2016 Pender County Program Impact Report

Approved: March 21, 2017

I. Executive Summary

Cooperative Extension in Pender County is a cooperative agreement between the federal, state and local governments. Pender County Cooperative Extension has a staff of five that includes three North Carolina State University field faculty, one administrative secretary, and one full time, NCSU grant funded Nutrition Educator. The Extension staff works as a team utilizing research-based information from NCSU and resources from Pender County government to address the diverse needs of county citizens.

Pender County Cooperative Extension is supported by local government which helps Extension provide educational programs in the areas of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Urban Horticulture and Local Foods, and 4-H and Youth Development. The Pender County portion of the Extension budget is in excess of $143,000, which includes $130,000 in recurring funds for the Agriculture Center. Extension was also supported through grant funds and user fees in excess of $13,000 in 2016.

Pender County Extension Agents focused their educational programs in 2016 towards improving lives of our citizens. With help from Extension’s specialized committees and the Extension Advisory Council, educational programs were developed and delivered, but not limited to, the following four areas:

Profitable, Safe and Sustainable Agriculture
Urban Horticulture and Local Foods
Youth Development In and Out of School Settings
Strengthening Communities through Volunteer Leadership Education and Training

Extension uses numerous delivery modes to provide educational programs and opportunities to Pender County citizens. In 2016, Pender County Extension conducted 69 educational workshops with 1,711 participants encompassing more than 200 hours of continuing education. In addition Pender County Extension Agents and staff had 8,592 face-to-face contacts and 52,284 non face-to-face contacts. Volunteers also contributed 6,888 hours of time valued at $158,906 in services that county government does not have to fund. Other information delivery modes include email, newspaper articles, radio programs, the Pender County Extension website plus the Pender County Extension, 4-H and Master Gardener Association Facebook pages.

Pender County Extension 4-H consists of nine active clubs and nine after school programs, reaching 457 youth, and getting support from 27 volunteer leaders. 4-H youth and adult volunteers served a total of 1,189 hours of community service and represented Pender County Extension 4-H at the Cape Fear Fair & Expo, Betsy Jeff Penn 4-H Camp, the NC Youth Summit, Citizenship Focus, NC 4-H Congress, NC 4-H State Council Conference, Burgaw Spring Fest, Old River Farms Spring Fest, Surf City Summer Market, and the Burgaw Christmas Parade. Fifteen 4-H Youth Day camps were held giving youth a chance to see: farms and food production; plants and weeds; worms and snakes; electricity; the ocean, cooking and a trip to the zoo. All these activities help youth broaden their knowledge of the community and state and develop leadership and citizenship skills through hands-on, experiential learning.
Pender County Extension answered close to 6,000 horticulture questions in 2016. These questions include phone calls, e-mails, walk-ins, MG Speakers Bureau events, Ask-A-Master Gardener booths at county fairs/festivals and site visits. Pender County Master Gardener volunteers also lead the Horticulture in the Classroom program, reaching more than 600 3rd grade students in 2016. This program teaches science through horticulture education and activities and meets the NC STEM requirements for public schools. Home gardening questions accounted for 78% of the total questions handled by the Urban Horticulture Extension agent, the Pender County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and support staff.

Pender County Extension agriculture programs helped more than 30 farmers increase profitability by increasing crop yields and maximizing inputs through on-farm visits, via email and newsletters and phone calls. Three on-farm tests in field corn and soybeans variety performance (field corn) and plant population studies to maximizing inputs (soybeans) were conducted. More than $6,600 in seed donations were made to Pender County Extension as part of a nine county, multi-variety corn variety demonstration. Eighty four private and commercial pesticide applicators received re-certification training.

Local food education was a major focus for Pender County Extension staff in 2016. With the limited number of local foods ventures in the county, the focus shifted to working with Pender High School to develop raised bed gardens for vegetable production and work began in the fall on a project to plant popcorn for use by Pender County Schools for athletic and social events. This is an on-going effort and a 1 acre site is being developed for planting in spring 2017 at Pender High School.

Pender County Extension assisted Pender Emergency Management and the Pender Animal Shelter staff with animal rescue and recovery efforts after Hurricane Mathew. Donkeys, pigs and horses were rescued in the flooded areas following the storm. Extension helped secure fencing for temporary housing if rescued animals and worked with one land owner to mow flooded pasture land before safely and successfully returning his donkeys to this land for grazing.
Pender County Extension worked with Pender County Utilities and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NCDA&CS) Pesticide Section and Pesticide Disposal Division to identify a permanent site for farmers to dispose of empty, triple-rinsed pesticide containers. More than 4,000 lbs of containers were ground up and shipped for recycling 2016. These plastics are used to make PVC pipe for sewer drains and industrial piping, keeping pesticide residues out of food grade recycled plastics.

Pender County Extension worked with the NCDA&CS Pesticide Disposal team to arrange for pickup and cleanup of a recently discovered pile of DDT, lead arsenic, diazinon and carbaryl insecticide from an abandoned storage shed. While not a county wide scheduled clean up this clean up saved one landowner over $5,000 in cleanup costs for a potentially dangerous environmental hazard.

II. County Background

Pender County is located in southeastern North Carolina and is one of the ten fastest growing counties in NC. The total county population in 2000 of 41,082 grew to an estimated 54,195 in 2014. With approximately 25 miles of coastline, the eastern part of the county includes Topsail Beach and Surf City, as well as the rapidly growing unincorporated area of Hampstead. The western part of the county is primarily rural with an abundance of livestock, row crop and horticultural crop farming and forestry. Pender's agriculture output ranked 19th out of 100 counties in NC in 2013.

The eastern and western halves of the county are separated by the 65,000 acre Holly Shelter Wildlife Game Land and the NE Cape Fear River. Pender County is a large county by North Carolina standards, with 556,656 total acres, of which 55,775 acres is farm land, with 27,611 acres of harvested cropland on 335 registered farms. As with many counties, the average age of Pender County's farmers rose to 57.3 years in 2012.

Agriculture and forestry are the dominant industries in Pender County with annual farm income in 2014 at $202.8 million and timber generating $21.2 million in 2014. With 335 registered farms in Pender County the average gross income per farm was $605,373 in 2014. Extension programs are primarily focused on supporting the agriculture industry with on-farm research targeting crop yield increases to increase grain production. Increased grain production supports Pender’s and NC’s beef, pork and poultry industries, making these industry less dependent on grain imports.
Much of the county's population (13.5%) reside in municipalities with the remainder living in rural areas. The population is evenly divided among males and females. In 2012 the ethnic breakdown of the county was: Caucasians 79.0%, Blacks/African Americans 17.9% and Hispanic/Latino 6.2%. Pender County’s Urban Horticulture and Local Foods program and the 4-H Youth Development programs will bring education to all of these audiences to increase awareness of the importance of agriculture and local food to Pender County, NC and the US.

Obesity levels in Pender County are climbing. The Pender County Health Department's 2010 Community Health Assessment indicates obesity in adults and children contributes greatly to the top five chronic disease problems in the county: cancer, heart disease, vascular diseases, respiratory disease and diabetes. The Health Assessment also showed 57-61% of Pender County's adults are overweight or obese along with 28% of children. To address some of these issues a full time Extension Associate Nutrition Educator was hired to conduct SNAP-Ed education for elementary and minority audiences. 4-H youth programs, Extension MG in the classroom programs, and Extension Community Association programs will focus on fruit and vegetable production, nutrition education and community gardening projects in 2016.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant, animal and food systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
Educational and training programs for producers of agricultural, horticultural and of forest products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide. North Carolina's producers produce a wide variety of agricultural, food, fiber, and horticultural products that make major contributions to local communities and the states economy. In 2006, the estimated farm gate value of agricultural and horticultural production was $8.2 billion, placing NC as the 8th largest in the nation. The total economic impact of these agricultural, horticultural and food industries accounts for approximately one-quarter of the states economy. North Carolina farm numbers have declined consistently for decades as a result of economies of scale and global competition in traditional agricultural commodities. Producers of traditional commodities have been forced to expand or leave agriculture. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers unable or unwilling to compete in commodity production. North Carolina's rapidly growing population creates competition for resources and the need for well informed and well crafted public policy to resolve conflicts and meet societies goals. New enterprises will develop or agriculturally-based enterprises will add value to and diversify farms by producing energy feedstocks, bioenergy, or other value-added products that will increase rural economic development. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Opportunities for diversification of operations and increased income on North Carolina farms will increase as emerging, alternative and entrepreneurial agricultural business opportunities are created in the marketplace.
Value* Impact Description
1Number of crop (all plant systems) producers adopting best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
7500Net income gains realized by the adoption of best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
1Number of producers reporting increased dollar returns per acre or reduced costs per acre (new required data for federal reporting)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Producers will increase sales of food locally to more agriculturally aware consumers through market development, producer and consumer education, and new farmer and infrastructure support.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
Value* Outcome Description
1Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
1Number of adults (including producers, food business owners, etc.) who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
665Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
1676Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening, and if also reporting under Urban and Consumer Agriculture Objective, divide up the reported number appropriately between the two objectives to avoid duplication.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
7Number of new and existing access points for consumers that expand or improve their offering of local fruits and vegetables. Access points include farmers markets, retail stores, school food programs, community gardens, institutions other than schools (e.g. hospitals, universities, etc.), and other systems/access points not noted (e.g. restaurants, etc.).
7150Gross sales of local foods by producers. (Increase in gross sales to be calculated at the state level.)
1Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue.
1Number of new farms (beginning farmers) selling into local markets for local consumption (in this reporting period).
51Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
432Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
25Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden, and if also reporting under Urban and Consumer Horticulture Objective, divide up the reported number appropriately between the two objectives to avoid duplication.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
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.
Training and educational programs for farmers, agricultural workers, food handlers, and consumers will provide research-based programming, materials, information and expertise to compel these individuals to implement practices relating to the overall safety and security for the food supply and farming systems. Components of this include on-farm, packinghouse, and transportation management, retail and food service establishments, and consumer’s homes. Therefore targeted audiences include farmers and agricultural workers and their families, food handlers and workers (both amateur and commercial), transporters, processors, business operators, food service and retail staff, supervisors of any food facility, long term care facility staff and individuals who purchase, prepare and serve food in their homes. With an estimated 76 million foodborne illnesses annually, costing an estimated $1.4 trillion, food safety highlights a specific area of risk to be addressed by Cooperative Extension. The recent produce-related foodborne illness outbreaks have brought public attention to a problem that has been increasing nationally for the last ten years. The issues of foodborne illness and food safety pose immediate risks for farmers affecting the areas of economics, consumer demand, and market access. Because no processing or kill steps are involved with produce that is typically eaten raw, the best measures to limit microorganisms and fresh produce related illness are to prevent microbes from contaminating the product. Practices like Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Handling Practices (GHPs), and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) represent a systematic preventive approach to food safety, protecting agricultural products as they move from farm to retail and restaurants and finally to families. While there is currently no legal requirements for growers to implement GAPs, buyers have responded to the public concern by requiring their produce growers to adhere to current guidelines and possibly even require GAPs certification. The main areas of concern incorporate production, harvesting, packing, and transporting produce in the areas of water quality, manure management, domestic and wildlife management, worker health and hygiene, transportation, traceability, and documentation. For North Carolina growers to be competitive and produce safe product, it is important that they gain knowledge about and implement food safety programs that minimize physical, chemical and biological hazards Food safety risks do not stop at primary production. As risks associated with pathogens can occur at many junctions between primary production and consumption, food safety is a truly farm-to-fork issue. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined 5 factors that lead to foodborne illness outbreaks: Inadequate cooking or processing procedures; improper storage and holding temperatures, cross-contamination between potentially contaminated raw materials and ready-to-eat foods (either directly or through poor sanitation); and poor implementation of personal hygiene practices. The preventative steps targeting risk reduction taken at each of the components making up the food supply chain are critical in preventing food-borne illness. Educational programs including ServSAFE, School HACCP workshops, food safety at childcare and senior centers, and targeted farm-to-fork food safety inclusion for all food handlers is necessary for important for advances in knowledge and implementation of preventative programs. Equally important is that families and children have a secure food supply. Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released in the report "Household Food Security in the United States, 2004." The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999. The USDA report says that 38.2 million Americans live in households that suffer directly from hunger and food insecurity, including nearly 14 million children. That figure is up from 31 million Americans in 1999. Limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and food-insecure individuals, families and communities will be provided with information and opportunities to enhance household food, diet and nutritional security. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States, and consistently ranks as the first, second or third most deadly industry along with mining and construction. Agriculture is unique in that the work and home place are often the same, exposing both workers and family members to hazards. In the United States on average each year, there are 700 deaths and 140,000 injuries to those who work in agriculture, defined as farming, forestry and fishing. Farmers, farmworkers and their families are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries (primarily from tractor roll-overs, machinery entanglements, and animal handling incidents), musculo-skeletal conditions, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, heat stress and heat stroke, pesticide exposure and illness, skin diseases, behavioral health issues, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. The health and safety of migrant and seasonal farmworkers are complicated by other conditions such as infectious disease, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as cultural and language barriers. Farmers and farmworkers alike are subject to lack of access to health care. Agricultural injury and illness are costly, with total US annual costs reaching $4.5 billion and per farm costs equaling $2,500, or 15% of net income. Median health care coverage for farm families is $6,000 per year. In North Carolina, 27% of farm families do not have health insurance, while 29% of farmers do not have health insurance. Many others have health care coverage with high annual deductibles and high premiums. Agromedicine is a comprehensive, collaborative approach involving both agricultural and health scientists to develop solutions addressing the health and safety issues of the agricultural community through research, education and outreach. The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, a partnership of NC State University, NC A&T State University and East Carolina University in collaboration with others, develops and evaluates effective programs to reduce injury and illness in agriculture, forestry and fishing. One such program is called Certified Safe Farm (CSF) and AgriSafe. CSF and AgriSafe were first developed and researched in Iowa. CSF and AgriSafe are being adapted to North Carolina agriculture by the NC Agromedicine Institute and its Cooperative Extension collaborators. Certified Safe Farm combines AgriSafe health services (wellness and occupational health screenings and personal protection equipment selection and fit services) conducted by trained AgriSafe health providers, on-farm safety reviews conducted by trained Extension agents, and community education and outreach to achieve safety and health goals established by participating farmers and their employees and families. Insurance incentives and safety equipment cost-share programs for participating farmers are still being developed. Other ongoing educational programs addressing agricultural health and safety include farm safety days for children, youth, or families, employee hands-on farm safety training, the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program for youth, and youth ATV operator safety certification programs.
Value* Outcome Description
13Number of pesticide application credit hours provided
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
1Number of farms certified as a Certified Safe Farm
1Number of farms that made safety improvements following a CSF on-farm safety review
1Number of participants that have adopted farm safety practices
5000Value of reduced risk of farm and food hazards
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.
Leadership is important to every level of a community sharing in the creation of wealth and well-being. Youth and adult leaders must be capable of motivating groups to achieve common goals that impact North Carolina families and communities.They will need the confidence and skill to guide and support North Carolina community and state organizations. Citizens participating in the 2007 NC Tomorrow survey denoted the importance of leadership by clearly requesting leadership training (54%), social advising, community advising and technical assistance (45%)from their university system.
Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.
Youth and adult volunteers in North Carolina contribute thousands of hours each year to strengthen communities and create strong foundations for the future. As these individuals engage in service, they are gaining new skills, generating new programs to serve their communities, building successful organizations, and fostering an ethic of service. Cooperative Extension is poised to support the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Current research suggests that youth and adult participation positively impacts civic engagement and contributes to the development of leadership capacities. With its presence in every county, Cooperative Extension is uniquely positioned to contribute to building a stronger ethic of service among youth and adults.
Value* Outcome Description
27Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
3Number of youth participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
6Number of adult participants reporting aspirations to serve in new or expanded volunteer roles in community
6Number of hours adult volunteer training conducted
7Number new volunteers recruited
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
37Increased number of hours contributed by trained youth volunteers
1189Increased number of hours contributed by trained adult volunteers
6Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
6Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
6Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
6Number of adult volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
9Number of youth volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
8Number of adult volunteers recruiting and/or training new volunteers
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways
We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce.
Value* Outcome Description
14Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
260Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
103Total number of female participants in STEM program
23Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
23Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
27Number of adults increasing knowledge of career/employability skills
155Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
27Number of adults increasing knowledge of entrepreneurship
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
14Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
260Number of youth (students) gaining knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
23Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
27Number of adults gaining career / employability skills
155Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
27Number of adults gaining entrepreneurship skills
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.
Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed.
Value* Outcome Description
2068Number of participants improving knowledge, attitude, skills and aspirations regarding gardening and landscape practices including plant selection and placement, turfgrass management, soil management, growing food, water conservation and water quality preservation, storm water and erosion management, green waste management, pest and wildlife management
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
1469Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
215730Total cost savings from the use of extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease) management, fertility management, water conservation, water quality preservation and pruning techniques
1450Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
21750Cost savings from the appropriate selection of landscape plants
837Number of participants growing food for home consumption
58590Value of produce grown for home consumption
500Number of participants adopting composting
12Reduced tonnage of greenwaste as a result of Extension-recommended practices including composting and proper plant selection
125Number of participants implementing extension-recommended practices to conserve water use and protect water qualty
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.
Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.

IV. Other Objectives

Pender County Plan of Action 2016

V. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 8,515
Non face-to-face** 52,284
Total by Extension staff in 2016 60,799
* Face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make directly with individuals through one-on-one visits, meetings, and other activities where staff members work directly with individuals.
** Non face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make indirectly with individuals by telephone, email, newsletters, news articles, radio, television, and other means.

VI. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $563.00
Gifts/Donations $1,000.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $220.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $1,783.00

VII. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 24.14
4-H: 27 1,189 3,528 $ 28,702.00
Advisory Leadership System: 13 17 0 $ 410.00
Extension Community Association: 0 0 0 $ 0.00
Extension Master Gardener: 912 8,369 2,719 $ 202,028.00
Other: 11 14 0 $ 338.00
Total: 963 9589 6247 $ 231,478.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VIII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Pender County Extension Advisory Council
Don Rawls
Annette Lewis
Jean Talbot
Kyle Bruer
Melissa Hendrickson
Bob Simon
Waitus English III
Buron Lanier
Lauren Lanier
Sonya Royes
Cleve Simpson
Bruce Hanan
Urban Horticulture Advisory Committee:
Cheryll Shuford
Debbie Shackelford
Meredith Smith
Nancy Mercure
Bobbi Crawford
Nancy Kurul
4-H and Youth Advisory Committee:
Michael Lanier
Amy Millis
Tom Herren
Sonya Allen
Tessa Seiter
Kayla Bolick
Cleve Simpson
Field Crops Advisory Committee:
Billy Savage
Don Rawls
Keith Farrior
Jimmy Porter
Stuart Baucom
Larry Elkins
Curtis Wooten
Livestock Advisory Committee
Waitus English
Gina Marasco
Dean Lanier
Bill Murrell
Buron Lanier
Sarah Lanier
Farmers Market and Local Foods Advisory Committee
BJ Ryan
Cynthia Tucker
Margaret Shelton
George Hanchey
Ronald Koster
Betsy Fortunato
Jeff Morris
Molly Rousey

IX. Staff Membership

Mark Seitz
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 259-1235
Email: mark_seitz@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: In addition to the administrative duties associated with County Extension Director, Mark Seitz works with field crop producers, provides pesticide education for field crop and commercial fruit and vegetable producers. Mark is also covering education and client calls related to livestock.

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

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.

Reatha Hoffman
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 259-1235
Email: reatha_hoffman@ncsu.edu

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

Tim Mathews
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture and Local Foods
Phone: (910) 259-1235
Email: tim_mathews@ncsu.edu

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.

Morgan McKnight
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 798-7660
Email: morgan_mcknight@ncsu.edu

Liz Peterson
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 259-1235
Email: eapeter2@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.

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

Traci Spencer
Title: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 259-1235
Email: tjspenc2@ncsu.edu

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.

Sara Wingate
Title: Extension Asst - Nutrition Educator
Phone: (910) 259-1235
Email: swingat@ncsu.edu

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.

X. Contact Information

Pender County Center
801 S Walker St
Burgaw, NC 28425

Phone: (910) 259-1235
Fax: (910) 259-1291
URL: http://pender.ces.ncsu.edu