2018 New Hanover County Plan of Work

Approved: January 23, 2018

I. County Background

New Hanover County encompasses the city of Wilmington and the towns of Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach, Kure Beach and Castle Hayne. Roughly 50% of the total population of 220,000 lives within the Wilmington city limits. New Hanover is North Carolina’s third smallest county in geographic area at 191 square miles. Population increases of more than 13% annually are expected through 2030.

As might be expected 98% of the population is considered urban with a small rural population in the Castle Hayne area on the north side of the county.

The region’s popularity as a retirement destination is reflected by 22% of the population being over 60 years old.

Service businesses tied to housing and commercial building are busy again as projects halted by the recession are moving forward. Current unemployment numbers hover around 4%; half of what it was during the height of the recession.

According to the New Hanover County Tourism Development Authority, visitors during 2016 had a $550 million impact on the local economy which represents a 6.3% increase from the previous year. Tourism supports over 6000 local jobs.

Cooperative Extension’s county budget has remained consistent with slight increases in maintenance and repair and support for temporary positions.

New Hanover County completed the Strategic Plan adopted in 2011 this year and began the process for a new plan through 2023. While the new plan won’t be finalized until spring, 2018, drafts suggest continued emphasis on youth and adult obesity and higher wage job creation. The opioid drug crisis including heroin and prescription drugs is also likely to be included.

New leadership in 4-H and Family and Consumer Science offers exciting opportunities related to the new strategic plan as well as traditional educational programs.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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

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.

Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.

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

North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation.

Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.

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

III. Relationship to County Government Objectives

New Hanover County completed its strategic plan adopted in 2011 in July, 2017. The new plan has not been finalized, but drafts suggest a continued emphasis on healthy lifestyles that minimize chronic health issues and supporting private sector development to provide living wage jobs and grow the tax base. A new emphasis on the opioid drug crisis especially related to heroin and prescription drugs will be a component.

Since the Family and Consumer Science position was filled in 2017, there are significant opportunities for educational programming related to obesity prevention/reduction and healthy lifestyles in general. For example, a series of classes is planned throughout 2018 focusing on the food system, cooking techniques and healthy preparation alternatives.

The 4-H program also has new leadership and plans to address healthy lifestyle issues with the youth audience.

IV. Diversity Plan

New Hanover County Cooperative Extension is committed to employing a diverse staff and providing educational programming and an improved quality of life for all audiences, including the underserved. The Arboretum and Ability Garden are continuously evaluated for accessibility to citizens with mobility issues. Programs are open and welcoming to persons of all abilities and all reasonable efforts are made for accessibility without regard to age, culture, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental abilities, race, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital or family status, spiritual practice, and all dimensions of human diversity. All programs offer translation and accessibility if requested.

Significant effort and resources by the Ability Garden, the Master Gardener Association and Wilmington Green continue in the Youth Enrichment Zone of downtown Wilmington and a working partnership with DREAMS.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Delivering timely, relevant educational programs that meet critical local needs is the cornerstone of Extension’s mission. Extension educational programs are designed to equip the citizens of New Hanover County with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life. An Extension program delivery system is a planned and organized eclectic mix of educational methods used during an educational program. Extension educational methods are the specific ways by which research-based information is shared with targeted learners. Extension educators in our county employ a wide variety of hands-on, experiential educational methods, such as interactive workshops and classes, demonstrations, field days and tours, that allow learners to fully engage in the learning process, test new knowledge and/or practice new skills during the educational session. Equally important, this plan will also include educational methods such as seminars, client visits, fact sheets, newsletters, and home study kits that serve to support and reinforce learning as well as provide motivation for continued learning. Armed with the most current literature on effective teaching and learning, Extension educators also skillfully select educational methods based on the learning style preferences and special needs of the targeted learners. These client-focused methods afford learners the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to change their lives in meaningful ways. Another key feature of Extension program delivery that is evident in this plan is our commitment to being customer driven and customer focused. As such, in addition to the County Extension Center, Extension educational programs are delivered online, in community centers, on farms, and other locations in order for our programs to be available and accessible to, and fully utilized by, the citizens of New Hanover County. There is a focused effort by staff members to deliver educational publications electronically to as many clients as possible, using fewer resources such as paper and postage.

In Extension, success is defined as the extent to which our educational programs have made a difference in the lives of the citizens of New Hanover County. 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 impacts 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

New Hanover County Cooperative Extension Advisory Council
Charles Mincey
Qailinn Bowen
Coleen Higgins
Susan Jewell
Mary McKernan
Shirely Melito
Beth Ann Scisco
Christy Spivey
Roselyn Upchurch
William Walsh
Scott Winslow
Nathan Bales
4-H Advisory Council
Liz Sharpe
Robert Shiver
Sara Ludt
Kimberley Cheatham
Ralph Mead
Tina Sharpe
Melissa Hight
John Lenfestey
Kitty Bass
Joe Boyd
Jess Boyd
Brad Shepard
Ashley Morton
Consumer Horticulture Advisory Committee
Roberta Quarton
Virginia Teachey
Jay Denmark
Sherrel Bunn
Roy Van Teyens
John Ranalli

Ability Garden Advisory Council
Mary Ares
Karen Root
Sammy Dorsey
Chrissy Gonthier
Johnny Johnson
Lorraine Perry
Nancy Pritchett
Denise Miller
Laura Jennings
Candy Ashton
Alissa Brainard
Caroline Butts
Ronna Zimmer
Nicolle Nicolle
Heather Kelejian
Ruth Finch
Bill Coleman
Friends of the Arboretum
Betty Arlant
Alice Canup
Carolyn Thomas
Karen Root
John Ranalli
Donna Hurdle
Marie Warren
Family and Consumer Science
Katelyn Matney
Eden Sanders
Hattie McIver
Erin O'Donnell
Travis Greer
Jane Raddack
Bill Nannfeldt
Cheryle Syracuse
Joyce Reeves
Pat McCoy

VII. Staff Membership

Lloyd Singleton
Title: County Extension Director, Commercial Horticulture - Landscape
Phone: (910) 798-7666
Email: losingle@ncsu.edu

Susan Brown
Title: Extension Agent, Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (910) 798-7674
Email: susan_brown@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Consumer Horticulture

Bill Carapezza
Title: County Extension Technician, Horticulture, Operations Support Staff
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: wjcarape@ncsu.edu

Breyana Davis
Title: SNAP-Ed Steps to Health, Nutrition Educator
Email: bddavis5@ncsu.edu

Danyce Dicks
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (910) 798-7662
Email: danyce_dicks@ncsu.edu

J. Scott Enroughty
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: scott_enroughty@ncsu.edu

Mike Frinsko
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: mike_frinsko@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Southeast 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.

Roben Jarrett
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (910) 798-7671
Email: roben_jarrett@ncsu.edu

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

Heather Kelejian
Title: Ability Garden Program Director
Phone: (910) 798-7682
Email: heather_kelejian@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.

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

Stephanie McDonald-Murray
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Southeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (910) 296-2143
Email: stephanie_mcdonald@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the South East District.

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9155
Email: romcdowe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in NC.

Morgan McKnight
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: morgan_mcknight@ncsu.edu

Amy Mead
Title: Program Associate, Volunteer Coordinator
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: afmead@ncsu.edu

Angela Pearsall
Title: Horticulture Program Assistant
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: apearsa@ncsu.edu

Marge Porrazzo
Title: Receptionist, N.C. Cooperative Extension, New Hanover County
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: marge_porrazzo@ncsu.edu

Diana Rashash
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Quality/Waste Management
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: diana_rashash@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water and wastewater issues of all types: stormwater, aquatic weed ID & control, water quality & quantity, septic systems, animal waste, land application of wastewater, environment & sustainability, climate, etc.

Margaret Ross
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (252) 670-8254
Email: margaret_ross@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Working with commercial poultry producers to assist in writing nutrient management plans and conducting educational programming.

Marianne Schroeder
Title: County Extension Support Specialist - Horticulture, Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (910) 798-7667
Email: mmschroe@ncsu.edu

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

Wesley Stallings
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture- Grain Crops
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: wcstalli@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture-Grain Crops

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) 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

New Hanover County Center
6206 Oleander Dr
Wilmington, NC 28403

Phone: (910) 798-7660
Fax: (910) 798-7678
URL: http://newhanover.ces.ncsu.edu