2018 Madison County Plan of Work

Approved: February 9, 2018

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 is transitioning 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 food culture. This focus on local food has implications that affect 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 2018:

1) Profitable and Sustainable Plant Production Systems
2) Profitable and Sustainable Animal Production Systems
3) Local Food Systems
4) Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems
5) Leadership Development
6) Volunteer Readiness
7) Community Development
8) School to Career (Youth and Adults)
9) Urban and Consumer Agriculture
10) Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction

Educational programs within this document will focus on these issues and will match statewide objectives that focus on three strategic priorities set forth in Cooperative Extension’s Strategic Planning initiative:
Agriculture, Food, and 4-H Youth Development.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

North Carolina's animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

Producers will increase sales of food locally to more agriculturally aware consumers through market development, producer and consumer education, and new farmer and infrastructure support.

Agricultural producers, workers, food handlers and consumers will adopt safer food and agricultural production, handling, and distribution practices that reduce workplace and home injuries/illnesses, enhance food security, and increase the quality and safety of food that North Carolinians prepare and consume.

Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.

Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.

Community members, organizations and local government will engage in collaborative dialog and decision-making to build economically, socially and environmentally resilient communities. This will be done through inclusive engagement, partnership building, and/or community planning.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.

Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.

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 work directly with the County Manager, County Planner, County Economic Developer and serve on county boards relative to these needs. The latest Madison County strategic plan focused primarily on economic strategies. The economic stability of Madison County has suffered due to the depressed economy but seems to be improving slowly. 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 office 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. Outreach is not limited to closed audiences as mass media and social networks which are open to everyone 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

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 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
Meg Chamberlain
Melissa Harwin
Knowledge Burkhardt
Pat Jenkins
Tommy Justice
Francis Ramsey
Veda Davis
David Wyatt
Caroline Davis
Rob Kraft
Melanie Kraft
Grainger Caudle
Laura Ponder
Kristen Vann
Deana Stephens
June Trevor
4-H Advisory Council Members
Laura Ponder
Caroline Douglass
Jacki Burkhardt
Knowledge Burkhardt
Donna Yost
Dorothy Crowell


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

Farmland Preservation
Harold Hunter
Ricky Reeves
David Wyatt
Tyler Ross
Brandon Young
Charles Zink
Maurice McAlister
Alternative Ag. Program Committee
Aubrey Raper
Melissa Harwin
Luther Ball
Rodney Webb
4-H School Enrichment
Kristen Vann
Caroline Davis
Lindsay Montgomery
Jennifer McHone
Nicole Norton
Waynette Wilson
Family and Consumer Sciences Sub ALS
Jodi Brazil
Deana Stephens
Barbara Stone
Melissa Harwin
Lynn Bowles
Amy Rabb
Julie Yang
Agriculture Agency committee
Tyler Ross
Chad Ayers
Brandon Young
Jess Hocz
Molly Nicholi
Charlie Zink
Chris Leek
Bill Glenn
Spencer Blevins
Livestock/Forage/Row Crop committee
Harold Hunter
Shannon Roberts
Steve Robertson
Robin Reeves-Singleton
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

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

Cathy Brackins
Title: County 4-H Assistant
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: cathy_brackins@ncsu.edu

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

Brent Buchanan
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (315) 212-1277
Email: babuchan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Dairy Extension Programming in Western North Carolina Counties of Haywood, Madison, Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson, Yancey, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Mitchell, Avery, Burke, Cleveland, Watauga, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Gaston, Ashe, Wilkes, Alexander, Iredell, Alleghany, Surry, Yadkin, and Davie.

Magen Caldwell-Woody
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: magen_caldwell@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
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.

Eve Kindley
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (828) 649-2411
Email: eve_kindley@ncsu.edu

Bill Lord
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Resources
Phone: (919) 496-3344
Email: william_lord@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water quality education and technical assistance

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables & 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.

Currey Nobles
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9520
Email: canobles@ncsu.edu

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 38 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.

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 250-1112
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