2020 Madison County Plan of Work

Approved: February 10, 2020

I. County Background

Madison County has a population of roughly 21,000. Hard working people with close knit families and communities are the backbone of this county. Rural and primarily agrarian, this county boasts over 1000 active small and medium size farms. The farming profile has transitioned from a century long history of wholesale production and now has adopted a direct market approach to sales of farm products. This fundamental change increases the need for education on marketing, distribution, packaging, processing and food safety as well as a campaign to educate the local consumer. Cooperative Extension is poised to provide educational programming that address many aspects of this transitioning agriculture culture. This new direction has implications that provide educational opportunities in every program area of Extension including: Youth, Families, Communities and Farmers.

Three small towns make up the urban climate: Mars Hill, Marshall and Hot Springs. The largest of these towns is populated with just over 1000. Half the County's working population leave the county for employment while many of those that remain own small businesses which adds to the rural, wholesome flavor of the county.

One county High School and one Middle School are supported by three elementary schools located in each of the county’s three towns. Extension programming in all of these schools is essential to the growth of our youth. A focus on teaching life skills and developing leaders for the future is evident in this Plan of Work.

The following is a list of primary objectives that will direct the Madison County Extension Center in 2020:

1) Family and Consumer Sciences
2) Plant Production Systems
3) Animal Production Systems
4) Community Development
5)4-H Youth Development
6) Natural Resource and Environmental Systems
7) Consumer Horticulture
8) Food Safety and Nutrition

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 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

Cooperative Extension in Madison County works hand in hand with the County Government to address commonly identified needs. The Extension staff serve on county boards relative to the needs of the county in relation to the mission of our organization. The latest Madison County strategic plan focused primarily on economic strategies. Many of the programs that Cooperative Extension offers focus directly on economic development from helping begin new businesses to equipping youth to be more prepared for College or the workforce.

Emergency operations and natural disasters are areas for which Cooperative Extension plays critical roles. Many of the programs and activities conducted by Cooperative Extension are in the category of “preventative and preparation”. Educational by nature, this organization provides farms, families, youth, and communities with pre-emergency information so they will be prepared in the event of these tragedies.
Post-emergency educational information is also disseminated to help people deal with issues including: food safety, water purification, disaster relief programs, etc.
During emergency events certain Cooperative Extension Staff work directly with emergency management officials to facilitate rescue and relief efforts.

Madison County government is a very integral partner in almost every educational program conducted by Cooperative Extension. They provide excellent facilities, advertise programs through their network of email list serves, serve on planning teams and are overall extremely supportive of the Extension work done in Madison County.

IV. Diversity Plan

NC Cooperative Extension is dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all the citizens regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, disability or sexual orientation. Statements to this effect are printed on all documents sent from the Madison County Extension office. All efforts are made to ensure that our services are made available to everyone. The Extension facility meets Federal ADA requirements, many of our publications are available in Spanish, and our recruitment strategies for boards, committees, and program participants encourage the participation from minority groups. Madison County is predominately white at 96.5%, 2% Hispanic, and 1.2% African American. Mass media and social networks are open to everyone and are used on a regular basis to advertise educational opportunities and disseminate information.

The diversity plan for the Madison County Extension Center is to actively recruit minority representation on boards and committees, and to implement target-marketing strategies specifically designed for minority groups.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Extension educational programs are designed to equip the citizens of Madison 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 Madison County.

Success is defined as the extent to which our educational programs have made a difference in the lives of the citizens of Madison County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about 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 impact and cost benefit analysis 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

Madison County Extension Advisory Council
Jackie Burkhardt
Melissa Harwin
Pat Jenkins
Tommy Justice
Francis Ramsey
Veda Davis
David Wyatt
Caroline Davis
Rob Kraft
Grainger Caudle
Laura Ponder
Deana Stephens
June Trevor
4-H Advisory Council Members
Laura Ponder
Jacki Burkhardt
Donna Yost
Heather Mitchell
Nicole Norton
Earle Lynn Allison
Caroline Davis
Jennifer McHone
Lauren Yost

Foods and Nutrition/ Health/ Food Safety Program Committee
Deana Stephens
Sharon Norton
Pat Jenkins
Laura Downing

Alternative Ag. Program Committee
Aubrey Raper
Melissa Harwin
Lori Jenkins
John Kunkle
Linda Raper
Family and Consumer Sciences Sub ALS
Jodi Brazil
Deana Stephens
Pat Jenkins
Melissa Harwin
John Miller

General Agriculture committee
Tyler Ross
Chad Ayers
Brandon Young
Jess Hocz
Molly Nicholi
Charlie Zink
Chris Leek
Bill Glenn
Spencer Blevins
Livestock/Forage/Row Crop committee
Wendy Brugh
Anna English
Stuart Murray
Jamie Jenkins
Austin Wyatt
Commercial Horticulture committee
Michael Boone
Carson King
Edward Jones
Michael Coates

VII. Staff Membership

Ross Young
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: ross_young@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 20% Administration 20% Comercial Ag. Production 20% Facilities management 20% 4-H 20% Community Development

Elizabeth Ayers
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: etayers@ncat.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture Extension Agent

Cathy Brackins
Title: County 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: Cathy_Brackins@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Program assistant and 10 hours support staff.

Rebecca Bradley
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock, Agronomy and Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: rebecca_bradley@ncsu.edu

Magen Caldwell-Woody
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: magen_caldwell@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: As the NCCES Administrative Assistant in Madison County, I am the initial interface with 90% of the customers that our organization interacts with. I manage all reception duties associated with running a front office including answering and routing all phone calls and addressing each individual request from clients entering the facility. With our facility hosting hundreds of events each year, it brings thousands of individuals through our doors, in my position I use a variety of interface techniques to assist in these interactions. I am responsible for the day to day operations of money handling and budget management. My CED, Ross Young is responsible for making the spending decisions and providing oversight of the overall financial stability, however, I am the one that provides daily attention to the details, which include several individual funding streams: County Budget, Grant Budgets, Travel Budget, Office checking account, 4-H checking account, P-Card, Endowments, Event and Room use fees, Client storage fees, and fundraising events. My responsibilities also include the scheduling of all facilities, equipment, space and events associated with the Madison County Extension Center both for Extension events/activities and non-Extension events/activities. Scheduling include the following: Three meeting room spaces, a value added center, a value added kitchen, a walk-in freezer, walk-in coolers, walk-in dry storage, a walk-in fermenting room, multiple value added equipment items, three commercial dehydrators, a mushroom house, and multiple free standing cooling units. This also includes some after-hours and weekend assistance. In addition, I also create and manage the policies associated with client utilization of all these components. I provide leadership to the Extension staff on all computer and electronic based systems and platforms. I am the official Computer Contact for the state for our office, I serve as graphic designer, website manager, social media manager, manage all electronic hardware including the mail system, printing, copying, fax, etc. I also manage all software that is required of Extension offices including but not limited to Wolf Time, E-News, Constant Contact, WRS Reporting System, Adobe, and Media management tools. I also provide hands-on support for programs throughout the year. I work with the CED and Agents as a team player in designing, setting up and implementing programs and events conducted by Cooperative Extension. Some of these duties include: signing in clients for programs, designing/decorating for events, advertising, assisting during programs in any number of ways that makes the program a success. In addition, I manage our Berry/Plant sale program with assistance from the staff. I also provide assistance in numerous ways to many of the County Employees.

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.

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

Sue Estridge
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: sue_estridge@ncsu.edu

Lauren Greene
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (336) 651-7347
Email: lauren_greene@ncsu.edu

Marissa Herchler Cohen
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety
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, pet food and ingredient facilities in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any animal food safety-related questions, or Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PCAF/PCQI) training inquiries.

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.)

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.

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.

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.

Skip Thompson
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational opportunities and technical support to the trout and carp aquaculture industries in 42 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in western North Carolina. Fish health, production management, and waste management educational programs will assist trout farmers, fee-fishing pond managers, carp ponds and trout fingerling producers with the management and sustainability of their facilities.

Misty Varnell
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: misty_varnell@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Lead the 4-H Youth Development Program in Madison County. Provide youth educational programs based on the pillars of 4-H: agriculture, STEM, healthy living, and leadership and civic engagement. Coordinate 4-H clubs, school enrichment, and special activities. Recruit and manage qualified volunteers and provide training for adult volunteers working with youth.

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

Madison County Center
258 Carolina Ln
Marshall, NC 28753

Phone: (828) 649-2411
Fax: (828) 649-2020
URL: http://madison.ces.ncsu.edu