2018 Onslow County Plan of Work

Approved: February 7, 2018

I. County Background

Onslow County is located on the southeastern coast of North Carolina along the Atlantic Ocean. It lies within North Carolina’s Coastal Plain, which comprises the eastern 45% of the state, roughly the Atlantic Ocean to Interstate Highway 95. The topography of Onslow County’s 756 square miles slopes gently upward from the sea level along its southeastern coast to the Richland's community in the northwest part of the county.

Jacksonville is Onslow County’s largest city and seat of government. Other municipalities include Holly Ridge, North Topsail Beach, Richlands, Surf City (shared with adjacent Pender County), and Swansboro. Onslow County comprises the Jacksonville Metropolitan Area and has a current population of approximately 200,000. The Onslow County Hispanic/Latino population has increased to represent an estimated seven percent of the county’s population bringing in new dynamics to the county with the blending of the two cultures and increasing the need to work with families as they learn local culture without leaving their culture behind.

US Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune occupies 246 square miles, nearly a third of Onslow County’s land area. It is home of the ll Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, a major US Naval Hospital, elements of the US Coast Guard, and other military units and activities. The military presence is the most important economic engine in the County, impacting virtually its entire economic structure.

Onslow has historically been a rural county and still is to a large degree. Most recent problems associated with the environment are becoming more complex because of the rapid growth of the urban population. Water and sewer problems along with the potential development of land near wetlands are a major concern. As is so for most coastal areas, Onslow County has wetlands on or around about 40% of its area. This has a number of consequences including limiting the amount of land which can be built upon. Therefore, there is a very high premium on farmland in the rural areas of the county and pressure is being put on these land owners to sale for development purposes.

Despite these consequences, parts of the county still remain heavily agricultural. The major commodities including tobacco, corn, soybeans, cotton, swine and poultry taking the lead within the farm communities. The total amount of agricultural receipts in the county in 2014 was $157,190,515. Commercial fishing also contributes significantly to the economy along with non-traditional agricultural interests such as ornamental horticulture, commercial horticulture and aquaculture.

Onslow County has been graced with an abundance of beautiful waterways, islands, coastal areas, and beaches. Onslow County has several significant natural features such as Great Sandy Run Pocosin (a domed or elevated swamp), Bachelor’s Delight Swamp, and the Hofmann State Forest. A major natural feature is the New River. The New River is the largest river in the world that begins and ends in one county. It originates in the Richlands watershed as a small stream and develops into a 2 to 5 mile wide river stretching over 40 miles from north Richlands, through Jacksonville to New River Inlet, emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. New River is the center of most water sheds, agricultural activities and soil types.

Agriculture is one of the top three economic drivers in Onslow County. More and more of our farmers are going into retirement. This year we will be collaborating with the Farmers' Market to continue our Incubator Farm. The staff will help answer questions and give technical support for the participant for up to three years. After three years, the participant will make the decision to farm or not to farm.

We continue to collaborate with community and county agencies to provide nutrition information and physical activity opportunities. There continues to be an increase in home preservation. The horticulture agent along with the family and consumer sciences agent are providing classes to help meet this need. Additional cooking classes will be held this year at the office and in the community. 4H and the livestock staff are excited about continuing with their chicken project this year. Our row crops agent will continue working with the farmers with new test plots and maybe even more work with drones and crops.

The Discovery Garden is continuing to be developed. This year's phase is to build the gazebo, children's garden and the pond. The gardens will give individuals a place to go to see what can grow in Onslow County when they are developing their own gardens as well as participating in the other activities within the gardens. We have been blessed to receive grants/monetary gifts to help with the trees and gazebo. We are entering our fourth year of the Farmers' Market being on Camp Lejeune. It is the first large Farmers' Market on a military installation and has been used to help guide other markets on military installations in the country. The Incubator Farm committee has plans to have another class of students this year that will learn the ins and outs of gardening. This will include classroom and hands-on experience.

The local advisory leadership council, Extension staff, and county adminstration will help to determine issues Extension should address in its plan and strategies to carry out the plan. The major issues the Onslow County staff will address include natural resource management and environmental stewardship; health safety and nutrition; the agricultural and food supply system in North Carolina; and increasing leadership, personal development and citizenship skills. These issues will be addressed through programming efforts using county Extension staff, Extension specialists, advisory council and specialized committee members, volunteers other government agencies, local and regional commodity groups, and the local school system.

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 animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

Agricultural producers, workers, food handlers and consumers will adopt safer food and agricultural production, handling, and distribution practices that reduce workplace and home injuries/illnesses, enhance food security, and increase the quality and safety of food that North Carolinians prepare and consume.

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.

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.

Parents and caregivers will effectively use recommended parenting, self care practices and community resources.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

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

Onslow County does not have formal objectives but it does have a very active departmental team structure. The departments work very well together to help improve the lives of the Onslow County residents. The county has developed committees that are working hard to make sure that county employees are aware of what services other departments provide so they can refer residents to them. The county will hold a County Citizen Academy this year to help educate the residents of all of the services county government provides for them.

There are several departments that we work with on a regular basis. They are the Planning, Health, Senior Services, Human Resources, Soil and Water and the Onslow County Museum. We are in our fifth year of providing an Environmental Camp for the youth in the county. This is a collaborative effort with the Extension office and the Museum.

County Administration and County Commissioners call on us in times of need. Whenever they feel we can bring a strength to the table they ask us to join them. We have been very well supported by County Administration and the County Commissioners.

IV. Diversity Plan

Cooperative Extension, Onslow County Center, is dedicated to equality of opportunity and offers equal access in programs and employment. Extension does not practice or condone discrimination toward program participants. All reasonable efforts will be made to make its programs available to all populations by:

- Working through the County Communication Specialist to ensure all media outlets are used;

- Contacting media outlets that target minorities to seek their assistance in marketing programs and events;

- Developing announcements, fliers, posters to be placed in public places frequented by minorities;

- Write personal letters to minorities encouraging them to participate;

- Make personal contacts with a representative number of minority leaders to encourage increased participation; and

- Contact community groups for assistance by assistance by informing clientele of available programs.

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 Onslow 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 Onslow 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 Onslow 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 impact 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

Onslow County Extension Advisory Council
Ed Sanders
Kathy Cook
M.J. Herring
Travis Tyndall
Tom Parker
Teresa Collins
Gwindy Stewart
Julian Wooten
Ruth Clifton
Barbara Nichols
Susan Cohen
Tracy Jackson
Miya Yates
Francine Hall
Chris Harper
Tom Nicoll
OC Rogers
Onslow County ECA Leadership Development Committee
Ida McNamara
Ruth Clifton
Donna Williams
Barbara Nichols
Faye Gould
Kathy Cook
Carmen Blakewood
Horse Specialized Committee
Sarah Arthur
Cindy McNally
Erika Miller
Goldie Gurganus
Emily Walton
Felcia Crabb
Janeene Bedell
Richard Bedell
Caitlin Smart
Rich Templeton


Livestock Specialized Committee
Melissa Gray
Ronnie Jenkins
Phillip Cummings, Jr.
Keenan Shepard
George Gillette
Barry Shepard
PJ Edwards
Water Quality Specialized Committee
Pat Raper
Dale Weston
James Teachey
Pat Donovan-Potts
Rob Emen
Susan Cohen
Stephanie Garrett
Tim Early
Master Gardener Volunteer Specialized Committee
Linwood Fordham
Ginger Melton
Celeste Cavanaugh
Teri Welch
Jane Fugate
Paul Leslie
Beekeeper Specialized Committee
Jeff Morton
David Peed
Brad Duncan
Lilla Keresztvy
Roland Reed
Chris Harper
Scott Taylor
FCS Specialized Committee
August Nelson
Pam Brown
Lakitha Smith
Lisa Rayburn
Juliana Aaron
Paula Hunter
Kathy Cook
Cynthia Waters
Tim Johnson
Tourism Committee
Kristen Loflin
Lisa Whitman-Grice
Rick Perry
Glenn Hargett
Donna Hammonds
Laurette Leagon
Scott Riggs
Laurette Leagon
Row Crop Specialized Committee
Donnie Riggs
Jerome Shaw
Barry Shepard
Anthony Rawls
Gary Hardison
Ronnie Cox
Tim Huffman
Travis Tyndall
Housing Committee
Lillie Gray
Pernell Glasper
Tracy Jackson
Tara Bailey
Shon Wicker
Diana Rashash
August Nelson
Incubator Farm Committee
Tim McCurry
Marie Bowman
Peggie Garner
Lisa Rayburn
Wesley Stallings
Farmers' Market Association
Tim McCurry
Lisa Davilia
Richard Fasschant
Lindsay Vani
Tara Cason
Kathy Cook
Candy Brown Thompson
Mary Sylvain
Emily Isenhart

VII. Staff Membership

Peggie Garner
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: peggie_garner@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Adminstration and Family and Consumer Sciences responsibilities of housing, financial resouce management and Extension and Community Association liaison.

Marie Bowman
Title: Farmers’ Market/Incubator Farm Manager
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: mkschwei@ncsu.edu

Rosy Buitron
Title: Nutrition Program Assistant, Parent Education
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: rbuitro@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

Debbie Goncalves
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: deborah_goncalves@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administrative Support to County Extension Director and provide support for all staff. County Leave Administrator and County Computer Contact at NCSU.

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.

Kate Holt
Title: County Extension Support Specialist, Agriculture
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: kate_holt@ncsu.edu

Melissa Huffman
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: melissa_huffman@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Field Crops and Pesticide Coordinator

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.

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 & 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.

Wanda Mills
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: wanda_mills@ncsu.edu

Emilee Morrison
Title: Program Assistant, Water Quality
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: emilee_mroz@ncsu.edu

John Osborne
Title: 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: john_osborne@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.

Lisa Rayburn
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: lisa_rayburn@ncsu.edu

Ivy Reid
Title: Interim 4-H Agent
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: ivy_reid@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H and Youth Development

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

Dawn Stallings
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: dmmckinn@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: Extension Associate
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

Onslow County Center
4024 Richlands Hwy
Jacksonville, NC 28540

Phone: (910) 455-5873
Fax: (910) 455-0977
URL: http://onslow.ces.ncsu.edu