2018 Anson County Plan of Work

Approved: February 1, 2018

I. County Background

Anson County is located in the central, southern region of North Carolina. A rural county, agriculture continues to be the top economic generator for the county. According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, there are 429 farms in the county. Their numbers rank Anson as 13th in the state for overall agricultural income. With 65% of the county as timberland, forest production in Anson last year ranked the county 4th in the state. Delivered value in 2015 was $22,422,577 in forestry. Ag cash receipts in 2015 were $203,213,986, for a total of over $225M.

The county's population hovers around 26,000, with seven townships, and Wadesboro as the county seat at a population of 5,700. In residence, 78% of the population lives in rural areas, with the other 22% in towns. The county is economically distressed and ranks as a Tier I county, with an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.

Environmental scans to determine community needs utilized formal evaluation methods during programming, input from networking partners, and informal assessments of members of specialized advisory committees. In addition, individual client feedback was utilized, as well as demand for services from our office and public records of on-farm incidents.

The following issues and trends relevant to the agricultural community were identified: fluctuating cattle markets, decreasing commodity prices, emerging technologies in the agriculture sector, an increased interest in new landowners and small-scale farming (>10 acres), increased interest in small ruminant production, and increasingly unpredictable weather patterns that affect crops including forages. Beekeeping has a following in the county, as well local foods opportunities and consumer horticulture. The public continues to share an interest in keeping Anson County rural, protecting the environmental resources, and supporting small farms and new farmers.

Family trends in the county include: decreased parental and family involvement of youth which leads to increased behavioral issues, low self-esteem issues and bullying among youth, interest in educating youth about the importance of giving back to their community, older youth wanting to get more involved on a state and regional level, increased interest in food preparation and decreased physical activity.

Current targeted needs include: improvement in best management practices and marketing options for cattle producers, best management practices for forages, including hay and silage production, weed control, and fertilization, increasing participation and community support in youth livestock programs, support for row crop farmers through research trials, specialist connections, educational meetings on new technologies, pesticide education and re-certification opportunities, waste management trainings and management, as well as on-farm safety training.  Additional needs include consumer horticulture and forestry technical assistance and classes, information on new crops and suitable variety research, stewardship and protection of rural areas, and farmland preservation for both new farmers and heir property owners.

Youth and family needs include information for parents and youth on service learning curriculum and implementation of projects, better parental and guardian knowledge and skills to provide appropriate structure and responsibility for their children, more hands-on training opportunities, assistance for older youth completing applications for scholarships and ARIE (Application, Resume, Interview and Essay), which is a workforce development and college prep program, nutrition education, and ways to increase physical activity. Also, community requests in support of a new Anson Agri-Civic Center have been overwhelming.

In response to current trends, in the coming year, Anson County Cooperative Extension programs will include pesticide recertification opportunities, workshops on beef cattle management through the Anson County Cattlemen's Association, continued support and promotion of the state graded feeder calf sales, tri-county field crops research, field days, production meetings, improvement of the 4-H livestock club, value-added marketing program for livestock including Beef Quality Assurance certifications, management of animal waste plans for hog producers, and safety audits through the Certified Safe Farm Program. Forestry certification and land management classes will be addressed along with other consumer horticulture programs. Specialty crops will be explored as beginning farmers looking to expand and diversify. Assistance will be given to commercial growers to address pests, identify other marketing opportunities/outlets, and work will continue with aspiring farmers to identify resources and set business plan goals. Work with the Anson County Voluntary and Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural Districts will also continue.

Youth programs will incorporate a new program component for youth and their parents to learn to better communicate, resist negative influences, appropriately resolve conflict and make better choices for a healthier lifestyle; work one on one with youth completing applications for 4-H scholarships and set up time to work on ARIE with youth; offer workshops to youth on self-esteem and bullying during after school classes; offer trainings on service learning and other 4-H projects by emphasizing both service and learning to create a more meaningful experience for youth; add nutritional and health information for youth and families in backpack buddies; and continue to offer summer programs and through the year programs for enrolled youth. Support will be offered in the areas of nutrition, food preservation, and physical fitness. Finally, the Cooperative Extension staff will continue to work with committees in fundraising and facility planning for the new Anson Agri-Civic Center.

As the county's link to North Carolina State University and NC A&T State University, the Anson County Center and staff of NC Cooperative Extension are committed to providing quality educational programs that are relevant to the county. This working document outlines some of those programs and Extension's plan of work for the next year.

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.

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.

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 County of Anson currently does not have a strategic plan. However, Cooperative Extension programs in the county reflect county government's expectations for quality customer service, efficient use of resources, and programs that bring value to the public. In addition, Extension programming focuses on economic impacts, education for all, youth and adult health and wellness, and conservation of our natural resources, all past goals that the Board of Commissioners have identified as critical to the county.

As another county government function, Anson County Cooperative Extension administers the county’s Voluntary and Enhanced Voluntary Agricultural Districts Ordinance. Through this program, Extension works with the 11-member Anson Agricultural Advisory Board, appointed by the County Commissioners. In addition, to overseeing the ordinance, the group’s responsibilities include advising the Board of Commissioners on projects, programs, or issues affecting the agricultural economy or activities within the county that affect agriculture.

Also, as a county department, Cooperative Extension stands ready to support and serve county operations in the event of any emergency or natural disaster. The County Extension Director and Extension staff members have been certified in ICS 100, ICS 200, ICS 700 and ICS 800 of the Emergency Management Institute of FEMA. In addition, the auditorium of the Extension Center is available for use by government officials during times of emergency operations.

IV. Diversity Plan

The NC Cooperative Extension is dedicated to equality of opportunity and offers equal access in all programs. Accordingly, the Anson County Cooperative Extension Center does not practice or condone harassment or discrimination in any form. Rather, it provides equal opportunities without regard to age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status.

The US Census Bureau estimates indicate that the county has 25,448 residents that racially break down to 47.8% white, 48.7% black, 4.1% Latino, 1.1% Asian and .9% American Indian. Latino numbers may be of any race, so they also are included in applicable race categories, which explains a discrepancy in percentages. Statewide, Latinos are estimated at 9%. Neighboring counties have increasingly large Latino populations, Anson does not. This may be due in part to a lack of jobs in the county that normally tend to draw Latino workers, such as construction, meat processing plants and large produce operations.

To ensure that Cooperative Extension programs reach diverse audiences throughout the year, the Anson County Center utilizes the following methods:
- Representation of county demographics on Anson County Cooperative Extension Advisory Council and Specialized Committees.
- Yearly rotation of membership on advisory boards and committees to ensure adequate representation.
- Utilization of advisory groups and volunteers that might attract new audiences to plan and assist with implementation of programs to targeted groups.
- Scheduling meeting times and places that will encourage rather than inhibit participation from underrepresented groups, such as nights and weekends.
- Networking with university specialists, agency representatives, and county contacts to provide bilingual programs when available.
- Using a variety of teaching methods designed to reach different audiences.
- Advertising programs through newsletters, letters, news articles, flyers, the web, social media, and word of mouth.
- Announcing programs during other meetings.
- Maintaining records of attendance, with race identified, at all educational programs and updating hard copy civil rights files with current documentation.
- Displaying nondiscrimination posters and documentation.
- Including affirmative action statements on all letters, brochures, flyers, newsletters and printed pieces that go to audiences, including those outside of Extension.
- Ensuring that all promotional materials, photos and other graphics used to portray clientele are on a nondiscriminatory basis.
- Documenting and monitoring affirmative action reports once a year, with additional efforts being made for all programs that are found to be out of compliance.

Each staff member of the Anson County Cooperative Extension is expected to exhibit a strong commitment to furthering the educational purposes of the NC Cooperative Extension in compliance of all civil rights legislation. In addition, a Civil Rights file is maintained in the office, updated yearly and including all efforts in reaching diverse audiences. Documentation and monitoring include affirmative action reports once a year, with additional efforts being made to all programs that are found to be out of compliance.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Delivering timely, relevant educational programs that meet local needs is the cornerstone of Extension’s mission. Extension educational programs are designed to give the citizens of Anson County the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life. Educational methods are the specific ways by which research-based information is shared with our audiences.

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. We also deliver educational information through seminars, client visits, fact sheets, newsletters, and news articles. These serve to support and reinforce learning as well as provide motivation for continued learning.

Extension staff members also select educational methods based on the learning style preferences and special needs of the targeted audiences. These client-focused methods give learners the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to change their lives in meaningful ways.

Another key feature of Extension program delivery is our commitment to being customer driven and customer focused. As such, in addition to the County Extension Center, educational programs are delivered online, in community centers, on farms, and other locations in order for our programs to be available and accessible to the citizens of Anson 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 Anson County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about changes that have occurred as a result our educational programs. As an educational organization, the changes we seek focus on key outcomes such as the knowledge and skills participants gain from our programs.

We use 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 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. We plan to measure these impacts in both the long and short-term.

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 dialoguing 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

Anson County Cooperative Extension Advisory Council
Beth Rogers, Chair
Pam Layfield, Secretary
Sharon Edwards
Eloise Harrington
Lee Roy Lookabill
Pearl Blount
Ronnie Morgan
John Springer
Charlie Little
Jimmy Sturdivant
Lewis Evans
Margaret Ridenhour
Betty Garris
Janet Gilreath
Mark Mills
Roddy Purser
Bobby Sikes
Ruth Ann Pope
CRD Program Committee
Emmett Patterson
Eloise Harrington
Lee Roy Lookabill
Lewis Evans
Beef Production Program Comittee
Lannie Allen
Ronnie Morgan
Mark Mills
Ronnie Mills
Poultry Program Area Committee
Roddy Purser
Tommy Edwards
Eddie Edwards
Mike Livingston
Crops Program Committee
Fincher Martin
Dale McRae
John Springer
Bobby Sikes
Horticulture Program Committee
Eddie Maye
H.L. Carpenter
Charlie Ann Carpenter
Jimmy Sturdivant
Natural Resources Program Committee
Janet Gilreath
Jim Little
Jason Miller
Family & Consumer Sciences Program Committee
Peg Pinkston
Ruth Ann Pope
Beth Rogers
Catherine Bennett
4-H & Youth Program Committee
Pearl Blount
Betty Garris
Katie Edwards
Sharon Edwards
Margaret Ridenhour
Chris Stinson
Charlie Little
Pam Layfield

VII. Staff Membership

Roshunda Terry
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (704) 694-2915
Email: roshunda_terry@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.

Sam Cole
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 694-2915
Email: srcole3@ncsu.edu

Aimee Colf
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture and Forestry
Phone: (704) 694-2415
Email: aimee_colf@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Horticulture, forestry, beekeeping, local foods coordinator, Anson County Voluntary Ag 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.

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (704) 283-3801
Email: richard_goforth@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

Pam Layfield
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 694-2415
Email: pam_layfield@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

Aaron Moore
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Small Farms
Phone: (704) 283-3743
Email: jamoore3@ncsu.edu

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

Allan Thornton
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (910) 592-7161
Email: allan_thornton@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Vegetable Extension Specialist. Conducts Extension and applied research programs for commercial vegetable and fruit growers and agents in eastern North Carolina.

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

Anson County Center
501 McLaurin St
Wadesboro, NC 28170

Phone: (704) 694-2915
Fax: (704) 694-2248
URL: http://anson.ces.ncsu.edu