2019 Nash County Plan of Work

Approved: January 17, 2019

I. County Background

Nash County is a thriving community home to 93,991 residents located just east of the Research Triangle (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) with a diverse workforce and a prospering local economy that offers distinct advantages for growing industries. The 2018 national census describes this population to be 55% white, 40% African American, 7% Latino and 4% other. A significant portion of this population has limited resources which hampers their economic and social advancement. While Nash has traditionally been an agricultural county, it is one of eastern North Carolina’s few major health care, manufacturing and retail trade centers.

Agricultural production and the growing climate of local foods continue to strongly influence local decision making. Today, 430 farm operations manage an estimated 90,000 acres of crop and pasture land, producing a broadly diversified list of crops and livestock. The county’s estimated annual farm income is approaching $200 million. There is increasing interest in purchasing safe-to-eat, locally grown food. A few more than half of the primary farm operators indicate their primary occupation to be farming. Interestingly, approximately two-thirds of Nash crop land is owned by non-farming landowners, who lease their land to active farmers. Soybean is the largest crop grown in the county at 29,592 acres. Most of the Nash County soybean crop is crushed and used as a protein supplement in livestock feed rations. Flu-cured tobacco acreage increased 119 acres to 8,454 acres. Wheat acreage is relatively stable at 2,934 acres. Cotton acreage significantly increased over 2,000 acres to 9,908 acres after a drastic decrease in 2016. Farmers reported planting 8,136 acres of sweet potatoes with 90.5% being the Covington variety making Nash County #3 in the state for overall production. New agriculture crops include Stevia at 74 acres and Industrial Hemp at 10.5 acres. Poultry and eggs continue to be Nash County’s highest valued agricultural commodities, with flu-cured tobacco and sweet potatoes close behind. While crop farmers suffer from lower crop market prices, livestock and poultry production benefits from the currently lower prices for corn and wheat and moderate soybean prices. Crop production in Nash County is in the top 10 of cash receipts at $105,431 and the annual estimated farm gate gross receipts for agricultural products grown are approximately $189 million.

Nash County faces challenges. The developing nature of the county is generating concern for the county’s lack of formalized farmland preservation. The high school graduation rate is 83%. The county is included in a 4-county region having North Carolina’s greatest occurrence of childhood and adult obesity. While progress is being made, the public water system is not yet serving all large rural areas of the county. High speed internet connectivity is not available county-wide at reasonable cost however the availability to all continue to be important to local government. Nash County’s labor force declined from 43,333 in April 2017 to 42,967 in April of 2018 .The number of local jobs has declined, with a shift away from manufacturing to lower paid service jobs.

Key leaders of Nash County and customers of the Nash County Extension program were involved in the process of identifying the top issues and needs of the county. Conversations, focus groups and evaluations from stakeholders and Nash County citizens were the primary methods used to identify issues impacting the county's quality of life. The following focus areas were identified:

* Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability including traditional row crops, produce, livestock and the green industry
* Youth Leadership Development
* Nutrition Education
* Local Food Systems and Food Insecurity

This 2019 County Plan of Work seeks to positively impact many of these issues through extension education. Extension educational programs will continue to target the county's productive and profitable agricultural industry. The production and sales of local foods will be encouraged with continued management of a regional farmer’s market in Rocky Mount, N.C. The limited resource audience will be intentionally targeted with extension educational programs for financial management, leadership development, entrepreneurship and community development. Additional youth and parents will be involved in the dynamic "Learn By Doing" 4-H Youth Development program.

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 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

While a formal county strategic plan has not been developed, local decision-makers are giving their attention to economic development, education, and thoughtful land use development. This "2019 Cooperative Extension Plan of Work" for Nash County responds to these priorities with educational outreach from our two land-grant universities. Cooperative Extension is assuming an increasing role in providing factual information which helps individuals participate in public decisions. Cooperative Extension is positioned to help quickly disseminate unbiased information to the public, serve and assist county government in any issues that arrives.

IV. Diversity Plan

Intentional efforts will direct extension educational programs to individuals of all races, religions and national origins targeting underserved and limited resource populations via personal contacts, mass media information, broadcast faxes, broadcast emails, online website access and mass mailings of educational newsletters. Diversity is intentionally built into the membership of the various Cooperative Extension advisory leadership committees.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Delivering timely, relevant educational programs that meet critical local needs is the cornerstone of Cooperative Extension’s mission. Extension educational programs are designed to equip Nash County citizens and decision makers 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 field tours 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 focus. As such, in addition to serving walk-in clients at 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 fully utilized by Nash County citizens.

Success in extension education, is defined as the extent to which our educational programs have made a difference in the lives of local citizens. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about first and foremost whether any changes occurred as a result 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 communicating 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

County Extension Advisory Council
Kirby Brown
Wanda Bunn
Joie Byrne
Reggie Cobb
Robbie Davis
Bobby Joe Fisher
George Jeffries
Warnell Joyner
Dr. Kathy Lawson
Sydney Phillips
Parker Philips
Kenneth Powell
Barbara High Tyre
Community & Rural Development Council
Robert Alston
Marvin Arrington
David Bowens
Elsie Bowens
Anna Deans
Brenda Foster
Gary Foster
George Jefferies
Betty T. Lowe
James Parker
Elsie Ricks
Carolyn Williams
Horticulture Advisory Committee
Joie Byrne
Sammie Crumley
Paul Lovin
Peggy Wendling
Anna Stark
Cyndy Scalf
Maggie Barkley
Linda Tippette
Lee McCollum
Reba Fulghum
Sarah Thurman
Anne Sickinger
Paige Davis
4-H Advisory Committee
Jennifer Aycock
Wanda Bunn
Jessica Daughtridge
Olivia Daughtridge
Cheryl Glover
Molly LaHay
Kathy Lawson
Sue Leggett
Pepper Manning
Timmy Mills
Tamara Moore
Marina Strickland
Mary Strickland
Suzanne Strickland
Marlene Strufe
Barbara Tyre
Jane Tyson
Angie Vandemark
Damien Whitley
Cullin Whitley
Susan Whitley
Brenda Wind
Melissa Winner
County Agriculture Advisory Board
Steve Bass
Dan Cone
Linda Fisher
David O. Griffin
Gary High
Brent Leggett
Brandon Moore
Michael Strickland
Jeff Tyson
Ronnie Weaver
Orville Wiggins
Livestock Production Committee
Wanda Bunn
Brent Creech
Linda Fisher
Bill Freeman
Mark Hucks
Molly LaHay
Melissa Winner
Cole Younger
Family & Consumer Sciences Advisory Committee
Sue Perry Cole
Sydney Phillips
Larissa Mills
Carolyn Pennington
Morgan Doughtie
Allison Barrett
Marie Braswell
Nash County Farmers Market Advisory Committee
Kenneth Baker
Tim Bass
Fred Belfield,Jr.
Evan Convington Chavez
Stephanie Collins
David Farris
Bobby Joe Fisher
Vaden Hartley
Joyce Kight
Zee Lamb
Margaret Maggie Latta
Sue Leggett
Sue Moore
Michael O'Brien
Ricky Parks
Paula Reges
Karen White
Fan Faulkner Williamson

VII. Staff Membership

Sandy Hall
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: sandy_hall@ncsu.edu

Maurine Brown
Title: Farmers Market Manager, Nash County Farmers Market
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: maurine_brown@ncsu.edu

Daniel Campeau
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: dan_campeau@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Work mainly with Commercial Poultry industry. I also work with small scale poultry production. Service area is now the North Central District from Guilford to Halifax with the southern edge being Chatham and Wake county respectively.

Traci Dixon
Title: Extension Agent, Community and Rural Development
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: traci_dixon@ncsu.edu

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits and Vegetables
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: erin_eure@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in northeastern NC.

Steve Gabel
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: steve_gabel@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for aquaculture educational programs for the NC NE extension district.

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.

Lynette Johnston
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-0303
Email: lynette_johnston@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.

Danny Lauderdale
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Nursery and Greenhouse, Eastern Region
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: danny_lauderdale@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial ornamental nursery and greenhouse producers in eastern North Carolina.

Kelsey Lichtenwalner
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 641-7827
Email: kelsey_lichtenwalner@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for helping farmers start, manage, grow, and improve their herd and/or farm, as well as educating the community about Agriculture.

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

Lori McBryde
Title: Area 4-H Agent, East Region
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: lori_mcbryde@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide support the Eastern 34 Counties of the Northeast and Southeast Districts in 4-H Youth Development.

Barbara Monk
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 459-1409
Email: Barbara_Monk@ncsu.edu

Regina Moseley
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: regina_moseley@ncsu.edu

Amy Ormond
Title: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: amy_ormond@ncsu.edu

Chip Simmons
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety
Phone: (919) 414-5632
Email: odsimmon@ncsu.edu

Matt Stevens
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Commercial and Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: matt_stevens@ncsu.edu

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.

Megan Turner
Title: County Extension Secretary, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: megan_turner@ncsu.edu

Maryanna Waters
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: Maryanna_Bennett@ncsu.edu

Brenda Wind
Title: Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: bwind@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.

VIII. Contact Information

Nash County Center
1006 Eastern Ave, Room 102
Nash County Ag Center
Nashville, NC 27856

Phone: (252) 459-9810
Fax: (252) 459-9850
URL: http://nash.ces.ncsu.edu