Carolina is one of the fastest growing states in the United States and Alamance County is a rapidly growing area because of the low tax rates and easy access to Triad and Triangle cities. The population of 155,000 continues to grow. The citizens have recognized one major attraction to the county is the open space versus continued uncontrolled development that would make the county a less desirable place to live. Rural areas of the county continue to have active farming operations. The county still has the traditional farming enterprises but smaller farms are on the increase. Some of the farms are part-time ventures and some are lifestyle farms producing vegetables and meat. Some of these new small farmers have made a decision to change their lifestyle by moving to the farm and living on a few acres producing vegetables, flowers, eggs and meat.

The Cooperative Extension office started the environmental scanning by surveying the specialized committees that the agents had in place. This gave us a grassroots look at what the specialized groups were concerned with in the county. These groups included; youth, school groups, farmers, health educators, food industry personnel, horticultural groups and non-farm groups. This information was compiled and the County Advisory Leadership group looked at the issues and ranked them as they saw the importance to the county. After the Advisory Leadership members ranked the issues the Cooperative Extension staff reviewed their recommendations to see how they lined up with the state objectives.

The major county issues identified by the citizens of Alamance County to be addressed by the Extension staff in 2020 are:

Plant Production Systems

Animal Production Systems

4-H Youth Development

Consumer Horticulture

Food Safety and Nutrition

Extension will use research based information to address these issues identified by the citizens of the county. Extension will work with specialists at NC State and A&T State University to obtain research based information. We will partner with county citizens, county government, other state and county agencies to bring educational information to citizens of the county and state. Volunteers will also be an important group of people to help with these issues since they work with youth, serve on many committees, give many hours of volunteer work in the Master Gardener program, allow on-farm tests on their property just to name a few activities they help with. Extension will do educational programming to address these issues, help citizens identify plant and animal problems and offer solutions to these problems. Youth will be offered the opportunity to learn life skills through educational programs, camps and specialized learning opportunities. Healthy lifestyles, including proper diets, safe food production and preparation will be addressed.

We will use the following methods to disseminate information to citizens of North Carolina and Alamance County; newsletters, newspaper articles, local radio, Facebook, emails, telephone consultations, home and/or farm consultations, local and area meetings, demonstrations and on-farm tests. We will also work with other organizations to help improve the lives of our citizens.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Our plant production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Our animal production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Our 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

Our consumer horticulture programs teach families and communities about environmentally friendly methods for gardening and controlling pests.

Our food safety and nutrition programs create a safer and more sustainable food supply and improve the health and nutrition of individuals, families, and our communities.

III. Relationship to County Government Objectives

Alamance County has a Destination 2020 Strategic plan that involved many town and community meetings. Some of the same issues that were in our environmental scan were also in the Destination 2020 plan. The top issue in the Cooperative Extension environmental scan meets the county issue of agricultural and rural area preservation. The second issue that fits with the county plan is healthy lifestyles which includes eating, physical activity and etc. Many of our programming efforts will overlap with the strategic plan of Alamance County.

Alamance County also had meetings in each of the county townships to find out what the residents preferred for the use of the land in their townships. Eight meetings were held and after the purpose of the meeting was explained the people in attendance were asked to complete a survey. Eight out of eight townships responded that they would like to see "More" traditional farmland in their immediate community and in Alamance County as a whole. This fits in well with the issues that the staff will be working on. Protecting rural areas and open space was at the top of the lists of things that these citizens would like to see.

Extension is called upon when crop or farm buildings may be damaged in times of flooding or wind damage to give an assessment to the county Emergency Management team. We also work with Emergency Management to determine how to get water to livestock in times of drought. This includes all types of commercial livestock. The livestock agent is also a member of the County Animal Response Team.

Extension is called on to answer questions about food safety in times of power outages due to ice storms and severe weather. There are many people who still preserve food and have freezers that are at risk in power outages. Extension partners with the county employee's health team to provide educational resources on food and nutrition and provide programs on nutritious eating and healthy lifestyles.

Cooperative Extension works with the Alamance County Landfill to conduct two paint and pesticide disposal days. This is important in that we can work to keep these hazardous materials from being placed in the landfill. Alamance County has no permanent disposal site so these disposal days helps the citizens dispose of these materials in the proper way instead of placing them in the landfill.

IV. Diversity Plan

Alamance County has a diverse population like most Piedmont counties of North Carolina. The population statistics of Alamance County are as follows; 67.3% White; 18.5% Black; 1.19% Asian; and 11.0% Latino. The Latino population can be variable due to several reasons. When manufacturing jobs are lost some of this population will leave. When the work in this sector picks back up the population will rebound.

Alamance County welcomes individuals of different race, age, culture, gender, physical and mental abilities, political beliefs, family status, religion, and sexual orientation. The county feels that these individuals can have a positive influence on society.

The Extension Office offers training for various cultures in the Safe Plates Program. Food preparation in other countries differ in many cases from what our county requires. Often restaurants cannot meet the requirements needed to remain in business unless they attend this training and pass the Serv Safe test. Tests can be given in Spanish or Chinese.

The Extension Office is now partnering with the library system to offer programming. We are able to reach a new audience. Typically some of their patrons are not Extension's usual audience.

The Extension Office has a local radio program twice a month where programming can be advertised. Announcements are published in the local papers about our programming efforts and to reach new and diverse audiences. We have a daily paper that goes to 28,000 homes. We have two weekly papers. One has a readership of 6,900. The other is the largest weekly paper in the state.

The County Advisory Leadership System acknowledges the diverse population of the county and strives to recruit diverse members. We have been able to increase our diversity on this board.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Delivering timely, relevant educational programs that meet critical local needs is the cornerstone of Extension’s mission. Extension educational programs are designed to equip the citizens of Alamance County with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life. An Extension program delivery system is a planned and organized mix of educational methods used during an educational program. Extension educational methods are the specific ways by which research-based information is shared with targeted learners. Extension educators in our county employ a wide variety of hands-on, experiential educational methods, such as interactive workshops and classes, demonstrations, field days and tours, that allow learners to fully engage in the learning process, test new knowledge and/or practice new skills during the educational session. Equally important, this plan will also include educational methods such as seminars, client visits, fact sheets, newsletters, and home study kits that serve to support and reinforce learning as well as provide motivation for continued learning. Armed with the most current literature on effective teaching and learning, Extension educators also skillfully select educational methods based on the learning style preferences and special needs of the targeted learners. These client-focused methods afford learners the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to change their lives in meaningful ways. Another key feature of Extension program delivery that is evident in this plan is our commitment to being customer driven and customer focus. As such, in addition to the County Extension Center, Extension educational programs are delivered online, in community centers, on farms, and other locations in order for our programs to be available and accessible to, and fully utilized by, the citizens of Alamance County.

In Extension, success is defined as the extent to which our educational programs have made a difference in the lives of the citizens of Alamance County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about first and foremost whether any changes occurred as a result our educational programs, and subsequently the significance of those changes. As an educational organization, the changes we seek focus on key outcomes such as the knowledge and skills participants gain from our programs. More specifically, in this plan, we are using quantitative research methods such as retrospective testing, pre and post tests and/or surveys to measure change in knowledge gained, the application of that knowledge, number of new skills developed, and types of new skills developed. Extension, as a results-oriented organization, is committed to also assessing the social, economic and/or environmental impact that our programs have on the individuals who participate, their families and communities and ultimately the county as a whole (i.e. true significance of the changes stemming from our programs). We plan to measure these impacts in both the long and short-term. In this annual plan (short-term), we have outlined financial impact and cost benefit analysis as our primary evaluation methods. Another value held in Extension is actively listening to and dialoguing with targeted learners. Therefore, this plan also includes qualitative evaluation methods such as testimonials from program participants, and interviews and focus groups with participants.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

County Advisory Leadership System
Gerry Cohn
Dorothy Humble
Wayne Bunting
Jackie Cole
Dick Fisher
Dr. Ralph Houser
Terri Craver
William Lock
Steve Love
Ruby Manning
Clay Smith
Angelo Enoch
Martha Jacoby
Brenda Morris
Pam King
Aeriel Miller
Marta McKensie

Field Crops Specialized Committee
Darrell Davis
Kyle Norris
Ricky Reid
Michael McPherson
Robert Stas
Buster Sykes Demonstration Farm specialized Committee
Rett Davis
Bill Locke
Jackie Cole
Dick Fisher
Lynn Moseley
4-H Advisory Board
Jenny Faulkner
Terry Isley
Stephen Byrd
Kay Cole
Nancy Gilliam
Pam King
J’taime Lyons
Carey Owen
Jessica Simmons
Toni Stephens
Pam Thompson
Michelle White

Voluntary Agricultural District
Charles Ansell
Roger Cobb
Greg Huffine
Bill Miller
Paul Walker
Charles Newlin
Steve Love

Livestock Specialized Committee
Allison Cooper
Dr. John Parks
John Crawford
Jana Murdock-Doherty
Kenny Owens
Steve McPherson
Tommy Dodson
Eddie Robertson
Gary Cox
Rachel George
Lauren Kahn

Consumer Horticulture Specialized Committee
Linda Humble
Dot Humble
Nan Schaller
Margaret Egede-Nissen
Miriam Jernigan
Linda Nunemaker
Ann Wooten
Liz Wells
Jennell Harris
Judy Driscoll
Susan Owen
Linda Douglas
Marti Lipsky
Beef Cattle Specialized Committee
Frank Bell
Kenny Owens
Sid Barker
Terry Ribelin
Don York
Rob Stas
David Deatherage

VII. Staff Membership

Mark Danieley
Title: Interim County Extension Director & Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (336) 570-6740
Email: mark_danieley@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: County Extension Director Horticulture Extension Agent

Jonas Asbill
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (336) 318-6000
Email: jonas_asbill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving the poultry industry across 20 counties in the North Central and Northeast districts

Dwayne Dabbs
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops, Pesticide Coordinator
Phone: (336) 570-6740
Email: dcdabbs@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational programs and answer questions pertaining to Field Crops in Alamance County, and provide Pesticide Applicators programs to earn re-certification credits.

Marti Day
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: marti_day@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for educational programs for dairy farmers, youth with an interest in dairy projects and the general public with an interest in dairy foods and the dairy industry.

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits and Vegetables
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: erin_eure@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in northeastern NC.

Eleanor Frederick
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (336) 570-6740
Email: eleanor_frederick@ncsu.edu

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety (FSMA Programs)
Phone: (919) 515-5396
Email: marissa_herchler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marissa is an Area Specialized Agent for animal food safety, with emphasis on the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules, as they apply to feed mills in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any FSMA related questions, or PCQI training inquiries.

Beverly Jenkins
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (336) 570-6740
Email: beverly_jenkins@ncsu.edu

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with commercial greenhouses and nurseries to help them with growing related issues. These issues range from pests (insect, disease, and weeds), substrates, nutrition, and other miscellaneous topics.

Taylor Jones
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 570-6740
Email: taylor_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide positive programs and educational opportunities to youth ages 5 through 18 in Alamance County.

Peggie Lewis Joyce
Title: Area 4-H Agent - Central Region
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: peggie_lewis@ncsu.edu

Lauren Langley
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Forages
Phone: (336) 570-6740
Email: lauren_langley@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include livestock, forages, and youth livestock.

Cynthia Pierce
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (336) 570-6740
Email: cynthia_pierce@ncsu.edu

Ashley Robbins
Title: Area Specialized Agent - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8203
Email: ashley_robbins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marti Day and I are the Area Specialized Dairy Agents - the county-based arm of the Cooperative Extension Dairy Team. We are out here in the counties to help you set and reach your farm, family and business goals. We have collaborative expertise in the areas of Waste Management, Udder Health, Cow Comfort, Nutrition and Forage Management with specialties in (Ashley)Reproduction, Records Management, Animal Health and (Marti)Alternative Markets, Organic Dairy, Grazing Management, and On-farm Processing. We hope to provide comprehensive educational programs for our farmers, consumers and youth for every county across the state. We are here for you by phone, email or text and look forward to working with you!

Chip Simmons
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety
Phone: (919) 414-5632
Email: odsimmon@ncsu.edu

Christine Stecker
Title: Horticulture Technician
Phone: (336) 570-6740
Email: christine_stecker@ncsu.edu

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 414-3873
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

VIII. Contact Information

Alamance County Center
209-C N Graham-Hopedale Rd
Burlington, NC 27217

Phone: (336) 570-6740
Fax: (336) 570-6689
URL: http://alamance.ces.ncsu.edu