2016 Brunswick County Program Impact Report

Approved: February 17, 2017

I. Executive Summary

Brunswick is a very large County (847 square miles) with over 120,000 residents, 19 municipalities, 47 miles of coastline, and a variety of different needs. Our county Advisory Leadership System used local needs assessments from partnering organizations in 2016 to analyze and prioritize the many needs our communities face. Extension staff took these recommendations and focused on volunteerism, food systems, and marketing this year. Objectives and programs described in the outcomes and impacts in this larger report were developed by the Extension Professionals in Brunswick County this year because of the community input, prioritized issues, and intentional educational programming that came from residents, clients, and community leaders.

Agriculture, Horticulture, Natural Resources
The Voluntary Agricultural District Board volunteers achieved all of their goals for the group including a 200 farmer member milestone, marketing initiatives, and relationship building with key stakeholders. The VAD chairman was on a planning group in 2016 led by CED Mark Blevins to help develop a Strategic Plan for County Government, keeping an agricultural perspective in the “Brunswick Vision” process.
The Brunswick County horticulture program continued to reach commercial nurseries, green industry professionals, small farmers, and homeowners throughout the area. Integrated programming efforts with FCS, Horticulture, and Agriculture staff brought the first “Growing Farms Conference” to the area and highlighted sustainable farming methods like cover crops and high tunnel production, as well as high return on investment workshops like growing shiitake mushrooms. Nearly 100% of private pesticide applicators were re-certified through the Pesticide Education Program. Over 75 commercial pesticide applicators were re-certified during the annual Fall Pro Day event, which raised nearly $300 in outside, in-kind donations from local area vendors who also serve the green industry. The “Tailgate Pesticide Talks” Program began in 2016 and has demonstrated potential to reach an even larger portion of the green industry throughout Brunswick County.

A new class of Extension Master Gardener Volunteers certified 10 new volunteers. All told, EMGVs gave 8,000 hours of volunteer service, and reached 10,000 community contacts. Two horticulture programs were recognized for 1st and 3rd place in state and international Search for Excellence awards. Additionally, the Backyard Naturalist Program was taught in the fall and brought in area experts in topics from soils and native plants, to reptiles, songbirds, and amphibians. Thus far, over 20 Cape Fear residents have participated in the program.

4-H Youth Development
Brunswick County 4-H added two new clubs in 2016, provided school enrichment to all elementary schools, and partnered with community leaders to provide valuable programming to the youth of Brunswick County. One of our 4-Hers, Rebekah Taylor, was the winner at the American Quarter Horse Congress’s individual horse public speaking national contest, due in part to her 4-H background. Be A Bone Builder curriculum, created by Brunswick County 4-Her’s, officially became a North Carolina 4-H curriculum this year and was implemented in all ten of our elementary schools. Our Embryology program was implemented in eight of these elementary schools and two High Schools. Brunswick County 4-H also partnered with Communities in Schools to teach Health Rocks, Stress Management to 45 middle schoolers and Healthy Living to 90 elementary students. We also partnered with Parks and Recreation and Communities in School to provide summer programming in Healthy Living and Environmental Education.

Family and Consumer Sciences
FCS programs included continued SNAP-Education in the senior centers and elementary schools which focused on behavior changes towards eating healthier and participating in more physical activity among limited resource audiences. Participants learned about new foods, why and how they should eat healthy, and looked at environmental influences to make healthy behavior changes easier! Programs in after schools also focused on these areas and students continued to use math, reading, and science skills to work on reading recipes, measuring ingredients, and cooking healthy recipes! We continued to work towards safer food in restaurants for our community members and tourists by teaching ServSafe and transitioning to NC Safe Plates training. Over fifty restaurant managers were trained in one of these food safety curricula.

Faithful Families, the Extension Master Food Volunteer Program, and local food events such as the Growing Farms Conference and the Documentary Series, were all piloted in 2016 with exciting impacts and successes. Faithful Families at Shoreline Church gave us the opportunity to reach almost twenty-five children and adults teaching them healthy preparation techniques and how to work together as a family in the kitchen. The Extension Master Food Volunteer program brought in new volunteers who received 30 hours of food-related training which they will use to help us broaden our reach throughout the county. Our local food events helped us to bring awareness to over seventy-five community members about the Brunswick County Local Food Policy Council work as well issues surrounding our food system in the county, the state, and the nation. Participants learned more about each area of the food system and how they can play an important role in improving our food system.

We are continuously working across all program areas to address the needs of our community and help improve the environment, economy, and quality of life right here in Brunswick County

II. County Background

Overview

A recent Needs Assessment showed significant interest in all of NC Cooperative Extension's program areas. Healthier Communities, Preserved Natural Resources, Viable Farms and Empowered Youth were interests of the 647 respondents. The Brunswick County Advisory Council and staff have processed the needs assessment. This year's plan of work reflects those efforts and the voice of our residents since the assessment.

Agriculture programming will highlight farm to school initiatives and increased Voluntary Agricultural District membership to put the group over 200 members. Horticulture staff will focus on outreach by volunteers and on-side green industry training by staff. Family and Consumer Science plans involve parenting education, restaurant staff education, home food preservation, and local foods. 4-H youth development will transition to a new agent, enhance school enrichment efforts, and focus on quality project output from members. Natural Resources programming will utilize land resources at our disposal for additional programming impacts.

2016 is expected to be an excellent year as our office serves clients of all interests and needs with expert information and consistent county support. Goals include developing a strategic plan that links state priorities and local needs, strengthening our advisory council, becoming fully staffed once again,


Background

With over 115,000 residents, Brunswick County has one of the highest growth rates in North Carolina (nearly 3% annually and almost 50% over the last census period ) and is often among the leading growth counties nationwide as the local economy begins to rebound from a large recession which started late in the last decade. County Government is stable and fiscally sound with good leadership at the administration and department levels with nearly 1,000 employees working for the good of our residents.

Geographically, the county is a typical coastal plain unit predominated by sand, low topography, shifting barrier islands and several small river systems which are completely contained within our borders. Economically, the county is split: the southern portion of Brunswick (below Highway 17) tends to be affluent along the coast while the portion of the county North of the highway is more rural and more economically challenged.

Historically, the area was settled by Europeans in the early 1700's due to the region's valuable Naval Stores and Cape Fear River port. A colonial challenge to the tax stamps at Brunswick Towne preceded the Boston Tea Party by eight years. British forces and the Union Navy defeated the nearby Fort Anderson's inhabitants during their respective wars and the site remains as a state historic site. Today, Brunswick County has more municipalities than any other county in North Carolina and possibly the most number of golf courses.

Development pressure takes its toll on farmland, so a Voluntary Agricultural District is a program to protect and defend agricultural entrepreneurs and the land/operations/workers they represent. Families are facing challenges from all sides including chronic disease, obesity and high blood pressure in addition to basic needs of parenting skills - Family & Consumer Science Programming discusses the basics of healthy eating and healthy living with budgeting and parenting rounding out the combination.

4-H Youth Development seeks to help Brunswick increase the number of 4-year graduates completing their education with our school system and provide extension information to them in various outlets (crafts, sewing, robotics, shooting sports, etc.). The overall goal of 4-H is to make the best better and keep youth in Brunswick County as lifelong contributors to their community. Keeping our local youth as a local, long term resource is important because career opportunities are lacking for those new to the workforce at this time.

Horticulture Programming leverages the senior resources of the county to have Extension Master Gardener Volunteers share what they know and have learned with others - even if they are transplants from Northern states themselves. Our Green Industry is also served by Horticulture staff with pesticide education and consultations for producing ornamental and edible plants.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension is in a unique position to provide educational programming to various groups based on the identified needs. Several programs in the county target limited resource audiences with about 17,500 residents living below the poverty level. By curating the research-based information generated at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University, we can provide Brunswick County citizens with the information and solutions to meet the needs of the county.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant, animal and food systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
Educational and training programs for producers of agricultural, horticultural and of forest products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide. North Carolina's producers produce a wide variety of agricultural, food, fiber, and horticultural products that make major contributions to local communities and the states economy. In 2006, the estimated farm gate value of agricultural and horticultural production was $8.2 billion, placing NC as the 8th largest in the nation. The total economic impact of these agricultural, horticultural and food industries accounts for approximately one-quarter of the states economy. North Carolina farm numbers have declined consistently for decades as a result of economies of scale and global competition in traditional agricultural commodities. Producers of traditional commodities have been forced to expand or leave agriculture. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers unable or unwilling to compete in commodity production. North Carolina's rapidly growing population creates competition for resources and the need for well informed and well crafted public policy to resolve conflicts and meet societies goals. New enterprises will develop or agriculturally-based enterprises will add value to and diversify farms by producing energy feedstocks, bioenergy, or other value-added products that will increase rural economic development. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Opportunities for diversification of operations and increased income on North Carolina farms will increase as emerging, alternative and entrepreneurial agricultural business opportunities are created in the marketplace.
Value* Outcome Description
331Number of participants increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, govenment policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
65Number of crop (all plant systems) producers adopting best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
2520Net income gains realized by the adoption of best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
19Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre (new required data for federal reporting)
6Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre (new required data for federal reporting)
4Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice (new required data for federal reporting)
8Number of animal producers adopting extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
1000Net income gains by producers adopting extension-recommended best management practices, including those practices related to husbandry, improved planning, marketing, and financial practices
1Number of animal producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
13Number of participants that adopted recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands (new required data for federal reporting).
140Number of acres under recommended climate adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands (new required data for federal reporting).
2Number of participants that adopted recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint. (new required data for federal reporting).
90Number of acres under recommended climate mitigation practices such as water-use efficiency, livestock production feeding practices, carbon sequestration, reducing carbon or energy footprint. (new required data for federal reporting).
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Producers will increase sales of food locally to more agriculturally aware consumers through market development, producer and consumer education, and new farmer and infrastructure support.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
Agricultural producers, workers, food handlers and consumers will adopt safer food and agricultural production, handling, and distribution practices that reduce workplace and home injuries/illnesses, enhance food security, and increase the quality and safety of food that North Carolinians prepare and consume.
Training and educational programs for farmers, agricultural workers, food handlers, and consumers will provide research-based programming, materials, information and expertise to compel these individuals to implement practices relating to the overall safety and security for the food supply and farming systems. Components of this include on-farm, packinghouse, and transportation management, retail and food service establishments, and consumer’s homes. Therefore targeted audiences include farmers and agricultural workers and their families, food handlers and workers (both amateur and commercial), transporters, processors, business operators, food service and retail staff, supervisors of any food facility, long term care facility staff and individuals who purchase, prepare and serve food in their homes. With an estimated 76 million foodborne illnesses annually, costing an estimated $1.4 trillion, food safety highlights a specific area of risk to be addressed by Cooperative Extension. The recent produce-related foodborne illness outbreaks have brought public attention to a problem that has been increasing nationally for the last ten years. The issues of foodborne illness and food safety pose immediate risks for farmers affecting the areas of economics, consumer demand, and market access. Because no processing or kill steps are involved with produce that is typically eaten raw, the best measures to limit microorganisms and fresh produce related illness are to prevent microbes from contaminating the product. Practices like Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Handling Practices (GHPs), and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) represent a systematic preventive approach to food safety, protecting agricultural products as they move from farm to retail and restaurants and finally to families. While there is currently no legal requirements for growers to implement GAPs, buyers have responded to the public concern by requiring their produce growers to adhere to current guidelines and possibly even require GAPs certification. The main areas of concern incorporate production, harvesting, packing, and transporting produce in the areas of water quality, manure management, domestic and wildlife management, worker health and hygiene, transportation, traceability, and documentation. For North Carolina growers to be competitive and produce safe product, it is important that they gain knowledge about and implement food safety programs that minimize physical, chemical and biological hazards Food safety risks do not stop at primary production. As risks associated with pathogens can occur at many junctions between primary production and consumption, food safety is a truly farm-to-fork issue. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined 5 factors that lead to foodborne illness outbreaks: Inadequate cooking or processing procedures; improper storage and holding temperatures, cross-contamination between potentially contaminated raw materials and ready-to-eat foods (either directly or through poor sanitation); and poor implementation of personal hygiene practices. The preventative steps targeting risk reduction taken at each of the components making up the food supply chain are critical in preventing food-borne illness. Educational programs including ServSAFE, School HACCP workshops, food safety at childcare and senior centers, and targeted farm-to-fork food safety inclusion for all food handlers is necessary for important for advances in knowledge and implementation of preventative programs. Equally important is that families and children have a secure food supply. Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released in the report "Household Food Security in the United States, 2004." The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999. The USDA report says that 38.2 million Americans live in households that suffer directly from hunger and food insecurity, including nearly 14 million children. That figure is up from 31 million Americans in 1999. Limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and food-insecure individuals, families and communities will be provided with information and opportunities to enhance household food, diet and nutritional security. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States, and consistently ranks as the first, second or third most deadly industry along with mining and construction. Agriculture is unique in that the work and home place are often the same, exposing both workers and family members to hazards. In the United States on average each year, there are 700 deaths and 140,000 injuries to those who work in agriculture, defined as farming, forestry and fishing. Farmers, farmworkers and their families are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries (primarily from tractor roll-overs, machinery entanglements, and animal handling incidents), musculo-skeletal conditions, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, heat stress and heat stroke, pesticide exposure and illness, skin diseases, behavioral health issues, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. The health and safety of migrant and seasonal farmworkers are complicated by other conditions such as infectious disease, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as cultural and language barriers. Farmers and farmworkers alike are subject to lack of access to health care. Agricultural injury and illness are costly, with total US annual costs reaching $4.5 billion and per farm costs equaling $2,500, or 15% of net income. Median health care coverage for farm families is $6,000 per year. In North Carolina, 27% of farm families do not have health insurance, while 29% of farmers do not have health insurance. Many others have health care coverage with high annual deductibles and high premiums. Agromedicine is a comprehensive, collaborative approach involving both agricultural and health scientists to develop solutions addressing the health and safety issues of the agricultural community through research, education and outreach. The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, a partnership of NC State University, NC A&T State University and East Carolina University in collaboration with others, develops and evaluates effective programs to reduce injury and illness in agriculture, forestry and fishing. One such program is called Certified Safe Farm (CSF) and AgriSafe. CSF and AgriSafe were first developed and researched in Iowa. CSF and AgriSafe are being adapted to North Carolina agriculture by the NC Agromedicine Institute and its Cooperative Extension collaborators. Certified Safe Farm combines AgriSafe health services (wellness and occupational health screenings and personal protection equipment selection and fit services) conducted by trained AgriSafe health providers, on-farm safety reviews conducted by trained Extension agents, and community education and outreach to achieve safety and health goals established by participating farmers and their employees and families. Insurance incentives and safety equipment cost-share programs for participating farmers are still being developed. Other ongoing educational programs addressing agricultural health and safety include farm safety days for children, youth, or families, employee hands-on farm safety training, the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program for youth, and youth ATV operator safety certification programs.
Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.
Leadership is important to every level of a community sharing in the creation of wealth and well-being. Youth and adult leaders must be capable of motivating groups to achieve common goals that impact North Carolina families and communities.They will need the confidence and skill to guide and support North Carolina community and state organizations. Citizens participating in the 2007 NC Tomorrow survey denoted the importance of leadership by clearly requesting leadership training (54%), social advising, community advising and technical assistance (45%)from their university system.
Value* Outcome Description
12Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
12Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
12Number of adults increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
12Number of adults assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.
Youth and adult volunteers in North Carolina contribute thousands of hours each year to strengthen communities and create strong foundations for the future. As these individuals engage in service, they are gaining new skills, generating new programs to serve their communities, building successful organizations, and fostering an ethic of service. Cooperative Extension is poised to support the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Current research suggests that youth and adult participation positively impacts civic engagement and contributes to the development of leadership capacities. With its presence in every county, Cooperative Extension is uniquely positioned to contribute to building a stronger ethic of service among youth and adults.
Value* Outcome Description
22Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
5Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
92Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
300Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
22Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
3542Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
5Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
22Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
5Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
5Number of adult volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Parents and caregivers will effectively use recommended parenting, self care practices and community resources.
North Carolina communities are only as strong and viable as the families that reside there. To create and maintain viable communities where children and youth succeed and the elderly are protected and cared for parents and caregivers need knowledge and skills that build their capacity to function effectively and carryout their responsibilities. They need to be equipped to: 1) foster positive parent-child relationships, 2) address anti-social behavior with appropriate disciplinary techniques, 3) implement positive role modeling, child monitoring and supervision strategies and 4) prevent practices that lead to the abuse and neglect of children. State data suggest that strengthening parenting skills could serve as an asset to families and communities. Risk and needs assessment data on 46,041 youth involved in NC courts found that 59% of the youth had problems in school, 40% had relationships with peers associated with gangs and delinquent behavior, 40% had parents who were either unable or unwilling to supervise them, and 68% had parents with either marginal or inadequate supervision skills. A large percentage of NC working families with children under six (63.34%) must rely on child care services. Child care practitioner education and training is key to providing quality childcare. Family members provide care to a rapidly growing aging population that could double, reaching 2.8 million in the next two decades. A majority of elderly North Carolinians suffer from multiple chronic illnesses. Caregiver demands can trigger health problems, financial and emotional stress. Families who provide care and support for elderly family members also need skills to succeed with less stress and financial burden and need to be linked to community resources that provide support for the care and maintenance of elderly family members.
Adults and youth will apply financial management practices to increase their economic security, which include to: meet basic necessities, increase savings, reduce debt, and build long-term assets.
North Carolina families are experiencing financial distress. A slowing state economy with depressed incomes, rising interest rates, housing and medical costs and increased living expenses for gasoline and food have strained household budgets. NC households (21%) lack access to enough food for an active healthy life for all household members. Families forced into home insecurity in the state reached 47% because of the inability to pay their rent or increased mortgage payments. Foreclosure starts increased 154% between the third quarter of 2006 and first quarter 2010 with projections of increases in foreclosures through 2012. The loss of housing as a primary asset hurts the family emotionally, psychologically and economically and impacts property values and tax revenue in communities. To avoid negative financial outcomes families need skills to develop and execute spending plans to better manage income to cover monthly living expenses, to evaluate, select and manage financial products, and to increase and protect family assets. Eighteen percent (18%) or 1 out of 5 households are asset poor and lack sufficient net worth to subsist at the poverty level for three months without a job or source of support. Due to inadequate savings 1 out of 3 households reported using credit cards to cover basic living expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, groceries, utilities and insurance. Credit card debt and changes in interest rate policies have forced many families to become delinquent on credit repayment. Families nationwide also report feeling that they have inadequate savings for emergencies, educating their children and retirement. Skills that help families develop and implement debt repayment strategies, make sound consumer decisions to avoid scams and frauds, like predatory lending and identity theft, and create and implement plans to achieve short-term and long-term financial goals like acquiring a home, saving for retirement and education and emergency funds can help families recover from poor financial management practices and become more financially secure. In the context of “the Great Recession” and high unemployment (10.4% North Carolina; 9% National (October 2011)) families need knowledge and skills to access information and programs that support family economic security during periods of unemployment, under-employment and/or retirement.
Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways
We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce.
North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation.
The natural resources in North Carolina are an important asset that benefit all citizens, but many citizens are unaware of the consequences of actions and practices they implement. The continued population growth of North Carolina is putting pressure on natural resources in terms of quantity and quality. To have a healthy and productive natural environment, professionals and citizens must be knowledgeable of environmental issues and conservation and management opportunities.
Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.
Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed.
Value* Outcome Description
9893Number of participants improving knowledge, attitude, skills and aspirations regarding gardening and landscape practices including plant selection and placement, turfgrass management, soil management, growing food, water conservation and water quality preservation, storm water and erosion management, green waste management, pest and wildlife management
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
9693Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
242325Total cost savings from the use of extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
9693Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
242325Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
468Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
11700Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
176Number of participants growing food for home consumption
4400Value of produce grown for home consumption
24Number of participants adopting composting
5Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
1755Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
36375Costs savings from implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualtiy
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.
Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.
Value* Impact Description
35Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
295Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
125Number of participants increasing their physical activity
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Other Objectives

Continue development of the "Gardens of Brunswick" concept as a premier horticultural destination site and teaching garden.
1) In cooperation with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and Brunswick Community College's Horticulture Department, continue development of complementary plants collections with plant identification labels at the main campus and the government complex that will be marketed as the "Gardens of Brunswick". 2) In cooperation with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and Brunswick Community College's Horticulture Department, develop an internship program where college students assist in the expansion of the Brunswick Botanical Garden and other county-owned properties. 3) Incorporate the Brunswick Botanical Garden and the storm water best management practices demonstration into a comprehensive plan for enhancing the landscaped areas of the Brunswick County Government Complex. 4) Develop and implement major events centered around the botanical garden with educational and community development components. These may include tours of the gardens and special events highlighting specific plant collections or other aspects of the garden. 5) Incorporate additional areas (Buildings F and G, new fuel station, parking lot in front of Building N) into the Brunswick Botanical Garden to improve aesthetics, properly handle storm water and expand the educational mission of the garden.

V. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 16,930
Non face-to-face** 16,313
Total by Extension staff in 2016 33,243
* Face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make directly with individuals through one-on-one visits, meetings, and other activities where staff members work directly with individuals.
** Non face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make indirectly with individuals by telephone, email, newsletters, news articles, radio, television, and other means.

VI. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $5,000.00
Gifts/Donations $350.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $5,350.00

VII. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.14
4-H: 62 3,936 3,200 $ 95,015.00
Advisory Leadership System: 26 552 284 $ 13,325.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 1,101 7,143 9,031 $ 172,432.00
Other: 9 26 215 $ 628.00
Total: 1198 11657 12730 $ 281,400.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VIII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Council
Jane Kulesza
Sam Bellamy
Ron Skubic
Margaret Shelton
Sybil M. Simmons
4-H Advisory Council
Jane Kulesza
Benji Jones
Chris Gallup
Jillian Bowling
Trish Apple
Horticulture
Maryann Horgan
Jeanne Pavero
Merry MacBarb
Vicki Fuhrmann
Ann Gallman
Natural Resources
Erin Carey
Rich Peruggi
Jane Kulesza
Michael Lockhart

IX. Staff Membership

Mark Blevins
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: mark_blevins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Mark directs the total county program in beautiful Brunswick County and has service responsibilities for agriculture, environmental issues and community development.

Gina Britton
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: Gina_Britton@ncsu.edu

Mike Frinsko
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: mike_frinsko@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Southeast Extension District

Anita Handler
Title: Program Coordinator, Youth Restitution Grant
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: anita_handler@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.

Alicia Jenkins
Title: Program Associate, Parent Education
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: alicia_jenkins@ncsu.edu

Kwanisha Jenkins
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: kjenkin5@ncsu.edu

Lynette Johnston
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-0303
Email: lynette_johnston@ncsu.edu

Michelle Kasey
Title: Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: michelle_kasey@ncsu.edu

Morgan King
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: mhking3@ncsu.edu

Colby Lambert
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Forestry
Phone: (910) 814-6041
Email: colby_lambert@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to forest landowners, agents, and forest industry in eastern North Carolina.

Danny Lauderdale
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Nursery and Greenhouse, Eastern Region
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: danny_lauderdale@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial ornamental nursery and greenhouse producers in eastern North Carolina.

Angie Lawrence
Title: Program Associate, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: angie_lawrence@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H TiLT Coordinator,

Shawn Lennon
Title: Program Assistant - Agriculture, Horticulture
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: slennon@ncsu.edu

Bill Lord
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Resources
Phone: (919) 496-3344
Email: william_lord@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water quality education and technical assistance

Sam Marshall
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: wsmarsh2@ncsu.edu

Stephanie McDonald-Murray
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Southeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (910) 296-2143
Email: stephanie_mcdonald@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the South East District.

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer & Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9155
Email: romcdowe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in NC.

Morgan McKnight
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: morgan_mcknight@ncsu.edu

Diana Rashash
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Quality/Waste Management
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: diana_rashash@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water and wastewater issues of all types: stormwater, aquatic weed ID & control, water quality & quantity, septic systems, animal waste, land application of wastewater, environment & sustainability, climate, etc.

Margaret Ross
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (252) 670-8254
Email: margaret_ross@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Working with commercial poultry producers to assist in writing nutrient management plans and conducting educational programming.

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

Allan Thornton
Title: Extension Associate
Phone: (910) 592-7161
Email: allan_thornton@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Vegetable Extension Specialist. Conducts Extension and applied research programs for commercial vegetable and fruit growers and agents in eastern North Carolina.

Thomas Woods
Title: Agriculture Technician
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: tom_woods@ncsu.edu

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 250-1112
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.

X. Contact Information

Brunswick County Center
25 Referendum Dr
Bolivia, NC 28422

Phone: (910) 253-2610
Fax: (910) 253-2612
URL: http://brunswick.ces.ncsu.edu