2020 Robeson County Plan of Work

Approved: January 24, 2020

I. County Background

According to North Carolina Agricultural Statistics, Robeson County is the largest county in North Carolina generating over $415 million in cash receipts for agricultural commodities in 2017, ranking the county as the 4th largest agricultural county in North Carolina. Robeson County is located in southeastern North Carolina adjacent to the South Carolina border.
The county has a total area of 607,208 acres; harvested cropland is approximately 191,674 acres. Robeson County is in the top 10 most diverse counties in the United States based on racial, social, and economic indicators. The 2017 data from the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the county population to be 132,606 with approximately 41% Native American, 31% Caucasian, 24% African American, 9% Hispanic and Latino. More than 25% of the population is 18 years old or younger.
Nearly 21,000 people live in Lumberton, the county seat. Another 32 towns and townships make up the county including the larger towns of Pembroke, Fairmont, Maxton, Red Springs, St. Pauls, and Rowland. Six other areas in the county are census-designated places. Based on recent estimates, over 53,000 households are located in the county.

According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture's website, 941 farms are located in the county with an average farm size of 282 acres. The major crops produced are corn, cotton, soybeans, hay, tobacco, peanuts, and small grains. Major animal production includes swine, cattle, and poultry. The estimated cash receipts from the sale of livestock, dairy and poultry in 2017 was estimated to be more than $317 million.
The estimated median household income is $32,407. Approximately 32% of the population live below the poverty level which is more than double the state or national average. The unemployment rate hovers just under 6%. Robeson County is considered a TIER 1 county based on economic indicators provided by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

The Public Schools of Robeson County has 36 schools, which enroll approximately 23,000 children annually. The average SAT score in Robeson is 946 on the new 1600 scale. The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is also located in Robeson County with an average enrollment of 7,137(Fall 2019) students a semester. Robeson Community College has an average enrollment of almost 2000.
North Carolina Cooperative Extension is in a unique position to provide educational programming to various groups based on the identified needs. Several programs in the county target limited-resource audiences due to the large number of minorities in the county and the large number of people living in poverty. Taking research-based information generated at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University can provide Robeson County citizens with the information and solutions to meet the needs of the county.

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

In Robeson County, Cooperative Extension functions as a county department and participates in regular county department head meetings, budget retreats and serves on others committees as requested by the County Manager. The County Extension Director also actively serves on the Partnership for Children Board. Robeson County provides Extension's operating budget, facilities, and two 15 passenger county vans. The administrative assistant works closely with the county finance and purchasing staff.

The Robeson Extension staff provides the “Power of Extension” newsletter twice a year. This serves as our report to the people to keep Commissioners and stakeholders abreast of Extension activities and community involvement. The County Extension Director also provides an annual report to the County Commissioners during their annual work retreat.

The Robeson County Extension staff is prepared to assist the county during disasters as evidenced during Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Hurricane Florence in 2018. During both storms, the CED reported to the Emergency Operations Command Center to work directly with the County Manager and another department head, to coordinate all receiving and distribution of supplies before, during and after the storm. ALL Robeson County Extension staff members were part of the county team that manned shelters, distribution centers and provided other assistance as needed during and after the storm. Robeson County staff is always prepared to assist county government during emergencies by providing educational materials to help citizens make informed and appropriate decisions concerning the health and safety of their families.

IV. Diversity Plan

Robeson County is in the top 10 most diverse counties in the United States based on racial, social, and economic indicators. The median household income is estimated to be just over $33,000. Approximately 30% of the population lives below the poverty level and the unemployment rate hovers just under 6%. Robeson County is considered a TIER 1 county based on economic indicators provided by the North Carolina Department of Commerce. The Robeson County Advisory Council and all Specialized Committees strive to have representation from minority as well as limited resource clients.

Although 24% of the population is African American, only 6% of the farms in the county are owned and operated by African Americans. Also, fewer people are remaining on the family farm to continue the family tradition. The average age of a farmer in Robeson County is 58. Educational programs are being developed to cultivate interest in agriculture by a younger generation. Also, a partnership with Mt. Olive College and Farm Bureau will be continued to assist with farm transition programs and estate planning for farm families.

The Robeson County Extension staff will continue to deliver educational programs by providing a variety of activities in communities throughout the county. In addition, the staff will target the under-served and limited resource audiences through minority newspapers, community meetings, and special newsletters. Efforts will be made to network with agencies and groups that serve various minorities in order to make our programs and services better known and more accessible to these audiences. ServSafe classes for Latinos may be offered if requested in an effort to provide training to the large number of Latinos who work in the food service industry.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, gives our residents easy access to the resources and expertise of our two land-grant universities (North Carolina State and North Carolina A&T State). Through educational programs, publications, and events, Cooperative Extension field faculty deliver unbiased, research-based information to Robeson citizens. Our mission is: North Carolina Cooperative Extension partners with communities to deliver education and technology that enrich the lives, land, and economy of North Carolinians.

The Extension staff will continue to use traditional methods of delivering programs, such as meetings, workshops, field days, and tours. An increased effort will continue to develop and deliver cross-county programs such as Tri-County Cotton Meetings, Corn/Soybean/Small Grains Meetings, and a Cattle Conference. Staff will network with Extension staff in adjoining counties to develop food preservation programs, science-related 4-H activities, youth day camps/retreats, and urban horticultural programs. Also, Extension staff will utilize nontraditional methods of sharing information on a more timely basis with the use of Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and E-mail groups.

In addition, staff will continue to provide a wide variety of hands-on experiential educational methods, such as interactive workshops, demonstrations, field days, and tours that allow learners to fully engage in the learning process. Equally important, this plan will also include educational methods such as seminars, client visits, fact sheets, newsletters, and home study kits to support and reinforce learning as well as provide motivation for continued learning. Utilizing the most current research on effective teaching and learning, Extension educators also skillfully select educational methods.

In Cooperative Extension, success is defined as the extent to which our educational programs have made a difference in the lives of the citizens of Robeson County. Evaluation methods assess any changes occurring 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 increase in knowledge/skills of participants as well as behavior change.

More specifically, in this plan, we are using quantitative research methods, such as pre/post testing and surveys, to measure change in knowledge gained and behavior change. Also, qualitative instruments measure the application of knowledge and number/types of new skills developed. Cooperative Extension is a results-oriented organization, which is committed to assessing the social, economic, and environmental impact our programs have on the individuals who participate, their families, and ultimately, the county as a whole. 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 time-honored value in Cooperative Extension is actively listening to the needs of targeted learners. Therefore, this plan also includes qualitative evaluation methods, such as testimonials from program participants, interviews, and information from specialized committees.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Robeson County Extension Advisory Council
Allison Branch
Nila Chamberlin
Linda Clark
Everett Davis
Rogena Deese
Lucius Epps
Rhonda Faircloth-Maynor
Mickey Gregory
Ronald Hammonds
Lance Herndon
Brooke Herring
Ben Jacobs
Varonica Livingston
Haywood McCormick
Mark Moses
Kim Pevia
John Wishart

Field Crops Specialized Committee
Lance Herndon

Adrian Locklear
Georgia Love
Suzanne Malloy
Casey McQueen
Everett Moore
Lee Moore
Samuel Walton
Horticulture Specialized Committee
Anna Floyd
Bryan Freeman
Rick Gregory
Danny Kinlaw
Connie Locklear
Delton Oxendine
Carol Priore

Livestock and Forage Specialized Committee
Joe Clark, III
David Edwards
Alton Hagans
Ronald Hammonds
Ray Lowry
Lycurous Lowry
Michael Luxton
Johnny McEachern
Eddie Moore
Jim Smith
Woodrow Smith
Tommy Stone
Small Farm Specialized Commiitee
Ellery Locklear - Chair
Billy Blanks
Martin Brewington
Lucius Epps
Lee Goodman
David Hunt
Amy Locklear
Daniel Locklear
Jerry Lowery
Haywood McCormick
Nina Milon
Clara Oxendine
Food and Nutrition Specialized Committee
Angela Allen
Vicki Bell
Allison Branch
Rena Hill
Jay Leggette
Iris Locklear
Mahetta Manning-Commedo
Whitney McFarland
Joyce McRae
Monica McVicker
Ilene Oxendine
Virgil Oxendine
Carlotta Winston
Patricia Lewis
Julie Hernandez
Lugennia Hunt
Jan Maynor
Dennis Watts
4-H Specialized Committee
Tanya Underwood - Chair
Representative Charles Graham
Jane Hurst
Tony Locklear
Chris Moore
Michael McNeill
Danielle Parnell
Ed Wilcox
Erika Dail
Beekeepers Specialized Committee
Martin Brewington - Chair
Terry Nunnery
Cathy Stanley
Glen Fields
EFNEP Specialized Committee
Alicia Robinson
Mary Blanks
Cassandra Bell
Lisa Troy
Cherry Mayner Beasley
Cathy Hunt
Shawn Bearfoot
Ivine Lucas
Donna Hall
Erica Little
Janice Oxendine
Dencie Lambdin
Jan Lowery
Grace Deese-Oxendine
Jasarah Baldwin

VII. Staff Membership

Christy Strickland
Title: County Extension Director-Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: christy_strickland@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide Supervision to Robeson staff and to provide programming in the areas of Food Safety, Healthy lifestyles and Food Preservation.

Kareis Britt
Title: County Extension Office Assistant
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: ktbritt@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Greet and direct clients to the appropriate Extension Agent; provide support to Agents, PAs, and secretaries; maintain Facebook and Extension web pages; general administrative/office tasks.

Nelson Brownlee
Title: Area Agent, Small Farm Management
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: nelson_brownlee@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Small Farmers, Recordkeeping, Financial Management, Alternative Crops and Enterprises, Beekeeping

Taylor Chavis
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: taylor_chavis@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.

Shea Ann DeJarnette
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: Shea_Ann_DeJarnette@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: School Enrichment, In-school and After-School clubs, Summer Fun, Camping, Animal Science, Volunteer Coordination, County Programs, Program Funding, Community Service Opportunities, and Organizational Partnering.

Mike Frinsko
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: mofrinsk@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Southeast Extension District

Dominique Greene
Title: County Extension Support Specialist
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: dgreene2@ncsu.edu

Marissa Herchler
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Animal Food Safety
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, pet food and ingredient facilities in North Carolina. Please contact Marissa with any animal food safety-related questions, or Preventive Controls for Animal Food (PCAF/PCQI) training inquiries.

Mack Johnson
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: mack_johnson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Urban and Commercial Horticulture, Greenhouses, Alternative Crops, Pesticide Education for Consumer Agriculture, Recycling, Forestry, Coordinator for Robeson County Farmers Market and Master Gardeners

Jessie Jones
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: jessie_jones@ncsu.edu

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.

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.

Mac Malloy
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: mac_malloy@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Corn, Soybeans, Cotton, Tobacco, Small Grains, Peanuts, Pesticide Education for Production Agriculture, Wildlife, Coordinator for Robeson County Crop Promotion Association

Wendy Maynor
Title: 4-H Program Associate
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: wendy_maynor@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Program Assistant: community clubs, volunteer recruiting and training, member recruiting, develop community partnerships.

Stephanie McDonald-Murray
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Southeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (910) 296-2143
Email: stephanie_mcdonald@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the South East District.

Ashley McRae
Title: Program Assistant, EFNEP - Adult
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: admcrae@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Establish partnerships with various agencies in the county to offer free adult nutrition education classes for limited-resource and limited-income families who live in the community.

Christy Prevatte
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: christy_prevatte@ncsu.edu

Diana Rashash
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Quality/Waste Management
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: diana_rashash@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water and wastewater issues of all types: stormwater, aquatic weed ID & control, water quality & quantity, septic systems, animal waste, land application of wastewater, environment & sustainability, climate, etc.

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!

Joanna Rogers
Title: Program Assistant, EFNEP - Youth
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: jnroger2@ncsu.edu

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

Alyssa Spence
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agromedicine, Farm Health & Safety
Phone: (252) 527-2191
Email: arramsey@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work with the NCSU Applied Ecology-Toxicology & Agromedicine Department to serve the18 counties in the Southeast District, providing health/safety resources and programming to field agents in this area.

Wesley Stallings
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture- Grain Crops
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: wcstalli@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture-Grain Crops

Allan Thornton
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (910) 592-7161
Email: allan_thornton@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Vegetable Extension Specialist. Conducts Extension and applied research programs for commercial vegetable and fruit growers and agents in eastern North Carolina.

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

Robeson County Center
455 Caton Rd
O.P. Owens Agriculture Center
Lumberton, NC 28360

Phone: (910) 671-3276
Fax: (910) 671-6278
URL: http://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu