2020 Halifax County Plan of Work

Approved: January 27, 2020

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 2010 census, there were 54,691 people. The racial make-up of the county was 40.2% white, 53.5% African-American, 4.0% Native American, and 2.3% 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 2010 the per capita personal income in the county was $20,406, 65% of the national per capita income. Over 28% 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. Over the past 5 years, the solar industry has taken approximately 5000 acres of valuable cropland and it appears that more valuable agricultural lands will be lost to solar. This poses a threat to the agricultural production capabilities of Halifax County.

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 2020. 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 with the completion of a new pond with pier, frisbee golf, new basketball court, walking trails, playground equipment, the center will become used by even more citizens. 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.

We have partnered with NC State and Northampton county to host a SNAP education associate who helps teach nutrition classes to many of our citizens. The health and well-being of our families in Halifax stands to improve with the addition of a new 4H EFNEP/Adult program assistant to teach youth and adults about the importance of eating healthy and reach out to 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. We also will have a class entitled Fibs And Facts about Food which teaches consumers about the many false advertising and misleading advertising done in the food industry.

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 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 27 years and was recognized with the John L Smith Pesticide Recyling program award 2 years ago. 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 the mission of NC State Extension to help create prosperity for North Carolina through programs and partnerships focused on agriculture and food, health and nutrition, and 4-H youth development.

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 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 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
Jerol Hale
Nick Dickens
Sandra Rosser
Lindsay Rodriguez

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
Ed Johnson
Deborah Powell
Brian Simmons
Loraine Searcy
4H Rural Life Center Advisory Committee
James Ellen
Rives Manning
Marcelle Smith
Phillip Cross
Jeff Faison
Hulan Johnston
Brady Martin
Leona Padgett
Bentley Mohorn
Roderick Majette
Voluntary Ag District Committee
Michael Morris
Troy Fulkerson
Will Mann
Chris Braddy
Andy Adkins
Chris Rountree
Tony Francis
Mike Hale
4-H Advisory Committee
Diane Sturges
Barbara Wilkins
Dusty Sprouse
Sarah Sprouse
Claude Cooper

VII. Staff Membership

Craig Ellison
Title: County Extension Director, Northampton & Interim County Extension Dir, Halifax
Phone: (252) 534-2711
Email: craig_ellison@ncsu.edu

Jonas Asbill
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Livestock - Poultry
Phone: (336) 318-6000
Email: jonas_asbill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving the poultry industry across 20 counties in the North Central and Northeast districts

Chrissy Barbrey
Title: EFNEP Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: chrissy_barbrey@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Adult and Youth EFNEP Program Assistant

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

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

Marti Day
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: marti_day@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for educational programs for dairy farmers, youth with an interest in dairy projects and the general public with an interest in dairy foods and the dairy industry.

Jerry Edmonds
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: jeedmond@ncsu.edu

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits and Vegetables
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: erin_eure@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in northeastern NC.

Steve Gabel
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: steve_gabel@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for aquaculture educational programs for the NC NE extension district.

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.

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, Ornamental Nursery and Greenhouse, Eastern Region
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: danny_lauderdale@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial ornamental nursery and greenhouse producers in eastern North Carolina.

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.

Lori McBryde
Title: Area 4-H Agent, East Region
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: lori_mcbryde@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide support the Eastern 34 Counties of the Northeast and Southeast Districts in 4-H Youth Development.

Victoria Neff
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: vlneff@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

Ashley Robbins
Title: Area Specialized Agent - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8203
Email: ashley_robbins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marti Day and I are the Area Specialized Dairy Agents - the county-based arm of the Cooperative Extension Dairy Team. We are out here in the counties to help you set and reach your farm, family and business goals. We have collaborative expertise in the areas of Waste Management, Udder Health, Cow Comfort, Nutrition and Forage Management with specialties in (Ashley)Reproduction, Records Management, Animal Health and (Marti)Alternative Markets, Organic Dairy, Grazing Management, and On-farm Processing. We hope to provide comprehensive educational programs for our farmers, consumers and youth for every county across the state. We are here for you by phone, email or text and look forward to working with you!

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

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

Scott Tilley
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain
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) 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

Halifax County Center
359 Ferrell Ln
Halifax, NC 27839

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