2019 Pitt County Plan of Work

Approved: January 23, 2019

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 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 21% of county residents experience food insecurity, and of those 23% are above the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program guidelines.

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

* Agriculture Productivity and Sustainability including traditional row crops, produce, livestock and the green industry
* Environmental Stewardship
* Youth Leadership Development
* STEM Education
* Nutrition Education
* Local Food Systems and Food Insecurity

NC Cooperative Extension in Pitt County is addressing these areas through our programming in 4-H Youth Development, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, and Agriculture. Our work in community gardens, arboretum education and the Pitt County Farm and Food Council are important to meeting these areas of need.

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 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 in Pitt County provides quality educational materials through field faculty of NC State and well trained paraprofessionals. In addition to reaching the individual stakeholder with education, Extension provides STEM training to local educators for use in the classroom.

NC Cooperative Extension in Pitt County provides research based information during natural disasters. Our areas of expertise are food safety during disasters, and horticulture/livestock in crisis.

NC Cooperative Extension in Pitt County 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. The Certified Plant Professional certification, waste management certificate and pesticide applicator classes provided workplace training for area producers and landscapers. In 2019, Extension will host the NC Farm School Down East which will offer business training to existing and aspiring farmers.

NC Cooperative Extension in Pitt County enriches quality of life by teaching behavioral change that improves health and welfare. Through EFNEP nutrition outreach to youth, we teach food preparation, wise purchase of food, nutrition, food safety and physical activity. 4-H leaders reach youth with leadership education that prepare them to be productive citizens of the community. Our community garden and consumer horticulture work prepare the community to grow their own food and to manage horticulture issues with the environment in mind. Our Family and Consumer Sciences programming provides 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 in Pitt County will deliver programs in a manner which represents all best efforts to address the changing demographics of Pitt County. All programs will be delivered within the context of the mission of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and will be offered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability or sexual orientation.

Extension agents are working with Amexican, a local education and advocacy group serving the Latino community, to offer 4-H programming. We have partnered at community fairs and outreach events.

The Pitt County Farm and Food Council has empowered greater dialogue between Pitt County communities, service providers, and neighborhoods. Extension is reaching toward minority farmers and community gardens in minority neighborhoods to offer services and support. After discussions with numerous minority land owners, Extension is pursuing a workshop in heir property.

The EFNEP nutrition educators target low resource populations to improve nutrition and physical activity.

The Farmers Market Advisory Board was recently increased from three to five members. Efforts are underway to increase representation from women and minority populations that participate in the farmers market.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Extension educators in our county employ a wide variety of hands-on, experiential educational methods, such as interactive workshops and classes, demonstrations, field days and tours, that allow learners to fully engage in the learning process, test new knowledge and/or practice new skills during the educational session. Equally important, this plan will also include educational methods such as seminars, client visits, fact sheets, newsletters, and home study kits that serve to support and reinforce learning as well as provide motivation for continued learning. Armed with the most current literature on effective teaching and learning, Extension educators also skillfully select educational methods based on the learning style preferences and special needs of the targeted learners. These client-focused methods afford learners the opportunity to gain the necessary knowledge and skills to change their lives in meaningful ways. Another key feature of Extension program delivery that is evident in this plan is our commitment to being customer driven and customer focused. As such, in addition to the County Extension Center, Extension educational programs are delivered online, in community centers, on farms, and other locations in order for our programs to be available and accessible to, and fully utilized by, the citizens of Pitt 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 Pitt 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

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

Tobacco Advisory Committee
L.F. Worthington
Lawrence Davenport
Gordon Johnson

4-H County Advisory Council
Jennifer Christensen
Vicki Bergstedt
Mildred Council
Tammy Moore
Jessica Henderson
Caroline Davenport
Jerry Flanagan
Heidi Kitrell
Leigh Lawrence
Miriam Lewis
Tracy Stead
David Ward
Allison Wasklewicz
Trish Douglas
Jo Ann Harkley
Melinda Fagundus
Amy Stevenson
Mandy Waugh
Lisa Martin
Dorothy Suedbeck
4-H County Council
Hannah Cooke
Cassandra Suedbeck
Marisa Suedbeck
Sarah Cooke
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
Feedgrains and Cotton Advisory Committee
Robert Cannon
Clevie Averette
David Sawyer
Carl Briley
Tim Whitehurst
Taylor Barnhill
Edward Lee
Allen Warren
Henry Bunn
Steve Sutton
Greg James
Will Congleton
Peanut Advisory Committee
Charles Tucker
Charles Rogister
Lawrence Davenport
Tod Sugg
Carl Crawford
Bee Keeping Advisory Committee
Jerry Flanagan
Kristen Lewis
Dale Aycock
Shelly Cooper
Tim Siders
Murdock Butler
Lester Poppe
Farmers Market
Patricia Townsend
Andy McLawhorn
Pitt County Farm and Food Council
Billy Tarlton
Yordanys Bastardo
Carlton Gay
Christal Andrews
Eulalia Williams
Gloristine Brown
Kahla Hall
Steve Tyson
John Morrow
James Rhodes
Lauren Howard
Susan Boutilier

VII. Staff Membership

Leigh Guth
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (252) 902-1702
Email: leigh_guth@ncsu.edu

Taneisha Armstrong
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 902-1714
Email: taneisha_armstrong@ncsu.edu

Marian Booth
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (252) 902-1711
Email: marian_booth@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Marian's responsibility is teaching life skills for youth programming.

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: Candice_Christian@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The overall goal of the Area Specialized Agents (ASAs) in Consumer & Retail Food Safety is to support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in North Carolina.

Lauren Dail
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 902-1712
Email: lsdail2@ncsu.edu

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, 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

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

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

Scott Tilley
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
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) 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.

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