2018 Rockingham County Plan of Work

Approved: February 2, 2018

I. County Background

Rockingham County was formed in 1785 and has a land area of approximately 572 square miles. The county is recognized as rural, but according to the United States Census, the total population of Rockingham County is 93,643, including six municipalities. There are approximately 165 people per square mile in Rockingham County. The local economy is depressed, as the historical mainstays of tobacco, textiles, and manufacturing have faltered in global competition--thus, the N.C. Department of Commerce assigns a Tier 2 economically distressed designation to the county.

Tobacco continues to be the leading source of agricultural income in our county although the number of farmers has declined significantly from peak production years. Agricultural production is becoming more diverse with commercial horticulture, increasing demand for local grown food, growth of farmers markets, and expansion of agritourism events. Development and investment in profitable farm management plans, selection of new farm enterprises, capital needs, biotechnology, pesticide issues, rural-urban interaction and environmental issues must be addressed by farmers.

Livestock producers must continue to address environmental protection, food quality and safety issues in addition to new developments in production. Commercial and consumer horticulture needs continue to expand with improvements in the regional economy. Extension programs will help all of these producers by providing research based information assisting in developing opportunities for profitability and meeting challenges of economy and public opinion.

Rockingham County families and youth face issues of the economy, quality education, and health concerns. Rockingham County 4-H can address these issues through multiple delivery modes; such as clubs, school enrichment, summer adventures, and special interest programming. Rockingham County 4-H will impact the future of Rockingham County through the youth that it serves. Programming through 4-H teaches life skills, workforce development and community engagement. Youth participate in programs that are addressing the issues important to our future. Volunteers conduct the programs coordinated through the 4-H county program. With support of United Way, businesses, and citizens, 4-H offers opportunities for youth to become future leaders.

Food Safety is a growing area of concern throughout the United States. We have the opportunity to educate businesses, schools, government as well as private organizations, and individuals to improve their food handling skills and change behaviors for increased food safety from the farm to the fork.

Sixty-three percent of adults are overweight or obese, and rates of obesity among youth are rising. Overweight and unhealthy eating behaviors are risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other causes of death. The need exists for a stronger awareness of achievable healthy behaviors throughout the county.

Volunteerism offers Cooperative Extension the opportunity to expand efforts. Cooperative Extension Volunteers are effective multipliers of educational information as they help extend education throughout Rockingham County with over 100 members involved in 10 community clubs. We provide training for volunteers so they can work at the local level for the progressive improvement of home and community life.

Marketing Cooperative Extension is a high priority. Strong efforts are underway that radically heighten the visibility of our organization in Rockingham County through an enhanced presence in the business and civic community and increased partnerships.

Additional support by program committees of the Extension Advisory Council assure that our citizens are provided the greatest opportunities for success as we plan for the future of Cooperative Extension in Rockingham County.

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.

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

North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and the Rockingham County Cooperative Extension Plan of Work reflect the Rockingham County Mission through programming in both youth and adult education; economic development opportunities; and enhancement of the quality of life for all citizens. Current, relevant issues are addressed through education programs for youth, families, and businesses. The economy is promoted through research based information available to citizens regarding agriculture, health, life skills, and quality environments.

The Mission of Rockingham County Government is:
• Serving our citizens with efficient, quality services
• Providing open government where all citizens can participate
• Promoting opportunities for our citizens to reach their best attainable quality of life

Our goals and objectives include, but are not limited, to the following:

Goal #1: Find innovative approaches to maintain quality services and control costs using the budget performance system.

Objective: To increase number of face-to-face education experience recipients and to report using data from existing NCSU Extension Reporting System. We will increase the number of timely, relevant education experiences scheduled at a variety of times (outside normal business hours when needed) to best meet demands of consumers and to ensure that agents are reaching the greatest number of citizens with highest efficiency, continuing to rely on input from Extension Advisory Council.

Goal #2: Encourage greater participation and an educated citizenry through the use of the Citizen’s Academy or other communication tools.

Objective: To increase frequency of communication about Cooperative Extension services and timely educational information through combined media sources including both traditional and social media. We will increase Facebook activity by frequent posting of relevant information by assigned staff and maintain weekly Facebook statistical reports.


Goal #3: Create an environment conducive to economic growth.

Objective 1: To increase value of increased income from sales of locally produced agriculture products from producers who diversified their marketing strategies by continuing active promotion of Piedmont Local Food, Farmers Markets, and Rockingham Community Kitchen

Objective 2: To increase the number of crop and animal producers that increase income because of adopting new best practices to optimize income by continuing strong utilization of research and specialists at NCSU and NC A&T to have most current best practices information for residents.

Objective 3: To increase by the number of Rockingham County youth who increase knowledge of entrepreneurship, increase knowledge of career pathways, and gain employment skills by continuing to provide educational experiences that improve level of education and increase skills to enable youth to be competitive in our global society and workforce.

Goal #4: Develop a system to get public feedback on the quality of our services.

Objective: To survey walk-in consumers each month to evaluate their experience with Cooperative Extension by creating brief customer service survey and instruct staff to randomly encourage completion and continue regular education event evaluation processes that ensure participation satisfaction, increased knowledge, and program impacts.

Goal #5: Analyze our services to maximize the use of technology to improve the efficiency and consistency of delivery

Objective: To increase the number of non-face-to-face contacts receiving education and services by extension agents through the use e-mail, on-line meetings, internet survey tools, and other available technology when available to increase efficient information delivery.

IV. Diversity Plan

Cooperative Extension programs in Rockingham County provide research based information to assist citizens in improving environmental protection, agricultural production and income, live healthy lifestyles, and enhance educational opportunities for youth and adults. The County Extension Advisory Council and Specialized Committees representing each program area identify issues and help design educational opportunities that will be appropriate and available to all county citizens. These efforts are expanded with a force of volunteers who deliver programs in community groups and recruit participants to Extension programs. Strong efforts to advertise programs, events, and activities continue with publicity through direct mailing, email, website, radio, TV, and newspapers. Appropriate youth events are included in Rockingham County Schools classrooms which are inclusive to all students. Food Safety programs are offered to all restaurants including ethnic restaurants and testing for certification is offered in appropriate language. Some school programming is targeted to schools with high rates of free and reduced lunches increasing participation of low income and minority citizen groups.

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 Rockingham 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 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 Rockingham 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 Rockingham 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 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

Horticulture/Local Foods
Deborah Crumpton
Sam Crumpton
Rachelle Reynolds
Robert Nesbitt
Bob Mitchell
Charles Southard
Richard Teague
Paul Winkler
Jerry Tyson
William Waddell
Green Industry
Webster Irving
Chris Crump
Sharon Jones
Timothy Haley
Jimmy Jones
Doug Dalton
Lynn Knight
Steve Schorr
Jennifer Altizer
Vicente Herandez
Rockingham County Advisory Council
Tom Balsley
John Ashe, Jr.
Reese Pyrtle
Deborah Crumpton
Neil Burnette
Richard Ratliff
Gail Bryson
Booker Hudson
Jason Byrd
Bobby Baker
John Isley
Royce Richardson
Linda Hill
Thomas Thompson
Jerry Roberts
Horse
Steva Allgood
Randy Boles
Sara Jo Durham
B.J. Rierson
Georgianne Sims
Jerry Tyson
Volunteerism
Hazel Puckett
Barbara Smith
Agnes Shelton
Linda Hill
Terry Witty
4-H
Kim Sheets
Angela Thomas
Charmaine Neal
Carole Moore
Jessica McVey
Richard Isley
Susan Johannesmann
Nancy Norwood
Gail Bryson
Field Crops
Kevin Knight
Tommy French
Tim Kallam
Susan Reece
Bobby Baker
Mark Baker
Tommy Kimbro
Harden Brown
Kent Page
Dennis McAllister
Jason Byrd
Neil Burnette
Mike Powell
Beef Cattle
Jim Anderson
Tommy Carter
Ryan Clark
Carl Chatham
Lily Chatham
David Holleman
Elizabeth Holleman
Booker Hudson
Bernie Pryor
Cheryl Pryor
Nutrition
Beverly Scurry
Tara Martin
Katrina White
Deirdre Moyer
Cam Dillard

VII. Staff Membership

Will Strader
Title: County Extension Director, Rockingham & Interim County Extension Dir., Guilford
Phone: (336) 342-8230
Email: will_strader@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administration, Tobacco, Field Crops, & Community Development

Laura Apple
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (336) 342-8230
Email: laura_apple@ncsu.edu

Daniel Campeau
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: dan_campeau@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Work mainly with Commercial Poultry industry. I also work with small scale poultry production. Service area is now the North Central District from Guilford to Halifax with the southern edge being Chatham and Wake county respectively.

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.

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits & 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.

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.

Kathryn Holmes
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (336) 342-8230
Email: kathryn_holmes@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Horticulture Agent and Pesticide Coordinator in Rockingham County: work with commercial fruit and vegetable producers, small farms, local foods, horticulture greenhouses and nurseries, forestry, beekeeping, landscapers, golf courses, and home gardeners.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu

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

Morgan Maness
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 342-8230
Email: morgan_maness@ncsu.edu

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9155
Email: romcdowe@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Support FCS Agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders in NC.

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

Abby Whitaker
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Forage Crops
Phone: (336) 342-8230
Email: avwhitak@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

Rockingham County Center
525 NC 65
Suite 200
Reidsville, NC 27320

Phone: (336) 342-8230
Fax: (336) 342-8242
URL: http://rockingham.ces.ncsu.edu