2018 Burke County Plan of Work

Approved: January 10, 2018

I. County Background

We are delighted to introduce you to the magnificent beauty, hospitality, cultural diversity and business resources of one of the most vibrant areas in Western North Carolina.

Burke County nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with Morganton as its county seat, is the perfect place to live, work, play, raise a family, retire, and most of all, enjoy life. It is that special place where you can enjoy living at your own pace. There are entrepreneurial opportunities for those wishing to operate their own businesses, a four season climate with mild year-round temperatures, and unlimited recreational opportunities that range from leisurely walks on the Catawba Greenway, boating and sailing on the pristine waters of Lake James, to strenuous rock climbing in the Linville Gorge.

Burke County has about 324,320 acres and has a population of 90,912 (census 2010). The largest landowners in Burke County are the U.S. Government, Crescent Resources (Duke Energy Co.), and the State of North Carolina.

Burke County is ranked 62nd in the state regarding agriculture with over $39 million in cash receipts.

Cooperative Extension staff in Burke County worked with the Advisory Leadership Council to prioritize the needs of the county citizens and selected to continue to address the following objectives:

• Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems
* Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems
• School to Career (Youth and Adults)
• Urban and Consumer Agriculture
• Community Development
• Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction
• Volunteer Readiness
• Local Food Systems

Cooperative Extension staff in Burke County will design, implement and evaluate educational programming in the identified areas to bring about positive change for the citizens of Burke County.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

North Carolina's animal 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.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.

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

In addition to being part of the state, North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, Burke County works as a unit of the County government and reports to the County Manager and the County Board of Commissioners in terms of how it is meeting the needs of Burke County citizens.

The Burke County Board of Commissioners and the County Manager work together to determine the focus and direction for the county during the terms they serve. Three main objectives that they focus on are improved economic development, education, and quality of life. All of Extension's programs in Burke County address these three objectives.

One major focus for Burke County is on Economic Development. Cooperative Extension includes programming, activities, and committee work related to economic development for Burke County. This is through working with farmers on sustainability, collaborating on entrepreneurship opportunities, and even serving on committees focused on bringing entrepreneurs to the area. Staff have partnered with the Small Business Center and NC Real to provide curriculum and training to citizens.

Education, like many counties, takes a lot of the focus. The Burke County Commissioners have spent a lot of their time and energy within the past few years, making sure that Burke County youth get the quality education they deserve, while the public school board and administration is being efficient and effective. Cooperative Extension works with the school system and county government to help provide educational opportunities that enhance, continue, and build upon the learning of youth and adults throughout the county. In addition, with the new NC School for Science and Math being built in the county, collaborations and networking is being emphasized.

The third objective, Quality of Life, can be addressed in many different ways. Cooperative Extension provides research-based information through informal educational opportunities that addresses the issues and concerns facing the citizens of Burke County. Not only do Cooperative Extension’s programs assist citizens with their daily lives, but also it is important to them during times of crisis and disasters. Extension is a part of the County’s Emergency and Natural Disaster planning team.

IV. Diversity Plan

Cooperative Extension staff in Burke County complies with the statement of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension System in regards to diversity. We value diversity and the opportunity to fulfill our educational mission to the citizens of Burke County. Diversity is reflected in the core differences of all human beings and is valued among employees, clientele, and educational partners. We continue to welcome and acknowledge the positive impact related to differences in age, culture, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental abilities, race, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital or family status, spiritual practice, and all dimensions of human diversity.

Burke County will continue to address diversity by:

* Develop and implement programs that are open to ALL Burke County citizens
* Collaborate with other organizations and agencies to offer educational programs
* Complete and have awareness of the diverse make-up of the groups we are serving
(As reported in the Extension Reporting System)
* Serve on committees that serve a diverse group of people
* Participate in events that reach minority groups and under-served communities
* Seek out opportunities to expand programs to reach a variety of diverse groups
* Develop a marketing plan that creates awareness of services offered by Cooperative Extension;
enabling us to reach new diverse audiences.

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 Burke 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 Burke 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 Burke 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

Burke County Extension Advisory Council
Greg Craver
Todd Shuping
Susan Smith
Andrea Gladden
Richard Evey
David Berry
Krista Lail
Ben Crawley
Kenneth King
Jason Carswell
Chuck Schlein
Rebecca Shuping
Robert Lowman
Charles Wilson
Nick Thompson
Carlton Curoso
Denise Cannon
Lisa Hanlon
Phillip Houk
Burke County 4-H Advisory
Gail Lail
Lou Ella Daniels
Greg Craver
Nick Thompson
Andrea Gladden
Rebecca Shuping
Lisa Hanlon
FCS Program Committee
Savannah Wilson
Lisa Moore
Chae Moore
Charlotte Eidson
Crystal Martin
Lisa Dean
Rebekah Poplin
Mackinzie McClure
Wendi Warren
Karen Robinson
Hollie Phillips
Renee Mull
Horticulture Program Committee
Denise Cannon
Krista Lail
Johnny Yancey
Charles Wilson
Kenneth King
Livestock, Field Crops & Forestry Program Advisory Committee
Robert Lowman
Billy Parton
Doug Pitts
Randall Brackett
Jason Carswell
Trossie Wall
Phillip Houk
Rebecca Shuping

VII. Staff Membership

Spring Williams-Byrd
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: spring_williams@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.

Glenda Burgess
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: glenda_burgess@ncsu.edu

Nicki Carpenter
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: nicki_carpenter@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.

Virginia Lopez
Title: Nutrition Educator, SNAP-Ed
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: virginia_lopez@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.

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

Damon Pollard
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock, Field Crops and Forestry
Phone: (828) 439-4460
Email: damon_pollard@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.

Dawn Snyder
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: dawn_snyder@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.

Donna Teasley
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (828) 439-4460
Email: Donna_Teasley@ncsu.edu

Emily Troutman
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 764-9480
Email: emily_troutman@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.

VIII. Contact Information

Burke County Center
130 Ammons Dr
Morganton, NC 28655

Phone: (828) 764-9480
Fax: (828) 764-9481
URL: http://burke.ces.ncsu.edu