2020 Orange County Plan of Work

Approved: January 31, 2020

I. County Background

The first impression of Orange County is that its residents live in luxury, have major universities nearby, and serves as a bedroom community to the Research Triangle Park. Orange County has a high cost of living and a technological and service driven economy. The county has a highly educated work force with a median income of $55,569 and a growing number of retirees attracted to the county because of the surrounding universities and medical facilities. There has been an increase in the Hispanic population in the county due to the availability of jobs in the building, green industry, as well as service-oriented jobs. This county has 140,065 residents and covers 245,720 acres, is still mostly a rural (77%) and 23% of the geographic land area is incorporated into cities and municipalities. 43% of the county is in Present Use Value Program listing land for farm, forest or horticultural use. There are 19,405 acres of harvested cropland in the county. The rapid growth of Chapel Hill and Hillsborough has resulted in 17% reduction in land used for farming. Nevertheless, there is still a marked rural character to the county lifestyle. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is the focus of the southern part of the county while northern Orange County is primarily farmland around Hillsborough. This dichotomy is a source of challenge and opportunity.

While agriculture is still prevalent in rural Orange County; dairy, and row crops are strained to remain profitable. New farm enterprises are emerging that are dependent on the local market for income. Some of these diverse enterprises include vegetables, fruit, cut flowers, grass-fed beef, pork, poultry, aquaculture, and specialty dairy products. Farmers markets, community supported agriculture and restaurants in Orange County place a high value on locally produced products and are willing to pay a premium for them.
Several on-going initiatives will continue to help farmers to further capitalize on the growing market for local foods. Farmers are being connected with local grocers, food services, and institutions that are beginning to demand a greater supply of locally produced foods. PLANT@Breeze, a farmer incubator program, has been established and is in its tenth year of training new farmers. Participants learn how to produce and manage a direct market farm business. The Piedmont Food and Agriculture Processing Center, a shared-use value-added center, is now open and provides a certified kitchen for local farmers or local food entrepreneurs to turn perishable foods into food products that will enable them to make more money and extend their product delivery period. New farmer markets are being developed.
Extension’s Urban Agriculture Program trains Extension Master Gardener Volunteers who assist in the development of community and environmentally friendly gardens. Local residents learn to produce some of their own food working while getting to know their neighbors. This program also has the potential of addressing obesity and chronic disease issues, getting kids to eat their vegetables, and helping students learn science first-hand and to better understand the way nature works. Furthermore, the local food and community garden efforts provide ripe opportunities for leadership and entrepreneurial training.
The Orange County Center of NC Cooperative Extension has a Family and Consumer Sciences Program comprised of one Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension Agent, and two Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) Educators. Family and Consumer Sciences views the family, in all its diverse forms, as the cornerstone of a healthy society. Its mission is to improve the well being of the family through programs that educate and help families put research-based knowledge from the land grant universities of North Carolina State University and NC A&T State University to work in their lives. The FCS program provides practical knowledge on health and nutrition. EFNEP is a federally funded educational program designed to help limited resource youth and families with children learn how to eat healthier meals, stretch their food dollar and reduce their risk of foodborne illness. Programs such as ServSafe, Food Preservation Workshops, More In My Basket, Cook Smart Eat Smart, and Cooking Matters are examples or FCS training opportunities.
4-H is a youth development program that addresses the need for school and workforce preparation, leadership development, healthy eating, physical activity and chronic disease reduction. In order to address these issues, Orange County 4-H will continue it’s extensive afterschool program, which reaches 25 Orange County and Chapel Hill/Carrboro City Schools. Concomitantly, Orange County 4-H continues to offer school enrichment opportunities in the form of butterfly life-cycles. Both of these are provided to local schools and home school students in such a way that is easily implemented into the state curriculum standards. During the summer, 4-H offers a five-week summer camp for middle school students to provide latch-key youth with both an informative and engaging summer experience.
Extension continues to help people address challenges both personally and in-group settings and supports the overall community. During this process, we work side-by-side with our clients and volunteers to help make Orange County and its citizens and businesses more self-reliant, healthy, and prosperous as we transition into the new economy. In order to ensure that the Orange County Center is meeting the needs of our clientele follow-up surveys are conducted by telephone, meetings and one-on-one interviews.

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

The county goals that coincide with the mission of NC State Extension are related to: #1 Promoting Well Being of All Residents, #2 Promote Interactive & Transparent Governance, #3 Balanced, Dynamic and Sustainable Economic Development, #4 Create, Preserve and Protect Natural Environment, and #5 Ensure Life Long Learning
Extensions Sustainable Agriculture and Local Food initiatives support agricultural economic development. Each of these programs helps preserve farmland by providing profitable agricultural enterprises. Many farmers in Orange County have adopted new enterprises that have diversified production and are more profitable. The PLANT@Breeze program is a farmer incubator that trains new farmers in production and marketing practices. The growth in interest in local foods has provided the impetus for the development of the shared-use value-added facility in Hillsborough. The transition to production of local foods is helping to build a more vibrant farm economy that should attract further investment in infrastructure facilities and services, such as processing facilities, distribution networks, and supply and equipment businesses.

The County recognizes the value of youth leadership and its future impacts on the County and has invested funds in a summer camp called Summer Sizzle, that has been administered by the 4-H and Youth Development Program for the past seven years. After school programs are well attended and highly valued.

The County’s goal of environmental responsibility is goal that closely parallels Cooperative Extension programs. We teach farmers and other county residents how they can protect water quality, and use environmentally sound fertilization, weed, and pest control practices.

The Orange County Cooperative Extension staff will play an integral role in helping the county accomplish it’s goals.

IV. Diversity Plan

Orange County is ranked 22nd in population in North Carolina with most of the residents residing in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. The County population breakdown is 78.9% White, 13.3% Black, 6.7% Asian, and 8.2 Hispanic/Latino. Of this population 9.1% is foreign born with 11.9% speaking a language other than English at home.

Orange County Extension Staff continues to make all reasonable efforts to reach its diverse population through media outlets, fliers, personal contacts, Latino radio stations, local television access, ministerial alliances, e-mails, and working with community groups, etc.

Cooperative Extension continues to insure compliance is within Affirmative Action policies. The Extension Reporting System will assist in monitoring the efforts and insuring compliance within program areas.

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 Orange 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 focus. 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 Orange 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 Orange 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 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

Main Advisory Council
Fletcher Barber
Bernadette Pelissier
Howard Allen
Rebecca Smith
Valerie Green
Rosiland Johnson
David Bailey
Gary Davis
Carol Lovingood
Frances Harris
Lorraine Tuck
Beverly Roberts
4-H Advisory Council
Carol Lovingood
Charlene Campbell
Watt Parker
Daniel Roberson
Tereasa Matthews
Karen McAdams
Rachel Hawkins
Hattin VanHook
Becky Smith
Pam Chapman
Sarah Pickhardt
London Ivey
4-H County Council
Carmen Espada
Olivia Chapman
Kaitlyn McBroom
Camille Clark
Amari Ascott
Austen Sinson-Miller
Caitlin Travers
Gracean Hoesli
Lauren Hoesli
4-H Club Leaders
Angela Everhart
April Crider
Cammie Fielding
Carol Lovingood
Charlene Campbell
Jeff Campbell
Corey DeVore
Amand DeVore
Jeanine Gangloff
Jennifer Freeland
John VanSchaick
Kathy Hartkopf
Tracy Shopmyer
Central Piedmont Livestock Show
Angela Everhart
Chase Hawkins
Cole Watkins
Connor Bullard
Daniel Beasley
Eric Bunker
Frank Hollowell
Jason Hawkins
Karen McAdams
Mike Scully
Nancy Huskins
Nicky Horner
Philip Walker
Renee Parker
Terri Parker
Trey Palmer
Vaughn Compton
Kim Woods
Jonathon Smith
Tyrone Fisher
Mac Hulbert
Mart Bumgarner
Master Gardener Advisory
Frances Harris
Meg Molloy
Laura Jewel
Jinny Phelan
Cindy Stubbs
Sherrie Hardy
Jim Gillan
Margie Stetson
Alice Neiderland
Tommy Tuck
Extension and Community Association County Council
Shari Latta
Rebecca Smith
Barbara Warren
Deborah Brooks
Laura Lloyd
Rutha Brooks
Hazel Lunsford
Jean Eddleman
Mary Crawford
Daisy Faribault
Mary Locklear
Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory
Molly Vaughan
Ashley Mercer
Michelle Wilson
Victoria Hudson
Richard Lewis
Shannon Braxton
Ashley Brewer
Dani Black
Valerie Green
Breeze Farm Advisory
Tracey Lefleur
Joe Tedrow
Tom Savage
Angie Raines
Mike Lanier
Mike Ortosky
Stacey Jones
Erin Eure
Dan Campeau
Marti Day
Patrick Purcell
Clay Parker
Local Foods Advisory
Howard Allen
Tract Lafleur
Tim MacAller
Helga MacAller
Jillian Mickens
Ross Mickens
Kelly Morrison
Jim Sanders
Joe Thompson
New Agriculture Center
Fletcher Barber
Karen McAdams
Helen Miller
Joanna Lelekacs
Carl Matyac
Brenda Conway
Iris Fuller
Deborah Taylor
Wick Wickliff
Mae McLendon
Agriculture
Neil Frank
Clay Parker
Karen McAdams
Richard Mason
Matt Boyer

VII. Staff Membership

Tyrone Fisher
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (919) 245-2051
Email: tyrone_fisher@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administration and Livestock Production

Jonas Asbill
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Livestock - Poultry
Phone: (336) 318-6000
Email: jonas_asbill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving the poultry industry across 20 counties in the North Central and Northeast districts

Lisa Benavente
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Urban Programming, EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (919) 515-3888
Email: lisa_benavente@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in Wake, Durham, and Orange Counties. Responsible for training new EFNEP educators and volunteer development.

Mart Bumgarner
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Crops and Horticulture
Phone: (919) 245-2062
Email: mart_bumgarner@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide conduit for technology transfer from Land Grant University to consumers in Orange County concerning Field Crops and Horticulture. Responsible for the Orange County Master Gardener Program.

Ivelisse Coln
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (919) 245-2055
Email: ivelisse_colon@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: ECA Liason County Agent, Food Safety at home, Safe Plates - Food Safety programs, Food Processing and Canning, Promotion of Healthy Eating and Physical Activity to adults and youth. Community development, local food access, and Local Foods Coordinator

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.

Ketha Golden
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (919) 245-2050
Email: ketha_golden@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Office Support

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.

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

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with commercial greenhouses and nurseries to help them with growing related issues. These issues range from pests (insect, disease, and weeds), substrates, nutrition, and other miscellaneous topics.

Peggie Lewis Joyce
Title: Area 4-H Agent - Central Region
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: peggie_lewis@ncsu.edu

Sarah Maddry
Title: 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (919) 245-2066
Email: sarah_maddry@ncsu.edu

Gwen Medford
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (919) 245-2059
Email: glmedfor@ncsu.edu

Suyapa Mejia-Guevara
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (919) 245-2069
Email: suyapa_mejia-guevara@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Expanded Foods and Nutrition Education Program

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!

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

Jonathon Smith
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (919) 245-2057
Email: jonathon_smith@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Coordinate and support 4-H programs and clubs in Orange County. Create new and engaging opportunities for students to learn by doing.

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

Orange County Center
306-E Revere Rd
Hillsborough, NC 27278

Phone: (919) 245-2050
Fax: (919) 644-3067
URL: http://orange.ces.ncsu.edu