2020 Perquimans County Plan of Work

Approved: January 17, 2020

I. County Background

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service - Perquimans County Center is a branch of the local county government and proudly partners with North Carolina State University in Raleigh and A&T State University in Greensboro, to reach and teach local residents with non-biased research-based information. We educate the community and prepare citizens to make informed decisions that benefit all families and agricultural producers. Our greatest asset is our team of professionals and volunteers that stand ready to serve the community and share knowledge in safe trusted informal settings in our area.

Perquimans is a rural county located in northeastern, North Carolina, with a population of 13,453. It consists of 329 square miles, of which 247 is land and 82 is water. Bodies of water that influence the county and stimulate the economy include the Albemarle Sound, the Perquimans River, the Little River, and the Yeopim River. The southern tip of the Great Dismal Swamp extends into the northern portion of the county. There are two incorporated towns located in the county - Hertford and Winfall.

Agriculture continues to be the primary source of income for the county. The 2012 Census of Agriculture reported Perquimans has 185 farms cultivating 80,116 acres of land. Gross farm income, not including forestry while including government payments, exceeded $92 million in 2017. The median age of county residents is 48 years based on recent census data. Approximately 21% of the residents are younger than 18 years of age while 32% are 60 or older. The per capita income level is $22,954 and 19% of residents live below the poverty level.

Through the midpoint of the last decade, the county experienced a significant increase in housing growth due to the influx of retirees from metropolitan areas of Virginia and northern states. This has resulted in increased land prices and more stress on county government to provide infrastructure to meet the needs of new residents. On the positive side, residential growth has favorably impacted the county tax base.

The Perquimans Cooperative Extension Center uses environmental scanning methods to learn about issues facing the county. Mail surveys, electronic surveys, one-on-one interviews, and focus groups are used as needs assessment. Based on feedback, issues of concern included improving health and nutrition for youth and families, improving the agricultural and food supply system in North Carolina which includes natural resources and environmental stewardship issues, and increasing leadership, personal development and citizenship skills. Stakeholders felt that these issues are within Extension's "range" of programmatic expertise.

The county advisory system is updated each year with key people that know the community and can assess the needs to be addressed. Adjustments and additions are made to programs as needed. In addition to formal feedback, Extension seeks input from its various clientele groups to make programs more responsive to local issues. Methods used to do this include program evaluation surveys, personal contact, and observation. It is our goal to proactively meet the needs of our clientele through user-friendly educational programs.

Health and Nutrition issues that are a concern for Perquimans are: obesity of children and adults, poor diets, lack of health insurance, and issues that pertain specifically to the elderly such as proper medications and proper diet and prevention of diseases. Those identifying agriculture and food supply as a priority voiced concerns about efficiency of production agriculture in the face of soaring input costs, a balance of growth between agricultural lands and residential developments, and the need to preserve water quality. Career Development, community involvement, crime prevention, family communication and childhood health and fitness were topics that 4-H advisory members identified as the area that need to be addressed to promote Leadership, personal development, and citizenship for youth in the county.

In response to concerns about the agricultural/residential interface, Perquimans County adopted a Voluntary Agricultural District ordinance in December 2009. Extension led the way by organizing stakeholders and assisting with development of the ordinance. In 2012, landowners began to register parcels of land in this program.

In addition to the issues that will be routinely addressed, Extension partners with county government and other agencies to impact areas of need that did not arise during the environmental scan process, or were not identified by the advisory system and Extension customers.

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

Perquimans County does not have an active strategic plan, but county government does have a close working relationship with Cooperative Extension. Extension is present at county department head meetings, public hearings, regular county commissioners business sessions, and Reports to the People. Extension personnel serve on various boards, panels and committees within the county. Extension is viewed as a valuable source of information for county government and its constituents.

Extension personnel are available at the discretion of the county manager and Emergency Management director in whatever capacity needed to support the county Emergency Operations Center Team.

Perquimans County government provides the necessary inputs, through an annual budget, for Extension to operate. In return, the Perquimans Extension Center provides a service to the citizens of the county that is not available otherwise.

IV. Diversity Plan

Cooperative Extension in Perquimans County values diversity among clientele groups, staff members, and educational partners. Staff members are committed to promoting equal opportunities for all people regardless of age, race, ethnicity, gender, beliefs, and background. Programs are designed to be welcoming and accessible to all attendees. Given advanced notice, staff members can make adjustments to accommodate those with physical or other disabilities. Hispanics compose about 2.1% of the county population. In the event that non-English speaking Hispanics are known to be part of a program audience, effort is made to have an interpreter available to assist should language be a barrier to learning.

All reasonable efforts are being made to reach diverse and/or under-served audiences by using a variety of marketing and outreach. Examples include - church contacts, announcements placed in public locations frequented by the targeted audiences, community contacts, personal invitations, Extension mailings, membership promotion events, general mass media outlets, and targeting key leaders of diversity groups.

New audiences are reached much in the same way as under-served groups. Mass media quite often reaches people who have not previously been Extension users. Emphasis on keeping the county web site up-to-date will be increased since many people now use this means to search for answers to their questions. Facebook pages are used to promote Perquimans 4-H and Perquimans Cooperative Extension. New residents that come to the county to retire are community-oriented and seek to become involved in civic clubs and other local activities. Extension has traditionally partnered with the local Farm Bureau as well as other community organizations. Agents provided programs to many civic groups on a regular basis. This contact with the variety of civic organizations help "steer" new audiences to Extension.

A valuable asset not mentioned previously is the close working relationship with key leaders, county and municipal governments, county departments, and cooperating state and federal agencies. These entities are aware of Extension's educational role and refer many people to Extension that have never accessed Extension in the past.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

North Carolina State University's Extension Program believes in both high tech - high touch delivery methods. Perquimans Staff shares this vision and looks for ways to be both electronically proficient at sharing information on the computer as well as being strong with interpersonal face-to-face connections within the community. Delivering timely, relevant educational programs that meet critical local needs is the cornerstone of Extension’s mission. Perquimans Extension programs focus on planning, implementing, and evaluating programs to measure improvements in Knowledge, Awareness, Skills, and Attitudes.

Extension educates with non-biased research-based information using a variety of teaching methods designed for various learning styles. Extension educators are trained at facilitating interactive workshops, classroom demonstrations, field day visits, and farm tours to teach the learn-by-doing method. Other educational methods include written fact sheets, postal newsletters, and personal one-on-one sessions to reach the older traditional adult learner. Extension educators select educational methods based on the learning style preferences and special needs of the targeted audiences.

In Extension, success is defined by impacts. We look for ways to make improvements in situations. Extension uses quantitative evaluation tools like pre/post tests and/or surveys to measure changes in situations. Perquimans Extension Staff has a local reputation of being highly professional and very personable as they meet and greet the general public. Perquimans Extension Agents are good team players and are appreciated for being good active listeners. Qualitative evaluation methods such as testimonials from program participants are used for measuring successes but also help with marketing the role of Extension in the community. Word of mouth is still the best advertisement.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Perquimans County Extension Advisory Council
Frank Heath
Juanita Bailey
Dottie Wahlers
Jasmine Wilson
Sue Mitchell
Burt Eure
Lewis Smith
Edward Winslow
Laurence Chappell
Jeff Williams
Michael Moore
Rena Eure
Faran Sawyer
Julie Roberts
Carla Bundy
James Bunch
Carmen Lopez
Dena Richardson
Lee Dail
Rick Morgan
Agricultural Advisory Committee
Michael Moore
Burt Eure
Lewis Smith
Edward Winslow
Jeff Williams
Laurence Chappell
Rena Eure
Livestock Advisory Committee
Fred Smith
Lewis Smith
Rick Morgan
Russell Cartwright
Craig McPherson
4-H Livestock Specialized Committee
Dena Richardson
Lee Dail
Buddy Meads
Caleb Cooper
Family and Consumer Science Advisory Committee
Juanita Bailey
Dottie Wahlers
Sue Mitchell
Jasmine Wilson
SHIIP Specialized Committee
Lisa Barker
Ashley Lamb
Jasmine Wilson
4-H and Youth Advisory Committee
Faran Sawyer
Carla Bundy
Julie Roberts
Carmen Lopez
James Bunch
Elizabeth Riddick
Commercial Horticulture Advisory Committee
Louis Nixon
Jeff Smith
Lorne Wiggins
Greg Hughes
Fred Smith
Adam Bunch
Jasper Evans
Forestry Advisory Committee
Scott Sheets
Robbie Umplett
J.R. Rountree
Doug Wassum
James Caddy
Brian Saunders
Matt Lowe
Consumer Horticulture & Extension Master Gardener Advisory Committee
Nancy Dougherty
Elaine Grosjean
Linda Kruegel
Micki Levine
Nancy McGowan
Betty Onufrak
Kay Polizzano
Deborah Shullo
Anne Standing
Peggy DiMartino
Marilyn Rutland
Veronica Martin-Dowdy
Aquaculture Advisory Committee
Jeremy McCargo
Aubry Onley, Jr.
Charles Weirich
Sterling Davenport
Doug Wassum
Gary Sawyer
Craig Perry
Stephen Jackson
Pete Anderson
Harry Daniels
Rob Mayo

VII. Staff Membership

Jewel Winslow
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 426-7697
Email: jewel_winslow@ncsu.edu

Nettie Baugher
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: nettie_baugher@ncsu.edu

Patty Bowers
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: patty_bowers@ncsu.edu

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

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9148
Email: cadescha@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The overall goal of the Area Specialized Agents (ASAs) in Consumer & Retail Food Safety is to provide North Carolinians with technical food safety information and to support Family and Consumer Sciences agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders.

Marti Day
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: marti_day@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for educational programs for dairy farmers, youth with an interest in dairy projects and the general public with an interest in dairy foods and the dairy industry.

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits and Vegetables
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: erin_eure@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in northeastern NC.

Steve Gabel
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: steve_gabel@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for aquaculture educational programs for the NC NE extension district.

Jared Harrell
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 426-5428
Email: jared_harrell@ncsu.edu

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

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.

Dylan Lilley
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (252) 333-6601
Email: dtlille2@ncsu.edu

Lori McBryde
Title: Area 4-H Agent, East Region
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: lori_mcbryde@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide support the Eastern 34 Counties of the Northeast and Southeast Districts in 4-H Youth Development.

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.

Katy Shook
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: katy_shook@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Chowan, Gates & Perquimans County Consumer Horticulture Agent & Extension Master Gardener Coordinator

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

Teresa Story
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 426-5428
Email: teresa_story@ncsu.edu

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

Meredith Wood
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 426-7697
Email: meredith_wood@ncsu.edu

Mitch Woodward
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Watersheds and Water Quality
Phone: (919) 414-3873
Email: mdwoodwa@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: NC Cooperative Extension's Goals include: - NC's natural resources and environmental quality will be protected, conserved and enhanced. - NC will have profitable, environmentally sustainable plant, animal and food systems. Protecting our environmental resources, particularly drinking water quality, is a top priority in NC. NC Cooperative Extension is a leader in teaching, researching, and accelerating the adoption of effective water quality protection practices.

VIII. Contact Information

Perquimans County Center
601-A S Edenton Road St
Hertford, NC 27944

Phone: (252) 426-5428
Fax: (252) 426-1646
URL: http://perquimans.ces.ncsu.edu