2019 Pitt County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 16, 2020

I. Executive Summary

In 2019, research-based solutions and guidance from Extension agents made a significant impact on a farm stability and Pitt County’s overall health.

With NC State and Pitt County Government support, the Pitt County Extension office added a full-time crops agent in 2019 to address plant production. The crops agent assisted farmers to identify and manage stubby root nematode reducing the hazard index for future crops. She conducted corn field trials which identified a variety that produced $79 profit per acre more than the grower’s previous choice. Regular insect scouting and nutrient evaluation allowed the agent to work with farmers’ insecticide and fertilizer management, and the results were a savings of over $25,000 with reduction of applications that would not have been cost effective. With impacts from climate and tariffs, more farmers pursued hemp as an alternative revenue source. The crops agent arranged a hemp production meeting with industry experts and worked with individual farmers. Because regulations on hemp continue to change and research for NC production is emerging, it was crucial to have a crops agent to help farmers navigate this evolving industry.

Extension agents in the region, including the Pitt County Extension director, crops and livestock agents, hosted NC Farm School for the second year in Pitt County. The majority of the 30 entrepreneurs were from Pitt County, and they increased their knowledge of farm business concepts and planning for plant and animal production. They estimated saving $70,000 by avoiding start up mistakes and projected $150,000 increase in profits. One participant said NC Farm school gave him a template for thinking; introduced him to experts in his enterprise; and helped him network with other growers who provided hands on lessons. As a result of the school, he downsized his start up and completed a business plan for his farm. These are examples of the impact research-based solutions and guidance from an Extension agent can make on a farm’s financial stability.

The Pitt Extension office was heavily involved with the Pitt County Farm and Food Council (PCFFC) - developing its structure, participating as a Council member, writing grants for continued support and supervising the Council Coordinator. The PCFFC developed and launched the Pitt County Food Finder app and website to help individuals locate food resources in the county. The app directed people to food pantries and food assistance programs as well as to farmers markets and farm stands. The PCFFC developed local hunger awareness videos and initiated a healthy food pantry project. In addition, the PCFFC will host the first Pitt County Farmers Appreciation dinner in January 2020. Extension involvement with the PCFFC is exemplary of how Extension expertise bridges agriculture and food issues to benefit farmers and consumers in community development work.

The Vidant Foundation partnered with NC State and Pitt County Government to fund a full-time family and consumer sciences agent whose first complete year was 2019. The agent brought nutrition education to African American congregations, the farmers market, and low resource families. She taught the Med Instead of Meds curriculum and food preservation classes to the general public. Prior to 2019, funding was not available for nutrition classes open to the general public. The agent was involved with the Extension director and the community garden coordinator in the Farm to Early Child Education project. She worked with a local child-care to bring nutrition education to the staff and children, teaching them about produce they were now growing in their child-care garden. In addition, the project connected the child-care center with a local farmer who sold produce to the center and families.

4-H youth development continued to bring STEM and leadership skills to Pitt County youth. One county youth presented at Eastern National Horse Roundup with her presentation on horses. Another Pitt 4-Her represented North Carolina on the state livestock skillathon team coached by Pitt County’s livestock agent. Pitt County youth had multiple opportunities to work with lambs, goats, chickens and cows through innovative partners, such as Simply Natural Creamery, that facilitated livestock education for children who could not house an animal at their home.

II. 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.

III. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

Our family and consumer sciences programs improve the well-being of individuals, families, and communities.

Value* Outcome Description
26Number of people gaining knowledge and/or skills to increase family assets (such as; home ownership, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), estate planning (including Grandma’s Yellow Pie Plate), savings and investments, retirement planning)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our plant production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Value* Outcome Description
561Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
766Number of pesticide credit hours provided
2Number of Certified Crops Advisors receiving continuing education credits
473Number of crop (all plant systems) producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
4Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
3Number of Certified Crops Advisors credit hours provided
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
43Number of farmers, employees or family members adopting regular use of appropriate PPE following AgriSafe or Certified Safe Farm participation
21Number of producers reporting reduction in fertilizer used per acre
12Number 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
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our animal production programs improve production, profitability, and sustainability of the agriculture sector.

Value* Outcome Description
25Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
25Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
41Number of animal producers who increased knowledge of farm business management, business planning, financial management, marketing, or estate planning.
7Number of animal producers who learned how to develop a management plan (i.e. grazing plan, feeding plan, drought plan, business plan, disaster plan, etc.)
63Number of producers who increased knowledge of pasture/forage management practices (field improvement, herbicide management, grazing season extension, weed control, forage quality, haylage production, nitrate testing, etc.)
39Number of producers who increased knowledge of nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplements, breeding, and reproduction
24Number of producers who increased knowledge of the strategies to promote animal health and welfare and reduce the potential for infectious diseases through proper use of vaccines, biosecurity, detection and identification of common diseases, appropriate use of animal medications, and mitigation of antimicrobial resistance transmission
86Number of producers who increased knowledge of animal waste management practices
186Number of animal waste management credits earned through Extension programs
17Number of Extension conducted on-site sludge surveys or equipment calibrations
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
4Number of producers who diversified their marketing strategies into local markets (direct, intermediated/food service, institutional).
2Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
23Number of producers implementing Extension-recommended best management practices for animal waste management
875Number of acres where Extension-recommended nutrient applications were used
3Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to quality assurance (vaccinations, castration, culling techniques, etc.)
5Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to genetic improvement (AI, heifer/bull selection)
4Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition (mineral, feed rations)
3Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to internal parasite management (fecals, deworming)
15Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices related to pasture management
13Number of producers who adopted Extension-recommended best management practices and production changes related to nutrition, ration balancing, mineral supplement, breeding, and reproduction
3Number of producers using improved biosecurity practices
6Number of waste utilization/waste management plans developed or updated
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
180Number of participants who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems
15Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
75Number of participants who increased their awareness, knowledge or skill in business related topics (e.g., management, product development, marketing, business structure options, business law and/or liability)
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
1Number of (eg., community and economic development, land use, disaster, etc.) new, revised or adopted plans that have begun to be implemented in communities, organizations, local governments, or businesses
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

Value* Outcome Description
25Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
1062Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
263Total number of female participants in STEM program
480Number of youth (students) participating in 4-H dropout prevention (student at-risk) programs
98Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
4019Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
1327Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
198Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
761Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
30Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
498Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
300Number of youth (students) gaining entrepreneurship skills
2318Number of youth using effective life skills
172Number of youth willing to participate in conservation actions
2258Number of youth increasing their physical activity
50Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
15Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles beyond Extension, including community boards and task forces
35Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
2273Number of youth increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption
651Number of youth who grow food in school gardens.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
419Number of individuals who gain knowledge or acquire skills related to vegetable/fruit gardening
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
83Number of individuals who grow food in community gardens.
4Number of individuals who begin home food production by starting a vegetable and/or fruit garden
45Number of participants who use extension-recommended best management practices in landscapes, turf, and gardens, including pest (insect, weed, disease, wildlife) and soil management
10Number of participants selecting appropriate landscape plants (adapted, drought tolerant, appropriate size, etc.)
21Number of participants growing food for home consumption
45Number of participants adopting composting
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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.

Value* Outcome Description
611Number of participants who increase their knowledge of safe home food handling, preservation, or preparation practices
278Number of food handlers who increase their knowledge and skills in safe food handling practices
120Number of individuals who learn how to prepare local foods, including through use of home food preservation techniques.
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
351Number of adults increasing their fruit and vegetables consumption
293Number of participants increasing their physical activity
237Number of participants who consume less sodium in their diet
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 21,218
Non face-to-face** 334,863
Total by Extension staff in 2019 356,081
* 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.

V. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $102,290.00
Gifts/Donations $6,450.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $0.00
User Fees $17,333.00
Total $126,073.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H 1,720 5309 78 $ 135,008.00
Advisory Leadership System 12 18 0 $ 458.00
EFNEP 228 869 0 $ 22,099.00
Extension Community Association 48 5485 9239 $ 139,484.00
Extension Master Gardener 448 3598 926 $ 91,497.00
Other: Agriculture 38 95 424 $ 2,416.00
Other: Community, Family & Individual Development 179 479 0 $ 12,181.00
Other: Food & Nutrition 18 8 45 $ 203.00
Total: 2691 15861 10712 $ 403,345.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. 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

VIII. 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.

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

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 - 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.

IX. 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