2020 Forsyth County Plan of Work

Approved: January 23, 2020

I. County Background

N.C. Cooperative Extension is committed to partnering with communities to deliver education and technology that enrich the lives, land and economy of Forsyth County citizens. It is now estimated that North Carolina's population has increased to the 9th most populous state in the country (World Population Review, 2019). According to Forsyth County statistics, the county has seen a 7.88% growth since 2010 with a current population of 379,099, proudly ranked as North Carolina's 4th most populous county. The City of Winston-Salem is the state's 5th most populated municipality. Winston-Salem is the largest city in the county. Forsyth County demographics include: 56% white, 25% black, 3% Asian, 1% American Indian or Alaska native, and 2% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander/other. Additionally, 13% are of Hispanic or Latino origin.

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 261,220 total acres (USDA, 2017). There are 557 farms in the county consisting of 34,801 acres of farmland (US Census, 2017). Developing more profitable farms is the most effective means of preserving agricultural interests within the county. Known as the city of arts and innovation, Winston-Salem has a long history and reputation as an active, vibrant and business-friendly city. Median household income amounts to $49,166 (SAIPE, 2017). Unemployment is 3.2% (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2018), but for those citizens who are game fully employed, the top employers are hiring individuals in management, business, science and service.

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 availability are important issues. Interest in gardening, particularly community gardening, has grown tremendously. Developing opportunities for youth gardening experiences will be emphasized during the coming years. Education in the large grounds maintenance industry, as well as, consumer demand is critical in establishing and maintaining proper, environmentally friendly horticulture practices.

Extension staff partner with the Advisory Leadership System consisting of community leaders and volunteers who evaluate data and resources available to Extension. They are staunch advocates for funding and programming with N.C. State University, N.C. A.& T. State University and Forsyth County government. The council provides a valuable service to Cooperative Extension in terms of being key stakeholders for the Forsyth County Extension Center.

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 storm-water and solar; job readiness, both youth and adult; agriculture/horticulture business management including diversification and value-added opportunities, S.T.E.M. education for youth; and family well being including 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

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 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 is a multi-cultural environment, valuing diversity that 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 under-served 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 residents.
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 (bilingual staff), to address the under-served limited income audience, be sensitive to hearing and vision impaired clientele by setting aside funds designated in the County budget to provide accommodations for audiences with disabilities (i.e. interpreters). A Diversity and Inclusion Initiative was implemented for the community gardening mentors.

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 knowledge gained, the application of that knowledge and 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 through interviews and focus groups.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Council
Wes Carpenter
Claudia Whitaker
Edgar Miller
Joanette McClain
Joycelyn Johnson
Vernon Switzer
Gloria Smith
Janice Hillenbrand
Rev Francis Mann
Robert Jones
Toby Bost
Ethan Cook
Charlette Lindell
Steve Barnes
Tim Merritt
Teresa Stephens
Tobacco/Field crops
Marvin Eaton
David McGee
Jesse Brown
Greg Moxley
Wesley Johnson
Jeff Mitchell
4-H Advisory Committee
Beth Larrick
Melinda Barrick
Carla Arrowood
Angie Redding
Rev Francis Manns
Gwenda Hooker
Rebekah May
Aisha Booth-Horton
Connie Brown
Robin Brown
Angie Cook
Sonia Hensel-Mussetter
Sheree Osbourne-Dixon
Shawn Williams
Horticulture Advisory Committee
Lori Bodwell
Emily Bundy
Carol Gearhart
Bob Le Pere
Adam Pran
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
Forsyth Community Gardening
Reverend Francis Manns
Ana Gonzalez
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
Natural Resources Advisory
Lynn Byrd
Samantha Winship
Steve Barnes
Brian Fannon
Tom McKay
Carolina Lara

VII. Staff Membership

Kimberly Gressley
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (336) 703-2851
Email: ksgressl@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The County Extension Director provides leadership and expertise in managing and coordinating resource development for all program areas, which includes fiscal responsibility for the county- and state-appropriated funds as well as allocated funds. Responsibilities also include marketing Extension programs and their impacts. This position oversees a faculty and staff of 20 employees and is 90% Administrative and 10% Community Development.

Deirdre An
Title: Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: (336) 703-2848
Email: dcan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Create and offer various educational sessions focused on volunteerism, learning styles, essential elements of positive youth development, ages and stages, engaging youth audiences. Assist volunteers and program areas in development.

Jonas Asbill
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - 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

Lisa Benavente
Title: Nutrition Extension Associate, EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (919) 515-3888
Email: lisa_benavente@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides leadership to statewide EFNEP staff and volunteer development. Communicates and guides EFNEP Regional Nutrition Extension Associates (RNEA) in coaching new PAs as they complete EFNEP's New Educator Skills Training (NEST). Supports RNEAs in training EFNEP PAs and/or FCS Agents on Policy, Systems, and Environmental initiatives.

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.

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.

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
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

Shae King
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (336) 703-2870
Email: shae_king@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.)

Derek Morris
Title: Agricultural Technician
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: derek_morris@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Assists homeowners with gardening and horticultural questions regarding gardening, lawn care, flowers, bugs in gardens or on flowers, fruit trees, shrubs, vegetables, and small fruit. His number one role is handing out soil sample kits.

Monique Pearce-Brady
Title: 4-H Youth Development, Extension Agent
Phone: (336) 703-2850
Email: dmpearc3@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!

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.

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

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

Phyllis Smith
Title: Extension Agent, Natural Resources and Environmental Systems
Phone: (336) 703-2858
Email: pbsmith4@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Natural Resources and Environmental Systems programs provide outreach and education to promote environmental stewardship and the responsible use and protection of natural resources through conservation and sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry, and home and garden maintenance to promote improved air and water quality, water conservation, soil preservation, and carbon reduction through energy conservation, efficiency, and technology.

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

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

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