2018 Craven County Plan of Work

Approved: February 12, 2018

I. County Background

According to the US Census Bureau, the 2016 estimated population of Craven County is 103,445 as compared with 91,436 in 2000 and 81,812 in 1990. The largest population groups are identified as White (71.7%), Black (21.8%) and Hispanic or Latino (7.1%). Median household income is $47,957 and the poverty rate is 15.3%. Military & families stationed at Cherry Point Marine Air Corps Station and retirees will continue to be major factors in Craven's population growth. Craven County is considered rural with no major cities; New Bern (the county seat) and Havelock are the two largest towns, with populations of 29,524 and 20,735 respectively, as of 2017.

Craven County has traditionally been a rural, agricultural county. While agriculture remains an important component of the overall county economy, residential/commercial growth has emerged as a significant challenge to farmland preservation. According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture (NC Agricultural Statistics), Craven had 70,632 acres in farms, with total cash receipts of $73,089,335. Craven County has seen a steady decline in farm acreage, reflected for example in the total farm loss from 1997 to 2002 of 6,778 acres or 8%; and a 10% decrease in the number of farms between 2007 and 2012. This pressure is certain to increase with increasing real estate sales due to a growing population; increased development of non-ag industries; further development of solar farms; and other factors. Increased use of new technology such as precision agriculture and drones will be critical to maintaining a competitive edge in agriculture.

Craven County is considered to have a diversified, dynamic economy. The County has a strong manufacturing base, in addition to agriculture, forestry, and civilian jobs at Cherry Point MCAS.

Craven County's air quality is considered to be very good. Water quality is also considered good; however, population growth and proximity to the Neuse River, Trent River and other bodies of water present challenges as we seek to improve water quality over time. Non-native invasive plants as well as insects and diseases such as Emerald Ash Borer and Laurel Wilt Disease pose serious environmental challenges.

Cancer, heart disease and chronic lower respiratory disease are the leading causes of death for Craven County. Needs relating to healthy activity and better nutrition are reflected in 2017 County statistics showing that 18.12 percent of the adult population is considered to have poor to fair health; 30.1 are considered obese; 25.9 physically inactive; and 10.3 diabetic. Approximately 25% of youth are overweight or obese.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

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.

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.

Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation.

Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.

Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.

III. Relationship to County Government Objectives

The priorities of the Craven County Extension staff align closely with the three main issues - education, environment, and economic development - highlighted in county government's most recent strategic plan. The county's educational mission was identified as "To enhance all levels of learning and prepare our community and families for the demands of the twenty-first century through the cooperative use of all resources available to Craven County." Craven County Extension seeks to align educational activities with these goals.

Our focus on education will be further supported by a dynamic 4-H program with all agents contributing. In 2018 Extension will continue to provide curriculum trainings to area schools enabling them with tools for their classrooms including elements in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), along with embryology and plants.  4-H will be adding programming for local housing developments in both Craven Terrace and Trent Court.  These programs include after-school elements in addition to summer camps for at-risk youth as well as actively supporting the County’s Juvenile Crime Prevention Council.  The 4-H Program will focus on training volunteers in programming and in strategies for working with youth.  4-H will partner with other agencies and organizations to provide quality programming for youth at the county, district, and state levels. 

The "Improving Health and Nutrition" program delivered by our Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) agent can be seen as complimentary to the county's education priority, and highly relevant to the health concerns noted above. The FCS agent is currently serving on the county's community health needs assessment team, and will be delivering nutrition and health programming to a diversified audience, including limited resource audiences also served by our 4-H agent. Lastly, agricultural education includes recertification of licenses and professional accreditation with the goal of producing quality crops while protecting, sustaining or enhancing the environment; and ensuring the rights of farm laborers and the public.

Craven County's environmental mission statement, "To improve, conserve, protect, and use the environment in ways that ensure long term social, environmental, and economic benefits" is supported by Extension's identified priority "Environmental Stewardship/Natural Resources Management". The county's strategic plan identifies water quality as a critical issue, with nutrient loading (agricultural and residential) and wastewater management receiving special emphasis. All Craven County agents work closely with county residents on nutrient management, waste management and stormwater runoff issues. In recent years, as the county has come under a state mandate to reduce its usage of the Black Creek Aquifer, water conservation has emerged as a critical priority for county government. Extension agents have incorporated water conservation into all subject matter/programming areas. Extension also provides leadership for the County's Clean Sweep Program. Invasive plants and pests pose an increasingly serious threat to forests, landscapes and waterways. Extension prioritizes awareness and educational programming related to this threat.

"Improving the Agricultural and Food Supply System of NC" supports the county's economic development priority. Extension will assist agricultural producers through the introduction of new technology, adoption of Integrated Pest Management practices, fine tuning proven production practices, elimination of practices or products with marginal return of investment, examination of alternative crops and improved marketing skills. Additionally, we will encourage communication between urban and rural areas concerning the potential economic and environmental impacts of land use.

Over the past four years, Extension agents have provided technical assistance in the expansion of small fruit acreage and the development of a freshwater prawn operation in the county. Additional potential opportunities include industrial hemp. Peanut production continues to slightly increase each year; in addition, sweet potato and onion production is now taking place in the County. A diversified farm economy will provide new opportunities for producers, create more stability through economic downturns, and hopefully provide more incentive for retaining valuable agricultural land. Extension has a representative on the New Bern Farmers Market board, and is actively involved in the Market's current long range planning efforts. Grant opportunities being pursued by our agricultural agent include funding for an agricultural-use drone, and funding for a pesticide container recycling
facility.

In the event of a hurricane or other natural disaster, Extension in cooperation with County government provides leadership for the development and maintenance of a County Animal Response Team, and a shelter operation that can be activated at the direction of county EMS. This is of particular importance to livestock producers and hobbyists in the County.

Through Extension led efforts, Craven County commissioners approved an ordinance in 2009 that established Voluntary Ag Districts (VAD) and Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural Districts to increase awareness of existing agricultural production as well as protect agricultural lands and surrounding natural resources. Cooperative efforts of the Craven County Agricultural Advisory Board (established by this ordinance), NC Cooperative Extension, NCDA&CS Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, Mount Olive Community College and NC Eastern Development Region has resulted in a written long-range agricultural development and preservation plan. To date, there are approximately 5,000 acres enrolled in this program and the Craven County Agricultural Advisory Board meets regularly to review economic impact, farmland preservation within Craven County and progress of projects outlined within this plan.

IV. Diversity Plan

Programs will be offered to all interested parties and no one will be excluded due to race, creed, national origin, color, age, religion, sex, sexual orientation or disability. All reasonable efforts will be made to reach under served audiences in all program areas. Efforts will continue to establish and maintain 4-H clubs and other 4-H activities throughout the county. 4-H will be adding programming for local housing developments in both Craven Terrace and Trent Court, including after school program and summer camp programs. 4-H has developed a partnership with the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC). In general, mass media, local newspapers and newsletters, and other means will be used to make programs and resources widely known to residents.

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 Craven County with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life. An Extension program delivery system is a planned and organized eclectic mix of educational methods used during an educational program. Extension educational methods are the specific ways by which research-based information is shared with targeted learners. Extension educators in 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. In addition to the County Extension Center, Extension educational programs are delivered online (webcast, social media, main webpage, e-mail, etc.), 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 Craven 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 Craven 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 impacts as our primary evaluation methods. Another value held in Extension is actively listening to and dialoguing with targeted learners. Therefore, this plan also includes qualitative evaluation methods such as testimonials from program participants, and interviews and focus groups with participants.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

County Advisory Council
Jackie Moniak
David Pearce
Latisha Bell
Chris Kent
Lea Strand
Harry Strand
Tawanna Smith
Jack Bircher
FCS Advisory Council
Carol Glatthaar
Judy Barber
Judy Blythe
Martha Hardison
Janis Cannon
4-H Advisory Board
Cheryl Reed
Pam Hawkins
Marie Mynster
Della Waley
Dawn Peluso
Lovay Wallace-Singleton
Latisha Bell
Amber Lewis
Lusia Olivarez
Paul Branaman
Field Crop Specialized Committee
Dred Mitchell
Joe French
Donald Heath
Dietrich Kilpatrick
Keith Fulcher
Jackie Anderson
Timmy Cox
Dale Dawson
Dale Eborn
David Heath
Chad Jones
Frank Kilpatrick
Ward McCoy
David Parker
Randy Register
Wyatt Whitford
Roy Woods
Jason Jones
Horticulture Specialized Committee
Bob Barnes
Greg McCoy
Sheila Weibert
Elena Hebert

VII. Staff Membership

Thomas Glasgow
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (252) 633-1477
Email: tom_glasgow@ncsu.edu

Ashley Brooks
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 633-1477
Email: albrook4@ncsu.edu

Mike Carroll
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (252) 633-1477
Email: mike_carroll@ncsu.edu

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and 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.

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

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.

Jami Hooper
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 633-1477
Email: jami_hooper@ncsu.edu

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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

Hannah Todd
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 633-1477
Email: hcfield@ncsu.edu

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.

VIII. Contact Information

Craven County Center
300 Industrial Dr
New Bern, NC 28562

Phone: (252) 633-1477
Fax: (252) 633-2120
URL: http://craven.ces.ncsu.edu