2018 Richmond County Plan of Work

Approved: January 24, 2018

I. County Background

Richmond County is uniquely located in the heartland of the Carolinas with easy access to Raleigh, Charlotte, Fayetteville, and Greensboro. Richmond County is the home of an estimated 44,939 citizens composed of 62% Caucasian, 31% African American, 1% Asian, 6% Hispanic or Latino and 3% American Indian according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau information. The population has been on a decreasing trend, losing 3.6% between 2010 and 2016. The land area of Richmond County is 474.55 square miles.

According to the 2016 U.S. Census Bureau, 24.9% of the population lives below the poverty level. In addition, the per capita income is $19,411 far below the North Carolina per capita income of $28,156. Unemployment, severely affected by the decline in textiles, continues to be above state (4.5%) and national (4.1%) average at 6.1 % according to November 2017 figures released by the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina. The projected population growth for Richmond County is 0% by 2019.

Previously the largest industry was textiles, and now poultry 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 produced each year in poultry houses in Richmond County, ranked #7 in North Carolina in poultry production. There are also 65,000 hogs grown in the county (state rank 21), combining with cattle, goats, and poultry making Richmond ranked #11 in livestock production in the state. In 2016, 11,700 tons of hay and 82,000 bushels of soybeans were produced. According to the 2012 Agricultural Census, Richmond County farmers harvested 73 acres of sweet corn, 5 acres of tomatoes, 11 acres of cucumbers and 44 acres of peaches.

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. Each program area Advisory Council provides expert and community input into program decision-making. The objectives for 2018 were selected based on this input and Richmond County participated in the collection of data for the state-wide Extension Needs Assessment.

The needs of Richmond County citizens have been identified and the staff will rely on the leadership of the specialized committees to help identify and reach the target audiences; develop programming strategies; market the educational programs; and in some cases, evaluate the effectiveness of the programs. Agents will reach the identified audiences through face-to-face visits, educational workshops, and media.

II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan

North Carolina's plant production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

North Carolina's animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

Producers will increase sales of food locally to more agriculturally aware consumers through market development, producer and consumer education, and new farmer and infrastructure support.

Agricultural producers, workers, food handlers and consumers will adopt safer food and agricultural production, handling, and distribution practices that reduce workplace and home injuries/illnesses, enhance food security, and increase the quality and safety of food that North Carolinians prepare and consume.

Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.

Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.

Community members, organizations and local government will engage in collaborative dialog and decision-making to build economically, socially and environmentally resilient communities. This will be done through inclusive engagement, partnership building, and/or community planning.

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.

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. Sandhills AGInnovation Center has been developed by a team of Richmond and Moore County extension agents, growers and economic developers, which will benefit all fruit and vegetable farmers by providing access to new markets and assistance. New and existing livestock, poultry and crop farmers receive information to improve profitability through workshops, consultation, and certification training. New markets are provided to local producers through extension work with the Richmond County Farmers Market which has grown to three markets per week during the season. A similar goal in the Strategic Plan is to increase the number of jobs in Richmond County by 700 by the year 2020. Extension Community Development work such as assessments and community engagement being conducted through the Rockingham Downtown Corporation has helped bring new businesses and jobs to the downtown region by providing business planning support to new entrepreneurs and marketing the area.

Goal: Increase tourism economic impact from $40,850,000 to $100,000,000 annually by the year 2020. Agritourism has been identified by the Richmond Tourist Development Authority Steering Committee as one of the major tourism resources in the county, and there is a plan to market agritourism along with natural resources key targets for tourism promotion. Extension programs will help agricultural producers develop tourism experiences and reduce risk through business planning, insurance, and estate planning.

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 employees, the general public, and youth. In late 2013, a grant was received from Nourishing North Carolina to develop a community garden. The Hitchcock Creek Community Garden in Rockingham is in the second year with assistance from the City of Rockingham and will serve as a hub of education about eating fruits and vegetables and the physical exercise health benefits of gardening. The Family and Consumer Sciences agent works with partners through Richmond 2020 on health issues and was recently awarded $13,000 in a North Carolina State University Family and Consumer Sciences grant to improve the walking trail at East Rockingham Park adjacent to the Senior Center.

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 2018, including embryology for 2nd grade, 4-H Science Adventures for 5th grade and Energy Transformation for 6th grade. During 4-H Summer Fun, a popular week was Weird Science Week with participants performing science experiments and using science curriculum. Embryology was expanded in scope in 2017 to include growing out of the school chicks, selection, exhibition, harvesting, and donation of the product to needy families.

Cooperative Extension coordinates with Emergency Management, the County Health Department, and other departments in County government for disaster response and recovery. Extension provides educational materials through public service announcements and news articles in disaster preparedness. A CART (County Animal Response Team) committee has been reorganized under Extension’s leadership to handle incidents related to animal disasters. The committee meets periodically to maintain contacts and update plans for anticipated disaster scenarios. In 2018, Cooperative Extension will continue to alert clientele of any possible disasters, including Avian Influenza. In 2017, Richmond County Extension participated in an exercise to help Emergency Managers plan for future disasters.

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. An Extension program delivery system is a planned and organized eclectic mix of educational methods used during an educational program. Extension educational methods are the specific ways by which research-based information is shared with targeted learners. 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 focus. 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 (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

Extension Advisory Council
Tommy Deese, Sr.
Rickie DeWitt
Carlotta Knotts
Lee Anne Sago
Betty Wilson
Don Bryant
Mamie Legrand
Chad Guinn
Donnie Richardson
Keith Russell
Chris Yaklin
Seth Allen
Dennis Holloway
Jack Lee
Michelle Parrish
John Matheson
4-H Advisory Committee
Cameron Whitley
Jean Fletcher
Amanda Smith
Dr. Carlotta Knotts
Jamie Gerald
Valarie Nichols
Lavonda Jones
Jackie McAuley
Annie Freeman
Sharon Johnson
Horticulture Advisory Committee
Jeff Joyner
Don Bryant
Chad Guinn
Emma Lambeth
Arthur Lockhart
Mat Gordon
Matthieu Quick
Livestock Advisory Committee
Cheryl Johnson
John McInnis
Pam Park
James Porter
Matthieu Quick
Bryan Wilson
Christopher Yaklin
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: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture, Interim County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: paige_burns@ncsu.edu

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.

Tiffanee Conrad
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: tiff_conrad@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Beef cattle, meat goats, hogs, horses, small animals such as rabbits, forages, animal waste management, ponds, and wildlife

Leeann Crump
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 997-8255
Email: leeann_crump@ncsu.edu

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: (704) 283-3801
Email: richard_goforth@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

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.

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

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

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

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

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