2020 Richmond County Plan of Work

Approved: January 24, 2020

I. County Background

Richmond County is located in the heart of the Carolinas with easy access to Raleigh, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Greensboro. Richmond County is the home of an estimated 44,887 citizens, comprised of 61.46% Caucasian, 32% African American, .9% Asian, 6.7% Hispanic or Latino and 3.2% American Indian, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau information. The population has been decreasing slightly, while many counties in the state are experiencing population growth. The land area of Richmond County is 473.82 square miles.

According to the 2019 data, around 20% of the population lives below the poverty level. The per capita income is $20,745, below North Carolina per capita income of $29,456. Unemployment is around 4.9 % compared to the state 4.0 level.

Historically, the largest industry in the county was textiles, which in recent decades has essentially disappeared in the county. Currently, poultry production and processing makes up a substantial part of the local industry. Perdue Farms, with over 1000 workers, is the County’s largest private employer. There are an estimated 36 million broilers raised each year in Richmond County, which is ranked #7 in North Carolina in poultry production. There are 61,000 hogs grown in the county (state rank 22); combining with cattle, goats, and poultry Richmond is ranked #11 in livestock production in the state. In 2018, 4,300 acres of hay were produced.

The annual Plan of Work is based on the needs of the Richmond County citizens. The needs were identified by collecting statistical data such as the US Census and the Community Health Assessment. Extension Advisory Council provides expert and community input into program decision-making. The objectives for 2020 were selected based on this input and data for the state-wide Extension Needs Assessment. Agents also rely on the leadership of specialized program committees to help identify and reach the target audiences, develop programming strategies, market educational programs, and in some cases, evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. Agents reach audiences through face-to-face visits, educational workshops, and media.

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

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

In 2013, Richmond County Government utilized a working group through the Economic Development Council to develop a strategic plan called Vision 2020. Several strategic goals in the plan are related to the work being accomplished through extension programming.
Goal: Improve employment to a rate of 10.0% unemployment by 2020. Richmond County Cooperative Extension works to strengthen the skills of business owners and entrepreneurs through classes, workshops, and consultations. The Sandhills AGInnovation Center has been developed by a team of Richmond and Moore County extension agents, growers and economic developers, which will benefit fruit and vegetable farmers in the region by providing access to new markets and marketing assistance. New and existing livestock, poultry and crop farmers receive information to improve profitability through workshops, consultation, and certification training.

Goal: Richmond County has excellent health resources but there will be an emphasis on establishing a strong wellness program. Cooperative Extension will support this goal through nutrition and increase physical activity programs targeting county the general public, seniors and youth, with programs such as Steps to Health and ARCHES. The Family and Consumer Science Agent, and, where youth is involved, the 4-H agent, provide this programming. Cooperative Extension works with community and faith based gardens in the county, such as God's Garden, which grows and donates fresh produce to the NC Food Bank, local food pantries, the Mineral Springs Improvement Center, and directly to individuals and families in need. The recent County Health Assessment identified 89% of county residents consumed only three or fewer servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and that diet as well as other lifestyle choices, may be resulting in lowered health outcomes for county residents. In addition, in a nation wide assessment of the impact of opioid addiction, Richmond County was identified as a county at risk for impacts of the opioid crisis. Richmond County Extension staff, including the FCS agent, 4-H agent, and Extension Director, delivered a pilot program to help reduce that risk. The Empowering Youth and Families Program (EYFP) works with youth and caregivers to improve mutual understanding and communication, as well as providing skills and information to reduce the risk of addictive behaviors. This program creates healthier families and lowers the risk of opioid addiction. Through multiple program deliveries, agents work directly with targeted groups to affect change and provide positive health outcomes for Richmond County residents.

Goal: The school system will be at or above the state average in common core curriculum standard attainment. The 4-H Youth Development program in Richmond County has several initiatives that involve the common core curriculum standards that will continue to be successful in 2020, including embryology for 2nd grade, and 4-H Science Adventures for 5th grade. Other 4-H programs, such as summer camps, and clubs such as Cooking Clovers and the Livestock Club, will continue to provide hands on learning, leadership and community service opportunities for youth from ages 5 through teens. A new camp, Food Systems Summer Initiative, in partnership with the Sandhills AGInnovation Center, will reach out to limited resource youth to provide opportunities to explore positive connections with food, including learning about growing produce, healthy eating, exploring different foodways, career opportunities related to food production from seed to plate, and visits to area colleges and universities to explore potential avenues for future career paths.

IV. Diversity Plan

The Richmond County Center complies with the following diversity statement of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension System. North Carolina Cooperative Extension System values diversity as a rich attribute that allows our organization to fulfill its educational mission in North Carolina. Diversity is reflected in the core differences of all human beings and is valued among employees, clientele, and educational partners. These differences are the basis for our values, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that allow us to develop human roadmaps for the good of our society. We continue to welcome and acknowledge the positive impact related to differences in age, culture, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental abilities, race, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital or family status, spiritual practice, and all dimensions of human diversity.

Richmond County will continue to address diversity through the following:
1. Administer an advisory leadership council with members representative of the total community.
2. Develop and implement programs to include all citizens.
3. Develop a marketing plan to identify segments of the community that may not be aware of the services offered through Cooperative Extension such as the growing Asian
and Hispanic populations.
4. Collaborate with other agencies to offer educational programs.
5. Monitor Extension Reporting System to make sure we are serving a diverse group of people in relationship to the county demographics.
7. Seek out opportunities to serve on committees and boards that serve a diverse group of people.
8. Participate in events such as health fairs and other events that target minority groups.
9. Develop a plan to make specific groups aware of our programming. Programs will be developed based on needs assessment.
10. Enhance awareness of educational opportunities to under-served groups through a strategic marketing plan.
11. Seek out opportunities to expand programs through the faith community, minority groups, group homes, and other established groups.
12. To further enhance communication among multicultural groups, Cooperative Extension will use resources to translate documents into the Spanish language, where
applicable. Additional resources will be developed for the local Hmong farmers and families.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Delivering timely, relevant educational programs that meet critical local needs is the cornerstone of Extension’s mission. Extension educational programs are designed to equip the citizens of Richmond County with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life. Extension educational methods are the specific ways by which research-based information is shared with targeted learners, based on the various best practices by which both youth and adults learn and receive new information. 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, experience peer-to-peer learning, and 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 specific needs of 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 Richmond 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 Richmond County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about first and foremost whether any changes occurred as a result of our educational programs, and subsequently the significance of those changes. As an educational organization, the changes we seek focus on key outcomes such as 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. We 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 clientele.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Extension Advisory Council
Tommy Deese, Sr.
Rickie DeWitt
Carlotta Knotts
Betty Wilson
Don Bryant
Katrinia Chance
Donnie Richardson
Keith Russell
Chris Yaklin
Dennis Holloway
Angeline Davis
4-H Advisory Committee
Advisory Committee
Abbie Covington
Mamie LeGrand
Vagas Jackson
Sharon Johnson
Jamie Gerald
Jackie McAuley
Jean Fletcher
Coleman Berry

Teen Advisory Committee:
Wade Hoffman
Ben DeAguilar
Caroline DeAguilar
Sabrina DeAguilar
Hailey Smith
Madi Martin
Eli Maske
DeLani Reep
Anja Dietrich
Ava Berry
Tobey Lunceford
Horticulture Advisory Committee
Jeff Joyner
Don Bryant
Chad Guinn
Davon Goodwin
Nora Hudson
Livestock and Row Crops Advisory Committee
The Livestock/Row crops agent, hired in May, 2019, is currently meeting producers in the county and building relationships from which he will develop his advisory committee in 2020.
Family and Consumer Sciences - Moore and Richmond Counties
Jessica Ledbetter
Barbara Chope
Nancy Porter
Kirsten Cook
Michelle Cole
Kelly Godwin
Melissa Herman
Jacqueline Welch
Deon Allbrooks (Aaron)
Casey Saunders
Matt Garner
Carol Barbera
Doretta Wright

VII. Staff Membership

Paige Burns
Title: County Extension Director & Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: paige_burns@ncsu.edu

Carol Capel-Baldwin
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: carol_capel@ncsu.edu

Jenny Carleo
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain Crops
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: jscarleo@ncsu.edu

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.

Annie Freeman
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: annie_freeman@ncsu.edu

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (910) 893-7530
Email: richard_goforth@ncsu.edu

Anthony Growe
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops, Livestock
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: amgrowe@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.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with commercial greenhouses and nurseries to help them with growing related issues. These issues range from pests (insect, disease, and weeds), substrates, nutrition, and other miscellaneous topics.

Peggie Lewis Joyce
Title: Area 4-H Agent - Central Region
Phone: (336) 242-2080
Email: peggie_lewis@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.

Currey Nobles
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9520
Email: canobles@ncsu.edu

Nancy Power
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: nrpower@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!

Janice Roberts
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: janice_roberts@ncsu.edu

Elena Rogers
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Food Safety - Fresh Produce Western NC
Phone: (828) 352-2519
Email: elena_rogers@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational programs, training and technical support focusing on fresh produce safety to Agents and growers in Western NC.

Catherine Shelley
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 417-0258
Email: cgshelle@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I manage youth development programs and volunteers in my county.

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

Richmond County Center
123 Caroline St
Suite 100
Rockingham, NC 28379

Phone: (910) 997-8255
Fax: (910) 997-8257
URL: http://richmond.ces.ncsu.edu