2020 Lincoln County Plan of Work

Approved: January 23, 2020

I. County Background

Lincoln County is a growing county with a current population of over 79,000 people, 23% of whom are under the age of 18. The African American population of the county stands at 5.8%, and the Latino or Hispanic population is at 7.0%. The percentage of residents over the age of 25 in Lincoln County who hold bachelor degrees or higher is approximately 19%, while the percentage state-wide is approximately 27%. Development of youth potential in leadership and academic potential, fully inclusive of the diversity of the population, is needed. This is an area of need into which North Carolina's two land-grant universities are well prepared to contribute an increasing level of meaningful assistance.

There is much diversity of production agriculture in the county ($57,000,000 industry as of 2015), with small fruit and vegetable production on the increase and expansion of sustainability and local foods production. Yet the Lincoln County Farmland Protection Plan projects a potential loss of approximately 20% of rural Lincoln County land by the year 2030. County leadership's desire to protect the farmland in the county and the economic well being of the population, calls on Cooperative Extension for diverse, leading edge horticulture, livestock, and field crop production programming and technical support for new growers, and experienced growers as food and agricultural production technologies continue to rapidly advance. Extension will continue to develop our farm/non-farm and agritourism educational efforts, as continuation of these efforts has been identified as one of the Lincoln County commissioners' 8 goals for 2020.

As the nearby City of Charlotte continues to expand, areas of Lincoln County are becoming more and more residential and there is a heavy and increasing interest in landscaping and urban horticulture. Programming to support the landscaping industry, and the consumer horticulture needs and interests of a growing non-farm population are also placing increasing demands on the educational and troubleshooting roles of Cooperative Extension. Training and assistance in local consumer horticulture are in high demand as retirees and workers from other areas coming to Lincoln in large numbers and commuting back and forth to Charlotte.

Families and individuals are experiencing challenges in practicing good nutrition. Youth deal with numerous obstacles as they try to obtain the life skills and confidence they need to become responsible adults. Volunteers continue to be a key to the success of our community but need training, support and structured opportunities for service. To help guide Cooperative Extension with its educational programs in Lincoln County, the Lincoln County Extension Advisory Council and numerous other volunteers (a total of approx. 200 people) participated in an Environmental Scan. All of the following needs were rated as significant, and in need of attention from North Carolina Cooperative Extension:

(1) Improving health and nutrition
(2) Increasing leadership, personal development, and citizenship skills for youth
(3) Increasing leadership, personal development, and citizenship skills for adults
(4) Increasing economic opportunity and business development
(5) Increasing educational achievement and excellence
(6) Improving the agricultural and food supply system in N.C.
(7) Environmental stewardship
(8) Natural resources management

To address these needs, the Cooperative Extension staff in Lincoln County has chosen the objectives below to include in its Plan of Work. This is a part of the overall plan for N.C. Cooperative Extension. This plan is monitored and revised on an ongoing basis so that it continues to remain relevant for our citizens.

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

Extension will continue to play a role in the Board of County Commissioners adopted Lincoln County Farmland Protection Plan, providing research based and needs driven educational opportunities for the agricultural community. Extension will also bring targeted and Lincoln County specific educational and technical support to the community in Family and Consumer Sciences, and youth development.

Extension works closely with the county in terms of emergency drills and training. Extension is responsible to provide an evacuation warden for the first floor of the Lincoln County Citizens Center in the case of the fire alarm sounding. Two individuals have been trained for that function should it become necessary. In the case of a nuclear emergency at the McGuire Nuclear Station on Lake Norman, the County Extension Director is expected to report to a command bunker under the county court house, and provide consultation, primarily involving locating and contacting farmers with whom emergency personnel would need to be in contact. This would particularly relate to livestock farmers who may be asked to relocate or protect animals.

Extension will expand its efforts in addressing the County Commissioners' goal of continuing our agritourism educational efforts, connecting East Lincoln with the far more rural West Lincoln.

Extension has expanded its role in official county employee training, including training for county landscape maintenance workers, and customer service training.

IV. Diversity Plan

Cooperative Extension will continue to work to reach under-served audiences, particular in the African-American and Latino communities. In 2019, we will continue outreach to the local "Coalition of Churches" that is providing us with increasing contact and communication with minority communities locally. The local NAACP chapter has disbanded, but has plan to get an new charter. We plan to work closely with this group to offer youth leadership development as well as our other programs. We will continue promote programming including 4-H and the Aspire program with the backing of the land grant universities, he Coalition of Churches, and the soon to be chartered NAACP chapter might encourage greater participation among the populations that they serve. Leaders of these organizations will be notified, and given promotional materials for any offerings of Cooperative Extension.

A special effort to provide technical education programs to be guided, scheduled, and hosted by the "Coalition of Churches" and the NAACP will be undertaken this year, to advance diversification of our audiences.

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 Lincoln 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 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 Lincoln 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 Lincoln County. Evaluation methods are used to measure those differences, and 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-tests 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 impact and cost benefit analysis as our primary evaluation methods. Another value held in Extension is actively listening to and dialogue 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

Extension Advisory Council
Florence Arrowsmith
Debbie Beck
Amy Foster
Tommy Houser
Olamae Foster
Tommy Wyant
Rob Wise
Marcia Scheideman
Ethan Lineberger
Audra Ellis
Robin Nicholson
Jackie McSwain
Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Committee
Kristen Brink
Audra Ellis
Rick Ellis
Jennifer Greene
Kellie Hardin
Rachel Carpenter
4-H Advisory Committee
Audra Ellis
Erma Hoyle
Jackie McSwain
Robin Nicholson
Kelly Atkinson
Ben Cabiness
Jennifer Sherrill
John Davis
Field Crop Advisory Committee
Charles Hamilton
Tommy Wyant
Steve Johnson
Stephen Secrest
Lucas Richards
Consumer Horticulture Advisory Committee
Beverly Phelps
Debbie Beck
Marcia Scheideman

VII. Staff Membership

Tom Dyson
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (704) 736-8452
Email: tom_dyson@ncsu.edu

Jenny Carleo
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain Crops
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: jscarleo@ncsu.edu

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.

Glenn Detweiler
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (828) 465-8246
Email: glenn_detweiler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture-Livestock

Taylor Dill
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (704) 736-8461
Email: tedill@ncsu.edu

April Dillon
Title: Area Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: april_dillon@ncsu.edu

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

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety (FSMA Programs)
Phone: (919) 515-5396
Email: marissa_herchler@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marissa is an Area Specialized Agent for animal food safety, with emphasis on the new Food Safety Modernization Act rules, as they apply to feed mills in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any FSMA related questions, or PCQI training inquiries.

Abigail Isom
Title: Area Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 736-8458
Email: laisom@ncsu.edu

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (828) 684-3562
Email: craig_mauney@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities, training and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in Western NC. (My office is located at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center not the Henderson County Extension Center as is noted by IT on this website. Please do not contact the Henderson County Extension Center as I am not located there.)

Judy Moore
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 736-8461
Email: judy_moore@ncsu.edu

Ahmani Pegues
Title: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 736-8458
Email: acpegues@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!

Elena Rogers
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety - Fresh Produce Western NC
Phone: (828) 352-2519
Email: elena_rogers@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational programs, training and technical support focusing on fresh produce safety to Agents and growers in Western NC.

Amanda Taylor
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Nursery and Greenhouse, Western Region
Phone: (828) 475-2915
Email: amanda_jo_taylor@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial nursery and greenhouse producers in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.

Zach Troutman
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 736-8461
Email: zach_troutman@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

Lincoln County Center
115 W Main St
Lincolnton, NC 28092

Phone: (704) 736-8452
Fax: (704) 736-8828
URL: http://lincoln.ces.ncsu.edu