2020 Chowan County Plan of Work

Approved: January 17, 2020

I. County Background

Chowan County was first established in 1685. Edenton, the county seat and only major town, was incorporated in 1722. The desirable location on the Albemarle Sound and Chowan River made Chowan County the focal point for the Albemarle region, and for a time Edenton served as the capital of the colony. At 233 square miles, Chowan is the smallest county in NC. It is bordered to the north by Gates County, the east by Perquimans County, and the south and west by the Albemarle Sound and Chowan River, respectively.

Chowan County has a population of 14,394. Sixty-two percent of the population is white, 34% is black, and 3.5% are hispanic or of some other ethnicity. There are 3,067 youth between the ages of five and nineteen. The county has 5,967 households with a median household income of $38,759.

Agriculture has long been a primary industry in Chowan County. The production of peanuts, cotton, corn, soybeans, small grains, clary sage, vegetables, nursery crops, and livestock are produced on about 58,146 of the county's 73,000 acres. Agricultural production generates approximately $50 million yearly through farm income and continues to drive the local economy. Historical revenue streams such as boat building, construction, and tourism have suffered under the present economy.

Though growth and development have stalled, property values remain relatively high due to the desirable real estate found in the area. Chowan has become a popular destination for retirees which is reflected in the high percentage of adults 65 and over (23.1%; state average 12.7%). Limited employment opportunities combined with a high cost of living make it more difficult for the local population to remain in their homes or to find affordable health care. The poverty level still remains high at 19.4%

Limited employment opportunities also create hardships for the youth population in Chowan County. With the trend to become competitive in a global marketplace rather than just at the local level, it is now imperative that youth build essential life skills beyond their school environment in order to become more well rounded, prepared individuals for the work force.

Information from our most recent environmental scan combined with feedback from the County Advisory system and state program initiatives aligned with the mission of Cooperative Extension have identified priority issues in several areas including:
•Building youth character, life skills, and leadership development
•Promoting proper nutrition, wellness, and a healthy lifestyle
•Maintaining agricultural profitability through demonstrations with new technology, production methods, and crops/products
•Pesticide safety
•Local Food Production & Consumption through food safety trainings (for commercial and home producers), farm:city relationships, community gardens and farmers markets
•Budget Management through promoting energy efficiency, farm production savings, home production savings and youth saving strategies.

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. Other Objectives

Food Insecurity

IV. Relationship to County Government Objectives

In the case of a natural disaster or some other event requiring the county's emergency operations center (EOC) to become active, Extension is represented in the EOC. Extension also coordinates operations at the Northern Chowan Disaster Recovery Center and provides educational information to citizens on preparedness and recovery.

The extension is fully involved with all other county departments in a coordinated effort to address times of emergencies and natural disasters. Past and continued extension responsibilities include:
- Representation in EOC Operations
- Access damage to agricultural infrastructure.
- Coordinate operations of Northern Chowan Disaster Recovery Center.
- Assist homeowners with moisture evaluation prior to beginning repairs.
- Provide residents with educational materials on preparing for emergencies
- Assist local government and property owners with tree health assessment.

V. Diversity Plan

The Chowan County Center of North Carolina Extension values diversity in fulfilling our educational mission. We strive to make educational programs available to all citizens through the following methods:

-Newsletters are distributed through the Constant Contact email list. These lists are developed through program participation and by request.
-Programs are promoted through news articles, news releases, mailings, and columns in the Chowan Herald and Daily Advance Newspapers.
-Some programs are promoted by posting fliers or posters in public places for maximum visibility.
-Educational programs, newsletters, and articles are posted on the County Extension web site and Facebook Page. Most of the promotion happens through email to an established contact list of clientele, volunteers and persons who have asked to be included on our email list.


Although reasonable efforts are made to market programs to all citizens, participation may not reflect the demographics of the county. In situations like these, extra effort is made to target underserved audiences. This is accomplished through one-on-one visits with key people, additional marketing of the program in significant communities, and adapting programs to fit specific needs.

VI. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Programs will be delivered using a variety of written and oral methods. Hands-on activities are utilized in numerous subject areas as workshops, demonstrations, field days and tours. Extension partners with other counties and organizations to host conferences. We also meet one-on-one with clients and distribute information through Extension publications, Constant Contact newsletters, newspaper items, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and on the county website.

The program will be evaluated using several methods. The formal evaluation will be completed for major programs. Methods of evaluating will include surveys (written and on-line), interviews, observation, and follow-up assessments.

Additional delivery systems will include short how-to videos, news articles, web sites, and newsletters. The county website is http://chowan.ces.ncsu.edu. Evaluations will primarily be through a survey in paper form or by using Google Forms for these delivery systems.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Council
Shannon Ray
Nicole Walker
Nancy McGowan
Betty Onufrak
Kay Polizzano
Fenton Eure, Jr.
Louis Nixon
Jack Parker
Milton Tynch
Alice Ward
Mike Williams
Debra Phelps
Agriculture
Bill Jordan
Scott Winslow
John Layton
Adam Bunch
Fenton Eure Jr.
Mike Parrish
Jeff Smith
Joe Ward
Aquaculture
Aubry Onley, Jr.
Chuck Weirich
Sterling Davenport
Doug Wassum
Gary Sawyer
Craig Perry
Pete Anderson
Harry Daniels
Gary Dillon
Randy Gray
Dale Pridgen
Family and Consumer Science
Stephanie Patsel
Alice Ward
Liza Layton
Amanda Betts
Debra Phelps
4-H and Youth
Shannon Ray
Rhonda Cobb
Mike Pippins
Angie Walston
Ricky Winebarger
Master Gardener & Consumer Horticulture
Nancy Dougherty
Elaine Grosjean
Linda Kruegel
Micki Levine
Nancy McGowan
Betty Onufrak
Kay Polizzano
Deborah Shullo
Anne Standing
Peggy DiMartino
Marilyn Rutland
Veronica Martin-Dowdy

VIII. Staff Membership

Mary Morris
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: mary_morris@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: To improve the health and wellness of families in Chowan County. Program areas include Nutrition, Food Safety, Food Preservation, Reducing Chronic Disease and Physical Activity Education.

Nettie Baugher
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: nettie_baugher@ncsu.edu

Patty Bowers
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: patty_bowers@ncsu.edu

Denise Bunch
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: denise_bunch@ncsu.edu

Camaryn Byrum
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: cibyrum@ncsu.edu

Susan Chase
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Northeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (919) 827-2285
Email: susan_chase@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the Northeast District

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.

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.

Steve Gabel
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: steve_gabel@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for aquaculture educational programs for the NC NE extension district.

Jared Harrell
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 426-5428
Email: jared_harrell@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.

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

Danny Lauderdale
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Ornamental Nursery and Greenhouse, Eastern Region
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: danny_lauderdale@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial ornamental nursery and greenhouse producers in eastern North Carolina.

Matt Leary
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: matt_leary@ncsu.edu

Lori McBryde
Title: Area 4-H Agent, East Region
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: lori_mcbryde@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide support the Eastern 34 Counties of the Northeast and Southeast Districts in 4-H Youth Development.

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!

Margaret Ross
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (252) 670-8254
Email: margaret_ross@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Working with commercial poultry producers to assist in writing nutrient management plans and conducting educational programming.

Katy Shook
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: katy_shook@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Chowan, Gates & Perquimans County Consumer Horticulture Agent & Extension Master Gardener Coordinator

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

Gail Spiewak
Title: SHIIP Coordinator/County Extension Support Specialist,
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: gail_spiewak@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: SHIIP Coordinator for Chowan County Experienced in answering Medicare questions and Medicare Plan D Open Enrollment

Scott Tilley
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain
Phone: (252) 793-4428
Email: scott_tilley@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.

IX. Contact Information

Chowan County Center
730 N Granville, Suite A
Chowan County Agricultural Center
Edenton, NC 27932

Phone: (252) 482-6585
Fax: (252) 482-6590
URL: http://chowan.ces.ncsu.edu