2017 Dare County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 22, 2018

I. Executive Summary

In 2017, NC State Extension staff worked diligently to address Dare County’s high priority concerns as outlined in recent county needs assessment surveys. 

The Dare County urban horticulture program focuses on teaching residents to preserve our fragile coastal landscapes and habitats that are so essential to the tourist-based economy. The program has resulted in the adoption of many environmentally sound management practices. Through educational programs such as the Coastal Gardening Festival, environmental field days, community fairs, Greenline consultations, local television programs, educational lectures and one-on-one consultations, thousands of Dare County residents have increased knowledge and have adopted best management practices in areas including plant selection, erosion control, home landscape care, pest management, and water quality preservation. Strategic partnerships with local municipalities and county agencies were strengthened, and new partnerships with two local nonprofits were forged in order to reach a wider, more diverse audience.

The coastal environment presents challenges to local citizens, many of which are unfamiliar with the beach area. The Master Gardener Volunteers assist NC Cooperative Extension in providing horticultural outreach to help answer questions from community citizens. Dare County Master Gardeners assist county residents via phone calls, walk-in visits, public speaking engagements, festivals, farmers market information booths, community garden leadership, exhibits, and providing the Outer Banks Arboretum and Teaching Garden. Master Gardeners play a vital role in educating residents about sound ways to protect and preserve the environment. In 2017, the Master Gardener's outreach program "Greenline" partnered with the Master Gardener's Speakers Bureau program to reach more citizens and to better utilize their resources. Together they did outdoor, hands-on demonstration workshops in the Arboretum and Teaching Garden, they took part in public events at the Elizabethan Gardens, created and taught two indoor gardening programs for senior citizens, and created four new programs for their public speaking program. The Horticulture Agent and these two Master Gardener committees joined forces, forming internal and external partnerships, in a strategic effort to reach a wider audience without overtaxing any particular volunteer. Clients have shown a marked appreciation for having easier access points to reliable, researched based home horticulture resources. Face-to-face contacts with citizens have increased. In 2017, the Dare County Master Gardeners numbered 80 volunteers who's made over 10,000 face-to-face contacts and contributed over 6,399 hours of service at a value of over $154,472.

In 2017, Dare County experienced the employment of an FCS Agent for the first time in many years. Split between neighboring Tyrrell County and Dare County, the FCS Agent offered at least one quality public education program each month, sometime more in Dare County. She partnered with both of the Dare County senior centers and the town of Manteo to reach a county-wide audience. Programs focused on healthy eating, chronic disease risk reduction, food safety, and teaching an overall enjoyment of food preparation. The Dare FCS Agent worked closely with the Dare County Diabetes Support Group to provide programs that included a grocery store tour, incorporating local foods in the diet, health benefits of strawberries and Med Instead of Meds. These programs were specifically aimed at participants with diabetes, but were advertised to the entire community through newspaper articles, the monthly Dare Extension online newsletter, social media and email broadcasts to all Dare County employees. Additionally, the FCS Agent participated in multi-county efforts representing both Tyrrell and Dare Counties. A Cooking for 1 or 2 workshop was presented to 47 participants at the area-wide Aging with Gusto Conference in Currituck County. Senior citizens from Tyrrell, Dare, Currituck, Perquimans, Chowan, Hertford, Camden and Gates counties participated in this workshop. Dare County citizens are thrilled to have an active FCS program; in 2-017 FCS workshops were often full, with a waiting list.

Dare County families face challenges in maintaining good health and personal finances. The Extension and Community Association (ECA) works to strengthen families through leadership development and volunteerism. In 2017, Dare County ECA participated in outreach programs serving the community and abroad, in keeping with their mission. They co-hosted the Aging with Gusto state gathering and made an effort to recruit new members while continuing their annual contributions to organizations such as the Samaritan’s Purse International Relief Organization’s Operation Christmas Child project. The group made 25 boxes with gifts and necessities that were shipped overseas during the holidays. At the local level, the Program Assistant was made aware of a need at the Department of Social Services. Often, when children or taken into foster care or given resources from the department, they use plastic bags or trash bags to haul the children's items. Several members of the community in conjunction with a local church realized this practice was detrimental to the children. ECA responded by creating 20 girl and 20 boy bags, then put basic necessity items into the bags for the kids. The bags were given to at-risk kids to take home in conjunction with the school's free food program. ECA recruited several new members at their annual Christmas Party, which will help this group remain strong. In 2017, the Dare County ECA had 11 members that contributed 536 volunteer hours and made 182 face-to-face contacts, at a value of $12,939.

In 2017, the 4-H program in Dare County Cooperative Extension had a 4-H Agent for the first 4 1/2 months of the year. However, the program continued to grow and by the end of 2017, there were three chartered 4-H clubs. The 4-H Agent secured two clubs by working with a local homeschool cooperative. The Agent also worked with the CED to train two new leaders from a local nonprofit that serves hispanics and immigrant populations, Mano al Hermano. With the help of the CED/Horticulture Agent, these two new 4-H leaders started a 4-H horticulture club. This club combined the efforts of all core NC Cooperative Extension programs, working in youth development, family and consumer science, and horticulture. There are now six 4-H volunteer club leaders and 3 active 4-H clubs in Dare County.

II. County Background

The major needs and issues of Dare County residents focus on protecting the environmental qualities of the area and assisting residents in gaining knowledge and skills to help meet the challenges they face in today’s society. County residents must cope with one of the highest cost of living levels in the state and a high level of unemployment. The major impacts and challenges experienced result from tourism, the number one industry for the county. Dare County has a permanent population of approximately 33,920 (69% urban and 31% rural; 94.20% white non-Hispanic and 5.8% total minority races). However, the county’s tourism industry results in a large seasonal population with an average daily population from June through August estimated to be approximately 225,000 to 300,000. An average of seven million people visit Dare County during the course of one year. The seasonal urbanization of the county has created a need for greater expenditures on public safety and services. The tourism driven economy dramatically affects employment, housing, environmental quality, public health and safety, education and the use of public facilities/services. The challenge exists to facilitate the needs of the seasonal populations while maintaining the quality of life for the county’s permanent residents. 

Protection of the county’s abundant natural resources is a priority issue in Dare County. Storm water runoff threatens water quality, aquatic life and the comfort of residents as it blocks access to structures and streets. Variability in soil types and the fluctuating water table can create septic health issues. Development and construction has led to some of the drainage issues as well as loss of habitat for native plants and wildlife. Storm damage continues to significantly impact access to Hatteras Island and has affected residents’ homes and landscapes taking an economic toll on the community.

Based upon feedback, informal evaluations and advisory input, some of the local issues of Dare County citizenry include: adequate planning to prevent degradation of the county, affordable housing and challenges of the high cost of living, diversifying the local economy, concern about youth engaging in risky/criminal behaviors (bullying, sexual assault), the need for sufficient safe activities for youth, preparing youth for a global environment, improved water quality, protection of natural resources, substance abuse (drug and alcohol abuse), physical health issues (obesity, heart disease, pneumonia, influenza (in older adults specifically), diabetes, cancer, access to health care (due to lack of or inadequate insurance coverage and transportation), general concerns about an aging population, child care availability and affordability, and diversity issues (Spanish speaking population and temporary summer employees). 

Dare County NC State Extension's educational programs will increase awareness of these issues and help residents make better informed decisions, inform decision makers about NC State Extension’s available educational resources and engage the university in addressing and/or helping resolve issues and concerns in Dare County. The involvement of our Advisory Leadership System will provide community outreach and input, enhance collaboration of community resources, increase awareness of NC State Extension’s programs and educational resources, and help maintain and gain support and recognition for Dare County’s NC State Extension programs.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

Value* Outcome Description
96Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
5Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
6Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
58Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
6Number of hours youth volunteer training conducted
14Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
90Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
150Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
6Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
18Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
1Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
3Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
12Number of residents that increase their knowledge in disaster preparedness planning, mitigation and recovery
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
200Dollar value of in-kind resources (funding, in-kind service or volunteers) contributed to Projects or Programs in which Extension was critically involved by an organization or community to support community or economic development work
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

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

Value* Outcome Description
418Number of participants improving knowledge, attitude, skills and aspirations regarding gardening and landscape practices including plant selection and placement, turfgrass management, soil management, growing food, water conservation and water quality preservation, storm water and erosion management, green waste management, pest and wildlife management
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
418Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
16720Total cost savings from the use of extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
110Number of participants who use extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
1100Cost savings from using extension-recommended pest management practices in homes, public facilities, businesses or in community pest management programs
418Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
8360Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
67Number of participants growing food for home consumption
6700Value of produce grown for home consumption
28Number of participants adopting composting
15433Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
12Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
1200Costs savings from implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualtiy
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Impact Description
61Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
4Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
28Number 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* 9,117
Non face-to-face** 2,208
Total by Extension staff in 2017 11,325
* 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 $0.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $1,600.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $1,600.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.69
4-H: 7 200 50 $ 4,938.00
Advisory Leadership System: 13 78 26 $ 1,926.00
Extension Community Association: 50 536 182 $ 13,234.00
Extension Master Gardener: 80 6,399 10,667 $ 157,991.00
Other: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Total: 150 7213 10925 $ 178,089.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Dare County Master Gardener Advisory Board
Christine Stadther 
Larry Zittrain 
Lois Chatham 
Linda Foster 
Dave Schindel
Louise Dow
Ruth Goodhart
Amy Phillips
Sara Haigh
Keith Lilly
Karen Lebing


Dare County NC State Extension Advisory Leadership Council
Dave Schindel
Robert McClendon 
Phyllis Neal 
Stanley Oliver 
Virginia Tillett
Janice Tillett 
Bonnie Bennett
Tim White 
TBA   – Commissioner Appointee
4-H Youth Council
New 4-H Agent is forming an Advisory Committee. Currently serving are:
Tim White
Commissioner Appointee (current commissioner appointee died in office)

VIII. Staff Membership

Shannon Brooks
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (252) 473-4290
Email: shannon_brooks@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.

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits & Vegetables
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: erin_eure@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in northeastern NC.

Dee Furlough
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 796-1581
Email: dee_furlough@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Nutrition, Food Safety, Local Foods

Paige Fuselier
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 473-4290
Email: pfuseli@ncsu.edu

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

Donna Hanusik
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 473-4290
Email: donna_hanusik@ncsu.edu

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety (FSMA Programs)
Phone: (919) 515-5396
Email: marissa_herchler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marissa is an Area Specialized Agent for animal food safety, with emphasis on the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules, as they apply to feed mills in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any FSMA related questions, or PCQI training inquiries.

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

Amy Jordan
Title: Agricultural Technician Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 473-4290
Email: aljorda4@ncsu.edu

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

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

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

IX. Contact Information

Dare County Center
517 Budleigh St
Manteo, NC 27954

Phone: (252) 473-4290
Fax: (252) 473-3106
URL: http://dare.ces.ncsu.edu