2020 Montgomery County Plan of Work

Approved: January 21, 2020

I. County Background

Montgomery County is a small, rural county in central North Carolina. According to the latest census, the population is approximately 27,820 with 63.9% white, 19.2% black, 1.6% Asian, American Indian and Alaska Native 0.8% and 14.5% Hispanic or Latino. Located at the geographic center of North Carolina, Montgomery County offers businesses unrivaled access to the region, the state, and the eastern United States. A vast transportation network, available buildings and land, a prime location, countless outdoor recreation opportunities, and small town quality of life are just a few of the reasons businesses and employees succeed here. Our location makes Montgomery County a beautiful place to work and to live. We are close to everything, yet we are still able to maintain the small town values that make us who we are.

The annual Plan of Work is based on the needs of the Montgomery County citizens. The needs were identified by collecting statistical data such as the US Census and the Community Health Assessment. Each program area Advisory Council provides expert and community input into program decision-making. The objectives for 2020 were selected based on this input and Montgomery County participated in the collection of data for the state-wide Extension Needs Assessment.

The needs of Montgomery County citizens have been identified and the staff will rely on the leadership of the specialized committees to help identify and reach the target audiences; develop programming strategies; market the educational programs; and in some cases, evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. Agents will reach the identified audiences through face-to-face visits, educational workshops, and media.

The Advisory Leadership Council prioritized the needs of the county citizens and selected to continue to address the following objectives:

*Family and Consumer Sciences
*Plant Production Systems
*Consumer Horticulture
*Animal Production Systems
*Community Development
*4-H Youth Development
*Food Safety and Nutrition

Montgomery County Cooperative Extension staff will design, implement and evaluate educational programming in the identified areas to bring about positive change for the citizens of Montgomery County.

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

The County of Montgomery currently does not have a written strategic plan. However, the areas of Transportation, Education and Infrastructure have been identified as priority areas for economic development into the future. Cooperative Extension programs in the county reflect county government's expectations for quality customer service, integrity, efficient use of resources, accountability and programs that bring value to the public including education. In addition, Extension programming focuses on economic impacts, education for all, youth and adult health and wellness, and conservation of our natural resources, all goals that the Board of Commissioners have identified as critical to the county.

As another county government function, Montgomery County Cooperative Extension administers the county’s Voluntary and Enhanced Agricultural Districts Ordinance. Through this program, Extension works with the 9-member Montgomery Agricultural Advisory Board, appointed by the County Commissioners. In addition, to overseeing the ordinance, the group’s responsibilities include advising the Board of Commissioners on projects, programs, or issues affecting the agricultural economy or activities within the county that affect agriculture.

Also, as a county department, Cooperative Extension stands ready to support and serve county operations in the event of any emergency or natural disaster. The auditorium of the Extension Center and The Agricultural Center is available for use by government officials during times of emergency operations.

Cooperative Extension can also make a meaningful contribution in other priority areas including:

1. Ensuring financial management and accountability
* Cooperative Extension will plan ahead and work with partnering agencies to decrease spending and manage our resources as efficiently as possible. We will work with the county manager and finance department to ensure we are staying within our budget and all financial statements match. We will continue to apply for grants and look for alternative funding sources.

2. Encouraging broad participation in economic development efforts
* Cooperative Extension will work with the county to promote economic development and our Extension Agents will promote our county Shop Local campaign and Agri-business opportunities as we continue to support our local farmer's market.
* We will continue to expand our Youth Leadership Montgomery program which increases awareness of the county’s resources and the need for young leaders to become actively involved.

3. Developing a comprehensive public safety plan
* Cooperative Extension works with the Emergency Preparedness Committee to assess the damage to agriculture after disasters, as well as extreme weather conditions.

4. Collaborating on education issues
* Extension Agents will work with local schools and community clubs to give hands-on experiences that will enhance what children are learning in classrooms and prepare them for a successful future. A variety of delivery methods will be used including: school enrichment programs, special interest programs and after-school programs.

7. Developing a long-term recreation plan
* The county 4-H Youth Development program works to provide educational recreation opportunities for all ages through community clubs and our Summer Adventures program.
* Agents will work with Master Gardeners and Beekeepers Association members to provide recreation, volunteer, and economic opportunities to the citizens of Montgomery County.
* The Family and Consumer Sciences Agent will work with youth and adults teaching them to make healthy eating decisions and promoting physical activity in programs.
* The Livestock Agent will work with youth throughout the year teaching them how to care for their animals and preparing them to show at our local Livestock Show in the Fall.

8. Improve Communication
* In order to improve communication between other departments and Cooperative Extension, the Director will attend monthly Commissioner meetings and send a monthly report to be included in the commissioners meeting packet. We will also send a monthly newsletter out electronically using Constant Contact to our clientele listserves. We will also send regular newspaper articles to the Montgomery Herald.
* Cooperative Extension will utilize social media sites to expand marketing efforts and keep our county website up to date.
* Cooperative Extension will provide an annual report to the public annually.

IV. Diversity Plan

Montgomery County Cooperative Extension is committed to embracing the value of diversity and the elimination of discrimination on the basis of irrelevant characteristics such as race, nationality, social-economic status, religious beliefs, ethnicity, family and marital status, gender, age, or disability. These differences are the basis for our values, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that allow us to develop educational programs for the betterment of our county. The following methods will be utilized to promote the importance of diversity:

• To be inclusive, relevant, and responsive to planning, designing, implementing, and evaluating programs for diverse audiences.
• Incorporate diversity into publications, exhibits, mass media, and other marketing efforts.
• Utilization of curriculum that emphasizes diversity.
• Incorporate measures of diversity into staff appraisals.
• Collaborate with other agencies to offer educational programs.
• Monitor Extension Reporting System to make sure we are serving a diverse group of people in relationship to the county demographics.
• Seek out opportunities to serve on committees and boards that serve a diverse group of people.
• Participate in events such as health fairs and other events that target minority groups.

This plan of work when implemented provides a framework to assist Extension staff in accomplishing the programmatic goals in a manner consistent with the Extension vision, mission, and values.

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 Montgomery 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 Montgomery 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 Montgomery County. Evaluation methods are the way we make observations of any changes occurring, as a result, our educational programs, and the significance of those changes. As an educational organization, the changes we seek to 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 the 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 method. 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

Montgomery Advisory Leadership Council
Janno Lewis
Debbi Musika
Bruce Thompson
Lane Poole
Cindy Taylor
Don Thompson
Kayla Shomaker
Archie Smith
Myra Taylor
Gary Dunn
Jeremy Martin
Charles Lucas
Shirley Harris
David Clark
Joseph Huntley
Youth & Family Advisory Program Committee
Alisa Beard
Jessica Latham
Millie Bruton
Kimberly Burger
Brenda Goss
Hope Davis
Quinn Shopbell
Lily Peters
Amy Frieary
Shirley Harris
Beth Morton
Diana Sanchez
Chanda Stokes
Cindy Taylor
Theresa Thomas
Kristen Cook
Demond Hairston
Sherri Allgood
Montgomery County Agriculture Advisory Council
Benny Hampton
Archie Smith
Boon Chesson
Jeremy Haywood
Jimmie Byrd
Ray Allen
Bruce Thompson
Andrew Gahagan, Ex Officio-County Planner
Joseph Huntley, Ex Officio-Soil and Water
Bee Keepers Board
Shirley Harris
Bill Tingen
Tony Harris
Patty Tingen
Buck Lewis
Janno Lewis
Nancy Rupert
Cattleman Board
Archie Smith
Eddie Maness
Danny McRae
Tommy Steele
Jeff Maness
Gene & Charlon McNeill
Terry Freeman
Donald Bulla
Jim Chandler
Lois Chandler
Jeremy Haywood
Franklin Byrd
Glenn Williams
Horticulture Advisory Committee
David Clark
Meng Kong
Charles Lucas
Gary Dunn
Jennifer Hare
Rich Persin
Christy Adams

VII. Staff Membership

Chrissy Haynes
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 576-6011
Email: chrissy_haynes@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.

Kim Gibson
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 576-6011
Email: kim_gibson@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.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with commercial greenhouses and nurseries to help them with growing related issues. These issues range from pests (insect, disease, and weeds), substrates, nutrition, and other miscellaneous topics.

Peggie Lewis Joyce
Title: Area 4-H Agent - Central Region
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: peggie_lewis@ncsu.edu

Kaitlyn Lamaster
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (910) 576-6011
Email: kaitlyn_lamaster@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.

Deborah Malarz
Title: Program Assistant
Phone: (910) 576-6011
Email: deborah_malarz@ncsu.edu

Rhonda Peters
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 576-6011
Email: rtpeters@ncat.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.

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.

Jamie Warner
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Forestry
Phone: (910) 576-6011
Email: jamie_warner@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Beef Cattle, Sheep, Goats, Horses, 4-H Livestock, Forages, Forestry, Voluntary Agriculture Districts, Local Foods

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

Montgomery County Center
203 W Main St
Troy, NC 27371

Phone: (910) 576-6011
Fax: (910) 576-2635
URL: http://montgomery.ces.ncsu.edu