2020 Cabarrus County Plan of Work

Approved: January 30, 2020

I. County Background

Cabarrus County, just east of Charlotte, has seen tremendous growth in the past 15 years. The county’s population is now over 192,000. While the county contains Concord and Kannapolis, two very populated municipalities, it also includes a longstanding rural agricultural community in its eastern reaches.

Cabarrus County is rapidly urbanizing with a high cost of living and a very technological and service driven economy. Also, there has been an increase in the Hispanic population in the county due to the availability of jobs in the building and green industry, as well as service-oriented jobs.

In the last decade, subdivision development has mushroomed in this area, altering the agricultural landscape. Cabarrus County’s eastern region has seen tremendous growth in new housing. As farmland is converted to other uses, the county suffers a loss of open space, increased environmental degradation and a loss of the social fabric and values characteristic of rural communities. Historically, Cabarrus County depended upon the traditional North Carolina industries - textiles, and later, tobacco - for their employment. Opportunities in these areas are rapidly decreasing as the nature of industry in the county becomes much more technologically driven.

Local, natural, and wholesome food is becoming important to people within our community and is considered safer and more flavorful by many. The proximity of locally produced food will reduce fuel consumption, vehicle emissions, costs and travel time, benefiting the whole region, not just the producers. Targeted counties (those surrounding Cabarrus) have a combined population of over 1.3 million generating considerable demand and economic opportunity. Currently, the unemployment rate in Cabarrus County is higher than the statewide rate due to prevailing economic conditions and the closing of the Philip Morris USA plant in Concord. The larger effort to more fully develop a local food economy will lead to additional economic opportunities and should lead to additional acreage in food production, benefiting the whole region economically, as well as environmentally. Additionally, since production, processing, sales and consumption will all occur in the same local region, all the money spent will recirculate through the local economy, making it stronger and more resilient. This is an extremely important initiative within Cabarrus County.

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

Cabarrus County's newly adopted Strategic Priorities include:

Strategic Priority: Healthy & Safe Community
Goal 1: Sustain a culture where safety is a shared priority for residents, businesses, employees and visitors.
Goal 2: Improve the physical and mental circumstances of residents by connecting them to community resources to enhance their quality of life.
Goal 3: Promote and engage quality of life initiatives to foster a healthy and safe community.

Strategic Priority: Culture & Recreation
Goal 1: Create a community that recognizes the basic human need for physical and intellectual development.
Goal 2: Enhance policies, facilities and land to foster diverse cultural and recreational opportunities.

Strategic Priority: Sustainable Growth and Development
Goal 1: Promote responsible and strategic county-wide growth.
Goal 2: Promote, support and address sustainable open space, forestry practices and farming.

Strategic Priority: A Thriving Economy
Goal 1: Promote, grow and sustain a diverse economic base through collaborative community partnerships.
Goal 2: Invest in opportunities that promote self-sufficiency and empowerment to our current and future workforce.

Strategic Priority: Transparent and Accountable Government
Goal 1: Ensure a, engaged and accountable workforce to provide exceptional service.
Goal 2: Perform analysis, forecasting and reporting to ensure effective stewardship of funds and longevity of current and future county assets.
Goal 3: Create opportunities for people to see value in the work of County government.
Goal 4: Develop creative technological solutions to support county services.

As you can see, the Cooperative Extension objectives fit easily within the structure of the county's goals and objectives.

IV. Diversity Plan

Cabarrus County's Extension Advisory Council is representative of the current population demographics described in census bureau statistics. Program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Agents network with local organizations and other government agencies in an effort to identify special needs or expand current programs to under served audiences. Where applicable, "all reasonable efforts" will be implemented in order to ensure adequate notification of programs offered.

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 Cabarrus 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 Cabarrus 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 Cabarrus 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 Cabarrus 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 surveys to measure change in knowledge gained, the application of that knowledge, number of new skills developed, and types of new skills developed.
Another value held in Extension is actively listening to and having conversations 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

Extension Advisory Council
Darrell Furr, Chair
Leslie Cook, Vice Chair
Nanci Furr
Gerri Harris
Candy Hooker
Joyce Kluttz, Secretary
Dorothy Anthony
Scott Maxwell
James Polk
Gary Ritchie
Pat Wickliff
Princess Gray
Anne Atkins-Bostic
Kim Law
Diane Honeycutt - Board of Commissioners Liason
Cabarrus 4-H Foundation, Inc.
Philip McAuley, President
Leslie Cook, Treasurer
Princess Gray
Genie Lowe
Joe Lowe
Darren Purser
Casi Shepardson
John Shepardson
Alisa Wickliff
Constance McAferty
Sarah Sisk
Consumer Horticulture Advisory Committee
Mitchell Hagler
Scott Maxwell
Gerri Harris
Karen Lankheet
Phillis Puttnam
Cabarrus Agribusiness Council
Randy Fisher
Marvin Bost
John Cline
Ned Hudson
Louis Suther
Jerry Pless
Tommy Porter
Vicky Porter
Larry Taylor
Agricultural Advisory Board
Leslie Cook, Vice Chair
Bob Blackwelder
Tommy Porter, Chair
Louis Suther
Eddie Moose
Tommy Barbee
Wendy Sellers
Chris Pinto, ex-officio for County Planning and Zoning Board
Family and Consumer Science Committee
Ann Benfield
Maria Curan
Kathleen Tucker
Joyce Kluttz
Judy Furr
Theresa Smith
Livestock Advisory Committee
Darrell Furr
John Cline
Gary Ritchie
Tommy Porter
Extension & Community Association Leadership Team
President: Dorothy Anthony
Vice President: Michelle McDonald
Sec: Debbie Mullis
Treas. : Bobbie Sheperis
Advisor: Pat Wickliff
County Wide Issue Coordinators:
Barbara Looney
Judy Furr
Suzanne Whitmore
Linda Black
Kathleen Kent
Janet Stancil
Barbara Vehmann
Rose Freeman
Michelle McDonald
Linda Cordell
Gail Linker
Brian Stancil
Nancy Carlson

VII. Staff Membership

Robert Furr
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (704) 920-3319
Email: rbfurr@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide direction and leadership to the Cooperative Extension program in Cabarrus County. Certified facilitator providing assistance with staff development, team building, strategic planning, process management and group facilitation

Christine Barrier
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: christine_barrier@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administrative assistant for the County Extension Director and performs routine-to-difficult administrative support tasks and related functions. Greets customers and general public, in person and via telephone, and serves as first point of contact for entire county agricultural building.

Frankie Bogutsky
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: ftboguts@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work part time from 10 to 2 Monday through Friday in a support role which involves assisting staff and volunteers with mailings, correspondence, pamphlet/brochure generation/distribution, calendar entries, answering phones, greeting customers, registration for events, copying, etc.

Beverly Bollenbecker
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: beverly_bollenbecker@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Program Associate provides Cabarrus County afterschool children with a 4-H experience during afterschool time. Afterschool students elect officers, have a club meeting and participate in many different 4-H projects each week in afterschool care. Develops program kits, training sessions for teachers, and conducts programming and special events for children using 4-H curricula. Currently serving all 20 Cabarrus County schools Kids: Plus afterschool programs.

Jenny Carleo
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain Crops
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: jscarleo@ncsu.edu

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9148
Email: cadescha@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The overall goal of the Area Specialized Agents (ASAs) in Consumer & Retail Food Safety is to provide North Carolinians with technical food safety information and to support Family and Consumer Sciences agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders.

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.

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (910) 893-7530
Email: richard_goforth@ncsu.edu

Renee Goodnight
Title: EFNEP Youth Educator
Phone: (704) 920-3321
Email: renee_goodnight@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program) is part of the United Sates Department of Agriculture. The curriculum is based around MyPlate and incorporates areas of nutrition and exercise. EFNEP youth educators spend most of their time working with schools and summer camps to deliver healthy lifestyle choices.

Mackenzie Hall
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Field Crops
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: mackenzie_hall@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include livestock (cattle, poultry, swine, sheep & goats) and field crops.

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.

Lauren Hill
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (704) 920-3320
Email: lauren_hill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Horticulturalist assisting Cabarrus County residents with Consumer Horticulture: Fruit, vegetable, flowers, shrubs, mole, vole, insects, and soil sample kits. ( Limited ability to answer questions pertaining to trees.) Commercial Horticulture for fruit and vegetables.

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

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

Tracy LeCompte
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 920-3318
Email: tracy_lecompte@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Manages Cabarrus County 4-H community program serving through community 4-H clubs, in-school curriculum enrichment, and a variety of camps and classes. Responsible for adult and youth 4-H volunteer training and management. Works with local educators to bring 4-H materials, curriculum and professional development for hands-on science and agriculture based activities into the classroom. Collaborates with volunteers to implement 4-H classes throughout the year to enhance youth personal development. Connects youth and adults to 4-H programming at the county, district, state and national level.

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.)

Pamela Outen
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: pamela_outen@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Food preparation,food preservation, and food safety. Extension Liaison Agent with the Cabarrus Extension and Community Association, ECA.

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!

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.

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

VIII. Contact Information

Cabarrus County Center
715 Cabarrus Ave W
Concord, NC 28027

Phone: (704) 920-3310
Fax: (704) 920-3323
URL: http://cabarrus.ces.ncsu.edu