2020 Northampton County Plan of Work

Approved: January 27, 2020

I. County Background

Northampton County has a population of 19,676 people (July 2018 U S Census Bureau Quick Facts). There are 11,695 housing units with 8,628 households. The county is challenged with many citizens living in poverty (21.4%). Many citizens lack skills to be effective in the technology and information driven economy. Northampton County has a strong agriculture base. The county ranks 36th among the 100 North Carolina counties with a 2017 agriculture income of $126,376,071. In 2018, the county ranked 2nd among the North Carolina counties in cotton production, 4th in peanuts, 21st in corn, 14th in hogs and pigs, and 26th in broilers. The Northampton Board of Commissioners in their county goals identified the need to promote economic development, good stewardship of natural resources, community and rural development, educating citizens to prepare them for the future work force, health education, and ensuring the fiscal stability of the county.

Northampton County Cooperative Extension conducted a comprehensive needs assessment. The needs assessment process consisted of meetings with the county extension advisory leadership council, advisory program committees, one-on-one interviews with key county leaders, and surveys distributed in meetings and mailings. Extension agents reviewed planning documents of other county agencies and non-profit organizations. Extension agents completed a county profile using demographic data available on Northampton County. County extension agents then conducted an analysis of county priorities for identified needs and assets. As a result of the analysis, seven priority issues were identified for Cooperative Extension Program efforts. The issues in priority order are as follows: 1. Health and Nutrition/Obesity and lack of physical activity; 2. Profitable agriculture; 3. Youth need positive experiences (leadership development and community service); 4. Youth need positive social skills; 5. Family financial management; 6. Risk management; 7. Food safety. Cooperative Extension further identified the need to focus extension program efforts to assist Northampton County citizens with increasing their skills and knowledge to cope with difficult financial times. In 2020, Cooperative Extension staff will provide interdisciplinary programs that will be outcome based on addressing local issues and helping Northampton County citizens cope with economically stressful times.

Through Research based information and curriculum North Carolina Cooperative Extension has the resources to address these priority issues. Extension specialists at NC State University and NC A&T State University are available to provide technical assistance as well as training to extension agents and program assistants in each of the identified areas. Extension’s role in addressing these county areas of concern will vary in the implementation of the county extension program. Cooperative Extension can serve as the key leader in planning and delivery of educational programs to address these needs, be a partner in working with other agencies and organizations to address these matters, and lead collaborative efforts to address these issues. Extension’s educational programs will increase awareness and help Northampton County citizens to make better-informed decisions.

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 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

The Northampton Board of Commissioners created a Strategic plan to run from 2019 to 2023:

- By 2023, Northampton County will expand the Recreation Department's reach into each community.
- By 2020, Northampton County will expand its existing water delivery potential to under served communities.
- By 2019, Northampton County will begin to strategically provide tax relief to its citizens.
- By 2023, Northampton County will reduce its workforce by at least 5%.
- By 2019, Northampton County will implement a process to provide transparency and ensure fiscal responsibility.
- By 2020, Northampton County will establish an Economic Development Department that is progressive and results driven.
- By 2020, Northampton County will rewrite its planning and zoning ordinances/regulations to be expansion friendly.
- By 2022, Northampton County will seek, prioritize and secure funding for capital project needs in the county to ensure safety and efficiency.

Other County goals listed in past years include a need for good stewardship of natural resources, community and rural development, drug awareness and use prevention, educating citizens to prepare them for the future work force, health education, and ensuring the fiscal stability of the county. Cooperative Extension can support the strategic goals adopted by the Northampton County Board of Commissioners. The themes of Northampton County’s strategic goals are aligned with the state strategic priorities and goals of Cooperative Extension. Agricultural best management practices which extension teaches in production meetings, pesticide certification classes, demonstration field tests, and one-on-one consultation contribute to the preservation of our natural resources and the continued profitability of the 126-million-dollar agricultural income generated in the county. Extension has led the effort for the establishment and functions of the Voluntary Agriculture District (VAD) designation and the Agricultural Advisory Board. The VAD is aligned with the county strategic goal of promoting orderly and friendly development. The family and consumer science program of extension can be a strong partner in nutrition education, health education, and family resource management. The existing Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program provides nutrition education opportunities for limited resource families. The 4-H program provides school enrichment activities that focus on science and life skill development. Cooperative Extension can be a strong partner in helping the Northampton County Board of Commissioners achieve the goals and objectives of their strategic plan.

IV. Diversity Plan

Cooperative Extension, as an outreach of North Carolina State University and A & T State University, commits itself to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. Educational programs provided by Cooperative Extension are open to all people. Newspapers, radio announcements, fliers, announcements on the county extension web page, and newsletters are used to notify the public of extension programs. Persons with disabilities and persons with limited English proficiency may request accommodations to participate in extension activities by contacting Craig Ellison, County Extension Director, at 252-534-2711 or craig_ellison@ncsu.edu or fax 252-534-1827, or in person at the Northampton County Extension Center located at 9495 NC Hwy 305, Jackson, NC 27845. Requests for accommodations should be made at least 7 days prior to a specific event. The Extension Center and locations of community based Extension programs are held in communities with diverse populations, and meeting locations. The scheduled times of extension programs are selected to encourage diverse audiences to attend. Cooperative Extension will continue to use the strategies described above to provide educational programs that encourage participation from the diverse population of citizens that live in Northampton County.

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 Northampton 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, email, web site 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 Northampton County.

In Extension, success is defined as the extent to which our educational programs have made a difference in the lives of the citizens of Northampton County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about first and foremost whether any changes occurred as a result of 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

Advisory Council Members (Core Group)
Tim Hollowell, Chairperson
Brandon Belch, Vice-Chair
Virginia McClary
Joe Martin
Lillie Pernell
Kay Winn
David Grant
Shelia Watford
Sandra Woodard
Curtis Branch
Sara Moses
Ben Harris
Lillie Pernell
Pauline Deloatch
AG Committee
Curtis Branch
Kelly Vann
Tim Hollowell
James Flythe
Joe Martin
Dan Taylor
Keith Edwards
David Grant
Sandra Flythe
James Ben Harris
Sarah Bennett Moses
Livestock Committee
Kay Winn
Verlene Stephenson
Derreck Long
4-H Committee
Lillie Pernell
Pauline Deloatch
James Roberts
Terry Harris
FCS Committee
Shelia Watford
Richard Clayton
Virginia McClary
Sandra Woodard

VII. Staff Membership

Craig Ellison
Title: County Extension Director, Northampton & Interim County Extension Dir, Halifax
Phone: (252) 534-2711
Email: craig_ellison@ncsu.edu

Anass Banna
Title: Extension Agent : Small Farms
Phone: (336) 694-4158
Email: anassou_banna@ncsu.edu

Robbie Bridgers
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 534-2711
Email: robbie_bridgers@ncsu.edu

Beth Burchell
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: beth_burchell@ncsu.edu

Kyleen Burgess
Title: Area Agent, Information Management
Phone: (252) 398-7477
Email: Kyleen_Burgess@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Kyleen serves as the Area Agent in Information Management for Region 3. Her counties include all of the Northeast District, Alamance Caswell, Durham, Orange, Franklin, Granville, Guilford, Person, Rockingham, Vance, Wake, Warren and Wilson counties.

Susan Chase
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Northeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (919) 827-2285
Email: susan_chase@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the Northeast District

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.

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.

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.

Ann Lawrence
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (252) 534-2711
Email: ann_lawrence@ncsu.edu

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.

Victoria Neff
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (252) 583-5161
Email: vlneff@ncsu.edu

EB Odom
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 534-2711
Email: eb_odom@ncsu.edu

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.

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

Scott Tilley
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain
Phone: (252) 793-4428
Email: scott_tilley@ncsu.edu

Sara Villwock
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 534-2711
Email: sara_villwock@ncsu.edu

Tammy Vincent
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 534-2711
Email: tammy_vincent@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

Northampton County Center
9495 NC Highway 305
Jackson, NC 27845

Phone: (252) 534-2831
Fax: (252) 534-1827
URL: http://northampton.ces.ncsu.edu