2019 Columbus County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 21, 2020

I. Executive Summary

In 2019, the NC Cooperative Extension Service in Columbus County planned, delivered and evaluated programs relevant to the needs of Columbus County citizens. Programs were identified and prioritized by our Extension Advisory Council with support from specialized committees that work with our Extension Agents. Through the tireless efforts of our Extension staff members, local community support, local businesses, non-profit organizations, government agencies and the Columbus County Commissioners great programing accomplishments were achieved. Over 481 volunteers gave 9107 hours of their time that was valued at $231,591.00. In addition, there were 17,252 contacts made through face to face, telephone, email, cable TV and newsletters. All of these clients received the benefits of our Extension programs in Columbus County. Then entire staff worked to provide 120 meetings, trainings and educational workshops that allowed for informal educational opportunities for 2,746 youth and adults during 617 hours of instruction.

The Agriculture program along with other programs was highly successful this year. Agriculture agents educated the public through workshops, news articles and public events. In Columbus County, farmers are always looking for ways to increase profitability through traditional as well as alternative crops. Agricultural agents met these needs through programmatic efforts in various ways. Agents continue to work with traditional row crop farmers, small farmers, commercial vegetable growers and livestock producers regarding overall best management practices specifically in terms of production issues. Notable impacts included over $110,700.00 of net income gains that were realized by the adoption of agent recommended best management practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars and pest management. By adopting recommended practices and participating in Extension programs large and small farmers, homeowners and businesses have helped to reduce the environmental impacts of waste products, pesticides and fertilizers. Extensions efforts are critical to the continued sustainability of the agricultural industry in Columbus County.

One of the most successful agricultural impacts involved an Extension partnership with NCDA&CS. It involved in having trainings on Hemp Production. Industrial Hemp production has been a focus of media attention throughout the year creating a lot of questions in both the farming and non farming communities in Columbus County. With a lot of confusing and conflicting information being published about Industrial Hemp and the industry surrounding it community members came to the Cooperative Extension office looking for answers. As a way to address concerns and questions from as many community members as possible we planned an Industrial Hemp Information Session. This session brought together people from the hemp industry (growers and processors) with researchers from NC State University and NCDA&CS to provide an informational meeting and a platform for the community to ask questions. Overall the informational session provided a wealth of knowledge to those who attended. It allowed for many farmers to make an informed decision about whether industrial hemp could be a profitable crop for their farming operation. Since the meeting the number of licensed of hemp growers in Columbus County has risen to 18 and the predicted impact from this could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also an hemp processor has located in the south end of the county.

Interms of livestock production, there are thousands of people from across North and South Carolina to participate in our Livestock and the farming events each year. The cattle industry is widely recognized as a profit sector in eastern North Carolina. Farmers need to stay abreast of current topics and to hear from industry experts to be profitable. The Cooperative Extension offices in Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Hoke, Robeson & Scotland counties partner together each year, along with the NC Cattlemen's Association to put together this regional beef conference and industry trade show. This year’s event was attended by 76 cattle farmers from 7 Counties in Southeastern NC. A survey was completed by 52 participants. Responses indicated that 98% were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall quality of the conference. 98% learned new ideas on Bermudagrass management and 92% learned more about the Bermudagrass variety trial. 94% indicated that they would use the knowledge they learned about the topics to make changes on their farm. A twelve month follow up survey completed by 19 producers who attended the 2019 conference showed implementation of knowledge gained in 2019. The 19 producers, who own 900 head of brood cows, indicated that 78% made changes on their farms. From improvements of these practices, producers increased their profit by $12,250 from fly control management practices and $8,250 from beef herd health practices. This conference has proven to be a great asset to the region and plans are already underway for the 2020 conference. This is a example of cross county or regional partnerships between agents that resulted in high impacts.

Another significant or unique highlight this year centered around a partnership between NC A&T Agriclture Technician, Agents and the Agriculture Youth Ambassadors group. This group wanted to discuss the aspects of operating a seasonal high tunnel, installation and material requirements along with the supervision and skilled assistance for construction on a site. The youth were also involved in material preparation and installation through completion. Agriculture agents educated the group on soil conditions and nutrient needs for vegetable gardens in addition to timing of planting various crops throughout the year. The high tunnel unit was constructed by the youth with CES assistance. The process was educational for those involved because it was the first time which they had engaged themselves in a large scale construction project. Through the many stages of construction, the participants learned the purpose and operation of the unit and how to manipulate the inside climate. A crop is planned for late winter/early spring, which the Youth Ambassadors will harvest and sell at local markets and to local residents. With the involvement of youth and CES participation, the Youth Ambassadors saved the expense of $3200 which contractors would charge to install. With the High Tunnel unit in place, the group will work with CES for continued learning through each season of growth and varying vegetable crops. Hopefully in 2020 we will see greater impacts of youth benefiting from the vegetable beds. This was one of the greatest success during the whole year.

Extension programs for Family and Consumer Sciences addressed several issues in 2019. However, Columbus County continues to be one of the most un-healthiest counties in North Carolina and the most pressing issues are centered-around obesity. Our Family and Consumer Science Agent (FCS) along with the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) continue working to solve this problem. Childhood obesity continues to be a growing concern that can be addressed by children learning at an early age to eat more fruits and vegetables, and the importance of physical activity. Cooperative Extension addressed this problem by using the Color Me Healthy program and providing opportunities for children to have taste test after each lesson provided by the Steps to Health Program. At Ransom Head Start participants received 9 weeks of training. Based on parent feedback forms and improvement in their child’s willingness to taste fruits and vegetables was observed. It was also observed there was an 87% increase in their child’s physical activity. Parents even noticed positive changes in their childs behavior regarding healthy eating. Teachers noticed an improvement on their willingness to eat fruits and vegetables as well. The impacts that this program provides will be continue to be realized for years. However, in terms of adults Columbus County still has a love for deep fried foods and barbeque. According to statistics, 35% of adult residences in Columbus County continue to be obese as well. The Columbus County FCS Agent and EFNEP Assistant continue to be active in the fight against adult obesity. Good Health continues to be a major concern for adults and Cooperative played a major role in helping to reduce obesity this year and hopefully for years to come.

The Columbus 4-H program in partnership with youth Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)reached 2000 youth and adults. Children and adolescents who have a formal or informal “mentor-like” relationship with someone outside their home are less likely to have externalizing behavior problems (bullying) and internalizing problems (depression). This is one reason why the 4-H Exploration Day Camp is so important. One 4-H volunteer has been instrumental in coordinating the day camp, with North Carolina Cooperative Extension for past three years. He works for Lake Waccamaw State Park and coordinated the following agencies this year, Cape Fearless Extreme, Carolinas Reptile Rescue and Education Center, Dale’s Seafood, Lake Depot Museum, Lake Waccamaw Fire Department, Museum of Coastal Carolina, North Carolina Boys and Girls Home of Lake Waccamaw, North Carolina Museum of Natural Science, North Carolina Wildlife Commission and Sea Biscuit Wildlife Shelter. This year youth participated from Bolton, Chadbourn, Whiteville, Tabor City, Fair Bluff and Leland. On the last day of camp a survey was conducted. Some of the things they learned were gathering data on water, what a falconer does, identifying snakes and birds, and eating healthy is good for you. Parents gave verbal praise for Extension and the job it is doing for youth in the county. One parent, stated that her son was learning so much. He even asked if the family could postpone their trip to the mountains so that he could attend the last day of camp. The surveys provided the following data: 87% would recommend this camp to friends, 93% felt safe during the camp and 87% would participate again next year and 44% were willing to share what they learned with others. The participants cost is $40.00. The actual cost of the camp is $5500.00 which is offset by volunteers, in-kind contributions and donations. Plans are being made to continue the camp next year. By providing such a positive experience for the youth of Columbus County will hopefully lead to productive citizens in the future. It will also reduce the likely hood of negative behavior. 4-H continues to make a different in the lives of our youth in Columbus County.

This is just a glimpse of the program impacts and successes we have had as a total staff. In 2019 the Columbus County Cooperative Extension truly focused on meeting needs and we will continue to provide outstanding programs that have positive impacts on the citizens of Columbus County.

II. County Background

Columbus County is the third largest county in land area in North Carolina and has 10 incorporated towns (Whiteville, Tabor City, Fair Bluff, Chadbourn, Lake Waccamaw, Bolton, Sandyfield, Brunswick, Cerro Gordo, and Boardman). Columbus County is close to two large retirement areas, the North Carolina coast, and Myrtle Beach. The county has witnessed a trickle of retirees moving into the county, but not in large numbers.

Total County population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2013) is 57,246. Population by race is White - 35,730 (64.0%), Black - 17,719 (30.5%), American Indian – 1,859 (3.5%) and other races 1,394 (2.4%). Columbus County’s population is 49.5% male and has a median age of 36.9. 13.8% of the county’s population is over the age of 65. 2.3% of the county’s total population reported themselves as Hispanic or Latino (of any race).

The economy in Columbus County continues to change in major ways. Agriculture, while still important in county earnings and income, employs only 2% of the workforce. Tobacco is still a cornerstone in the agricultural sector in county earnings despite national trends that have caused its decline in recent years. Timber is a large industry as over 400,000 acres of the county are forested. Non-traditional agriculture such and commercial pecan production has increased over the last 3 years. In 2017 the unemployment rate averaged 5.5% which is better than 5.9% in 2016.

One of the top issues in the county continues to be the extremely high obesity rate and the rise of major health problems for adults and youth. For the last several years Columbus County has been in the bottom tier and is considered an unhealthy county. In 2018 Columbus County again was voted as one of the most unhealthiest counties in the state however, we have moved from 97th to 96th in the rankings so there is progress. Another top issue is alternative crops that can bring in additional profits for local farmers. In 2019, this will be at the forefront in terms of addressing agricultural needs. In partnership with our local county government and other organizations, Extension will continue to provide educational leadership through programs that address the most pressing issues and needs in the county. Extension will continue to provide programs that are specifically targeting these issues.

The Advisory Leadership System continues to be instrumental in developing our overall plan. Meetings, focus groups, face to face interviews, trend data, and data available from other agencies and groups, were utilized to identify current issues to be addressed by Cooperative Extension. The major county issues identified by the citizens of Columbus County to be addressed by the Extension this year fall under the following objectives: 1) Plant Production Systems, 2) Food Safety and Nutrition, 3) Community Development, 4) 4-H Youth Development, 5) Natural Resources and Environmental Systems, 6) Consumer Horticulture, 7) Animal Production Systems and 8) Family and Consumer Sciences.

There continues to be many challenges as well as opportunities in the upcoming year. However, as we continue to work with our local Advisory Leadership System, specialists and administration from NC State University and NC A&T State University, Cooperative Extension can and will make a difference in the lives of Columbus County citizens. As the county's link to NC State University and NC A&T State University, the Columbus County Center and staff of NC Cooperative Extension are committed to providing educational programs in response to the local needs identified. This working document outlines some of those programs and Extension's plan of work for the next year.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Our family and consumer sciences programs improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Value* Outcome Description
19Number of adults increasing knowledge of life skills (such as goal setting, stress management, self-care and healthy relationships)
19Number of people gaining knowledge and/or skills to increase family economic security (such as; how to access: SNAP benefits, SHIIP Medicare Part D; food cost management, cost comparison skills, shop for reverse mortgages, select long term care insurance, etc.)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
19Number of adults using effective life skills (such as goal setting, stress management, self-care and healthy relationships)
50Number of professionals granted CEUs, certifications, or other work- or volunteer-related credentials
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our plant production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Value* Outcome Description
15Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
47Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
492Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
44Number of pesticide credit hours provided
148Number of crop (all plant systems) producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
9Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
23Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
32Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
2Number of farms certified as a Certified Safe Farm
6Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period)
1Number of farmers, employees or family members adopting regular use of appropriate PPE following AgriSafe or Certified Safe Farm participation
4Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
1Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
15Number of crop (all plant systems) producers adopting best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our animal production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Value* Outcome Description
2Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
45Number of animal producers who increased knowledge of farm business management, business planning, financial management, marketing, or estate planning.
16Number of producers who increased knowledge of pasture/forage management practices (field improvement, herbicide management, grazing season extension, weed control, forage quality, haylage production, nitrate testing, etc.)
16Number of producers who increased knowledge of animal waste management practices
28Number of animal waste management credits earned through Extension programs
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
1Number of producers adopting extension-recommended practices related to planning, marketing, and financial management
47Number of producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
17Number of participants who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems
34Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
97Number of participants who increased their awareness, knowledge or skill in business related topics (e.g., management, product development, marketing, business structure options, business law and/or liability)
157Number of participants that increase their knowledge of disaster preparedness planning, mitigation and recovery
34Number of participants acquiring knowledge and skills to convene and lead inclusive groups
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
500Dollar value of in-kind resources contributed by organizations or community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

Value* Outcome Description
3Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
31Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
16Total number of female participants in STEM program
15Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
24Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
87Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
17Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
101Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
15Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
24Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
22Number of youth using effective life skills
10Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
60Number of youth increasing their physical activity
8Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
9Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
15Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
31Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our natural resource and environmental programs conserve our precious natural resources and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Value* Outcome Description
1Number of participants willing to participate in conservation actions (such as rain gardens, wildlife management, conservation easements, land trusts, generational planning, etc.)
4Number of participants increasing their knowledge about best management practices (including storm water systems, septic system maintenance, erosion control, rain gardens, forestry, etc.)
3Number of child and youth educators aspiring to implement quality outdoor learning environments for children
4Number of adults demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
4Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water quality
2Number of participants that adopted recommended agroecosystem adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
87Number of acres under recommended agroecosystem adaption strategies for production agriculture or natural resource management, including for invasive species, pest management, pollutant loads, and wetlands.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our consumer horticulture programs teach families and communities about environmentally friendly methods for gardening and controlling pests.

Value* Outcome Description
263Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
37Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
32Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden
333Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease, wildlife) and soil management
85Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
120Number of participants growing food for home consumption
2Number of participants adopting composting
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
84Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
23Number of school personnel who increase their knowledge of School HACCP principles
84Number of food handlers who increase their knowledge and skills in safe food handling practices
30Number of individuals who learn how to prepare local foods, including through use of home food preservation techniques.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
50Number of participants developing food safety plans
63Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
518Number of participants increasing their physical activity
63Number of participants who consume less sodium in their diet
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 17,252
Non face-to-face** 742,872
Total by Extension staff in 2019 760,124
* Face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make directly with individuals through one-on-one visits, meetings, and other activities where staff members work directly with individuals.
** Non face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make indirectly with individuals by telephone, email, newsletters, news articles, radio, television, and other means.

V. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $0.00
Gifts/Donations $1,828.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $93.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $8,745.00
Total $10,666.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H 68 644 101 $ 16,377.00
Advisory Leadership System 40 24 9 $ 610.00
EFNEP 174 1918 0 $ 48,775.00
Other: Agriculture 130 702 2140 $ 17,852.00
Other: Community, Family & Individual Development 69 5819 45121 $ 147,977.00
Total: 481 9107 47371 $ 231,591.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Council
Ricky Bullard
Esther Collier
Kathryn Faulk- Chair
Kipling Godwin
Phil Gore
Dewey Graham
Harold Shuman
Jeannie Stanaland- Secretary
Brenda Troy
Jimmy Stephens
Marie Campbell
Alice Connor
Karla Freeman
Leslie Jones
Rita Knox
4-H County Council
Ethan Kellihan
Alex Kellihan
Devan Young
Constance Freeman
Columbus County Beekeepers Association
Eddie Ward
Tony Parker
Bonnie Jupina
Bertha Floyd
Charles McDuffie
Lenwood Williams
Carl Cutler
Columbus County Farmers Market
Susie Rockel
Harold Shuman
Myra Godwin
Johnny Reynolds
Carolyn Shuman
John Fipps
Horse Livestock
Amanda Thompson
Leslie Reed
Cathy Prince
Kerry Kenner
Jackie Johnson
Pork Producers
Timmy Kinlaw
Jerry Willoughby
Carolyn Creech
Sonny Hart
Keith Enzor
Commercial Horticulture
Bobby Williams
Mackie Bullock
Harold Shuman
Ricky Bullard
Jerry Robinson
FCS Advisory Leadership
Esther Collier
Jackie Roseboro
Sandra Nobles
Kip Godwin
Jamika Lynch
Carol Caldwell
Kristi Priest
Extension and Community Association County Council
Ramona Barnes
Hilda Bullard
Sandra Nobles
Barbara Larrimore
Connie Wilson
Hilda Jordan
4-H Horse Committee
Tami Cumbee
Valerie Gensel
Rachel Lowery
Alissa Simmons
Mikell Todd
Alberta Horn
Kim Torelli
Field Crops Advisory Committee
Dewaynel Johnson
Harry Hart
James Worley
Sonny Hart
Chandler Worley
Alan Ward
Bennett Wilder
Ernie Freeman
Mackie Bullock
Kevin Godwin
Dewayne Johnson
4-H Youth Council
Adrienne Blanks
Matthew Blanks
Jon Jones
Bailey Sutherland
Cattle Producers
Ethan SCott
Christine Long
Charles Lennon
Russell McPherson

VIII. Staff Membership

Dalton Dockery
Title: County Extension Director-Agriculture/Horticulture
Phone: (910) 640-6605
Email: dalton_dockery@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide Leadership and Direction to the NC Cooperative Extension Staff in Columbus County

Rebekah Benton
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Associate
Phone: (910) 640-6607
Email: rebekah_thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Nutrition Program Associate 4-H EFNEP. Provides nutrition education for Columbus County youth.

Amanda Collins
Title: County Extension Office Assistant
Phone: (910) 640-6605
Email: amanda_collins@ncsu.edu

Phyllis Creech-Greene
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (910) 641-3996
Email: phyllis_creech@ncsu.edu

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.

Meleah Evers
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 640-6605
Email: meleah_collier@ncsu.edu

Mike Frinsko
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: mofrinsk@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Southeast Extension District

Carsha Hayes
Title: County Extension Office Assistant
Phone: (910) 640-6605
Email: carsha_hayes@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.

Jonathan Jacobs
Title: Program Assistant, Agriculture
Phone: (910) 640-6605
Email: jcjacobs@ncsu.edu

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

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

Colby Lambert
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Forestry
Phone: (910) 814-6041
Email: colby_lambert@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to forest landowners, agents, and forest industry in eastern North Carolina.

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.

Stephanie McDonald-Murray
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Southeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (910) 296-2143
Email: stephanie_mcdonald@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the South East District.

Lydia Miles
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (910) 640-6606
Email: lcmiles2@ncsu.edu

Nannetta Rackley
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 640-6605
Email: nbrackle@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: County Extension Administrative Assistant to CED and Horticulture support to CED that is a Hort Agent

Diana Rashash
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Quality/Waste Management
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: diana_rashash@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water and wastewater issues of all types: stormwater, aquatic weed ID & control, water quality & quantity, septic systems, animal waste, land application of wastewater, environment & sustainability, climate, etc.

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.

Michael Shuman
Title: Extension Technician, Agriculture
Phone: (910) 640-6605
Email: michael_shuman@ncsu.edu

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

Nakoma Simmons
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 640-6607
Email: nakoma_simmons@ncsu.edu

Alyssa Spence
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agromedicine, Farm Health & Safety
Phone: (252) 527-2191
Email: arramsey@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with the NCSU Applied Ecology-Toxicology & Agromedicine Department to serve the18 counties in the Southeast District, providing health/safety resources and programming to field agents in this area.

Wesley Stallings
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture- Grain Crops
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: wcstalli@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture-Grain Crops

Allan Thornton
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (910) 592-7161
Email: allan_thornton@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Vegetable Extension Specialist. Conducts Extension and applied research programs for commercial vegetable and fruit growers and agents in eastern North Carolina.

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

Columbus County Center
45 Government Complex Rd
Suite A
Whiteville, NC 28472

Phone: (910) 640-6605
Fax: (910) 642-6315
URL: http://columbus.ces.ncsu.edu