2020 Onslow County Plan of Work

Approved: January 17, 2020

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 2017 was $143,801,101. 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 children's garden, the pollinator 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 administration 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

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 animal 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

Onslow County currently 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 continue to hold a County Citizen Academy as well as a County Employee Academy this year to help educate the residents and employees, respectively, 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, Environmental Health, Human Resources, Soil and Water and the Onslow County 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
Miya Yates
Barbara Nichols
Tracy Jackson
Chris Harper
OC Rogers
Jim Wheeler
Onslow County ECA Leadership Development Committee
Christina Batiste
Donna Williams
Barbara Nichols
Faye Gould
Kathy Cook
Carmen Blakewood
Livestock Specialized Committee
Melissa Gray
Ronnie Jenkins
Phillip Cummings, Jr.
Keenan Shepard
George Gillette
Barry Shepard
Greg Justice
Maggie Snyder
Water Quality Specialized Committee
James Teachey
Pat Donovan-Bradenburg
Rob Emens
Susan Cohen
Michelle Chadwick
Jeremy Butler
Master Gardener Volunteer Specialized Committee
John Ricker
Rene Fairlye
Barb Baker
Polly Kopka
Paul Leslie
Beekeeper Specialized Committee
Jeff Morton
Eric Talley
Buck Bradley
Butch Lewis
John Gudger
Lawrence Crane
Chrissy Bell
FCS Specialized Committee
August Nelson
Tiim Johnson
Christa Hood
Lisa Rayburn
Cynthia Waters
Paula Hunter
Kathy Cook
Sarah Ware
Rosy Buitron
Tourism Committee
Lisa Whitman-Grice
Janis Steele
Glenn Hargett
Melissa Maloney
Laurette Leagon
Hotel Representatives

Row Crop Specialized Committee
Donnie Riggs
Jerome Shaw
Barry Shepard
Gary Hardison
Ronnie Cox
Tim Huffman
Travis Tyndall
Housing Committee
Lillie Gray
Tracy Jackson
Tara Bailey
Shon Wicker
Diana Rashash
August Nelson
Miya Yates
Felicia Crabb
Marissa Cunningham
Lee Stiles
Health Department Staff
Gwindy Stewart
Diana Silence
Farmers' Market Board
Michelle Smith
Candy Brown Thompson
Rich Faschnacht
Aleisha Howell
Barbara Reyes
Barbara Baker
John Reintjes
Dan Whitten

VII. Staff Membership

Peggie Garner
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 389-5604
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: Local Foods and 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

Emoni Burgess
Title: County Operations Support Specialist
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: emoni_burgess@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.

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

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.

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

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.

Emilee Morrison
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: emilee_mroz@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Manage Onslow County Extension Master Gardener program Provide horticulture assistance to residents of Onslow County Provide green industry in Onslow County with resources and assistance, including pesticide and landscape contractors continuing education Maintain and install Discovery Gardens

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: Area Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: lisa_rayburn@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving Onslow, Jones, Lenoir and Craven counties

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.

Casey Sandmeyer
Title: Program Assistant, Environmental and Water Quality Education
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: ccsandme@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.

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

Lee Stiles
Title: Program Assistant, Empowering Youth and Families Program
Phone: (252) 222-6352
Email: lastiles@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Empowering Youth and Families Program Assistant facilitates the curriculum through educating, lecturing, and demonstrating ways to prevent opioid misuse among youth. This program also strengthens family bonds.

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.

Sarah Ware
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: seware@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I deliver evidence-based programming in nutrition, health, food safety, food preservation, and local foods, as well as housing, parenting, family resource management, human development, and aging.

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

Onslow County Center
4024 Richlands Hwy
Jacksonville, NC 28540

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