2020 Davidson County Plan of Work

Approved: January 29, 2020

I. County Background

Davidson County is ranked 11th in state population. It is classified as an urban county based on population, but functions very much as a rural county. The northern part of the county reflects suburban neighborhoods, or bedroom communities, for Winston-Salem and High Point. South of I-85 remains largely agricultural and rural by contrast. At the end of the 20th century the county was characterized by textiles, tobacco and furniture; but with the loss of jobs in these industries, the county has done very well in terms of to diversifying its economic base. This has resulted in 47% of the county's population commuting out of the county for work currently; however the recent efforts by economic development groups have brought in many new jobs. Due to excellent infrastructure of roads and transportation systems, as well as, proximity to major cities, Davidson County was listed by Metropolitan as the most desirable place in the nation for industry location for a community of its size in 2008. The county is continually working on its image and branding to establish its identity and uniqueness. The county has purchased the land and began to develop a 100 acre industrial park located directly along I-85 between Lexington and the Yadkin River.

To identify county issues for Cooperative Extension to address, the staff conducts environmental scans every few years to reassess existing needs and identify new and emerging needs. The Cooperative Extension staff has targeted existing audiences and incorporated surveys that should point out strong opportunities to increase participation of those not currently involved with programming that could greatly benefit their lives and livelihood. The County's Advisory Leadership System members are actively involved by helping explain demographics and trends. These surveys have included a diverse population, from displaced company workers and their families to cattle and grain growers that are experiencing weak prices on agriculture sales without a lot of reduction in input cost. The business that supports the agriculture industry and general population are also considered when evaluating community needs. The results allow the Davidson County Cooperative Extension staff to prioritize needs, find the most effective program delivery strategies and serve a vast majority with limited personnel.

In general, the following needs and issues have been identified as areas where Cooperative Extension has programming strengths, resources and support and were prioritized based on need. The emphasis on traditional agriculture, including agronomic crops, livestock, poultry and forestry must continue as it is an important part in the county's economic strength. This would include retention of farms and farmland, farm safety, energy efficiency, and implementing practices that improve both profitability and quality of life. In addressing this need we must teach the importance and means to protect the environmental and natural resources, and promote sound practices for proper waste disposal, pesticide use, water management and management practices that improve air and water quality.

A rapidly expanding need is education and support for entrepreneurship opportunities revolving around small acreage agriculture. This is being driven by two major forces; one being food safety and the buy local foods initiative, and the other being the need to find new income opportunities to support a quality life. To facilitate both goals, we must strive to assist growers engaged in agricultural enterprises with production information, market development, and agricultural alternative enterprise evaluations. Some of these growers are current or former traditional agriculture producers, such as tobacco growers looking for alternatives, and others are budding entrepreneurs wanting to utilize the resources they have to improve profitability. As part of supporting this need, Cooperative Extension will continue to support existing farmers markets, the establishment of new markets or outlets, and guidance for Community Supported Agriculture programs.

Another aspect of food is food safety. This includes Safe Plate training and certification. This need is expressed and supported by local food establishments including restaurants and grocery stores. Currently, Davidson County has more than 360 individuals that are certified, thus this program will continue in the future.

Youth need quality, educational opportunities that focus on healthy lifestyles, career exploration, and citizenship skills in order to address childhood obesity, the dropout rate, and to increase leadership in today's society.

The goal of the Cooperative Extension is to improve the quality of life for the citizens of Davidson County by providing research-based education through the process of empowering people to find solutions in areas related to life, land and the economy.

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 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

Davidson County government does not have a written plan of work. The County is directly involved with many concerns including economic development (and related job growth and creation), school facilities, land-use issues, improved revenues and environmental concerns. Cooperative Extension plays major roles in areas related to enhancing agricultural, forestry and food systems; conserving and improving the environment and natural resources; and developing responsible youth. Land use, agricultural transition, life skills training to supplement formal education, leadership development, citizenship development, and food safety are specific examples of areas where Cooperative Extension has traditionally played important roles and can continue to play an important role in the future.

IV. Diversity Plan

Davidson County has a 16.5% minority population with most of these residents residing in Lexington and Thomasville. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. In addition, the two universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. All reasonable efforts will be made to insure compliance with Affirmative Action policies. Specific strategies and public notification efforts (i.e. targeted audiences, media outlets, fliers, personal contacts, working with community groups) will be carried forward to insure the program is brought within the reach of all community residents. The Extension Reporting System will assist in monitoring the effort and insuring compliance within program areas.

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 Davidson 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 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 focus. As such, in addition to the County Extension Center, Extension educational programs are delivered online, in community centers, on farms, and other locations in order for our programs to be available and accessible to, and fully utilized by, the citizens of Davidson 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 Davidson County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations first and foremost, whether any changes occurred as a result of our educational programs, and subsequently the significance of those changes. As an educational organization, the changes we seek focus on key outcomes such as the knowledge and skills participants gain from our programs. More specifically, in this plan, we are using quantitative research methods such as retrospective testing, pre and post tests and/or surveys to measure change in knowledge gained, the application of that knowledge, number of new skills developed, and types of new skills developed. Extension, as a results-oriented organization, is committed to also assessing the social, economic and/or environmental impact that our programs have on the individuals who participate, their families and communities and ultimately the county as a whole (i.e. true significance of the changes stemming from our programs). We plan to measure these impacts in both the long and short-term. In this annual plan (short-term), we have outlined financial impact and cost benefit analysis as our primary evaluation methods. Another value held in Extension is actively listening to and dialogue 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

Davidson County Advisory Leadership Council
Kent Beck
Mary Ruth Sheets
Suzanne Brewer
Guy Bowers
Thom Hege
Henry Sink, Jr
Francses Lanier
Vicky Gray
Dennis Loflin
Amber Allison
Hope Weavil
Ruth Mitcham
Janie Foltz
Lynn Meeks
Jerry Hilton
Mona Cornelison

Davidson County 4-H Advisory Board
Mary Ruth Sheets
Carolyn Jones
Stephanie Phoenix
Jan Greer
Sherlyn Thompson
Lisa Loflin
Charlotte Hedrick
Clifton Kiziah
Lexington Farmers Market Board
Beth Leonard
Barbara Potter
Kivi Miller
Jack Clowney
Jim Honeycutt
Bob Husted
Frankie Mefford
Mark Petruzzi
Jennifer Rosencrans
Todd Trexler

Davidson County Family & Consumer Sciences & ECA Advisory Committee
Frances Lanier
Louise Jackson
Joe Browder
Greg Hennessee
Davidson County Agronomy Advisory Committee
Taylor Cottrell
Tim Loflin
Charlie Thomas
Tim Burkhart
Larry Essick
Scott Hedgecock
Davidson County Master Gardener Volunteers Advisory Board
Anice Griffin
Linda Snider
Alyson Bosworth
Leslie Wanchick
Kim Manring
Sharon Mickey
Bob Weatherly
Cindy Deegan
Cindy Scott
Martha Yarborough
Sue Smith
Peggy Walser
Thomasville Farmers Market Advisory Committee
Steve Cline
Mary Caroline Cridlebaug
Grace Kanoy
Joan Wright
Beef Cattle Advisory Board
Henry Sink, Jr.
Luther Fritts
Jim Davis
Eddie Smith
Steve Hedrick
Nolan Smith
Jeff Boyst
Andy Hedrick
Lynn Meeks
Jane Everhart
James Kimbrell
Max Leonard

VII. Staff Membership

Troy Coggins
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (336) 242-2081
Email: troy_coggins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Field Crops (Tobacco, Corn, Soybeans, Small Grains, Cotton), Pesticide Coordinator, County Level Administration

Jonas Asbill
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Livestock - Poultry
Phone: (336) 318-6000
Email: jonas_asbill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving the poultry industry across 20 counties in the North Central and Northeast districts

Amy Ballard
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Commercial and Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: aeballa2@ncsu.edu

Matt Barber
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 242-2086
Email: matthew_barber@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Engaging youth in learning and personal growth activities. Develop and implement programs for the youth of Davidson County.

Marie Bruff
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: marie_bruff@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Family & Consumer Science Secretary, Livestock Secretary, Field Crops Secretary, Facilities Coordinator

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.

Sara Drake
Title: Extension Agent, Livestock and Forage Crops
Phone: (336) 242-2082
Email: sara_drake@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.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with commercial greenhouses and nurseries to help them with growing related issues. These issues range from pests (insect, disease, and weeds), substrates, nutrition, and other miscellaneous topics.

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

Jami Lawhon
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: jami_lawhon@ncsu.edu

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (828) 684-3562
Email: craig_mauney@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities, training and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in Western NC. (My office is located at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center not the Henderson County Extension Center as is noted by IT on this website. Please do not contact the Henderson County Extension Center as I am not located there.)

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!

Elena Rogers
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety - Fresh Produce Western NC
Phone: (828) 352-2519
Email: elena_rogers@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational programs, training and technical support focusing on fresh produce safety to Agents and growers in Western NC.

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

Davidson County Center
301 E Center St
Lexington, NC 27292

Phone: (336) 242-2080
Fax: (336) 249-7300
URL: http://davidson.ces.ncsu.edu