2020 Moore County Plan of Work

Approved: January 21, 2020

I. County Background

Moore County is a largely rural county with eleven incorporated small towns. The county covers almost 700 square miles of land area in central North Carolina. It is part of a region known as the “Sandhills” and borders Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Scotland, Richmond, Montgomery, Randolph, Chatham, and Lee counties. Moore County is characterized by the sandy soil and rolling hills. The 2000 Census revealed that Moore County’s population was 74,768, but by the end of 2019, the population was estimated to be at 98,682. This is an increase of 24% in nineteen years. The NC Budget and Management Office projects that by the year 2030, the county’s population will be around 115,154, which will be about an additional 14.3% increase from the current 2019 estimation or about a 35.07% increase from 2000.

Tourism, agriculture, healthcare, education, and government are the largest economic sectors and employers. Agriculture in the Sandhills makes up close to 20% of the economic output based on dollars of production. Moore County has seen an increase in the number of people aged 20 to 45 moving to the area, as more and more people in this age group are discovering the business and employment opportunities, safe neighborhoods, good schools, and the realignment of Fort Bragg. Our communities continue to attract active retirees as well. Moore County is growing, but with its large land area, it maintains a more rural, open feeling.

The county's northern half is considered part of the Southern Piedmont area in North Carolina with rolling hills and predominantly deciduous forests. The county historically has water supply issues due to its geography and geology. The county's lower portion is a part of the Sandhills Region characterized by longleaf pines, scrub oaks, and sandy soils.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture Census of Agriculture, Moore County lost 71 farms between 2007 and 2017, however farm acreage has increased by 10.4% from 80,075 to 89,375 acres. Of concern, though, according to the NC State Office of State Budget and Management, is that Moore County is ranked as the fifteenth fastest growing county in North Carolina.

The local Extension staff's 2018 Environmental Scan collected detailed demographic and programmatic information. The 2020 Plan of Work uses that data along with other needs assessment data collected throughout 2008-2019. Program committees, volunteers, and clients are routinely consulted in facilitated discussion in both paper and online surveys. Educational programs are developed from these responses and include Profitable Agriculture & Local Foods, Community Development, Youth Development, and Healthy Families. These program goals are endorsed by the Moore County Advisory Council and will guide the program moving forward. Program impacts are measured through participant feedback and program evaluations given to program participants at the completion of implemented programs and through testimonials of results voluntarily given by participants who have adopted practices learned from Extension programs. Program impacts will be useful to ensure planned programs are meeting the needs of constituents and are meeting the 2020 Plan of Work.

The 2020 Plan of Work also includes building and strengthening Extension's capabilities through continued involvement in public policy education, facilitating applicable community issues, and engaging county partnerships to address common goals. Extension partners with Moore County Government, the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, Moore Health, Partners in Progress (local economic development), the Pinehurst/Southern Pines/Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau, Moore Public Schools, United Way, the Boys and Girls Clubs, Moore County Library, and Sandhills Community College to develop adult and youth community leaders and advocates who will be engaged in the prosperous health of Moore County. Other partnerships designed to promote sustainable and profitable farming systems include the Sandhills Farmers' Cooperative, Green Fields Sandhills, and Sandhills Farm to Table. Youth gain leadership skills through the 4-H and youth leadership programs. The Moore CED serves on the board of Moore Health, a county collaborative committee that includes the Moore County Health Department, representatives from the First Health medical system, and non-profit health agencies that work together to address and find community solutions to chronic dietary and lifestyle-related diseases. By vigorously fostering county and community partnerships and collaborative efforts, Moore County Extension can most effectively build community capacity, meet the needs of Moore County residents and advance the Extension objectives that best serve Moore County.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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 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. Other Objectives

2015 County Plan of Work

IV. Relationship to County Government Objectives

Moore County Cooperative Extension values the relationship established with the County of Moore. The County Extension Director attends monthly and specialized Department Head meetings and submits weekly and monthly reports to the County Manager. The county's mission, "Providing exceptional services that make Moore County a premier community in which to live, work, and raise a family," aligns the mission of Extension. Moore County Extension Center's collective Plan of Work has focused its work on four goals: Profitable Agriculture & Local Foods, Community Development, 4-H Youth Development and Healthy Families. These goals reflect three of the county's strategic plan initiatives: Be known as a customer friendly local government; Encourage and support the sustainability of our communities; Deliver efficient public services that are accessible, responsive, dependable and positively impact people.

Cooperative Extension and other departments prepare budgets focused on county public service delivery goals. Each department's goals are reviewed in the budget development process by the manager/budget team with final approval by the county commissioners.

Cooperative Extension teams with other county departments to improve communicating with the citizens of Moore County and the Sandhills area.

Cooperative Extension serves on the County Animal Response Team (CART). The CART develops a structure for locating pets at emergency shelters and conducting training for large animal rescue. The County Extension Director and livestock agent are members of the county's Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The Agriculture Center's large meeting room will serve as replacement offices for county departments impacted by any disasters. Additionally, the CED serves as an adviser to the County Planning Board to identify agricultural land that may be impacted by possible development.

An annual "Report To The People" is presented at a County Commissioners Meeting to share program success and impacts. Additionally, during Farm-City Week county commissioners and other public officials are escorted on an annual tour of selected farms. The tour serves to expose officials to the various agricultural enterprises in operation while it also introduces them to some of the various Extension programs that address the scope and economic impact of agriculture in Moore County.

V. Diversity Plan

Moore County Cooperative Extension is committed to embracing the value of diversity and eliminating discrimination. Moore County Cooperative Extension utilizes all reasonable efforts with regard to identifiable groups and seeks to secure minority representation on all advisory groups.

The Extension team currently serves every community in Moore County through organized 4H clubs and events, the Extension and Community Association (ECA), Moore County Master Gardeners, and agricultural organizations or in response to individual requests that specifically reach under-served audiences.

Community Gardens with extensive assistance from Master Gardeners, reach minority and under-served audiences including Latino audiences throughout the county.

4-H school enrichment programs, embryology, are delivered in all elementary and middle schools in the county. Through the use of United Way funds, 4-H provides financial support to youth to offset program costs for all youth.

VI. 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 Moore County with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life. An Extension program delivery system is planned and organized with a mix of activities to most effectively involve learners. Extension educational methods are the specific ways by which research-based information is shared with targeted audiences. 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 educational sessions. Equally important, this plan will also include educational methods such as seminars, face-to-face visits, fact sheets, newsletters, website postings 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 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, churches, and other locations in order for our programs to be available and accessible to, and fully utilized by, the citizens of Moore 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 Moore 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. 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.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Council
Mamie Legrand
Brian Numerick
Neil Godfrey
Julie McLeod
Matthew Powers
Mary Ruth Whitaker
Matthew Garner
Claudia Watson
Robert Lawhon
Kim Wade
Linda Parsons
Weston Williams
Melissa Boles
Master Gardener Advisory Committee
Amy Rozycki
Ira Rozycki
David Chestnut
Mike Rowland
Sharon Lowery
Nancy Manar
Horticultural Program Committee
Gene Maples
Sydney Ross
Mark Thompson
Shawn Sazama
Paige Burns
Jim Westmen
Billy Ransom
4-H and Youth Club Leadership
Beth Younger
Mamie LeGrand
Melissa Boles
Barbee Decker
Ashley Baker
Sam Southard
Livestock Advisory
Steve Talbert
Weston Williams
Zach Hussey
Jackie Phillips
Jim Granito
Tim Robinson
Travis Black
Doug Powers
Kathy Talbert
Sandhills Sustainable Agriculture Committee
Gary Dunn
Michael Seawell
Shawna Fink
Charles Lucas
Benjamin Bailey
Dionette Swinney
Bryan Jones
4-H Advisory Board
Sherry Cagle
Shawna Fink
Shawn Scott
Megan Tucker
Dee Johnson
Agritourism Focus Group
Doug Reagan
Laura Younts
Sue Stovall
Terry Bryant
Vickie Mehta
Ryan Olufs
Barbara Dunn
Karen Frye
Karyn Ring
Kim Reagan
Lisa Long
Phil Werz
Harry Webster
Jane Priest
Mary Beth Jackson
Denise Williams
John Blue

VIII. Staff Membership

Deborah McGiffin
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 947-4650
Email: deborah_mcgiffin@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides leadership and manages resource development for all county Extension program areas. Maintains an effective advisory leadership system representative of the county program of work. Responsible for marketing Extension programs and their impacts. Coordinates staff development and training, conducts performance evaluations, and aligns staff work responsibilities to county Plan of Work.

Sarah Barber
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 947-3188
Email: sarah_barber@ncsu.edu

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

Brandi Carter
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 947-3188
Email: brandi_carter@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.

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

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.

Savanah Laur
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture, Field Crops
Phone: (910) 947-3188
Email: salaur@ncsu.edu

Kelly McCaskill
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Field Crops
Phone: (910) 947-3188
Email: kelly_mccaskill@ncsu.edu

Angela Priest
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (910) 947-3188
Email: angela_priest@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!

Janice Roberts
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: janice_roberts@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.

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.

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.

IX. Contact Information

Moore County Center
707 Pinehurst Ave
Agricultural Center
Carthage, NC 28327

Phone: (910) 947-3188
Fax: (910) 947-1494
URL: http://moore.ces.ncsu.edu