2020 Rockingham County Plan of Work

Approved: January 22, 2020

I. County Background

Rockingham County lies in the pristine and beautiful Northern Piedmont of North Carolina. The County was formed in 1785 and has a land area of approximately 572 square miles. Rockingham is often recognized as rural, but according to the United States Census, the total population of the county is 93,643; which includes six municipalities. There are approximately 165 people per square mile in Rockingham County. For many years, agriculture and tourism have been two of the main drivers of the local economy and have been a primary focus of county government initiatives.

Tobacco continues to be the leading source of agricultural income in the 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. In addition, livestock producers continually face issues related to environmental protection, food quality and safety issues, and new developments in production. Development and investment in profitable farm management plans, selection of new farm enterprises, capital needs, biotechnology, pesticide issues, rural-urban interaction, and environmental issues are at the forefront of Extension’s efforts to help farmers address these issues. Extension programs are intended to help all of these producers by providing research-based information to assist 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.

Overweight and unhealthy eating behaviors are risk factors for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other causes of death. Family and Consumer Sciences programming efforts seek to create a stronger awareness of achievable healthy behaviors throughout the county, while helping residents live healthier and longer lives.

Cooperative Extension Volunteers are effective multipliers of educational information as they help extend educational outreach throughout Rockingham County with over 100 members involved in 5 community clubs. Staff members 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 and continual guidance from specialized program committees and 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

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 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

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 educational 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.

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 locally produced foods.

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 the most current best practices information for producers.

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

Goal #4: 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, healthy lifestyles, and enhancing educational opportunities for youth and adults. The County Extension Advisory Council and Specialized Program 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, print media, and other digital sources. 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 languages. Some school programming is targeted to schools with high rates of free and reduced lunches, which increases 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 agents 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, interviews, and focus groups with participants.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Horticulture/Local Foods
Deborah Crumpton
Sam Crumpton
Rachelle Reynolds
Bob Mitchell
Charles Southard
James Fishel
Paul Winkler
Jerry Tyson
William Waddell
Bobby Coltrane
Steve Rivers
Linda Hill
Barbara Joyce
Terry Pruitt
Green Industry
Webster Irving
Chris Crump
Sharon Jones
Timothy Haley
Jimmy Jones
Doug Dalton
Lynn Knight
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
Linda Hill
Terry Witty
Carolyn Hailey
Kim Sheets
Angela Simerly
Jason Hewitt
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
Ryan Clark
Jim Anderson
Kristen Norwood
David Holleman
June Strader
Charles Stewart
Seth Durham
Jim Anderson
Jason O’Bryant
Jack Murray
Cathy Murray
Chelsea Bullins
Tara Martin
Katrina White
Deirdre Moyer
Forage Crops
Joe French
Bernie Pryor
David Collins
David Stewart
Beef Marketing
David Stewart
Daniel Stewart
Percy Strader
Bernie Pryor
Seth Durham

VII. Staff Membership

Will Strader
Title: County Extension Director, Rockingham
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

Jonas Asbill
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Livestock - Poultry
Phone: (336) 318-6000
Email: jonas_asbill@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Serving the poultry industry across 20 counties in the North Central and Northeast districts

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 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.

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.

Jordan Jefferies-James
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (336) 342-8230
Email: jjeffer3@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: To promote healthy habits and improve the well-being of participants through nutrition education and physical activity.

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

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

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: abby_whitaker@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Forage Crops

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

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