2018 Halifax County Plan of Work

Approved: January 29, 2018

I. County Background

Halifax County is located in the Roanoke River and Tar-Pamlico River basins and encompasses an area of approximately 731 square miles. With one metro area, Roanoke Rapids, it is still predominately a rural agricultural county. As of the 2000 census, there were 57,370 people. The racial make-up of the county was 42.7% white, 52.56% African-American, 3.14% Native American, and 1.01% Hispanic. More than 30% of households had children under the age of eighteen and more than 20% of the households had a female head of household with no husband present. The population median age was 37 years of age. In 2002, the per capita personal income in the county was $20,197, 65% of the national per capita income. Nearly 24% of the population is below the poverty line.

Principle businesses include agriculture, manufacturing and tourism. According to recent NC agriculture statistics, agriculture’s contribution to the local economy was over $104 million and forestry represented over $26 million of income to the county. Tourism has increased steadily due to recreational opportunities, the construction of the Roanoke Rapids Theater, Sylvan Heights Waterfowl and Lake Gaston.

Cooperative Extension will also work with other county agencies and the Halifax County Farm Bureau, NRCS, FSA to continue enrolling farmland in the Halifax County Voluntary and Enhanced Voluntary Ag District in 2018. This will expand landowners opportunity to protect their lands, and allow an increased opportunity to educate the public about the importance of agriculture in Halifax County.

The Halifax Extension Staff is committed to and responsible for the delivery of educational programs to our residents. We stand ready to address these issues as we work to be responsive to the needs of the citizens of Halifax County and help county government reach it’s goals. We will also work to utilize integrative programming within our staff to address the issue of youth development and use teamwork to improve our 4H program. The 4-H program will continue to attract more youth in our county and expand the diversity in this program with the addition of new clubs, new volunteers and new opportunities. Youth will have opportunities to attend day camp, join 4H clubs, participate in the 4H Meat Animal Show and Sale and develop leadership skills such as public speaking, citizenship and volunteerism throughout the year.

We will also continue to work with funding sources promote increased use of the 4H Rural Life Center for tourism, horse shows and other events and improve the facility. The center will offer, trail rides, night rides, horse shows, agricultural museum and plans include a new playground, trails and a pond that should be completed by summer of 2018. We will continue to host the Harvest Days in September, and will be developing plans to expand this event that will educate our youth and citizens about the importance of agriculture in our county. We are also looking into the possibility of using the facility more often as a conference/retreat center for businesses and other Extension staffs across the state. Also, our previous NCDPH Community Transformation Catalyst left, we will continue to host the new catalyst, Erin Carson who just started in January to promote the expansion of healthy foods, county recreation and seeking opportunities to improve the health of our citizens. This program works in conjunction with the Kate B Reynolds Foundation to help develop more opportunities for local foods and healthier food options for our citizens along with more recreational opportunities.

We will also continue to host the Health Matters Associate, Kim Hicks as she delivers educational opportunities for residents to learn more about healthy eating, exercise and improved recreational opportunities.

The health and well-being of our families in Halifax stands to improve with the continued efforts of our 4H EFNEP program to teach youth about the importance of eating healthy at an early age. Also, we will seek to hire another Adult EFNEP assistant who will hopefully be reaching adults/pregnant teens with important nutritional information that can help reduce health costs and help them spend their food dollars more wisely. With the addition of an FCS agent, have been able to improve our ability to provide important health related, foods/nutrition education to our adults.

Many people are becoming more interested in buying locally grown produce or producing their own. Our horticulture program offers people both opportunities with this as we oversee management of the local farmers market in Roanoke Rapids. We also provide training to groups such as the Master Gardeners or individual with instruction from our new horticulture agent.

Agriculture stands to make gains in marketing with our educational efforts that will help producers know more about marketing their crop, budgeting, pesticide application and production information that will help them be more profitable while protecting the environment as much as possible. Our agriculture agents will also help protect our environment through classes that teach proper pesticide use and disposal. The Pesticide Container Disposal program has been very successful over the past 26 years and we plan to continue to offer this service that keeps these recyclable materials out of the landfill. We also plan to host a Pesticide Disposal Day in which thousands of pounds of old unusable pesticides can be cleaned up from our homes and farms to help protect citizens and our environment.

We will continue to oversee the Operation Restart program which helps train and develop misguided youth in our county to become productive citizens. This program brings in grant funds of over $260,000 from the JCPC program and has a proven track record of success.

As we follow this plan, we realize that flexibility has to be a characteristic that describes our staff. We plan to follow through with these goals to help Halifax County move forward, but are willing to adapt and readjust plans as needed to accomplish Extensions goal of "Empowering People, Providing Solutions".

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 agricultural crops industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of crops was $4.72 billion, placing NC as the 17th largest in the nation. North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state's 50,200 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.4 million of the state's 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber. Tobacco remains one of the state's most predominant farm commodities. North Carolina produces more tobacco and sweet potatoes than any other state and ranks second in Christmas tree cash receipts. The state also produces a significant amount of cucumbers for pickles, lima beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, strawberries, bell peppers, blueberries, chili peppers, fresh market cucumbers, snap beans, cabbage, eggplant, watermelons, pecans, peaches, squash, apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, and grapes. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic and niche market production. Educational and training programs for producers of plant agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
North Carolina's animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
North Carolina's livestock industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of livestock, dairy, and poultry was $8.85 billion, placing NC as the 7th largest in the nation. Hogs & pigs have historically been an important part of North Carolina agriculture. The industry has changed dramatically since the 1980s from the small farm raising a few hogs to large confinement type operations. North Carolina's number of cattle & calves on farms has remained relatively stable throughout time. Milk cow inventory and milk production have continued to decline in the state. Unlike other commodities, broiler production in North Carolina is increasing throughout the state. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Educational and training programs for producers of animal agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
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.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.
Youth and adult volunteers in North Carolina contribute thousands of hours each year to strengthen communities and create strong foundations for the future. As these individuals engage in service, they are gaining new skills, generating new programs to serve their communities, building successful organizations, and fostering an ethic of service. Cooperative Extension is poised to support the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Current research suggests that youth and adult participation positively impacts civic engagement and contributes to the development of leadership capacities. With its presence in every county, Cooperative Extension is uniquely positioned to contribute to building a stronger ethic of service among youth and adults.
Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways
We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce.
Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.
Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed.
Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.
Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.

III. Relationship to County Government Objectives

The Halifax County Board of Commissioners identified six major goals that directly parallel Cooperative Extension’s long-range goals and strategic priorities:
•Seek quality sustainable countywide economic growth to provide jobs and increased tax base. (Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems and Urban and Consumer Agriculture)
•Initiate and support efforts to protect the environment, health and well-being of county citizens. (Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems, Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction, Local Food Systems)
•Encourage citizen input and promote awareness of issues to improve decision-making within county government. (Volunteerism).
•Continue support for and recognition of the importance of agriculture in Halifax County to enhance our economic well-being and to help preserve family farms. (Profitable and Sustainable Agriculture Systems and Urban and Consumer Agriculture)
•Continue effective use of county revenues to provide necessary service for citizens. (Annual accountability to county government and monthly impact data are provided demonstrating the value of investment to CES from county dollars).
•Work in partnership with boards of education and the community college to enhance quality education for career development. (School to Career for Youth and Adults, Volunteerism)

IV. Diversity Plan

All reasonable efforts are implemented to provide services for the diverse population in the county. Public awareness of programs remains a priority for marketing Extension programs to under served groups. Civil rights plans and affirmative action reports are reviewed annually. All programs are offered to all individuals regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, and veteran status. Staff members are trained in diversity and are equipped to design programs that meet cultural and diverse learning styles. With notification, the staff can accommodate individuals with disabilities for most programs. Our facility meets all requirements for accessibility and human resources have been allocated to meet the needs of all clientele groups.

Marketing efforts include media, newsletters, advertisements and face-to-face contacts in efforts to reach all possible clientele. Targeted groups are given direct notice of events and activities. Financial difficulty is addressed through waivers and donations as deemed appropriate. Careful analysis of demographic data and mapping of clientele served clearly demonstrates the need for more inclusion of minority populations and previously under-served populations residing in outlying areas. The number of 4-H clubs are increasing and we need to identify and recruit leaders and youth from all townships and communities. All three public school districts and private schools received marketing and recruitment materials for the 4-H and Youth Day Camp summer programming.

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 Halifax 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 Halifax 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 Halifax 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.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

County Advisory Council
Lloyd Winslow
Garrett Williams
Bry Long
Diane Sturges
Ray Garner
Scott West
Tony Francis
Jeff Faison
June Wollett
Zeb Winslow, III
Carol Shields
Ashley Mohorn
Livestock Committee
Scott West
Lloyd Winslow
Bill Wilson
Mary Jo Temple
Loraine Searcy
Muzette Kiger

Agronomy Advisory Committee
Carol Peebles
Melvin Hale
Ashley Mohorn
Nick Dickens
Sandra Rosser

Horticulture Committee
Carol Shields
Joyce Morrow
Ken Reynolds
Joyce Kight
Bill Collins
Horse Advisory Committee
Janie Drewett
Greg Liles
JW Reese
Leah Stanfield
Casey Armstrong
Danny Hinnant
Edgar Outland
Stanley Williams
Jennifer Dempsey
Ed Johnson
Deborah Powell
Brian Simmons
Loraine Searcy
4H Rural Life Center Advisory Committee
James Ellen
Anne King
Rives Manning
Ginny Orvedahl
Marcelle Smith
Phillip Cross
Jeff Faison
Hulan Johnston
Brady Martin
Leona Padgett
Bentley Mohorn
Roderick Majette
Voluntary Ag District Committee
Wayne Short
Troy Fulkerson
Will Mann
Chris Braddy
Andy Adkins
Judy Barbee
Chris Rountree
Tony Francis
4-H Advisory Committee
Diane Sturges
Barbara Wilkins
Teresa Hinnant
Beth Twisdale
Thomas Ricks

VII. Staff Membership

Arthur Whitehead
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: arthur_whitehead@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administration, Field Crops, Pesticide Coordinator

Kimberly Buonomo
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: kimberly_buonomo@ncsu.edu

Beth Burchell
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: beth_burchell@ncsu.edu

Daniel Campeau
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: dan_campeau@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Work mainly with Commercial Poultry industry. I also work with small scale poultry production. Service area is now the North Central District from Guilford to Halifax with the southern edge being Chatham and Wake county respectively.

Susan Chase
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Northeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (252) 902-1700
Email: susan_chase@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the Northeast District

Mary Davis
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: mary_davis@ncsu.edu

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.

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

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.

Kim Hicks
Title: Extension Agent, Health Matters Associate - Nutrition Ed & Community Dev
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: kahicks4@ncsu.edu

Deborah James
Title: WIA Student Incentive Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 583-3684
Email: deborah_james@ncsu.edu

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

Joe Long
Title: 4-H Rural Life Center Director
Phone: (252) 583-1821
Email: joe_long@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Directs year-round programming and oversees expansion of the 4-H Rural Life Center and also is responsible for 4-H After School Programming.

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

Victoria Neff
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: victoria_neff@ncsu.edu

EB Odom
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 534-2711
Email: eb_odom@ncsu.edu

Anne Parker
Title: Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: anne_parker@ncsu.edu

Michael Pittman
Title: Operation Restart Director
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: michael_pittman@ncsu.edu

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

Debbie Stroud
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (910) 814-6033
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.

Scott Tilley
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (252) 793-4428
Email: scott_tilley@ncsu.edu

Cheryl Tripp
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: cheryl_tripp@ncsu.edu

Emanuel Whitaker
Title: Project Restart Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: emanuel_whitaker@ncsu.edu

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

Halifax County Center
359 Ferrell Ln
Halifax, NC 27839

Phone: (252) 583-5161
Fax: (252) 583-1683
URL: http://halifax.ces.ncsu.edu