2020 Pitt County Plan of Work

Approved: January 17, 2020

I. County Background

With a rich agriculture history, Pitt County is a now a mostly urban county. While twelfth in the state for the value of agriculture products ($209 million), it is also the fourteenth most populated county. There are ten incorporated municipalities. Greenville is home to Vidant Medical Center and East Carolina University, the third largest and fastest growing university statewide. Pitt County has the largest concentration of population and industry in northeastern North Carolina. Over one-half million people live within a 45-mile radius of the county.

Currently, there are 171,821 acres of farmland; the average farm has 439 acres. Pitt is in the top eleven North Carolina counties for production of tobacco, peanuts, soybeans, peanuts, hogs and corn. Of the $209 million in agriculture market value, 39% is attributed to crops and 58% to livestock. Vegetable production is valued at approximately $1.8 million. There is one year round farmers market and several smaller seasonal markets.

There are growing pressures on rural land for development. In addition, a growing and diverse urban population has demands for an increase in healthy food. Approximately 20% of county residents experience food insecurity, and of those 25% are above the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program guidelines.

Key leaders of Pitt County and customers of the Pitt County Extension program are involved in the process of identifying the top issues and needs of the county. Conversations, focus groups and evaluations from stakeholders are the primary methods used to identify issues impacting the county's quality of life. The following focus areas are identified:

* Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability
* Environmental Stewardship
* Youth Leadership Development
* STEM Education
* Nutrition Education
* Local Food Systems

NC Cooperative Extension in Pitt County is addressing these areas through programming in agriculture, 4-H youth development, and food safety and nutrition. Our work in community gardens, arboretum education and the Pitt County Farm and Food Council are important to community development in Pitt County.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

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 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 mission of Pitt County Government is to enhance the health, safety and well-being of our community by advocating for and providing quality services in a friendly, efficient and cost-effective manner. NC Cooperative Extension specifically addresses the following Pitt County Government goals:

To promote quality education;
To promote community safety through enhanced emergency service programs;
To advance economic development opportunities for Pitt County;
To enrich the quality of life for Pitt County citizens through opportunities for improved health and welfare;

NC Cooperative Extension provides quality educational materials and opportunities for youth and adults through the field faculty of NC State. Extension provides STEM curriculum and training to local educators for use in the classroom. In addition, field faculty teach in the community – on farms, in churches, in farmer markets, in workplaces – to reach the public where they are. Extension education can provide continuing education required for the workplace, education to improve leadership, education to improve farm viability, and education to improve health and wellness.

NC Cooperative Extension provides research-based information during natural disasters. At times of disaster, our areas of expertise are food safety and horticulture/crops/livestock in crisis.

NC Cooperative Extension advances economic development in Pitt County by advising agriculture producers how to improve production rates, lower costs, and preserve natural resources. Cooperative Extension supports the Leroy James Farmers Market in Pitt County, providing entrepreneurial opportunities for producers. Waste management certificate and pesticide applicator classes provide workplace training for area producers and landscapers.

NC Cooperative Extension enriches quality of life by teaching behavioral change that improves health and welfare. Through EFNEP nutrition outreach to youth, we teach food purchasing and preparation, nutrition, food safety and physical activity. 4-H leaders reach youth with leadership education that prepare them to be productive citizens of the community. The community garden coordinator and horticulture agent prepare the community to grow their own food and to manage horticulture issues with the environment in mind. The family and consumer sciences agent programs food safety education and food preservation information to support health and food safety practices in the home and in commercial settings.

IV. Diversity Plan

NC Cooperative Extension delivers programs within the context of the mission of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, and programs will be offered to all regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability or sexual orientation. Extension works with Amexican, a local education and advocacy group serving the Latino community, to offer 4-H programming. The 4-H program assistant works with numerous after school programs serving low resource students. The Pitt County Farm and Food Council is increasing dialogue about racial inequalities in the food system. The EFNEP nutrition educator targets low resource students to improve nutrition and physical activity. The Family and Consumer Sciences agent teaches nutrition education for the general public and has reached residents through African American churches, the farmers market, and health clinics.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Extension educators employ a wide variety of hands-on, experiential educational methods - interactive workshops and classes, demonstrations, field days and tours - that allow learners to fully engage in the learning process, test new knowledge and practice new skills during the educational experience. Seminars, client visits, fact sheets, newsletters, and home study kits support and reinforce learning and provide options for continued learning. Extension educators select educational methods based on the learning style preferences and special needs of the targeted learners. Client-focused methods afford learners the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to change their lives in meaningful ways. Extension is customer driven and customer focused. As such, Extension educational programs are delivered not only in the office but online, in community centers, on farms, and other locations in order for our programs to be available , accessible, and fully utilized by the citizens of Pitt County.

Extension is successful when our educational programs make a difference in the lives of the citizens of Pitt County. We focus on key outcomes such as the knowledge and skills participants gain from our programs. We use 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, and the number and type 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. We plan to measure the short and long-term financial impact and cost benefit analysis. 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, interviews and focus groups with participants.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Pitt County Advisory Council
Jackie Sugg
Juvencio Rocha Peralta
Lena Darden
Alice Keene
Kahla Hall
Robin Tant
Juanita Nobles
Steve Sutton
James Rhodes

4-H County Advisory Council
Conner Mills
Nhaturie Akinson
Tiera Beale,
Vicky Bergstead
Sandy Williams
Jordyn Moore
Jermaine Johnson
Stephanie Mills
Pam Ferris
Amanda Pierce

4-H County Council
Bishop Miles, President
Conner Mills, Vice President
Nhaturie Atkinson, Secretary
Kayla Gaylord, Recreation Leader
Commercial Horticulture/Landscape Advisory Committee
Glenn Bright
Tod Williams
Kevin Heifferon
John Gill
Steven Jones
Andrea Pike
David Rouse
Mike Skinner
Ken Stillwell
Mike Worthington
Tod Worthington
Consumer Horticulture and Arboretum Advisory Committee
Rosanne Davis
Jeannette Debs
Doug Grimes
Ann Hamze
Joanne Kollar
Blythe Tennent
John Weber
Holly Wilson

Joanne Kollar
Lynne Maclaga
Pam Mastin
Vicki Morris
Jack Overton
Susan Purcell
Teresa Surratt
Carol Taylor
Martha Watson
Maxyne Weaver
Livestock Advisory Committee
Jerry Flanagan
Allen Corbitt
Chad Smith
Greg Foster
Billy Lewis
June Haddock
Chris Cox
Channing Armstrong

Youth Livestock Advisory Committee
Miriam Lewis
Brittany Roy
Jessica Henderson
Justin Lawrence
Will Hargett
Danielle Henderson
Kim Gaylord
Chris Stancil
Maureen Grady
Bee Keeping Advisory Committee
Jerry Flanagan
Kristen Lewis
Dale Aycock
Shelly Cooper
Tim Siders
Murdock Butler
Lester Poppe
Farmers Market
Patricia Townsend
Andy McLawhorn
Joni McLawhorn
Jean Spong
Andy Jensen
Pitt County Farm and Food Council
Billy Tarlton
Yordanys Bastardo
Carlton Gay
Carina DeRoche
Eulalia Williams
Gloristine Brown
Kahla Hall
Steve Tyson
Dr John Silvernail
James Rhodes
Lauren Howard
Susan Boutilier
Crops Advisory Committee
L.F. Worthington
Robert Cannon
Clevie Averatte
Carl Briley
Henry Bunn
Steve Sutton
Will Congleton
Charles Tucker
Charles Rogister
Frank Huggins
Jonathan Sutton
Robert Humbles
Charles Mayo

VII. Staff Membership

Leigh Guth
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (252) 902-1702
Email: leigh_guth@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: County Extension Director, Local Food, and Community Resource Development

Taneisha Armstrong
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 902-1714
Email: taneisha_armstrong@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Encourage healthy lifestyles by providing researched based information and programming in the areas of Nutrition, Physical Activity, Food Safety, Food Resource Management, and Food Preservation. To promote healthy habits and improve the well-being of Pitt County citizens.

Andy Burlingham
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 902-1703
Email: andy_burlingham@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.

Lauren Dail
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 902-1712
Email: lsdail2@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for assessing community needs, reviewing data and available resources to plan, develop, conduct, evaluate, and market youth development educational opportunities throughout the county for diverse youth ages 5-19.

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.

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

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.

Carrie Ortel
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (252) 902-1704
Email: ccortel@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include assisting growers with all field crops and coordinating pesticide license education opportunities.

Brigitte Perry
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 902-1709
Email: brperry@ncsu.edu

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!

Makeema Ross
Title: Youth EFNEP Educator
Phone: (252) 902-1719
Email: mmross2@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Nutrition Education

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

Hannah Smith
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (252) 902-1701
Email: hannah_smith@ncsu.edu

Mitch Smith
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (252) 358-7822
Email: mitch_smith@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Mitch Smith provides leadership for educational programming in field crops,.

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

Joni Torres
Title: Community Garden Technician, Agriculture - Community Garden
Phone: (252) 902-1756
Email: joni_torres@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

Pitt County Center
403 Government Cir
Suite 2
Greenville, NC 27834

Phone: (252) 902-1700
Fax: (252) 757-1456
URL: http://pitt.ces.ncsu.edu