2020 Caswell County Plan of Work

Approved: January 24, 2020

I. County Background

Caswell County is a uniquely scenic and historic Piedmont North Carolina County with a total population of 23,719 people (2010 U.S. Census Data estimates). With careful and immediate planning, these irreplaceable qualities may be preserved for future generations to be able to enjoy and reap the social, economic and cultural benefits such assets can provide. From the courthouse square to the reconditioned tobacco barn, the county has many rich architectural styles that if preserved will enhance the residents as well as visitors lifestyle. Caswell County will never have a tremendous amount of industrial growth because the county is the bedroom county to Chapel Hill, Burlington, Greensboro, Raleigh and Danville, Virginia industrial growth areas.

Caswell County is positioned to be an agricultural hub for more than one million people. A combination of good soils, farming tradition, a lack of development pressure and close proximity to urban areas in North Carolina and Virginia are components that are already in place for agricultural economic success. In 2017, there were 493 farms covering 104,882 acres or 38 percent of the land in Caswell County. Farming as a whole generates $37 million of gross farm income. Those $37 million change hands many times in the local economy before leaving the county. In the past decade, there have already been a number of farmers who have tapped into new and profitable markets with grass-fed beef, organic produce, heritage varieties and locally grown herbs, which offer marketing opportunities outside the county. Other farmers have started dedicating more of their land to raising trees. Tobacco production remains the larges commodity produced in the county and the major income source for the county. Tobacco buyout program, company contracting changes, and retiring tobacco farmers in the past ten years we have seen some changes to to the Production of Tobacco in Caswell County. Emphasis has been refocused from Tobacco towards the establishment of a new enterprises like winery, greenhouse production for vegetables and nursery crops, strawberry production, contracting chicken breeder operations, increase in cattle production, forestry management, agri-tourism, adding value to agricultural products, and other alternatives to tobacco production.

Programming in youth development and family consumer sciences are still major areas that need attention in serving Caswell County citizens. With poverty rates estimated at 19.3% and unemployment rates estimated at 4.4% ( Access NC report 2018) being at levels higher than State averages; during these economic tough conditions managing family finances, adopting proper and healthy eating habits, and focusing on youth development to reduce high school drop out rates will become more challenging.

An environmental scan was conducted by the Caswell County Cooperative Extension Staff and the local Extension Advisory Council members which were involved in environmental scan surveys, local Extension Advisory meetings, and personal face-to-face interviews with citizens of Caswell County and program area panelists. As a result of the discussions by Local Extension Advisory and Commodity meetings, certain issues and trends for the county were identified. The educational needs identified were as follows: 1) Increasing economic opportunity and business development, 2) Improving health and nutrition, 3) Youth development, 4) Increasing awareness in environmental stewardship, 5) Improving the agricultural and food supply system in North Carolina, and 6) Increasing educational achievement and excellence. The Caswell County Cooperative Extension Center along with other key leaders and stakeholders are constantly identifying current issues, trends, and needs of our citizens. Three listening sessions were held across the county to get feedback on economic development for the Caswell County Comprehensive Plan. The number one recommendation from these discussion groups was for Caswell County to develop an Agriculture Complex Center that will encompass several agriculture economic development projects which will promote agriculture and profitability for future years. The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Caswell County Center will play a major educational programming role in satisfying these needs of the citizens of the 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 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

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension - Caswell County Center follows the 2015 Caswell County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategic Plan developed by county leaders and Cooperative Extension on current issues and trends in order to meet the needs of all county citizens as well as the Caswell County Comprehensive and Farmland Protection Plans. Also, these leaders are tied into our local Extension Advisory System which helps with the direction of our educational efforts for county citizens. The Caswell County Extension Director serves as the County Animal Response Team Coordinator in case of any major animal disease outbreaks. The Caswell County Extension Center works closely with the Caswell County EMS Director, County Manager, and other governmental agencies when emergencies or natural disasters occur and serves as a County Emergency Operations Center if needed primarily when agriculture is impacted.

Farms provide economic, environmental, cultural, fiscal and aesthetic benefits for all citizens. As part of a proactive effort to support farming, forestry and land conservation, Caswell County leadership, including the Farmland Protection Advisory Board, Cooperative Extension Service, Soil and Water Conservation District, Forest Service, Carolina Farm Credit, and Farm Bureau, continue to coordinate future efforts to sustain local agriculture.

Some of the Caswell County Strategic Plan, Farmland Preservation Plan, and 2016 Cooperative Extension Environmental Scanning results illustrated specific goals and objectives for Caswell County Cooperative Extension programming opportunities are as follows:

-- Prime farmland is conserved and protected to ensure agricultural lands remain in agriculture.
-- Caswell County’s natural resources are identified, conserved and protected.
-- Caswell County’s surface and ground water resources are effectively protected.
-- Agricultural enterprises in Caswell County are economically viable.
-- Promote the sale of local agricultural products within the county and promote the 10% local foods campaign.
-- Promote economic development as well as educating the younger generation on obesity and making healthy food choices.
-- Promote health and fitness for our aging population.

Cooperative Extension serves on several Advisory Board's and on the Economic Development Commission. Cooperative Extension supports the "Preserving the Past, Embracing the Future" logo presented by the Board of Commissioners.

In addition, Cooperative Extension had a lead role in developing the voluntary agricultural district program a few years ago. We continue to work with the County Planner, Tax Office, and Natural Resource Conservation Service agency in promoting this program to the farmers in the county.

Youth and adult obesity has been identified in several county government studies as being one of the top health needs in Caswell County. Caswell County Cooperative Extension serves on the Danville Regional Obesity Task Force Committee as well as on the Board of Directors for the Caswell County Partnership for Children organization. Also with the current economy family financial management is essential in our rural county where 70% of citizens go outside of the county for employment; but agriculture is still the major source of economic development.

IV. Diversity Plan

The Caswell County Extension Center follows all guidelines and reasonable efforts to promote diversity according to Federal Civil Rights ERS Plans in providing educational information to all citizens in Caswell County. Caswell County Cooperative Extension will make all reasonable efforts to comply with our diversity statements and to promote inclusiveness of all citizens. Our Extension programs strive to be available to and to encourage all citizens to take advantage of Extension programs and resources.

Efforts are made to address diversity through the following:

1. Maintain Advisory Leadership System representative of the total community.
2. Continually research and remain current with population demographics and trends.
3. Collaborate with other agencies to broaden our clientele base.
4. Hire staff with the skill-set to provide opportunities to diverse audiences (i.e. bilingual).
5. Seek opportunities to serve on committees/boards that serve a diverse audience.
6. Participate in community events/fairs that target minority or under served populations.
7. Seek opportunities to market programs through the faith community, minority groups, group homes, or other established organizations.
8. Utilize mass media, including those targeting specific populations, to provide information as well as notify clientele of available services.
9. Develop and implement programs to include all citizens.
10.Send a quarterly "Report To The People" impacts/accomplishments report to key leaders and stakeholders.

Caswell County Cooperative Extension continues to make efforts to reach the growing Hispanic audiences and to address the under-served limited resource audiences. Funds are designated in the county budget to make accommodations for audiences with disabilities (i.e. interpreters).

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 Caswell 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 electic 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 Caswell 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 Caswell 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

Caswell County Extension Advisory Council
Thomas Bernard
Marc Thomas
Mac Baldwin
Sam Crisp
Helen Crisp
Ervin Farmer
Teresa Dabbs
Hester Vernon
Yancey Smith
Julie Muhlverger
Joan Griffin
Elizabeth Rosario
Mark Davis
Shirley Deal
Michael Graves
Ronnie Lunsford
Randy Massey
Leon Richmond
Commissioner David Owen
Leon Wiley
Tammy Carter
Family and Consumer Science Program Area Advisory Council
Kim Mimms
Sandra Hudspeth
Carolyn Aldridge
Jeannine Everridge
Joan Griffin
Tammy Carter
4-H Program Area Advisory Council
Jennifer Hammock
Jennifer Eastwood
Leon Wiley
Brenda Walters
Robert Neal
Faye Asad
Mitch Thompson
Bryan Singleton
Sherri Brandon
Deborah Rudd
Trish Howard
Agriculture Program Area Advisory Council
Cheryl Pryor
Tonya Pennix
Keith Vernon
Thomas Bernard
V Mac Baldwin
Sam Crisp
Julie Muhlverger
Karen Graves
Rodney Young
Tim Yarbrough
Leon Richmond
Jeremiah Jefferies
Tommy Austin, Jr.
Phil Barfield
Celcia Spilman
Elizabeth Rosario

VII. Staff Membership

Travis Hoesli
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: tlhoesli@ncsu.edu

Jonas Asbill
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Livestock - Poultry
Phone: (336) 318-6000
Email: jonas_asbill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving the poultry industry across 20 counties in the North Central and Northeast districts

Anass Banna
Title: Extension Agent : Small Farms
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: anassou_banna@ncsu.edu

Brandi Boaz
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: brandi_boaz@ncsu.edu

Clint Carty
Title: Extension Agent - Livestock
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: clcarty2@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: To provide leadership for the development, implementation and evaluation of an effective educational program and informational assistance to meet the needs of the county youth and adult populations in the following areas of responsibility; Agriculture/Livestock, to include but not limited to swine, equine, cattle, goats and sheep. A successful Extension Agent must demonstrate an ability and enthusiasm for serving audiences of diverse cultural and economic backgrounds.

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.

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits and Vegetables
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: erin_eure@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in northeastern NC.

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.

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

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

Casie Medley
Title: Office Support Receptionist
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: casie_medley@ncsu.edu

Daniel Ostrowski
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture/Horticulture
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: drostrow@ncsu.edu

Sonya Patterson
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: sonya_patterson@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!

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

Angie Talbott
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: angie_talbott@ncsu.edu

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

Caswell County Center
126 Court Sq
Agriculture Building
Yanceyville, NC 27379

Phone: (336) 694-4158
Fax: (336) 694-5930
URL: http://caswell.ces.ncsu.edu