2018 Moore County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 24, 2019

I. Executive Summary

The 2018 economy in Moore County was impacted by no less than three forces, a population that has almost reached 100,000, the continuing decline in tobacco production, and agriculture unit prices and production drops from national and international competition. These forces were magnified by dry and wet weather conditions that worsened from the impacts brought by two back-to-back hurricanes, Florence and Michael. Contributing to 20% of the county’s economy, agriculture has been the focus of many partners in the region that include Cooperative Extension, Soil and Water/Natural Resources Conservation Service, county partners and local economic development organizations. Cooperative Extension is the lead education organization for areas including, profitable agriculture, adult and youth leadership development (4-H and Master Gardeners) and healthy families. With the support and leadership of volunteers, 8,152 hours were devoted to Extension programming efforts at a value of $201,273. Effective programs were shared in the community through Master Gardener Volunteers, 4-H volunteers, farm commodity organizations and ECA members. Through Extension staff efforts an additional $22,578 in donations were procured to enhance programs reaching more citizens in Moore County.

The educational goals of Profitable Agriculture & Local Foods, Youth Development, and Healthy Families represent the identified needs of Moore County. These goals were implemented in a variety of delivery methods designed to most effectively reach target audiences. The descriptions below highlight some of the impacts Extension programs made in 2018:

Critical to the success of small farm viability is the purchase and consumption of local foods by consumers. However, consumers need to be educated or reminded of the benefits of supporting local farms and contributing to the local economy. Extension helped to promote local food consumption while increasing local farm capacity through several initiatives undertaken in 2018. Extension organized and facilitated a local foods group aimed at stabilizing farm income by seeking ways to boost the endurance of a regional CSA (community supported agriculture). The focus group which comprised of farmers, representatives from commerce, community agencies, and customers developed a strategic plan that will help secure the long-term sustainability and profitability of the CSA. Once the new strategic plan was implemented member farmers have consequently acquired a steady stream of income while consumers have access to fresh in-season local produce and agricultural products. Moore County Extension also formed an agritourism task force to foster farm preservation and expansion through incorporating agritourism operations or activities on working farms. The agritourism task evolved into an on-going working group of farmers and community economic development agencies who collectively created a marketing plan to promote agritourism enterprises. The marketing plan entailed partnering with community entities to cross-market agritourism ventures through partner websites and social media platforms. The impact of the cross-marketing efforts from these essential partnerships is improving the financial security of our small farms and encourages public support for farmland preservation. Additionally, requests for business development from area farms resulted in an Extension delivered agritourism short course that was offered at Sandhills Community College. This collaboration with the community college increased Extension’s outreach capacity and enabled Extension to serve farming constituents seeking to increase farm production or income through agritourism.

Among plant production system, 310 farmers and commercial pesticide applicators were trained by Extension in 2018, and an additional 14 new applicators received training that enabled them to obtain a new license. Pesticide label review, calibration, pest identification, and worker and handler safety were covered. Best management practices for soybeans, tobacco, turf and ornamental plants, peaches, blueberries, and aquatic weed management were also covered in eleven separate meetings. Agriculture Extension Agents also conducted on-farm and research station demonstrations for cover crops and compost applications. The number of farms and acreage planted in legume cover crops has doubled over the past five years, to approximately 3,000 acres. Use of on-farm composting and commercially prepared compost has increased by similar amounts. New interest in industrial hemp production prompted Extension to host an informational session for 110 area farmers that featured advice and analyses from researchers, Extension specialists, and industry professionals in the field on the feasibility and potential agricultural projections for farmers looking for alternative profitable crops. By providing current and emerging information and education, Extension continues to help Moore County farmers increase productivity and profitability capacity.

Livestock production in Moore County ranks 27th in the state, resulting in about $147,246,000 in annual sales. Livestock sales in Moore County represent about 91% of the agricultural products sold. During 2018, 442 livestock producers were trained in best management practices including nutrient and pasture management, waste management, animal husbandry and animal selection for improved genetics and optimal market pricing, financial farm management, and record keeping. One hundred-forty beef producers were schooled and received their beef quality assurance certification. In addition to helping producers increase profitability, the issue of farm preservation and contingency concerns pertaining to the aging farming community was addressed through the introduction of agriculture to the current generation of school-aged students. During two field days offered to Moore County Public Schools and 3 summer camps, 95 students learned about the various careers available in agriculture. The experiences the students gained will potentially shape some careers toward paths in the field of agriculture. Among the equine industry, forty-two horse owners were trained in best forage and over-wintering practices. The net income gain earned by livestock producers adopting recommended Extension best management practices was $91,500.

Moore County 4-H strives to explore and share the benefits of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) through a variety of youth programs. Moore County 4-H partnered with the Moore County School system and trained 21 second grade teachers to implement the embryology project in their respective classrooms. Through this project, 378 students studied the developmental cycle of chickens from the embryonic state to hatching. Moore youth ranging in ages 5-18 participated in innovative 4-H summer programs that in addition to supplementing STEM Education also promoted life skill, career, and leadership development: Three separate 4-H Livestock Camps, accommodating youth developmental stages, introduced campers to animal science that included career exploration and the scientific aspects of livestock development and care, animal husbandry, nutrition, health, and industry standards for cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, and poultry; Farm to Kitchen Camp introduced healthy lifestyles by teaching participants the nutrients that foods provide, and participants gained food preparation skills from produce they harvested on local farms; STEM Camp gave youth the opportunity to discover the effects of science in their daily activities and routines; the Follow Your Dreams Camp taught teens the importance of goal setting and investigated ways to reach those goals; and, the new three-county “4-H Chopped” piloted competition promoted critical thinking skills, team building, and cooking skills among participating youth. Additionally, residential and outdoor adventure camps presented youth with opportunities to gain skills in swimming and canoeing while teaching them about environmental and conservation concerns of our natural resources. Finally, eight 4-H community clubs provided 152 4-Hers year-long opportunities to develop leadership and life skills through community service projects, participating in selected 4-H projects, 4-H presentations, and 4-H record keeping. Through the 4-H club structure, the 4-H Teen Council gives adolescent 4-H members leadership opportunities by encouraging them to serve as mentors to younger 4-H members, assisting them to plan and orchestrate county-wide 4-H projects, and inspiring them to take on district and state 4-H leadership positions.

Extension recognizes that the family is the cornerstone of society and strong healthy families build resilient communities. Unfortunately, homelessness can erode a family’s structure and relationships while correlating directly with poor nutrition due to food insecurity. Poor nutrition leads to poor academic performance in school-age children. To assist the Moore Public School’s population of approximately 250 homeless students Extension's Family and Consumer Sciences agent provided nutrition education sessions to identified homeless children designed to help them learn how to make healthy food choices when possible. The sessions also taught basic food preparation skills to students, enabling them to develop skills essential to healthy lifestyles. Family and Consumer Sciences also contribute to the economic viability of local restaurants and the promotion of local foods by providing food preservation and food safety certification training. In 2018 sixty-nine food safety managers and participants were trained in preventative, best food handling, and food preservation practices. The results of the training enabled food service businesses to comply with health department standards by acquiring their required food safety designations and ensured preserved food can be consumed safely.

II. 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 2017, the population was estimated to be at 97,597. This is an increase of 23.4% since the last census. 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 15.2% increase from the 2017 estimation or about a 35.01% 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, uncongested 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, twenty thousand acres of farmland has been lost to urbanization pressures since 2007, fortunately, this trend has slowed but continues to be a concern. Moore County has lost more farmland than all but three counties in the state that leads the nation in farmland lost.

The local Extension staff's 2007 Environmental Scan collected detailed demographic and programmatic information. The 2018 Plan of Work uses that data along with other needs assessment data collected throughout 2008-2017. 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, Volunteer Development, School to Career Skill 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 2018 Plan of Work.

The 2018 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, MooreHealth, Partners in Progress (local economic development) to develop adult community leaders through the Moore County Leadership Institutes, Sandhills Farm School and more. Other partnerships designed to promote sustainable and profitable farming systems include the Sandhills Farmers' Cooperative, Green Fields Sandhills, and Sandhills Farm to Fork. Youth gain leadership skills through the 4-H and youth leadership programs. The Moore CED serves on the board of MooreHealth, 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.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

Value* Outcome Description
834Number of crop (all plant systems) producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
5Number of Extension initiated and controlled County demonstration test sites (new required for GLF/PSI reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
684Number of crop (all plant systems) producers adopting best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
39500Net income gains realized by the adoption of best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
351Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre
344Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
79Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
442Number of animal producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
171Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
724Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
6196Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
851Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening, and if also reporting under Urban and Consumer Agriculture Objective, divide up the reported number appropriately between the two objectives to avoid duplication.
313Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
8Number of individuals who learn how to prepare local foods, including through use of home food preservation techniques.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
12Number of new and existing access points for consumers that expand or improve their offering of local fruits and vegetables. Access points include farmers markets, retail stores, school food programs, community gardens, institutions other than schools (e.g. hospitals, universities, etc.), and other systems/access points not noted (e.g. restaurants, etc.).
242Number of producers selling their agricultural products to local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional) for consumption in NC.
267Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
10010999Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
80Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue.
23Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
2Number of new local food value chain businesses, other than farms (in this reporting period).
51Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
1300Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
95Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden, and if also reporting under Urban and Consumer Horticulture Objective, divide up the reported number appropriately between the two objectives to avoid duplication.
75058Number of pounds of fresh produce donated for consumption by vulnerable populations.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
8Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
138Number of persons certified in Pork Quality Assurance (PQA) or Beef Quality Assurance (BQA)
1Number of food service employees receiving ServSafe certification
34Number of participants trained in safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
35TOTAL number of food handlers receiving food safety training and education in safe food handling practices (new required data for federal reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
2Number of participants implementing ServSafe
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Outcome Description
35Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
29Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
47Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
23Number of hours youth volunteer training conducted
24Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
38Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
4Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
2Number of youth volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Value* Outcome Description
24Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
929Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
508Total number of female participants in STEM program
12Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
6Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
6Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
18Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
929Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
8Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
10Number of adults gaining career / employability skills
6Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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

Value* Impact Description
15Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
14Number of participants increasing their physical activity
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Other Objectives

2015 County Plan of Work

V. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 8,281
Non face-to-face** 31,136
Total by Extension staff in 2018 39,417
* Face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make directly with individuals through one-on-one visits, meetings, and other activities where staff members work directly with individuals.
** Non face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make indirectly with individuals by telephone, email, newsletters, news articles, radio, television, and other means.

VI. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $500.00
Gifts/Donations $5,650.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $4,093.46
United Way/Foundations $6,000.00
User Fees $6,335.00
Total $22,578.46

VII. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H: 56 632 892 $ 16,072.00
Advisory Leadership System: 11 10 500 $ 254.00
Extension Community Association: 190 1,238 1,780 $ 31,482.00
Extension Master Gardener: 74 6,016 9,735 $ 152,987.00
Other: 32 256 368 $ 6,510.00
Total: 363 8152 13275 $ 207,305.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VIII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Advisory Council
David Johnson
Doug Powers
John F. Burns
Mamie Legrand
Mike Rowland
Brian Numerick
Neil Godfrey
Paul Jett
Seth Holt
Master Gardener Advisory Committee
Amy Rozycki
Ginger Minichiello
Ira Rozycki
Phyllis Schuck
Betsy Spencer
Patti Cleary
JoAnn Erickson
Toye Payne
Gloria Polakof
Horticultural Program Committee
Jim Westmen
Brad Boyd
Mark Thompson
Jose Benitez
Paige Burns
Minda Daughtry
Brad Thompson
4-H and Youth Club Leadership
Ashley Baker
Melissa Boles
Sharon Brower
Leslie Carson
Mary Cummings
Barbee Decker
Mamie LeGrand
Phyllis Schuck
Samantha Southard
Beth Younger
Livestock Advisory
Shannon Bullard
Pam Cameron
Thomas Cameron
Yates Hussey
Sue Stovall
Steve Talbert

Sandhills Sustainable Agriculture Committee
Gary Priest
Karen Ring
Rickie DeWitt
Bryan Wilson
Davon Goodwin
4-H Advisory Board
Leo Bautista
Sherry Cagle
Shawna Fink
Travis Jefferson
Shawn Scott
Megan Tucker

IX. 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: Candice_Christian@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The overall goal of the Area Specialized Agents (ASAs) in Consumer & Retail Food Safety is to support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in North Carolina.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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.

Taylor Williams
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (910) 947-3188
Email: taylor_williams@ncsu.edu

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.

X. 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