2018 Nash County Plan of Work

Approved: January 29, 2018

I. County Background

Nash County is home to 93,919 residents. The 2010 national census describes this population to be 56% white, 39% African American, 6% 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 that way of life 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.

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 84%. 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. The number of local jobs has declined, with a shift away from manufacturing to lower paid service jobs.

The Atlantic Coast Natural Gas Pipeline is proposed to cross the county, distributing natural gas from fracking activity in other states. This new source of energy will be delivered initially for powering electricity generating power plants in other counties. The proposed route for pipeline installation is likely to impact approximately 200 landowners in the county.
In July 2016, the state of North Carolina, the Carolina's Gateway Partnership and CSX proudly announced Rocky Mount, North Carolina, as the home for a new intermodal rail terminal known as the Carolina Connector, or CCX. However, this announcement hit a snag when the CEO passed away and the new CEO changed the company's vision hence not fully committing to continue to build the CSX. This $270M+ critical infrastructure projected to serve as a major transportation hub in the Southeast, and a catalyst for substantial economic growth throughout the state of North Carolina and was expected to open 2020. At this time, the project is in a standstill.

This 2018 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. Continual educational efforts will also be directed toward local landowners affected by the Atlantic Coast Natural Gas Pipeline.

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 agricultural crops industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of crops was $4.72 billion, placing NC as the 17th largest in the nation. North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state's 50,200 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.4 million of the state's 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber. Tobacco remains one of the state's most predominant farm commodities. North Carolina produces more tobacco and sweet potatoes than any other state and ranks second in Christmas tree cash receipts. The state also produces a significant amount of cucumbers for pickles, lima beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, strawberries, bell peppers, blueberries, chili peppers, fresh market cucumbers, snap beans, cabbage, eggplant, watermelons, pecans, peaches, squash, apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, and grapes. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic and niche market production. Educational and training programs for producers of plant agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
North Carolina's animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
North Carolina's livestock industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of livestock, dairy, and poultry was $8.85 billion, placing NC as the 7th largest in the nation. Hogs & pigs have historically been an important part of North Carolina agriculture. The industry has changed dramatically since the 1980s from the small farm raising a few hogs to large confinement type operations. North Carolina's number of cattle & calves on farms has remained relatively stable throughout time. Milk cow inventory and milk production have continued to decline in the state. Unlike other commodities, broiler production in North Carolina is increasing throughout the state. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Educational and training programs for producers of animal agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
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.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.
Youth and adult volunteers in North Carolina contribute thousands of hours each year to strengthen communities and create strong foundations for the future. As these individuals engage in service, they are gaining new skills, generating new programs to serve their communities, building successful organizations, and fostering an ethic of service. Cooperative Extension is poised to support the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Current research suggests that youth and adult participation positively impacts civic engagement and contributes to the development of leadership capacities. With its presence in every county, Cooperative Extension is uniquely positioned to contribute to building a stronger ethic of service among youth and adults.
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.
Throughout North Carolina, communities that come together to collaboratively address issues and/or interests are enhancing the community's quality of life and its economic, social and environmental resiliency. The state's growing population and economy is producing significant changes in its communities and in some cases resulting in the emergence of new communities. The perspectives, capacity and skills of all community members are essential to aligning community decisions and actions with local needs, assets and priorities. NC Cooperative Extension has an important role in engaging and supporting the ongoing work of citizens, organizations, and communities in decision-making, and strategic dialog to influence positive public policy, foster development of partnerships, create empowered communities, be prepared to address the high potential for natural and human-caused disasters.
Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways
We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce.
Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.
Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed.
Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.
Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.

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 "2018 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 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 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 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

County Extension Advisory Council
Kirby Brown
Wanda Bunn
Joie Byrne
Reggie Cobb
Robbie Davis
Bobby Joe Fisher
John Gibson, Jr.
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
Carol Wright
Nelson White
Cindy Brantley
Anna Stark
Cyndy Scalf
Maggie Barkley
Linda Tippette
Lee McCollum
Sue Moore
Phyllis Collie
Anne Sickinger
Mark Frohman
4-H Advisory Committee
Jennifer Aycock
Maycee Aycock
Wanda Bunn
Jessica Daughtridge
Cheryl Glover
Molly LaHay
Kathy Lawson
Sue Leggett
Tamara Moore
Shay Skinner
Marina Strickland
Mary Strickland
Marlene Strufe
Barbara Tyre
Jane Tyson
Damien Whitley
Cullin Whitley
Susan Whitley
Chris Winstead
Marley Winstead
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
Ann Bass
Susan Perry Cole
Derrick Haskins
Evangeline Grant
Sydney Phillips

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

Maryanna Bennett
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (252) 459-9810
Email: Maryanna_Bennett@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 & 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

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

Regina Moseley
Title: Extension Agent, Family & 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

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