2020 Yancey County Plan of Work

Approved: January 17, 2020

I. County Background

Yancey County, located in Western North Carolina, is home to Mount Mitchell with an elevation of 6,684 feet. There with 450 farms in 2012 (down from 622 farms in 2002), that average 69 acres in size. Yancey County has experienced loss of over half of its manufacturing jobs including the loss of much of its textile industry. Economic leaders see the arts, entrepreneurship, and agriculture as important sectors of the changing economy. Yancey County is a Tier I county.

The current population estimate is 17,744 and is made up of approximately 1% Black, 5.2% Hispanic, and 92.5% White. Yancey County has an aging population. The 55 plus age group is almost 50% larger than the state average according to the Sanford Holshouser Business Development Group strategic plan.

The school age population of approximately 2300 has declined slightly for the past ten years, 55% of the children are eligible for free or reduced lunch.
The average income per capita (2015) was $31,481 compared with the state’s average $35,761, only 12 counties had a lower average than Yancey. The 2017 childhood poverty rate is 29% for Yancey and the NC rate is only 27%, the (2015) Elderly poverty rate is 16% while the NC rate is only 12% , and only 7 counties having a higher rate.

The emphasis on farms and agriculture as an important opportunity in the economy, the concerns toward farmland preservation, the growing “buy local” movement, food safety and security issues, and entrepreneurship opportunities will be a part of the educational programming to address the Agriculture and Foods issue. Youth Life and Academic Skills development will be addressed with educational opportunities through 4-H school enrichment, community clubs, and after-school programming, as well as, programs targeting high risk youth. The youth programs will focus on life skills, especially in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Cooperative Extension will be a significant partner with communities to deliver education and technology that can enrich the lives, land and economy of the residents of Yancey County.

Yancey Extension used the 2017 County Map Book, from the NC Association of County Commissioners as a primary data source. The 2016 Yancey County Agricultural Task Force report is still a vital resource driving programming efforts.

Major focus areas under the NCSU State Objectives in 2019 will be:

Family & Consumer Sciences: will be emphasis parenting and best practices with caregivers and professionals through classes, and workshops. Will also be coordinating a county wide effort to create a calendar of all classes and a "one stop" registration system for the county.

Plant Production Systems: Continue to help growers address growing and marketing through workshops, farm visits, and phone support.

Animal Production Systems: Goal is to establish a Cattle Association and have them design trainings that Extension can conduct, and delivery best practices trainings , AI, Feed, forage workshops, vaccinations and more), help cattlemen design appropriate marketing strategies based on their scale of operation.

Community Development: Will work to establish a county wide Parenting Collation, Pollinator Partners, and take an active roll in the developing volunteer leadership. We will partner and submit appropriate grants to benefit our county.

4-H Youth Development: expand 4-H clubs by developing additional adult volunteers, continue partnering with schools to provide Extension STEM and Health enrichment programs. Expand summer programming to low income areas.

Natural Resources & Environmental Systems: Create a working VAD board to implement the County VAD and farm land preservation plan.

Consumer Horticulture: expand youth and adults home gardeners.

Food Safety & Nutrition: continue to offer food-safety programs to local restaurants and institutions, and use 4-H, EFNEP and FCS to delivery programs designed to increase physical activity and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Our family and consumer sciences programs improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

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 community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

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

Our natural resource and environmental programs conserve our precious natural resources and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

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

Yancey County Cooperative Extension works with Yancey County Government to help the citizens of Yancey County increase their income, protect the environment, and provide solutions for their problem. Efforts to address the economic challenges facing the county will be priority with programming efforts. Extension will take the lead and actively participate in the TRACTOR project.(Toe River Aggregation Center Training Organization Regional, Inc) A food hub created to help small farmers access larger and new markets. Extension personal will serve on the TRACTOR Board and take a role in securing funding for the project, conducting trainings, and helping establish the management of the facility. Preserving Farmland and using agriculture as an economic driver will be a county wide focus in 2020 and beyond.

IV. Diversity Plan

Yancey County's population continues to grow slowly. The increase in the diversity of the people of Yancey County has become the source of innovative ideas and creative accomplishments for the county's needs and issues. Diversity refers to the variety of personal experiences, values, and views that arise from differences of culture and circumstances. We want to be sure the citizens of Yancey County from all backgrounds perceive that access to Yancey County Cooperative Extension is possible, and Cooperative Extension promotes the acceptance and appreciation of every individual regardless of race, gender, age, ethnicity, ability or disability, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religious affiliation, or national origin. We encourage appropriate activities and events that foster learning about the diversity of our world.

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 Yancey County with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life.

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. 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

Yancey County Extension Advisory Council
Jim Parlier
David Autrey
Nicole Robinson
Jeremy Ballard
Rita Earley
Gwen Harris
Bill Jones
Eloise McIntosh
Terry Peterson
Walter Savage
Susan Ball
Eric Penland
4-H and Youth Committee
Laney Heidenfelder
Abbey Varney
Wayne Edwards

Small Farms Committee
Lynn Austin
Robin Smith
Chris Deyton
Brian Hensley
Keith Hensley
Current FFA President
Dillion Carroll
Nicole Robinson
Robin Smith
Ag Advisory Committee
Billy Bryant
Harold Davis
Martin Renfro
Robin Smith

Bill Jones
Bryan Hensley
Roger Young
Jim Evans
Beverly Hill
Jeremy Ballard
Jim Phillips

VII. Staff Membership

David Davis
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 682-1874
Email: dhdavis2@ncsu.edu

Peirce Bingham
Title: Program Coordinator, Mountain Challenge Coordinator
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: psbingha@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Programming for At Risk Youth with referrals coming from Juvenile Court, DSS, School Guidance Counselors, and Mental Health providers.

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.

April Dillon
Title: Area Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: april_dillon@ncsu.edu

Sue Estridge
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: sue_estridge@ncsu.edu

Lauren Greene
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (336) 651-7347
Email: lauren_greene@ncsu.edu

Arnicia Gudger
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (336) 285-4651
Email: arnicia_gudger@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Teach the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) to limited resource adults, pregnant & parenting teens, and youth.

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.

Vivian Hollifield
Title: Administrative Support Specialist/SHIIP Coordinator
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: vhhollif@ncsu.edu

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (828) 684-3562
Email: craig_mauney@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities, training and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in Western NC. (My office is located at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center not the Henderson County Extension Center as is noted by IT on this website. Please do not contact the Henderson County Extension Center as I am not located there.)

Adam McCurry
Title: A&T Agriculture Technician
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: adam_mccurry@ncsu.edu

Currey Nobles
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9520
Email: canobles@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!

Christina Robinson
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: cmrobin3@ncsu.edu

Elena Rogers
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety - Fresh Produce Western NC
Phone: (828) 352-2519
Email: elena_rogers@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational programs, training and technical support focusing on fresh produce safety to Agents and growers in Western NC.

Debbie Stroud
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9149
Email: dlstroud@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Specialized Agents in Consumer and Retail Food Safety help to ensure that Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents have access to timely, evidence-based food safety information. This is accomplished by (1) working with FCS Agents in their counties, (2) developing food safety materials and (3) planning and implementing a NC Safe Plates Food Safety Info Center.

Amanda Taylor
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Nursery and Greenhouse, Western Region
Phone: (828) 475-2915
Email: amanda_jo_taylor@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial nursery and greenhouse producers in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.

Glenna Taylor
Title: JCPC Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: glenna_taylor@ncsu.edu

Skip Thompson
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational opportunities and technical support to the trout and carp aquaculture industries in 42 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in western North Carolina. Fish health, production management, and waste management educational programs will assist trout farmers, fee-fishing pond managers, carp ponds and trout fingerling producers with the management and sustainability of their facilities.

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.

Jessica Zucchino
Title: EFNEP Educator
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: jessica.zucchino@ncsu.edu

VIII. Contact Information

Yancey County Center
30 E US Highway 19E BYP
Burnsville, NC 28714

Phone: (828) 682-6186
Fax: (828) 682-7680
URL: http://yancey.ces.ncsu.edu