2018 Yancey County Plan of Work

Approved: January 30, 2018

I. County Background

Yancey County, located in Western North Carolina, has the highest average elevation of any county in North Carolina. One of its peaks is Mount Mitchell with an elevation of 6,684 feet. The rural county has a total land area of 199,968 acres with 450 farms in 2012 (down from 622 farms in 2002), that average 75 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 17,818 and is made up of approximately two percent Black, eleven percent Hispanic, and eighty seven percent 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. The per capita income in 2008-2012 was $19,404 compared with the state’s $25,285. The 2012 childhood poverty rate is 31% for Yancey and the NC rate is only 25%, he 2006-2010 Elderly poverty rate is 17% while the NC rate is only 11% (www.ncruralcenter.org/databank/profile.php?county.) Additionally, the ‘children in foster care’ rate for Yancey County is 15.5 compared to the North Carolina state rate of 4.7. The average number of students dropping out of high school from 2003-2007 was 44. Many of the children live in remote areas and students may ride the school bus for up to 2 hours each day. In the six elementary schools, and two middle schools, there are six after school programs.

The Yancey County Extension Center and the Advisory Council and 2012 environmental scan identified the top five programming priority issues as: Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems, Local Food Systems, Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems, Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Sustainability. Other data used to establish programming included Yancey County demographic and economic data, the Farm to Fork Report, 2010 Feasibility Study of a Yancey Ag Center and input from the advisory leadership system. The Yancey County Center of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension is committed to provide educational programs that will impact the families and farmers facing economic challenges.

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.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

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.

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.

Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.

Community members, organizations and local government will engage in collaborative dialog and decision-making to build economically, socially and environmentally resilient communities. This will be done through inclusive engagement, partnership building, and/or community planning.

Parents and caregivers will effectively use recommended parenting, self care practices and community resources.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.

III. Relationship to County Government Objectives

Yancey County and the Town of Burnsville currently have a Land Development Plan. This plan provides a mechanism or means for coordinating land use planning, infrastructure planning, and environmental protection to help guide the growth and development of the community. A coordinated planning process that is periodically updated will help enhance the quality of life for the residents of Yancey County. The plan will provide a future general physical design and guidelines for development. The plan established a pattern for the location, mix, and density of future development, and identifies areas of environmental concern where development must proceed cautiously.

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.

Yancey County Extension will also serve on the 2016 Yancey County Agricultural Advisory Committee. Preserving Farmland and using agriculture as an economic driver will be a county wide focus in 2016 and beyond.

IV. Diversity Plan

Yancey County's population continues to grow, with an estimated 18,550 citizens. 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. An Extension program delivery system is a planned and organized eclectic 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 Yancey 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 Yancey 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. The Yancey County Center web site at http://yancey.ces.ncsu.edu includes programming information.

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
Lynne Austin
Allyson Heidenfelder
Chasity Manning
Abbey Varney
Wayne Edwards


Small Farms Committee
Michael Blevins
Josh Blevins
Chris Deyton
Steve Deyton
Keith Hensley
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

Tres Magner
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: tres_magner@ncsu.edu

Brent Buchanan
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (315) 212-1277
Email: babuchan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Dairy Extension Programming in Western North Carolina Counties of Haywood, Madison, Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson, Yancey, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Mitchell, Avery, Burke, Cleveland, Watauga, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Gaston, Ashe, Wilkes, Alexander, Iredell, Alleghany, Surry, Yadkin, and Davie.

Jessica Dalere
Title: EFNEP Educator
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: jadalere@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

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.

Stanley Holloway
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 682-6187
Email: stanley_holloway@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

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables & 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.

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

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.

Linda Semon
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (828) 682-6186
Email: linda_semon@ncsu.edu

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 38 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) 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.

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