2020 Johnston County Plan of Work

Approved: February 9, 2020

I. County Background

From a geographic perspective, Johnston County is located along the fall line with 20 percent of the land in the Southern Piedmont and 65 percent in the middle and upper Coastal Plain regions of North Carolina. The remaining 15 percent of the land area is in the flood plains and terraces along the Neuse River, a critical water resource for the county.

In the same way that the geography varies in the county, there is tremendous diversity with respect to very rural agricultural areas compared to rapidly developing regions. The 2010 US census reported a population of 168,878 an increase of 46,913 from 2000, a 38% increase, establishing Johnston County as one of the fastest growing counties in NC. Current estimates place the Johnston population over 202,00 people. While current statistics vary, Johnston County continues to be one of the top growth counties in the state and one of the top 100 growth counties in the nation. Major residential growth is occurring along the Wake/Johnston border and especially near Clayton, Cleveland Township, McGee’s Crossroads, and Wilders Township. Construction of new houses and commercial sites set county records in 2017, 2018, and 2019 with significant investments in industry and residential development. Major US Highways (I-95, I-40, and US 70/I-42) have a substantial influence on residential, commercial, and industrial development in Johnston County. Improvements to US 70/I-42 will likely result in further development along the corridor from Clayton to Princeton. The widening of I-40 to 8 lanes began in late 2019 and future sections of the Triangle Expressway promise to bring even further development to Johnston County.

The county population is diverse with 74.2% white, 15.1% black or African American, and 12.9% Hispanic/Latino according to the 2010 US Census. The Hispanic/Latino population has increased significantly from a US Census estimate of 10.5% in 2006, 7.7% in 2000, and less than 2% in 1990.

In spite of rapid residential growth, agriculture continues to hold an important place in Johnston County economy. Important agricultural commodities in Johnston County are flue-cured tobacco, greenhouse and nursery crops, sweet potatoes, cattle, swine, poultry, grains, cotton, and fresh market vegetables. In 2018, Johnston County was the second ranked tobacco producing county in the state of North Carolina. The county routinely ranks as one of the top greenhouse and nursery, and sweet potato producing counties, and 8th with respect to farm cash receipts in the state. The agricultural sector is expected to continue a prominent role in the county's future while continuing to transition in response to the local economy. However, 2017, 2018, and 2019 were tough years for farms in the region resulting from trade concerns, Hurricane Florence, and highly public nuisance lawsuits against some ag sectors. In 2020, economic indicators point to another weak year for the agricultural economy due to declining demand for tobacco, depressed commodity prices, and the strong dollar slowing exports. However, recent movement in trade deals with the Chinese offer some promise to farmers.

The Cooperative Extension staff conducts regular environmental scans to determine key issues and needs for the county and its citizens. This process includes collaborating with the statewide environmental scan on a periodic basis. The Johnston County Cooperative Extension Advisory Council provides input on the issues and needs for the county and assists the staff with prioritization of the issues. Program committees also guide and direct specific areas of extension programs.

The following objectives constitute the plan for Cooperative Extension in Johnston County to address priority issues. This will be a team effort for the entire Extension staff and volunteers in partnership with other local and regional entities.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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 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

Johnston County does not have a formalized strategic plan at this time. However, the County government is highly focused on serving the needs of Johnston County people and promoting a stable and growing local economy. NC Cooperative Extension partners with Johnston County in this mission by educating citizens in the areas of Agriculture, Foods & Nutrition, and 4-H Youth Development.

IV. Diversity Plan

Johnston County has a diverse population, with African Americans and other minorities representing about 19.8% of the population. In addition, 12.9% of Johnston County citizens are of Hispanic or Latino descent. North Carolina Cooperative Extension, along with North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University, is committed to offering equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age or disability. In addition, all persons are welcomed without regard to sexual orientation.

The Johnston County Center staff is constantly seeking to expand program participation to reach all groups. All reasonable efforts will be employed to insure compliance with affirmative action policies and that programs are accessible to all Johnston County residents. This is especially critical for 4-H programs and is implemented by using a wide variety of advertising methods to expand audience reach and program participation.

Staff members will employ a wide variety of delivery methods to reach the diverse population and involve new and under-served clientele. The Johnston County Extension Advisory Council and other committees are representative of local demographics and cover all regions of the county. These groups serve to guide, support, and advocate for Cooperative Extension programs in Johnston County. The Extension Reporting System will assist in monitoring efforts and insuring compliance within program areas.

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 Johnston 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 agents, program assistants, and volunteers 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 Johnston 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 Johnston 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 impacts 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

Johnston County Advisory Council
John Sugg
Jeffery Lee
Judy Meyer
Billy McLamb
Gene Cox
Mark Wellons
Cynthia Toudle
Elaine McPherson
Joann Steward
Shannon Boswell
Benjy Woodard
Tami Thompson
Lane Gregory
Brandon Batten
Michelle Pace Davis

Johnston County Master Gardener Specialized Committee
Joanne King
Eloise Adams
Roy Lewis
Tiffany Whichard
Sam Coburn
MarJean Telke
Ester Garner
Barb Barakat
Sylvia Caracciolo
Bud Keaton
Barry Guthrie
4-H & Youth Advisory Council
Denise Bricker
Kristi Pettit
Gene Cox
Dorothy Johnson
Rosa Andrews
Lora Bedford
Mamie Moore
Ron Hughes
Keith Beamon

Johnston County 4-H Alumni Council
Lou Woodard
Justin Powell
Ron Hughes
Jane Barbour
Amanda Long
Kristi Petit
Chad Holloman
Joy Leigh Hinnant
Kathryn Tharrington
Andrew Denning
Leslie Denning
Paige Carroll
Ashley Thornton
Shannon Burns
Elizabeth Pittman
Johnston County 4-H Horse Council
Christine Williams
Hannah Braundel
Denise Bricker
Diane McAlin
Kate McAlin
Natalie Weeks
Sherry Edwards

Youth Livestock Specialized Committe
Eric Honeycutt
Katina Anderson
Chandra Farmer
Kendall Parker
Dane Williford
Sandy Batten
Maggie Earle
Cynthia Lee
Elaine Wood
Joy Leigh Hinnant
Jon Brown
Rick Bedford
Tony Crocker
Travis Anderson
Brittany Beasley
Shannon Burns
Kristi Petit
Beef Specialized Committee
Todd Marcom
H. B. Powell
Russell Wood
Jody Boswell
Ervin Smith
Hunter Boone
Norman Denning, Jr.
Eric Westbrook
Goat Specialized Committee
Leslie Averill
Don Edwards
Renay Edwards
David Brewer
Steve Nordan
Christine Holloman
Holly Hayes
John Tart
Dale Millar
Forestry Specialized Committee
Adam Huffman
Don Rogers
Mike Winslowe
Betty Whitley
Field Crops Specialized Committee
Donnie Barefoot
Susan Ford
Eric Westbrook
Dan Kornegay
Hunter Langdon
Shannon Peedin
Johnston County Voluntary Agricultural District Board
Tom Vinson
Stephen Jones
Cookie Pope
Myron Smith
Jeremy Smith
John R. Suggs
Don Holloman
Johnston County Beekeepers Association
Jacob Giddeons
Bert Stoner
Karen Holiday
May Markoff
Jim Gettys
Ashton Wood
Jim Dempster
Ron Lassiter

Johnston County Farm-City Week Committee
Gene Cox
Michelle Davis
Joe Gregory
Kim LeQuire
Lori McBryde
Weston McCorkle
Cindy McKenzie
Mary Hunter Olive
Billy Parrish
Carl Paschal
Denise Penny
Cookie Pope
Mark Wellons
FCS Program Committee
John Phillips
Mary Banks
Emily Thornton
Joyce Holloman
Taylor Ingersoll
Connie Bryant
Tami Thompson
Barbara Ahern
Vegetable Crops Advisory Committee
Bill Foote
Jim Jones
Sue Leggett
Kelly McIver
Wayne Worley
Kim Kornegay Lequire
Matthew Rhodes
Jared Penny
Marshall Lee
Johnston County Nursery
Hunter Casey
Amanda Watson
Landis Hall
Richard Currin
Carlton Hinnant
Danny Rhodes
Brent Langston
Jeff Allegood
Alan Erwin
Lisa Powell
Mike Hudson
Myron Smith
Danielle Stephenson
Lanny Thomas
Todd Williams
Richard Taylor
Chad Barlowe

VII. Staff Membership

Bryant Spivey
Title: County Extension Director - Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: bryant_spivey@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include administration and tobacco education programs.

Heather Ballance-Brown
Title: County Extension Support Specialist, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: hrballan@ncsu.edu

Tim Britton
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: tim_britton@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities included assisting growers with problem diagnosis, variety selection, disease, weed and insect identification in field crops and developing educational programs for individuals with pesticide licenses.

Luis Cruz Santiago
Title: Farmworkers Health and Safety Educator, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (919) 731-1607
Email: luis_cruz-santiago@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Luis Cruz Santiago is the Farmworkers Health & Safety Educator and Worker Protection Standard Designated Trainer with NC State Extension. His responsibilities include but not limiting to assisting farmers, farm labor contractors, and farmworkers and their families to: a) provide farmworkers health and safety training, b) develop partnerships with community organizations, agencies, programs, and members to identify educational needs and opportunities for farmworkers and their families, c) connect farmworkers and their families with other extension and community services, d) promote and lead the annual local farmworkers festival, e) provide a two-way comprehensive farmworkers safety and health training to farmers and farm labor contractors across the state of North Carolina.

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 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.

Angie Faison
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: angie_faison@ncsu.edu

Mike Frinsko
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: mofrinsk@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Southeast Extension District

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (910) 893-7530
Email: richard_goforth@ncsu.edu

Cassidy Hall
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: cdhobbs3@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: My goal is to educate consumers how to better their health through food-based programs. I encourage healthy lifestyles through nutrition education programs and food preservation. I serve as a resource to community members who want to live healthy on a budget while working with markets, food pantries, and community partners.

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.

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.

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.

Brandon Parker
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: brandon_parker@ncsu.edu

Laura Pilkington
Title: 4-H Program Associate, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: laura_pilkington@ncsu.edu

Crystal Pope
Title: Administrative Support Specialist II
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: crystal_pope@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Fill out timesheets, follow financial policies, maintain important extension scheduled dates, handle mail and postage, publish online materials, print materials, answer incoming calls, greet the public and assist them to the correct agent needed, answer any questions in person or on the phone, help the agents with any upcoming newsletters, mailings, or online materials

Diana Rashash
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Quality/Waste Management
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: diana_rashash@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water and wastewater issues of all types: stormwater, aquatic weed ID & control, water quality & quantity, septic systems, animal waste, land application of wastewater, environment & sustainability, climate, etc.

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!

Ahira Sanchez
Title: Program Assistant, EFNEP for Adults
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: azsanche@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: As a bilingual program assistant for the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) for Adults, Ahira collaborates with English and Spanish-speaking community-based organizations and faith-based community groups to bring nutrition and health education to Johnston County families. She focuses on adults with the goal to impact the future of families and their children. She also provides Faithful Families, an EFNEP-based curriculum that is meant to teach health education in a faith-based setting.

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

Alyssa Spence
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agromedicine, Farm Health & Safety
Phone: (252) 527-2191
Email: arramsey@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with the NCSU Applied Ecology-Toxicology & Agromedicine Department to serve the18 counties in the Southeast District, providing health/safety resources and programming to field agents in this area.

Wesley Stallings
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture- Grain Crops
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: wcstalli@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture-Grain Crops

Courtney Stanley
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: cnsmit23@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.

Marshall Warren
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: marshall_warren@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Commercial and Consumer Horticulture Extension Agent

Dan Wells
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: dan_wells@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Dan Wells develops programs in the areas of livestock management, forage management and youth livestock.

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

Johnston County Center
2736 NC Highway 210
Smithfield, NC 27577

Phone: (919) 989-5380
Fax: (919) 934-2698
URL: http://johnston.ces.ncsu.edu