2020 Jones County Plan of Work

Approved: February 5, 2020

I. County Background

Jones County is located in southeastern NC, two hours from the capital city of Raleigh and 30 to 45 minutes from the Crystal Coast. Jones County is still a largely rural farming community despite the surrounding counties development. In 2000, Jones County boasted a population of 10,318 however by 2010 the population had decreased to 10,153. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population at 9,637 in 2018. Jones County is bordered by Craven, Carteret, Duplin, Onslow and Lenoir Counties, most of which are experiencing population growth associated with the nearby Military bases. Jones County's largest employers are county government and the school system. There are few industries in the county, however a big push has been made toward attracting companies to the county. All the major highways in the county lead to the coast therefore, Jones County is a thoroughfare for beach traffic with not many attractions to entice tourists to stop. Jones County is home to Brock's Mill which was built in the late 1700's and has served as a source of electricity, lumber mill and a gristmill for the county. This attraction was turned over to the county in 2013 and Extension has been asked to take the lead in its maintenance and transformation into a viable county tourist attraction. The NCSU School of Design has developed a conceptual design for the property which will serve as a template for applying for grants to enhance this historic landmark. A board has also been established to assist in fundraising and educational efforts and to-date has raised over $125,000.

In 2019 the eighth annual Jones County Heritage Festival was held. The festival was created by a group led by NC Cooperative Extension Service - Jones County Center. This signature festival showcases the rich agricultural history of the county and it also provides a venue for county non-profit organizations to raise funds for their individual causes. In 2017 the event brought 3000 people into the county to contribute to the local economy. In 2018 the Jones County Heritage Festival was set to move to a new venue that would allow it to continue to expand, however, four days before the festival the worst natural disaster to ever hit North Carolina, Hurricane Florence made land fall with Jones County being in the heart of the worst damage. In 2019 the festival made it's debut at a new location, the American Legion Fairgrounds. The venue change was very well received with expanded options for both youth and adults alike.

In 2017 Jones County's agricultural cash receipts total $213,623,000. In 2017 there were a total of 177 farms with an average size of 371 acres. Eighty-seven percent of these were family owned and the tobacco dependency rating was high. Jones county's traditional crops consist of cotton, tobacco, soybeans, corn, and wheat. Even though these are the primary crops, there is always a push for product development or alternative crops such as aquaculture or commercial horticulture.

Jones County has an established Voluntary Agricultural District Program and a Farm and Forest Land Protection Plan. Jones County Commissioners asked Extension to take the lead on both of these projects. The plan is to use these two tools to assist Jones County in planned growth that will allow it to grow and develop while protecting the current and future agriculture resources.

In 2019 approximately 23.4 percent of the population was between birth to 18 years old. Of the total population, 81.6 percent have a high school diploma and only 13.1 percent have a bachelor's degree or higher as compared to NC, 87.4% and 30.5% respectively. Jones County houses a branch of Lenoir Community College that offers core courses and 2 year degrees. Many youth who leave the county to engage in post high school studies do not return because there are few job opportunities for them to return to. Jones County 4-H answers this need by providing kits and training for teachers in grades 2 - 6 for subjects such as electricity, soil science, embryology, and poultry projects.

In Jones County, the median household income in 2019 was $36,892 (state median household income $52,413) while the per capita income was $21,539 (the state per capita income was $29.456). In 2019 the overall poverty rate for families in Jones County was 16.1 percent (14 percent for NC). Jones County, with 22.6 percent of the population over 65 (the state average being 16.3 percent). Family and Consumer science targets this higher population with two main needs, food safety and healthy food choices, by providing education aimed at this target audience's needs.

The Jones County Extension Advisory Council met and determined that the focus of Jones County's Extension Educational programming should continue to be focused on:

1. Profitable and Sustainable Plant Production Systems
2. Profitable and Sustainable Animal Production Systems
3. 4-H Youth Development
4. Food Safety and Nutrition.

Extension looks to address these goals in the following ways:

Crop Production meetings on the main agronomic crops, corn, soybeans, tobacco, and cotton. These trainings will focus on increasing productivity through proper variety selection, nutrient requirements and planting date. They will also focus on decreasing input cost by proper pest identification, soil testing, and accurate nutrient deficiency diagnosis.

Providing animal waste applicator continuing education classes. Jones County Extension also will focus on reducing feed cost for pastured livestock through proper forage selection, adequate nutrient applications to increase production and helping producers obtain adequate stocking rates.

4-H will continue to help Jones County Youth build life and leadership skills through STEAM activities and curriculum in the school system, summer camps to cultivate creativity and learning, and encourage public speaking skills through District Activity Day and visiting the nursing home.

Jones County will continue it's good work in food safety and nutrition through a number of programs in both the pre-schools and the senior centers focused on making healthy food choices. They will be addressing both ways to make healthy food more desirable and ways to cost effectively provide more nutritious meals.

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 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

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 Jones County strategic plan encompasses economic development and helping its citizens overcome the challenging economic situation in the world today. Jones County government involves Extension in many aspects of their plan including but not limited to the involvement in the Jones County Communication and Coordinating Council which plans and implements the Jones County Heritage Festival; overseeing and developing the Brock Mill; taking the lead in implementing a Farm and Forest Protection Plan; implementing a Voluntary Agricultural District Program; assisting seniors with unbiased Medicare information; and providing a career exploration/job shadowing for youth. Cooperative Extension works closely with county government in achieving their goals especially in the area of economic development. 

Jones Counties largest economic driver is agriculture accounting for over $213,000,000 in gross on-farm receipts. Extension has identified a number of ways that it can impact this main economic sector of the county. Needs assessments for agriculture in Jones County have identified variety selection, pest management and proper plant nutrition as the main needs among row crops with nutrient management, pasture management, and renewal of application permits have are the biggest needs in the livestock sector.

While economic development tops the list, education and retention of Jones County Youth runs a close second. The county is concerned with the decrease in population and the lack of job opportunities in the county. By working with the school system, the Jones County 4-H program is able to provide youth with life skills and valuable education that helps them more effectively choose a career, be more prepared for the job market or even create their own entrepreneurial career.

Another issue that affects the county is unhealthy lifestyles increasing pressure on the health department and emergency medical services. Family and Consumer Science programming for 2020 will include programming directed towards making healthier food choices as well as food safety. Extension will provide “Steps to Health” programming in the Senior Citizen Nutrition sites as well as in the elementary schools. This programming is an effort to expose both ends of the age structure to healthier options and encouraging them to make those healthier decisions. By focusing on these two audiences we hope to make both immediate and long term impacts to the citizens of Jones County. The Family and Consumer Science agent will also continue work on food safety including proper food preparation and food storage to reduce the incidences of food borne illness.

IV. Diversity Plan

Jones County Cooperative Extension is committed to employing a diverse staff and providing educational programming and an improved quality of life for all audiences, including the under served. Programs are offered in various areas of the county and are open and welcoming to persons of all abilities. All reasonable efforts are made for accessibility without regard to age, culture, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental abilities, race, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital or family status, spiritual practice, and all dimensions of human diversity. All programs offer translation and accessibility if requested.

Because Jones County has no TV or radio stations in the county and only one weekly paper, media outlets are extremely limited. However, events and activities are publicized through flyers and announcements posted in areas where minorities frequent. In addition, personal contacts are made with key minority leaders, including 2 minority County Commissioners, to encourage participation by that particular segment of the population

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 Jones County with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life. An Extension program delivery system is a planned and organized eclectic mix of educational methods used during an educational program. Extension educational methods are the specific ways by which research-based information is shared with targeted learners. Extension educators in our county employ a wide variety of hands-on, experiential educational methods, such as interactive workshops and classes, demonstrations, field days and tours, that allow learners to fully engage in the learning process, test new knowledge and/or practice new skills during the educational session. Equally important, this plan will also include educational methods such as seminars, client visits, fact sheets, newsletters, and home study kits that serve to support and reinforce learning as well as provide motivation for continued learning. Armed with the most current literature on effective teaching and learning, Extension educators also skillfully select educational methods based on the learning style preferences and special needs of the targeted learners. These client-focused methods afford learners the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to change their lives in meaningful ways. Another key feature of Extension program delivery that is evident in this plan is our commitment to being customer driven and customer focused. As such, in addition to the County Extension Center, Extension educational programs are delivered online, in community centers, on farms, and other locations in order for our programs to be available and accessible to, and fully utilized by, the citizens of Jones 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 Jones County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about first and foremost whether any changes occurred as a result of 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

Family and Consumer Science
Dawn Kantz
Dennie Smith 
Jeanne Huffman 
Sheila Ward
Teffiney Maready
Debrora Blackwell
Felicia Klingensmith

Jones County Advisory Council
Sam Davis
Kyle Koonce
Herb Griffin
Debara Blackwell
Keith Mills
Kathleen Girelli
Debra Alamanza
Chris Jarman
Jeremy LeRay
Karen Pike
Southeast District- Aquaculture
Ted Davis (Hybrid Striped Bass)
Don Ipock (Prawn)
Pete Anderson, Agribusiness Development & Aquaculture Consultant
Keith Hairr (Hybrid Stripped Bass)
Dr. Ben Reading (Aquaculture Specialist)
Kevin Patterson
Dale Pridgen (Tilapia)
Randy Gray (Tilapia)
David Green, Director of the NCSU Seafood Lab
Christy Potts, Marketing Director
Jad Jabbour (hybrid striped bass),
Commercial Horticulture Committee
Billy McClawhorn
Travis Tyndall
Tim Klauman
Tim McCurry
TC Smith
Gena Moore
4-H Advisory Committee
David Moody
Deborah Almanza
Eldridge Paige
Diane Bell
Mike Sutton
Janet Baker
Mariana Martinez
4-H County Committee (Youth Committee)
Anthony Almanza 
Johan Cuzares   
Jelani Hargett 
Katie Almanza
Julie Cazares
Jordan Melendez
Sage Church
Livestock Committee
Rocky & Amy Coffey
Timmy & Dana Coward
Dietrich Kilpatrick
Connie Carlton
Jennifer Jefferson
Keith Metts

Agriculture Committee
James Lee
Chris Jarman
Randy Riggs
Keith Mills
Phillip Howard
Sarah Arthur
Clifton Brown
Voluntary Agricultural District
Bob Jolly
Alexander Toodle
Golonda Howard
Adam Ross
Barry Jones
Timmy Sanderson
Timmy Haddock
Area Poultry Committee
Amanda Hatcher
Angie Quinn
Billy Houston
Dan Campeau
David Lee
Donald James
Greg Raynor
James Clontz
Jason Wells
Jeff Beavers
Jeff Wilson
Jesse Grimes
Adam Smith
Keith McDonald
Keith Walters
Lauren Greene
Lyn Price
Matt Sessoms
Mitchell Sessoms
Paul Copeland
Phil Bare
Randy Kivett
Richard Goforth
Richard Hall
Rob Dotson
Robin Harrell
Scott Matthis
Scott Prestage
Shannon Jennings
Stefani Sykes
Tim Cleaver
Zac Tarlton

VII. Staff Membership

Jacob Morgan
Title: County Extension Director - Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: Jacob_Morgan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include Corn, Cotton,Peanuts, Sorghum, Soybeans, Tobacco, Wheat, Voluntary Agricultural District Program, and Pesticide Coordinator.

Samantha Bennett
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: sjwiggin@ncsu.edu

Katie Carter
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 876-5606
Email: kmcarte4@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Educate and meet community needs of livestock, forages, and waste management.

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9148
Email: cadescha@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The overall goal of the Area Specialized Agents (ASAs) in Consumer & Retail Food Safety is to provide North Carolinians with technical food safety information and to support Family and Consumer Sciences agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders.

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.

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

Regina Gardner
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: regina_gardner@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Office Support for CED/Administration, Family & Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture, Commercial Horticulture, Commercial Aquaculture, Computer Contact

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.

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.

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.

Lisa Rayburn
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: lisa_rayburn@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving Onslow, Jones, Lenoir and Craven counties

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!

Margaret Ross
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (252) 670-8254
Email: margaret_ross@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Working with commercial poultry producers to assist in writing nutrient management plans and conducting educational programming.

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

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.

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

Sarah Ware
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: seware@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I deliver evidence-based programming in nutrition, health, food safety, food preservation, and local foods, as well as housing, parenting, family resource management, human development, and aging.

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

Jones County Center
367-A NC Highway 58 S
Trenton, NC 28585

Phone: (252) 448-9621
Fax: (252) 448-1243
URL: http://jones.ces.ncsu.edu