2020 Craven County Plan of Work

Approved: January 16, 2020

I. County Background

The US Census July 2019 population estimate for Craven County was 102,912 as compared with 91,436 in 2000 and 81,812 in 1990. The largest population groups are identified as White (71.7%), Black (21.5%) and Hispanic or Latino (7.4%). Median household income is $50,870 and the poverty rate is 14.9%. Active military & their 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, we have seen a significant downturn in farmer income in recent years. According to NC Agricultural Statistics, Craven had cash receipts of $70,405,831 in 2012 and $55,667,097 in 2017. Craven County has seen a steady decline in farm acreage, reflected for example in the total acreage 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 trend is certain to continue with increasing real estate sales due to a growing population; an aging farmer population; increased development of non-ag industries; further development of solar farms; and other factors. Commodity prices and hurricanes have greatly impacted the agricultural economy over the past two years in particular. 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.

According to the County's 2017 Community Health Needs Assessment, the top health priorities for 2014-2017 were 1) Substance abuse, 2) Obesity, and 3) Behavioral/Mental health.

Greater educational opportunities, for example as provided by STEM, are also needed to prepare young people for an increasingly competitive jobs market.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

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

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

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

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

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

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

Our food safety and nutrition programs create a safer and more sustainable food supply and improve the health and nutrition of individuals, families, and our communities.

III. Relationship to County Government Objectives

The priorities of the Craven County Extension staff align closely with the education, environment, and economic development priorities of Craven County government.

Our focus on education will be further supported by a dynamic 4-H program with all agents contributing. In 2020 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, poultry science and horticulture. 4-H will be continuing programming for public housing audiences, providing opportunities for at-risk youth as well as actively supporting the County’s Juvenile Crime Prevention Council. We have successfully expanded our poultry program to include the school system and will continue focusing on developing life-skills in youth. 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 Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) program will continue to focus on the core programming areas of nutrition, health and food safety. Programs aligning with this "core" will be delivered to a diverse audience base, with an emphasis on delivering programs to limited-resource audiences. The FCS Agent, through continued collaboration with county government partners, will extend programming to fit the unique needs of Craven County and to align with Craven County's educational priorities. FCS programming will continue to include only the most up-to-date, research-based educational knowledge in the areas of nutrition, health, and food safety to provide the most benefit to the citizens of Craven County.

Educational efforts of the Craven County staff actively support Craven County's environmental mission statement, "To safeguard life, promote human health, and protect the environment through the practice of modern environmental health science, the use of technology, rules, public education, and above all, dedication to the public trust", under the program areas Plant Protection Systems, Animal Production Systems, Consumer Horticulture and Natural Resource and Environmental Systems. The county's strategic plan identifies water quality as a critical issue, with nutrient loading (agricultural and residential) and wastewater management receiving special emphasis. Water conservation is priority for county government, and is also a major focus of horticulture and turf programs. Extension provides leadership and manages the budget for the County's Clean Sweep Program.

"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 are 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. Our agricultural agent continues to provide leadership in exploring the use of drone technology in local agricultural production. A four-county commercial horticulture agent is actively involved in assisting new and existing producers of fruits and vegetables.

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. Our livestock agent is providing leadership in the exploration of grant funding for a new shelter on County property that can also be used for a variety of Extension and NCDA&CS activities.

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 underserved 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 and horticulture will be adding programming for local housing developments in both Craven Terrace and Trent Court, including after school programs, continued development of a community raised-bed garden area, and summer camp programs. 4-H has developed a partnership with the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC). In general, mass media, social 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
David Pearce
Chris Kent
Tawanna Smith
Latisha Bell
Johnnie Ray Kinsey
Suzanne Suva
Jim Millard
FCS Advisory Council
Nancy Chase
Diana Vettercraft
Judy Blythe
Martha Hardison

4-H Advisory Board
Dawn Peluso
Lovay Wallace-Singleton
Latisha Bell
Jessica Nelson
Kristen McCoy
Jennifer Knight
Spencer Baldwin
Field Crop Specialized Committee
Dred Mitchell
Joe French
Donald Heath
Dietrich Kilpatrick
Adam Fulcher
Jackie Anderson
Timmy Cox
Dale Dawson
Dale Eborn
David Heath
Chad Jones
Frank Kilpatrick
Ward McCoy
David Parker
Jay Anderson
Wyatt Whitford
Roy Woods
Jason Jones
Horticulture Specialized Committee
Hadley Cheris
Olivia Peterson
Carlton Tyndall
Livestock Specialized Committee
Pandora Strickland
Jill Taylor
Donald Heath
Glen Ipock

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
Brief Job Description: Educational efforts for production and plant-soil-environment relationship for the field crops tobacco, corn, soybean, cotton, peanut, wheat, sorghum and hemp. Pesticide Coordinator for Craven County.

Katie Carter
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 876-5606
Email: kmcarte4@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Educate and meet community needs of livestock, forages, and waste management.

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

Marti Day
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: marti_day@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for educational programs for dairy farmers, youth with an interest in dairy projects and the general public with an interest in dairy foods and the dairy industry.

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

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, 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.

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

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.

Lisa Rayburn
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: lisa_rayburn@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving Onslow, Jones, Lenoir and Craven counties

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.

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

Stephanie Stevenson
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 222-6374
Email: stephanie_stevenson@ncsu.edu

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 - Grain
Phone: (252) 793-4428
Email: scott_tilley@ncsu.edu

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 414-3873
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

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