2018 Cleveland County Plan of Work

Approved: January 24, 2018

I. County Background

This Plan of Work represents NC Cooperative Extension’s commitment to the delivery of research-based information, educational programs and services aimed at improving quality of life for Cleveland County citizens during 2018. The plan aligns our work within three identified core program areas: Agriculture, Food, and 4-H Youth Development. The information needs of Cleveland County residents and issues affecting them were assessed through an informal environmental scanning process that engaged professional staff and a variety of stakeholders, including the county funding partner, collaborating agencies and organizations, and advisory volunteers.

Objectives to be addressed during 2018 include:

PROFITABLE AND SUSTAINABLE PLANT PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Extension educational programs and technical assistance with benefit Cleveland County farmers, who harvest 40,852 acres of cropland each year. Major commodities include soybeans, wheat, corn, hay, and fruits and vegetables, which generate $22 million in sales annually. Focus areas will include:
• Variety Selection - helping area farmers select well-adapted, drought tolerant crop varieties and hybrids for our area through the distribution of University data and local demonstration/test plots
• Plant Nutrition - helping farmers understand the importance of good soil fertility and fertilizer use through various demonstrations (plant tissue testing, foliar fertilizers, and in-furrow amendments), meetings, and field days
• Cover Crops - helping farmers conserve soil moisture, reduce weed pressure, minimize soil erosion, and increase fertility levels with winter cover crops through demonstration plots and field day
• Pest Management - helping farmers better understand damaging pests and how to best manage them
• Grain Marketing - helping farmers increase profitability by better utilizing marketing tools and developing marketing plans
• Harvest Management – helping farmers maintain the quality, freshness and value of their crops through proper harvest and post-harvest handling
• North Carolina Commercial Blackberry and Raspberry Growers Association- helping promote and enhance state-wide bramble production
• Vegetable Variety Trials- helping Cleveland County growers find the best varieties for our area
• NCSU Research Plots- bringing practical research based information to local farmers

PROFITABLE AND SUSTAINABLE ANIMAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS
Programs and services will also target livestock producers, who contribute $14.6 million to Cleveland County’s agricultural economy each year. Beef and dairy cattle are the leading commodities, but there are also a number of sheep, goat and pork producers who have small herds. The 2018 program will address:
• Herd health – helping farmers maximize animal performance by preventing disease through vaccination programs and sound management
• Nutrition – helping producers enhance animal performance and enterprise profits through sound feeding programs, effective pasture management, and mineral supplementation
• Husbandry – helping producers master day-to-day care, selective breeding and the raising of various species of livestock
• Marketing – helping farmers maximize profits through value-added marketing programs and direct-to-consumer sales
• Composting - assisting farms in using whole carcass composting as a legal, environmentally-sustainable method of handling typical death-losses in dairy and livestock operations (collaborative efforts with NCDA&CS will hopefully lead to issuance of composting permits to farms across the state)
• Value-added Dairy - assisting dairy businesses who desire to shift from a price-taking to a price-setting business model through value-added production capacity added to their farm operation

LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS
NC Cooperative Extension will support and strengthen a food system that provides significant agricultural, economic, health and social benefits to the local community. Our programs and services will empower farmers to increase their capacity to supply safe and wholesome products for direct sales, and help consumers make informed food-related decisions. Focus areas include:
• Foothills Farmers’ Market – continuing to guide and support the continued growth and development of our certified local farmers market with a focus on food demonstrations, vendor recruitment and training, customer retention, youth engagement, community visibility and board development
• Cleveland County Kitchen – developing a cable television program and supplemental research-based information that empower consumers to eat seasonally and increase their consumption of healthy local foods
• Food Preparation & Safety – teaching individuals how to select, store and prepare local foods, including home food preservation techniques
• Producing Food at Home – teaching youth and adults how to successfully manage home vegetable gardens and backyard livestock and poultry operations

SAFETY AND SECURITY OF OUR FOOD AND FARM SYSTEMS
Extension programs will deliver a range of programs and services aimed at keeping our food and farms safe:
• Pesticide Education – helping pesticide applicators acquire required re-certification training credits and educating homeowners about the safe and
judicious use of pesticides
• Farm Stress Management – helping farm families identify and manage the stresses incurred from long hours, financial difficulties, aging and health
concerns, and other conditions
• Livestock Handling – helping livestock producers develop the knowledge and skills needed to safely handle and restrain animals while performing
various procedures
• Food Safety – training farmers relative to Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification standards, helping affected growers understand and comply with the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and training food handlers on strategies to prevent contamination and food-borne illness
• Milk quality - assisting value-added and wholesale milk producers in achieving their goals for a consistent and high quality milk product that matches the needs and desires of the consuming public, and coordinating with on-campus faculty and local agents to implement milk quality improvement program across the state

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT
Extension will prepare citizens, both youth and adults to assume leadership roles in the their organizations and community.
• Extension & Community Association members will be supported in seeking opportunities for learning, leadership and volunteerism
• Youth will receive guidance and support to prepare them for 4-H leadership roles at the local, district and state levels
• Foothills Farmers' Market will receive support and training relative to board member recruitment, board development, strategic planning, and officer succession planning

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
NC Cooperative Extension will play an important role in support of efforts to enhance the economy and quality of life in Cleveland County. Major areas of emphasis include:
• Resource Development – helping leverage the resources needed to facilitate economic development opportunities for production agriculture
• Community Awareness – helping citizens better understand and appreciate the importance of agriculture to our health, economy, and well-being
• Pesticide Disposal – helping farmers and homeowners reduce risk to personal safety and the environment through the proper disposal of outdated and unwanted pesticides and empty pesticide containers

PARENTING AND CAREGIVER SKILLS
A growing number of families face challenges that require children to be raised by grandparents or other relatives. Cleveland County has responded to this need by organizing a kinship care support group. The Broad River Grandparents Raising Grandchildren & Kinship Care Support Group (BRGRG) provides educational programming, awareness, advocacy and support for the children and grandparents/relatives who are parenting for the second time. NC Cooperative Extension will continue to lead this multi-agency initiative by:
• convening BRGRG advisory committee meetings
• hosting monthly support group meetings
• recruiting volunteers to assist with children's activities
• ensuring delivery of relevant programs
• coordinating financial and community resources to benefit participating families

SCHOOL TO CAREER
Cleveland County’s 4-H Program will position youth for success using a number of strategies that teach critical life skills. Focus areas for 2018 will include:
• Presentations – helping youth develop critical thinking, organization, and public speaking skills
• Community Clubs – helping youth develop social skills, interpersonal communication, teamwork and leadership ability, and explore opportunities for community service by organizing around common areas of interest
• Dairy Steer Project – helping youth develop responsibility and enhance scientific knowledge through an intensive, hands-on livestock project
• Shooting Sports – helping youth learn safe & responsible use of firearms and develop/demonstrate sound decision making, self-discipline, and concentration
• Embryology – helping second grade students explore the life sciences by incubating eggs and hatching chicks in their classroom
• Summer Camp – helping youth build social skills, responsibility, teamwork, and an appreciation for our natural resources though a week-long residential camping experience

URBAN AND CONSUMER AGRICULTURE
• The Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program will provide educational assistance to citizens concerning residential lawns, fruits, vegetables, trees, and ornamentals through the utilization of a trained and supervised volunteer staff
• Other information delivery strategies and front line services will teach the general public how to design, install, and maintain their lawns and landscapes in line with sound cultural and environmental principles, and to grow food crops for personal use
• Cabin Fever, a one-day symposium, will engage and inform gardening enthusiasts through a lineup of speakers and vendors focusing on landscape design and maintenance, tree care, plant propagation, and edible landscapes
• Extension will provide leadership and support to organizations seeking to establish community and school gardens, and teach youth to grow vegetables successfully by engaging them in the 4-H Mini Garden Contest

HEALTHY EATING, PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND CHRONIC DISEASE REDUCTION
In Cleveland County, 60% of adults and 40% of children are overweight or obese. Fewer than 20% of Cleveland County adults consume five or more servings of fruit and vegetables per day, and less than half meet daily physical activity requirements. Those empowered to make healthy food and lifestyle choices will reduce their risk for developing chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life. Programs targeted for deliver in 2018 include:
• A Matter of Balance - a 6-week program designed to reduce the fear of falling and increase the activity levels of older adults who have concerns about falls
• Med Instead of Meds - teaches citizens to avoid the need for prescription medications by adopting the Mediterranean-style eating pattern, shown to promote health and decrease risk of many chronic diseases
• Cook Smart, Eat Smart - a 9-hour cooking school that teaches food shopping and cooking techniques to encourage preparing and eating more meals at home with an emphasis on healthy recipes, simple ingredients and limited use of prepared foods
• Steps to Health/Eat Smart Move More: Take Control - a 6-session chronic disease prevention program that provides strategies to help adults manage and improve their health by changing their eating and physical activity patterns
• Cleveland County Employees Health & Benefits Fair - supporting the county's "Cleveland Strong" wellness initiative by reinforcing the importance of diet and exercise to personal health and wellness
• Healthy Eating & Food Safety - a program focus in our work with Cleveland County Extension & Community Association during the year

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 agricultural crops industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of crops was $4.72 billion, placing NC as the 17th largest in the nation. North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state's 50,200 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.4 million of the state's 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber. Tobacco remains one of the state's most predominant farm commodities. North Carolina produces more tobacco and sweet potatoes than any other state and ranks second in Christmas tree cash receipts. The state also produces a significant amount of cucumbers for pickles, lima beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, strawberries, bell peppers, blueberries, chili peppers, fresh market cucumbers, snap beans, cabbage, eggplant, watermelons, pecans, peaches, squash, apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, and grapes. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic and niche market production. Educational and training programs for producers of plant agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
North Carolina's animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
North Carolina's livestock industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of livestock, dairy, and poultry was $8.85 billion, placing NC as the 7th largest in the nation. Hogs & pigs have historically been an important part of North Carolina agriculture. The industry has changed dramatically since the 1980s from the small farm raising a few hogs to large confinement type operations. North Carolina's number of cattle & calves on farms has remained relatively stable throughout time. Milk cow inventory and milk production have continued to decline in the state. Unlike other commodities, broiler production in North Carolina is increasing throughout the state. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Educational and training programs for producers of animal agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
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.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
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.
Training and educational programs for farmers, agricultural workers, food handlers, and consumers will provide research-based programming, materials, information and expertise to compel these individuals to implement practices relating to the overall safety and security for the food supply and farming systems. Components of this include on-farm, packinghouse, and transportation management, retail and food service establishments, and consumer’s homes. Therefore targeted audiences include farmers and agricultural workers and their families, food handlers and workers (both amateur and commercial), transporters, processors, business operators, food service and retail staff, supervisors of any food facility, long term care facility staff and individuals who purchase, prepare and serve food in their homes. With an estimated 76 million foodborne illnesses annually, costing an estimated $1.4 trillion, food safety highlights a specific area of risk to be addressed by Cooperative Extension. The recent produce-related foodborne illness outbreaks have brought public attention to a problem that has been increasing nationally for the last ten years. The issues of foodborne illness and food safety pose immediate risks for farmers affecting the areas of economics, consumer demand, and market access. Because no processing or kill steps are involved with produce that is typically eaten raw, the best measures to limit microorganisms and fresh produce related illness are to prevent microbes from contaminating the product. Practices like Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Handling Practices (GHPs), and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) represent a systematic preventive approach to food safety, protecting agricultural products as they move from farm to retail and restaurants and finally to families. While there is currently no legal requirements for growers to implement GAPs, buyers have responded to the public concern by requiring their produce growers to adhere to current guidelines and possibly even require GAPs certification. The main areas of concern incorporate production, harvesting, packing, and transporting produce in the areas of water quality, manure management, domestic and wildlife management, worker health and hygiene, transportation, traceability, and documentation. For North Carolina growers to be competitive and produce safe product, it is important that they gain knowledge about and implement food safety programs that minimize physical, chemical and biological hazards Food safety risks do not stop at primary production. As risks associated with pathogens can occur at many junctions between primary production and consumption, food safety is a truly farm-to-fork issue. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined 5 factors that lead to foodborne illness outbreaks: Inadequate cooking or processing procedures; improper storage and holding temperatures, cross-contamination between potentially contaminated raw materials and ready-to-eat foods (either directly or through poor sanitation); and poor implementation of personal hygiene practices. The preventative steps targeting risk reduction taken at each of the components making up the food supply chain are critical in preventing food-borne illness. Educational programs including ServSAFE, School HACCP workshops, food safety at childcare and senior centers, and targeted farm-to-fork food safety inclusion for all food handlers is necessary for important for advances in knowledge and implementation of preventative programs. Equally important is that families and children have a secure food supply. Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released in the report "Household Food Security in the United States, 2004." The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999. The USDA report says that 38.2 million Americans live in households that suffer directly from hunger and food insecurity, including nearly 14 million children. That figure is up from 31 million Americans in 1999. Limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and food-insecure individuals, families and communities will be provided with information and opportunities to enhance household food, diet and nutritional security. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States, and consistently ranks as the first, second or third most deadly industry along with mining and construction. Agriculture is unique in that the work and home place are often the same, exposing both workers and family members to hazards. In the United States on average each year, there are 700 deaths and 140,000 injuries to those who work in agriculture, defined as farming, forestry and fishing. Farmers, farmworkers and their families are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries (primarily from tractor roll-overs, machinery entanglements, and animal handling incidents), musculo-skeletal conditions, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, heat stress and heat stroke, pesticide exposure and illness, skin diseases, behavioral health issues, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. The health and safety of migrant and seasonal farmworkers are complicated by other conditions such as infectious disease, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as cultural and language barriers. Farmers and farmworkers alike are subject to lack of access to health care. Agricultural injury and illness are costly, with total US annual costs reaching $4.5 billion and per farm costs equaling $2,500, or 15% of net income. Median health care coverage for farm families is $6,000 per year. In North Carolina, 27% of farm families do not have health insurance, while 29% of farmers do not have health insurance. Many others have health care coverage with high annual deductibles and high premiums. Agromedicine is a comprehensive, collaborative approach involving both agricultural and health scientists to develop solutions addressing the health and safety issues of the agricultural community through research, education and outreach. The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, a partnership of NC State University, NC A&T State University and East Carolina University in collaboration with others, develops and evaluates effective programs to reduce injury and illness in agriculture, forestry and fishing. One such program is called Certified Safe Farm (CSF) and AgriSafe. CSF and AgriSafe were first developed and researched in Iowa. CSF and AgriSafe are being adapted to North Carolina agriculture by the NC Agromedicine Institute and its Cooperative Extension collaborators. Certified Safe Farm combines AgriSafe health services (wellness and occupational health screenings and personal protection equipment selection and fit services) conducted by trained AgriSafe health providers, on-farm safety reviews conducted by trained Extension agents, and community education and outreach to achieve safety and health goals established by participating farmers and their employees and families. Insurance incentives and safety equipment cost-share programs for participating farmers are still being developed. Other ongoing educational programs addressing agricultural health and safety include farm safety days for children, youth, or families, employee hands-on farm safety training, the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program for youth, and youth ATV operator safety certification programs.
Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.
Leadership is important to every level of a community sharing in the creation of wealth and well-being. Youth and adult leaders must be capable of motivating groups to achieve common goals that impact North Carolina families and communities.They will need the confidence and skill to guide and support North Carolina community and state organizations. Citizens participating in the 2007 NC Tomorrow survey denoted the importance of leadership by clearly requesting leadership training (54%), social advising, community advising and technical assistance (45%)from their university system.
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.
Throughout North Carolina, communities that come together to collaboratively address issues and/or interests are enhancing the community's quality of life and its economic, social and environmental resiliency. The state's growing population and economy is producing significant changes in its communities and in some cases resulting in the emergence of new communities. The perspectives, capacity and skills of all community members are essential to aligning community decisions and actions with local needs, assets and priorities. NC Cooperative Extension has an important role in engaging and supporting the ongoing work of citizens, organizations, and communities in decision-making, and strategic dialog to influence positive public policy, foster development of partnerships, create empowered communities, be prepared to address the high potential for natural and human-caused disasters.
Parents and caregivers will effectively use recommended parenting, self care practices and community resources.
North Carolina communities are only as strong and viable as the families that reside there. To create and maintain viable communities where children and youth succeed and the elderly are protected and cared for parents and caregivers need knowledge and skills that build their capacity to function effectively and carryout their responsibilities. They need to be equipped to: 1) foster positive parent-child relationships, 2) address anti-social behavior with appropriate disciplinary techniques, 3) implement positive role modeling, child monitoring and supervision strategies and 4) prevent practices that lead to the abuse and neglect of children. State data suggest that strengthening parenting skills could serve as an asset to families and communities. Risk and needs assessment data on 46,041 youth involved in NC courts found that 59% of the youth had problems in school, 40% had relationships with peers associated with gangs and delinquent behavior, 40% had parents who were either unable or unwilling to supervise them, and 68% had parents with either marginal or inadequate supervision skills. A large percentage of NC working families with children under six (63.34%) must rely on child care services. Child care practitioner education and training is key to providing quality childcare. Family members provide care to a rapidly growing aging population that could double, reaching 2.8 million in the next two decades. A majority of elderly North Carolinians suffer from multiple chronic illnesses. Caregiver demands can trigger health problems, financial and emotional stress. Families who provide care and support for elderly family members also need skills to succeed with less stress and financial burden and need to be linked to community resources that provide support for the care and maintenance of elderly family members.
Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways
We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce.
Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.
Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed.
Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.
Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.

III. Relationship to County Government Objectives

Each year, with input from the county manager and department heads, Cleveland County Commissioners develop goals and objectives under four focus areas: 1) Economic Development; 2) Public Safety; 3) Community Education and Customer Service Outreach, and; 4) Economic Development. This Plan of Work aligns with three (3) of the goals identified for 2018:

• determine ways of improving the overall health of our community
• study the availability of youth programs to include life coaching, career assistance and healthy lifestyle education to provide opportunities for youth to become successful, productive adults
• determine ways to assist the agricultural community in their efforts to promote agriculture as an economic development opportunity

IV. Diversity Plan

Extension staff members will employ a number of strategies designed to reach new and underserved audiences, including Hispanic/Latino and African-American populations, the economically disadvantaged, and persons with disabilities:

• Use advisory and decision-making groups that are representative of the community in planning and implementing programs
• Select meeting places and times that will encourage rather than inhibit participation from diverse populations
• Create and maintain lists of organizations that can reach diverse populations (for announcing meetings, activities, tours, events, etc.)
• Utilize media outlets that reach targeted populations to market a broad range of programs and events
• Develop program announcements and posters to be placed in public venues
• Make personal contacts with individuals who will help reach diverse populations
• Contact community groups for assistance in informing community members of available programs
• Solicit grant funds to provide camp scholarships for low-income youth
• Empower and engage limited income audiences and improve food access via the farmers' market SNAP/EBT initiative
• Actively accommodate the learning environment needs of persons with disabilities

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 Cleveland County with the knowledge & skills needed 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-focused. As such, programs and services are not offered just at the County Extension Center; we deliver information and assistance 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 Cleveland 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 Cleveland 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 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

County Advisory Council
Katie Spangler Earl
Jim Toole
Dotty Leatherwood
Ervin Lineberger
Debra Blanton
Joan Parrish
Wayne Yarbro
Tammy Bass
Caroline Greene
Ron McCollum
Janice Morton
Carole McDaniel
Wayne Yarbro
New 4-H representatives to be identified by new 4-H agent after February 1 start date
Profitable and Sustainable Animal Production Systems
Bill Thompson
Lisa Yarbro
Eduardo Soto
Mark Greene
Katie Spangler Earl
Gary Gold
Randy Wellmon
Dr. Rhod Lowe
Robbie Henderson
John Michael Hinson
Kris Dedmon
Local Food Systems
Allen Hoyle
Reggie Feaster
Pam Fish
Emily Parker
Nathanael Greene
Dayna Causby
Jeff Powell
Beth Gibson
Haley Martin
Roxie Cogdill
Jessica Talbert
April Crotts
Chris Huffman
Bob Davis
Tammy Bass
Audrey Whetten
Celeste Burdthart
Ron McCollum
Carol Maxwell
Tyler McDaniel
Greg Tillman
Debra Blanton
Pat Farley
Jean Ann Privett
Mary Sue Boyles
Joan Parrish
Les Dixon
Carol Maxwell
Safety and Security of Food & Farm Systems
Dorothea Wyant
Gene Wright
Charlie Jones
Will Thompson
Luke Beam
Myron Edwards
Ethan Henderson
Robin Tutor
Harry Sain
Sammy Thompson
Leadership Development
Pat Farley
Mary Sue Boyles
Lorinda Richard
Mary Jane Seagle
Joan Parrish
Les Dixon
Jean Ann Privett
Mary Lee Jones
Clara Carter
Willie Mae Johnson
Parenting and Caregiver Skills
Anne Short
Fonda Cromer
Dottie Richardson
Antoinette Thompson
Jan Kendrick
Dana Hamrick
Gail Ross
Roxanne Rabb
Linda Geter
Danielle Williams
Symantha Franklin
Colin Ashley
Leanne Sanders
Wayne Brazzell
Jane Wright
Jean Ann Privett
School to Career
to be established by new 4-H agent after February 1 start date
Urban and Consumer Agriculture
Pat Parr
Anne Eskridge
Bill Cameron
Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction
Linda Page
Sharon Eaker
Karen Grigg
Paulette Putnam
Daniel Dedmon
Danielle Williams
Lori Simpson
Laura Lynch
Pat Farley
Joan Parrish
Vontella Dabbs
Rebecca Rhinhardt
Erica Rutledge
Jeananne Privett
Linda Geter
Tammy Bass
Anzie Horn
Sharon Martin
Profitable and Sustainable Plant Production Systems
Ervin Lineberger
John Carroll
Loyd Lewis
Wayne Mitchem
Andrew White
Keith Hollifield
Nelson Dellinger
Neal Scism
Sammy Thompson
Community Development
Stephen Bishop
Bryon McMurry
Andrew White
Andy Wilson
Kerri Melton
Brian Epley
Bob Grooms
Warren Smith
Kevin Oliver
Kristin Reese
Susan Allen

VII. Staff Membership

Greg Traywick
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: greg_traywick@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administration, Livestock, Local Food Systems, Pesticide Education, Community Development, Pest Management

Nancy Abasiekong
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: nancy_abasiekong@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Foods & Nutrition, Food Safety, Health & Wellness, Human Development,ECA Liaison

Brent Buchanan
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (315) 212-1277
Email: brent_buchanan@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.

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

Julie Flowers
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (704) 922-2104
Email: julie_flowers@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Julie Flowers is the Consumer Horticulture Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Gaston and Cleveland County. She coordinates the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program, helps homeowners resolve horticultural issues, and leads public workshops/speaking engagements on a variety of horticultural topics. Julie possesses an Associates Degree in Horticulture and Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture Education. She is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Horticulture.

Charlie Godfrey
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: jcgodfre@ncsu.edu

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (704) 283-3801
Email: richard_goforth@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.

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: Extension 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

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.

Andrew Scruggs
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (704) 736-8461
Email: andrew_scruggs@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide support for field crop producers in Cleveland and Lincoln counties.

Daniel Shires
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: daniel_shires@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Commercial Fruit & Vegetable Crops

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.

Annie Thompson
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: annie_thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administrative Assistant- 4-H, Agriculture, Horticulture, Family & Consumer Sciences, Livestock, Beekeeping

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.

Lara Worden
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (704) 922-2118
Email: lara_worden@ncsu.edu

VIII. Contact Information

Cleveland County Center
130 S Post Rd
Suite 1
Shelby, NC 28152

Phone: (704) 482-4365
Fax: (704) 480-6484
URL: http://cleveland.ces.ncsu.edu