2018 Forsyth County Plan of Work

Approved: February 2, 2018

I. County Background

Cooperative Extension is committed to partnering with communities to deliver education and technology that enrich the lives, land and economy of Forsyth County citizens. Forsyth County is the 4th largest county in North Carolina with a population of 371,511. Winston-Salem is the largest city in the county, 4th largest in the state, accounting for 66% of the county population. The population is diverse with 67% white, 27.4% black, 2.5% Asian, 0.8% American Indian or Alaska native, and 0.1% Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. There is 12.7% of the population who are of Hispanic or Latino origin. 94.1% of these people are US citizens (Census Data, 2017).

Although the county is one of the most urban in the state, agriculture and maintaining a sense of rural character is valued. Forsyth County includes 413 square miles of land equaling 264,320 total acres. There are 662 farms in the county consisting of 40,467 acres of farmland. Developing more profitable farms is the most effective means of preserving agricultural lands in the county. Interestingly, Winston-Salem has a long history and reputation as an active, vibrant and business-friendly city. Unemployment is 4.1% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017), but for those citizens who are gamefully employed, the top employers are hiring individuals in management, business, science and service.

Small farmer, part-time opportunities are growing and becoming increasingly important as a supplemental income for the preservation of small agricultural lands in Forsyth County. Interest and demand in locally produced products is rapidly increasing. Economic development opportunities for growers, the need for agricultural processing infrastructure and strategies for addressing food security and proper nutrition are important issues. Interest in gardening and especially community gardening has grown tremendously. Developing opportunities for youth gardening experiences will be emphasized during the coming year. Education of the large grounds maintenance industry, as well as, consumer demand is critical in establishing and maintaining proper, environmentally friendly horticulture practices.

Extension staff partners with the Advisory Leadership System consisting of community leaders and volunteers who evaluate data and resources available within and outside of Extension. They are staunch advocates for funding and programming with NC State, A&T University and Forsyth County government. The council provides invaluable service to Cooperative Extension in terms of being key stakeholders for the Forsyth Extension office.

Prioritized issues are currently identified which include nutrition/obesity (both youth and adult); agriculture/horticulture sustainability including alternatives; environmental resource utilization including conservation, recycling, urban stormwater and farmland preservation; job readiness both youth and adult; agriculture/horticulture business management including diversification and value-added opportunities; and family well being and debt reduction through financial literacy and energy conservation.

Cooperative Extension staff and a dedicated volunteer base are committed to partnering with growers, entrepreneurs, schools, businesses, foundations, county organizations and communities to address these issues and improve the lives, land and economy for Forsyth County citizens.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

North Carolina's animal 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.

Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.

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

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.

Adults and youth will apply financial management practices to increase their economic security, which include to: meet basic necessities, increase savings, reduce debt, and build long-term assets.

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 mission of Forsyth County Government is to cooperatively support and maintain a community which is safe and healthy, convenient and pleasant to live in, with educational, cultural and economic opportunities for all. Cooperative Extension provides certain research-based educational opportunities for the citizens of the county which the Board of Commissioners has determined to be necessary and appropriate to advance our joint missions. County Management and elected officials are involved with our program and support Extension's mission and core programs. Forsyth County Government embraces five basic principles: integrity, awareness, accountability, respect and excellence.

The Forsyth County Community Food System Report identifies numerous opportunities for Cooperative Extension to lead local food efforts.

Legacy 2030 is a guiding document for growth and development in the county. Cooperative Extension's mission fits well with numerous parts of the plan including (1) Environmental Quality and Sustainability, (2) Healthy, Complete and Equitable Communities and (3) Rural Character. In 2016 Forsyth County adopted the Forsyth County Farmland Protection Plan: Growing the Family Farm Economy and Conserving Rural Character. Cooperative Extension will be a key partner in addressing many of the recommendations in the plan in 2017 and beyond.

Extension is an integral part of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Emergency Operation Plan (EOP). The County Extension Director is responsible for the emergency support function of the Agricultural and Natural Resource Annex to the EOP. The purpose of this annex is to outline the local organization, operational concepts, responsibilities, and procedures to accomplish coordinated agriculture and natural resource activities during emergency situations.

IV. Diversity Plan

North America has evolved into a multi-cultural environment. Valuing diversity builds understanding and helps people learn to appreciate the various elements of diversity, including but not limited to: culture, age, gender, ethnicity, socio-economic, social and abilities.

As a land grant institution we have the power to impact all people we come in contact with as we "take the university to the people." To realize this vision, we must intentionally gather and invest in a wide variety of resources that ensure inclusion. This must be done at all levels, welcoming individuals to join our programs who come from all walks of life. These people have the ability to transform the world through their unique talents, ideas and voices. Our goal is to ensure that these voices are not just heard but embraced. Forsyth County Cooperative Extension deliberately focuses on making all reasonable efforts to comply with our diversity statements. Our Extension staff encourage and promote inclusion of all residents of Forsyth County to participate in our Extension programs.

Efforts are made to address diversity through the following:

1. Maintain Advisory Leadership System representative of the total community.
2. Continually research and remain current with population demographics and trends utilizing needs assessment processes and a "culture audit" to measure barriers in reaching new audiences, measuring knowledge, attitudes and inclusiveness.
3. Focus on aggressive recruiting by collaborating with other agencies to broaden our clientele base.
4. Hire staff with the skill set to provide opportunities to diverse audiences (i.e. bilingual).
5. Seek opportunities to serve on committees/boards that serve new diverse audiences.
6. Participate in community events/fairs that target minority or underserved populations.
7. Seek opportunities to market programs through the faith community, minority groups, group homes, or other established organizations.
8. Utilize mass media, including those targeting specific populations to provide information as well as notify clientele of available services. Several staff have agreed to target media outlets with opportunities for on-going articles.
9. Develop and implement programs to include all citizens.
10. Focus on retention of all people in our Cooperative Extension programs.

Specific efforts have been made in Forsyth County to reach the growing Hispanic audience (2 bilingual staff), to address the underserved limited income audience (often a minority population), and funds are designated in the County budget to make accommodations for audiences with disabilities (i.e. interpreters). A new Diversity and Inclusion Initiative was implemented for the community gardening mentors in 2017.

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 Forsyth 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. 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 Forsyth 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 Forsyth 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 impact and cost benefit analysis as our primary evaluation methods. Another value held in Extension is actively listening to and open conversations 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

Advisory Council
Marilyn Odom
Wes Carpenter
Claudia Whitaker
Edgar Miller
Dale Parker
Peggy Lyle
Jonetta McClain
Joycelyn Johnson
Vernon Switzer
Gloria Smith
Adam Pendlebury
Rev Francis Mann
Robert Jones
Toby Bost
BJ Hutchins
Charlette Lindell
Harriet McCarthy
Wilfredo Pagan
Tobacco/Field crops
Danny Boles
Bo Hall
Terry White
Kevin Brown
Steve Robertson
4-H Advisory Committee
Mae Lynn Joyce
Michael Joyce
Melinda Barrick
Carla Arrowood
Angie Redding
Rev Francis Manns
Claudette Goodwin
David Hooker
Rebekah May
Mandie Rose
Master Gardener Advisory Committee
Harriet McCarthy
Steven Barnes
Mindy Mock
Teresa Lowry
Ann Williams
Carol Hart
Jeannie Leggett
Marcia Szewczyk
Rita Deck
Patsy Cuthrell
Mary Ann Beeson
Renee Koschak
Maureen Ballsieper
Barbara Trueheart
Small Farms
Gary Owen
Vern Switzer
Terry Motsinger
Ellen Motsinger
Mike Tate
Ken Vanhoy
Natalie Sevin
Livingstone Flomeh-Mawutor
Al Hutchison
Linda Hutchison
Cheryl Ferguson
Ray Tuegel
Michael Banner
Brandon Williams
Gwen Winstead
Harvey Moser
Susan Moser
Mike Jacques
Pat Jacques
David Yount
Barbara Truehart
Rita Deck
Bill Deck
Ann McLain
Pat Noel
FCS / Human Services Committee
Charlette Lindell
Karen Forrest
Raymond Byrd
Portia Krone Walker
Kendra Davis
Marilyn Springs
Millie T. Davidson
Tim Rhodes
Forsyth Community Gardening
Reverend Francis Manns
Ana Gonzalez
Mark Cohn
Allen Keesee
Stewart Ellis
Mark Jensen
Rajesh Kapileshwari
Jasmine McNeill
Lakecia Owens
Nathan Peifer
Melissa Smith
Embryology Committee
Molly Tuttle
Bridget Holliston
Stephanie McDowell
Extension Community Association
Gloria Smith
Katie Sutcliff
Gail Dinkins
Polly Caudle
Audena Spain
Community Garden Steering Committee
Christopher Jeffords
Vicki Roddick
Robert LePere
Wendy Wallace-Banks
Kana Miller

VII. Staff Membership

Kimberly Gressley
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (336) 703-2851
Email: ksgressl@ncsu.edu

Lisa Benavente
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Urban Programming, EFNEP & SNAP-Ed
Phone: (919) 515-3888
Email: lisa_benavente@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in Wake, Durham, and Orange Counties. Responsible for training new EFNEP educators and volunteer development.

April Bowman
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock, Forages and 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 703-2855
Email: awbowman@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for managing the total 4-H program including 4-H Clubs, 4-H Camp, 4-H Congress, school enrichment, and presentations, as well as youth and adult livestock and forages.

Mary Jac Brennan
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: maryjac_brennan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Small Farms, Fruit & Vegetable Production, Specialty Crops - Herbs, Mushrooms, etc., Local Foods ,Sustainable Agriculture and Urban Agriculture

Tembila Covington
Title: Program Assistant, Agriculture - Urban Agriculture
Phone: (336) 703-2859
Email: tccoving@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities associated with the urban agriculture program include planning, preparing, managing, and providing training assistance to extension agents on an urban farm school. The goal of this training program is to offer economic opportunity for underemployed participants in underserved communities, while increasing community involvement and access to local, healthy foods. Participants in this program learn in the classroom the science of agriculture, and outdoors on their production site they learn how to apply agricultural techniques.

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.

Kitrinka Gordon
Title: Office Assistant III
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: kitrinka_gordon@ncsu.edu

Lauren Greene
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (336) 651-7347
Email: lauren_greene@ncsu.edu

Megan Gregory
Title: Agriculture - Community Gardening Coordinator
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: gregormm@forsyth.cc
Brief Job Description: Coordinates the Forsyth Community Gardening program. Provides horticultural and community organizing assistance to garden groups; educates and supports Community Garden Mentors; teaches the 'Sustainable Growing Series' of garden-based workshops; manages seed bank, tool lending, and microgrant programs; collaborates with community organizations working in sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Tim Hambrick
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (336) 703-2857
Email: tim_hambrick@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Field Crop Agent for Forsyth, Stokes, and Surry, and Yadkin counties. Responsibilities include educational programming and research in flue cured tobacco, corn, small grain, and soybean production.

Kathy Hepler
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: kathy_hepler@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

Shae King
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: shae_king@ncsu.edu

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

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

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables & 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.

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9155
Email: romcdowe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in NC.

Erin McSpadden
Title: Program Assistant - Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: ebmcspad@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Coordinate volunteers for 4-H and Extension Master Gardener programs, events, and activities.

Derek Morris
Title: Agricultural Technician
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: derek_morris@ncsu.edu

Currey Nobles
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9520
Email: canobles@ncsu.edu

Monique Pearce-Brady
Title: Extension Agent
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: dmpearc3@ncsu.edu

Leslie Peck
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: leslie_peck@ncsu.edu

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.

Rocio Sedo
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Associate
Phone: (336) 703-2865
Email: rocio_sedo@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Work in EFNEP Nutrition Education Program with limited resource audience.

Phyllis Smith
Title: Extension Agent, Natural Resources
Phone: (336) 703-2858
Email: pbsmith4@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Sustainability

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

Forsyth County Center
1450 Fairchild Rd
Winston-Salem, NC 27105

Phone: (336) 703-2850
Fax: (336) 767-3557
URL: http://forsyth.ces.ncsu.edu