2020 New Hanover County Plan of Work

Approved: January 24, 2020

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 232,000 lives within the Wilmington city limits. New Hanover is North Carolina’s second 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 with the area's growth. Current unemployment numbers are dropping to near 3%.

Domestic visitors during 2018 had a $613 million impact on the local economy which represents a 6% increase from the previous year. Tourism supports over 6300 local jobs. This data comes from an annual study commissioned by Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

Cooperative Extension’s county budget was not expanded to include funding for an FCS agent in 2019, but is requested again in the 2020 budget to fund 2/3 of a single county FCS agent. County funds were moved from supporting a casual part-time position working with our Ability Garden program into the contracted services line to fund 34% of the new N.C. Cooperative Extension Therapeutic Horticulture Agent position, filled by Heather Kelejian.

New Hanover County's strategic plan for 2018 - 2023 has three focus areas: 1) Intelligent Growth and Economic Development, 2) Superior Education & Workforce, and 3) Superior Public Health & Safety. Extension programming will be tailored in support of each of these objectives to serve our citizens. In particular, 4-H and Family and Consumer Science and the County Extension Director are each engaged in an opioid addiction prevention initiative, Empower Youth and Families Program again in 2020, partnering with the county's Public Health, Community Services, New Hanover Regional Medical Center and UNCW Public Health department.

An environmental scan was completed in 2018 and programs were selected to address the greatest needs. Continuing development in all Extension disciplines offer exciting opportunities related to the new strategic plan as well as traditional educational programs.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Our family and consumer sciences programs improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Our plant 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 natural resource and environmental programs conserve our precious natural resources and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

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

New Hanover County adopted a new strategic plan for 2018 - 2023, with three focus areas: 1) Intelligent Growth and Economic Development, 2) Superior Education & Workforce, and 3) Superior Public Health & Safety. Extension programming will be tailored in support of each of these objectives to serve our citizens. A new emphasis on the opioid drug crisis especially related to heroin and prescription drugs will be a component.

A budget request to fund 2/3 of a single county Family and Consumer Science position are requested for FY20-21 as there are significant opportunities for educational programming related to obesity prevention/reduction, healthy lifestyles in general, and opioid addiction prevention.

The new Therapeutic Horticulture agent will expand Ability Garden programming in the coming years to serve more clients with a defined need.

The 4-H program continues to address healthy lifestyle issues with the youth audience and STEM programs.

Commercial Horticulture program will continue to offer pesticide applicator training as well as other horticulture training pertinent to professional development of the green industry, particularly landscape operations.

Our SNAP-Ed agent, shared with Pender County, is assisting public health goals with targeted programming.

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.

The Ability Garden continues serving clients with disabilities. Ability Garden is engaged in a working partnership with New Hanover County Schools and other community organizations to serve economically disadvantaged youth. The focus is on behavior and academic improvements through gardening and environmental programming which seeks to connect these students to themselves and the greater community/world around them.

Applicants for the Cooperative Extension Overall Advisory Council members are being sought by the director to represent minority populations using contacts with other New Hanover County departments. UNCW's QENO will be engaged to meet with affiliated Boards for diversity recruitment and retention strategies.

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
Carol Bales
Nathan Bales
Jamille Bitting
Qailinn Bowen
Clayton Hamerski
Colleen Higgins
Susan Jewell
Mary McKernan
Shirley Melito
Charles Mincey
Sherri Robinson
Beth Ann Scisco
Christy Spivey
William Walsh
Scott Winslow
Gabriella deSouza
Nicolas Field
4-H Advisory Council
Liz Sharpe
Kristin Holloman-Noe
Ralph Mead
Tina Sharpe
Melissa Hight
John Lenfestey
Kitty Bass
Evan Folds
Consumer Horticulture Advisory Committee
Sherrel Bunn
Kathy Savage
Rita Burgess
Debi Bradford
Judy Howard

Ability Garden Advisory Council
Larry Sackett
Karen Root
Lorraine Perry
Denise Miller
Candy Ashton
Joshua Rosenberg
Heather Kelejian (Staff)
Carolina Sotomayor
Eva Elmore
Friends of the Arboretum
Betty Arlant
Carolyn Thomas
Karen Root
John Ranalli
Marie Warren
Carol Bales
Josh Rickards
Stephen Mahaffey
Sherrel Bunn
Denise Aikeman
Diana Kraus-Anderson
Laura McCabe

VII. Staff Membership

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

Haylee Allen
Title: Program Assistant, Empowering Youth and Families Program
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: hballen2@ncsu.edu

Susan Brown
Email: msshroeder@ncsu.edu

Deborah Chappell
Title: Program Coordinator - EMFV
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: dgchappe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Providing leadership, opportunities and training for Extension Master Food Volunteers in the county. Connecting county extension with other community partners. Providing food,nutrition and health educational programs to community members.

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

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.

Danyce Dicks
Title: County Extension Support Specialist - Consumer Horticulture, Pesticide Education
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: mofrinsk@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
Brief Job Description: Admistrative Assistant to County Dorector

Heather Kelejian
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Therapeutic Horticulture
Phone: (910) 798-7682
Email: heather_kelejian@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Director of therapeutic gardeing program, including program development and implementation, setting program budget, fundraising and training staff and volunteers.

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, Ornamental 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.

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.

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.

Amy Mead
Title: Area Natural Resource Agent, Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender Counties
Phone: (910) 253-2610
Email: afmead@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Primary responsibilities are Stormwater and Environmental Sustainability Education. I provide research based solutions and advice for stormwater issues to help manage and improve our coastal water quality through workshops, classes, and site visits. Areas of interest include retrofits, restoration, and installation of stormwater control measures, erosion control, native plants, pollinator gardening, and stream bank and habitat restoration.

Angela Pearsall
Title: Horticulture Program Assistant
Phone: (910) 798-7670
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.

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!

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

Alyssa Spence
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agromedicine, Farm Health & Safety
Phone: (252) 527-2191
Email: arramsey@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with the NCSU Applied Ecology-Toxicology & Agromedicine Department to serve the18 counties in the Southeast District, providing health/safety resources and programming to field agents in this area.

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.

Jordan Waters
Title: Program Assistant
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: jawater3@ncsu.edu

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.

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