2019 Edgecombe County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 19, 2020

I. Executive Summary

The Cooperative Extension program in Edgecombe County connects the resources and knowledge of our state's land-grant universities to people in our county through informal educational opportunities. Our efforts are guided by the needs and issues identified in the county and our staff develop programs to address those critical needs with the resources available.

Our Extension Center conducted 203 meetings, demonstrations, workshops and field days providing 918 contact hours reaching 3,877 participants. Additional contacts of our staff reached another 24,453 people in personal contacts with another 64,525 contacts through phone calls, e-mail or other media outlets. These impacts were made possible by 887 volunteers who devoted time valued at $59,024 to broaden the outreach of programming.

4-H provides a solid foundation for educational excellence, building character, and developing leadership for 1,490 youth in Edgecombe County, most notable in this are the efforts to address STEM initiatives. The Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) reaches out to families and youth improving their diet, nutrition, physical activity and resource management in planning meals for 55 adults and 822 youth. The Community & Rural Development program continues to enhance the leadership capacity of two local organizations implementing their strategic plan, developing opportunities for older youth to develop their leadership skills and continues to work with the County’s tourism efforts.

Twenty-two Master Gardeners are active in conducting educational programs providing programming for youth and adults. Agriculture continues to be a foundation of the economy in the county, but farmers have struggled in recent years due to lower commodity prices and a shrinking market for tobacco and peanuts. On top of that, Edgecombe County farmers suffered from reduced crop yields in tobacco, corn and cotton.

Programs and educational efforts of the Edgecombe Extension Center help to leverage the use of $25,459 from grants and donations for the benefit of the county. Cooperative Extension has continued to work with the Edgecombe Soil & Water Conservation District and the Edgecombe Agricultural Advisory Board to implement the county's Agricultural Development Plan.

The impacts documented in this report reflect the dedication of our staff and tireless efforts of volunteers in addition to the numerous collaborating groups and organizations working to improve the lives of Edgecombe County citizens.

II. County Background

Edgecombe County is located in the northern Coastal Plains. It has a land area of 327,040 acres or 511 square miles. Ninety percent of the land is in woodlands and fields, each accounting for about 50% of the undeveloped property. Our county is considered a low wealth, Tier I county and statistics for health, income, education, work force, jobs and poverty paint a bleak picture, however, our citizens have an immense pride, friendliness and resourcefulness. The county did have a positive population growth in the latest census, but we continue to feel the effects of the decline of textiles and manufacturing which had been the foundation for employment and taxes. Opportunities are on the horizon with expansions of current local industries and construction of two major industries beginning in the county should stimulate more opportunities.

In spite of many negatives, residents continue to find ways to persevere and make Edgecombe County a great place to work and live. The county has nearly complete coverage for public water service, two public sewer systems, and is directing an effort to coordinate tourism opportunities in the county. Hurricane Matthew dealt a setback to the county and homeowners and businesses are still recovering from the lingering effects.

Our Extension Center is finally fully staffed. In order for our Extension Center to plan and deliver meaningful, pertinent and life changing programs we are in the process of an organizational needs assessment and priorities and concerns will be sorted into two different groups; those that our Center could address that was within our "Mission" and those we could not based on the resources available to us. We utilize our Extension Advisory Council to further focus our efforts and assist with outreach. They provide an objective direction based on their insight of our Center's staff and strengths while adding their knowledge of the different segments of the community.

The following broadly represent the findings: 1) Improving Health and Nutrition 2) Increasing Leadership, Personal Development and Citizenship Skills 3) Increasing Economic Opportunity and Business Development 4) Increasing Educational Achievement and Excellence 5) Improving the Agricultural and Food Supply System 6) Environmental Stewardship and Natural Resource management.

Many of the identified issues for Cooperative Extension have also been cited as significant by Edgecombe County Government. Extension is providing leadership to protect natural resources and rural heritage in working with the Agricultural Advisory Board on the Voluntary/Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural District. County Commissioners adopted a customized Agricultural Development Plan which serves as a plan of work for the Agricultural Advisory Board along with recommendations which are aimed at enhancing agricultural enterprises and preserving working lands. Agriculture has remained a steady foundation of economic enterprise in the county providing over 19% of total income while providing 15.4% of county employment. However, 2019 will again present a very challenging year for many growers having come through a tough tobacco crop in 2018. Continued low commodity prices and cuts to tobacco contracts will continue to put downward pressure on agricultural income. Hemp has generated lots of interest among growers who are desperate to find replacement income, but this crop is in the infancy stage with lots of risks including condemnation of the crop or rejection by the purchaser.

Our Extension Center will continue to help protect our water resources by certifying farmers in proper pesticide usage, land application of animal and municipal waste and nutrient management particularly as new poultry operations provide alternative sources of revenue for county farmers. Extension will work closely with local governments to increase access for local farmers to sell farm products and increasing horticultural activities.

Cooperative Extension offers other programs that address the well-being of citizens, benefiting our county’s quality of life and ultimately our ability to recruit industry. Education focusing on nutrition and health for youth and adults will address the problem of overweight and obesity, leading to a reduction in chronic disease and health care costs. A grant from CDC placed a Program Associate in the county to coordinate and deliver a highly successful Health Matters program and a new grant for 2019 will allow important parts of this work to continue and integrate resources at NC State University into Edgecombe County physical activity efforts. Newly developing programs will also enhance food security and safety. The Edgecombe 4-H and youth development program will continue to address important concerns, such as character issues, self-esteem, decision making and leadership development. We work very closely with county government on many other things such as disaster preparation, developing leadership capacity and reinvigorating rural development.

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.

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

Value* Outcome Description
5Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
2Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
227Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
21Number of pesticide credit hours provided
107Number 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
5Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
0Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
208Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
73Number 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
84Number of animal producers who increased knowledge of farm business management, business planning, financial management, marketing, or estate planning.
13Number of animal producers who learned how to develop a management plan (i.e. grazing plan, feeding plan, drought plan, business plan, disaster plan, etc.)
9Number of producers who increased knowledge of nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplements, breeding, and reproduction
9Number of producers who increased knowledge of the strategies to promote animal health and welfare and reduce the potential for infectious diseases through proper use of vaccines, biosecurity, detection and identification of common diseases, appropriate use of animal medications, and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance transmission
17Number of producers who increased knowledge of animal waste management practices
19Number of animal waste management credits earned through Extension programs
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to quality assurance (vaccinations, castration, culling techniques, etc.)
2Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition (mineral, feed rations)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
60Number of participants who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems
13Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
29Number 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)
95Number of participants acquiring knowledge and skills to convene and lead inclusive groups
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
250Dollar value of in-kind resources contributed by organizations or community
4Number of (eg., community and economic development, land use, disaster, etc.) new, revised or adopted plans that have begun to be implemented in communities, organizations, local governments, or businesses
* 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
52Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
1490Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
749Total number of female participants in STEM program
57Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
100Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
164Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
66Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
85Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
51Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
5Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
13Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
100Number of youth using effective life skills
28Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
38Number of youth increasing their physical activity
6Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
2Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
5Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
167Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
64Number 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.

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

Value* Outcome Description
207Number 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
62Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
38Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden
6Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting to raise backyard livestock.
489Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease, wildlife) and soil management
213Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
70Number of participants growing food for home consumption
15Number 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
82Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
125Number of school personnel who increase their knowledge of School HACCP principles
5Number of participants who increase their knowledge of Good Farmers Market Practices
167Number of food handlers who increase their knowledge and skills in safe food handling practices
123Number 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
2Number of new and existing access points for consumers that expand or improve their offering of local fruits and vegetables. Access points include farmers markets, retail stores, school food programs, community gardens, institutions other than schools (e.g. hospitals, universities, etc.), and other systems/access points not noted (e.g. restaurants, etc.).
31Number of participants developing food safety plans
87Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
50Number of participants increasing their physical activity
36Number 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* 24,453
Non face-to-face** 64,525
Total by Extension staff in 2019 88,978
* 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 $500.00
Gifts/Donations $13,924.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $4,055.00
United Way/Foundations $5,000.00
User Fees $1,980.00
Total $25,459.00

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 499 1425 506 $ 36,238.00
Advisory Leadership System 18 8 90 $ 203.00
EFNEP 256 688 63 $ 17,496.00
Extension Community Association 98 134 1010 $ 3,408.00
Other: Agriculture 7 48 30 $ 1,221.00
Other: Community, Family & Individual Development 6 2 100 $ 51.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 3 16 50 $ 407.00
Total: 887 2321 1849 $ 59,023.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Council
Alton Skinner
Jackie Heath
Barbara Campbell Davis
Jack Rich
Scott Kiser
Don Anderson
Dorothy Davis
Don Caudle
Gwen Pitt
Troy Lewis
Deborah Coley
Marie El Faysal
Rell Killebrew
Christine Exum Smith
Joy Chaffin
Cody Waters
Agricultural Advisory Board
Tom Porter- Chairman
Don Anderson
Renee Long
Fred Hampton
Paul Drake
Ben Shelton
John R Grimes
Alton Skinner
Shane Varnell
Vernon Rhodes, III
Forestry Specialized Committee
Bill Purvis
Fred Hampton
Mike Wittig
Jack Rich
Seth Bauguess
Livestock Specialized Committee
Jeff Lancaster
Paul Drake
Rick Fulford
Dr. Cole Younger, DVM
Alton Skinner
Scott Kiser
Jerry Flanagan
Berry Hines
Ken Powell
Ashley Hamlet
George Alma Edwards
4-H & Youth Committee
Jeffrey Bradley
Steven Bradley
Johnica Ellis Kiser
Scott Kiser
Mallory Lancaster
Melissa Lancaster
Ayra Sundbom
Hailee Whitehurst
Brittany Anderson
Christine Smith
Shanell Knight
Jolyna Sundbom
Payden Kiser
McRae Kiser
4-H Livestock Show Committee
Amanda Evans
Scott Kiser
Angel Quincy
Drake Quincy
Seth Paramore
Donald Calhoun
Courtney Pitt
Edgecombe Master Gardener Volunteers Committee
Jim Taylor
Kim Page
Lynn Brady
Ruby Anderson
Field Crops Committee
Art Whitehurst
Paul Drake
Norris Harrell
Bert Pitt
Gary Hyman
Henry Phillips
Roger Grimes
Jeff Lancaster
Hunter Quincy
Glenn O'Neal

VIII. Staff Membership

Tanya Heath
Title: Interim County Extension Director & Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 641-7821
Email: tanya_heath@ncsu.edu

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

Susan Chase
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Northeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (919) 827-2285
Email: susan_chase@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the Northeast District

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.

Natema Drummond
Title: EFNEP Nutrition Program Assistant, Adult and Youth
Phone: (252) 641-7821
Email: nsdrummo@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Partner with businesses that align with EFNEP principles, with the aim to provide nutrition education services to low-income families. Collaborate with local schools and coordinate with teachers in order to introduce and re-enforce healthy eating habits, the importance of hand washing, Fighting BAC! and increased physical activity daily through the "Eat Smart, Move More" initiative. Pair with organizations to teach adults how to manage financial resources, that they may improve the flow of healthier foods into the home. Provide classes to parents that include hands-on cooking, food demonstrations and nutritious tasting with the expressed goal of developing light food preparation skills and empowering more home cooks. Make available access to these free class series so that low-income, Edgecombe County residents will benefit from decreased health disparities, increase life expectancies and improved quality of life.

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits and 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.

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.

Melissa Helms
Title: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 641-7821
Email: mchelms2@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.

Email: kdhyman2@ncsu.edu

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

Shoneca Kent
Title: Extension Agent, Community and Rural Development
Phone: (252) 641-7821
Email: sekent@ncat.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.

Kelsey Lichtenwalner
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 641-7827
Email: kelsey_lichtenwalner@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for helping farmers start, manage, grow, and improve their herd and/or farm, as well as educating the community about Agriculture.

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.

Gloria Morning
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 641-7821
Email: gloria_morning@ncsu.edu

Regina Moseley
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: regina_moseley@ncsu.edu

Yvonne Murphy
Title: Health Matters Associate
Phone: (252) 641-7821
Email: yvonne_murphy@ncsu.edu

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!

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

Mitch Smith
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (252) 358-7822
Email: mitch_smith@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Mitch Smith provides leadership for educational programming in field crops,.

Debbie Stroud
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9149
Email: dlstroud@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Specialized Agents in Consumer and Retail Food Safety help to ensure that Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents have access to timely, evidence-based food safety information. This is accomplished by (1) working with FCS Agents in their counties, (2) developing food safety materials and (3) planning and implementing a NC Safe Plates Food Safety Info Center.

Spencer Thomas
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture, Beekeeping and Forestry
Phone: (252) 641-7815
Email: spencer_thomas@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include Consumer and Commercial Horticulture, Beekeeping, Forestry, and the Extension Master Gardener Program.

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.

IX. Contact Information

Edgecombe County Center
201 Saint Andrew St
Tarboro, NC 27886

Phone: (252) 641-7827
Fax: (252) 641-7831
URL: http://edgecombe.ces.ncsu.edu