2020 Bertie County Plan of Work

Approved: January 17, 2020

I. County Background

Bertie County is one of the oldest counties in North Carolina, which covers a total area of 741 square miles, with 699 square miles of land situated between the Chowan and Roanoke Rivers in Northeastern North Carolina. Bertie is a rural county with an estimated population of 19,224 (2017 Census estimate). This is a 9.5% decrease since 2010. Most residents (83%) live outside of the corporate limits of the eight towns located throughout the county. Median household income in 2017 was $33,022 and the percent of the population with income below the poverty level is 22%. The county population is 62% Black, 35% White, 2% Latino and 1% of other races.

Agriculture and forestry are major industries in the county generating approximately $223.6 and $10.3 million dollars, in sales during 2017 (last year data available). Field crop production contributed $61.2 million to the sales total primarily from cotton, corn, soybeans, peanut and clarey sage production. This is up $12.7 million or 26% from 2016, primarily due a more normal weather pattern and the lack of tropical systems that plagued the County in 2016. Livestock, primarily broiler production, added $154.4 million to the annual income. This continues to increase as farmers expand their poultry operations. Perdue Farms operates a poultry processing plant in Lewiston-Woodville and is the largest private employer providing jobs for some 2,200 individuals. The balance of farm income comes from government payments in the amount of $7.9 million dollars down $6.2 million or 44% in 2017 again as a result of a more normal weather pattern and stable commodity prices.

The Bertie County Center staff of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service identified critical needs and emerging issues that are currently impacting or will impact Bertie County residents in the near future. The Bertie County Advisory Council and various subject Program Committees contributed to this process. Educational programs were prioritized and state Extension objectives were selected to address the identified needs in the county. The objectives that emerged relative to the needs are: Plant Production Systems, Family and Consumer Sciences, 4-H Youth Development, Consumer Horticulture, Food safety and Nutrition. Bertie County Cooperative Extension Staff will provide the leadership in developing educational programs in addressing the above identified needs. Programs will utilize research based information and specialists from NC State and NC A&T Universities. Partnerships and collaborations with individuals, businesses, community groups, schools and government agencies will be conducted and cultivated to enhance programming efforts and results.

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 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 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

The Bertie County Extension Center staff works closely with Bertie County officials and personnel as an informational resource on a variety of issues of concern and interest. Members of the staff serve on the Emergency Management Committee. Extension provides disaster preparedness and recovery information to county government personnel and local citizens. This office conducts crop damage assessments following severe weather events.

IV. Diversity Plan

The 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, clienteles, and educational partners. These differences are the basis for our values, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that allow us to develop human road maps for the good of our world. 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. Bertie County Cooperative Extension utilizes all reasonable efforts with regard to reaching all identifiable groups in the county with our programming efforts. These efforts include an array of marketing tools to publicizing Extension programs to the citizens of Bertie County. Programs and services are promoted through mass mailings, posted flyers, social media including NCCE web page, facebook, public announcements in newspapers, phone calls to individuals, key groups and organizations, notifications sent to county schools, face to face meetings, telephone conversations, and announcements at public events.

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 Bertie 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, web based information 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, and newsletters 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 (https://bertie.ces.ncsu.edu/), 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 Bertie 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 Bertie County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about first and foremost whether any changes occurred as a result 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

Tammy Lee
Lauree Cherry
Ron Wesson
Lori Speller
Tundra Woolard
Stephanie Cottle
Casey Owens
Brian Reynolds
Mike Kavanaugh

Field Crops
John Feher
Dalton Williams
Clint Thompson
Danny Perry
Ron Swain
David Leggett
Wood Farless
Lymon Harrell
Herbie Tayloe
Jacob Tayloe
Joey Baker
Wayland Spruill
Brandon Perry
Blount Knowles
Master Gardener/Consumer Horticulture
Bill Tibbs
Mary Tibbs
Joan Dunston
Jim Davis
Ann Lunsford
Abbey Lynn Sutton
Julie Collins
Nancy Neal
Patsy Conner
Jean Richter
Carolyn Dail
Barbara Bowen
Ginny Van Dongen
Gail Jernigan
Diana Johnson
Mike Hoggard
Chuck Daniels
Allen Hoggard
Bill Jenkins
William Cowper
James Heckstall
Mike Champion
Ann Lunsford
Phil Lunsford
Norma Gurkin
County Advisory Council
Irma Robbins
Lauree Cherry
Blount Knowels
Joseph Baker
Carl Bond
Jean Richter
Gail Jernigan
Sid Copeland
Rodney Jack
Sharon Lee
Larree Cherry
Vivian Saunders
Jim Morris
Tundra Woolard
Sandra Simmons
Family and Consumer Science
Don Highsmith
Casey Owens`
Donna Mizelle
Eleanor bond
Emily Jernigan
Ernestine Byrd
Irma Robbins
Joyner, Luann
Ronald Wesson
Sandra Simmons
Tiwana Smallwood
Wanda Stallings
Amanda Betts

VII. Staff Membership

Billy Barrow
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (252) 794-5317
Email: wbarrow@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Currently I serve as the County Extension Director of the Bertie County Center. In addition, I am responsible for field crop work dealing with peanuts, forestry, sage and hemp.

Elizabeth Baker
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 794-6179
Email: Elizabeth_baker@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Essential responsibilities for the position include planning, marketing, conducting and evaluating educational programs in Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) for Bertie County. Emphasis of the Family and Consumer Sciences program is on nutrition, food safety, health and wellness, food preservation, chronic disease reduction, and volunteer management.

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.

Marissa Cohen
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.

Kathy Copeland
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Associate
Phone: (252) 794-5317
Email: kathy_copeland@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.

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.

Steve Gabel
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: steve_gabel@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for aquaculture educational programs for the NC NE extension district.

Guy Holley
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 794-5318
Email: gaholley@ncat.edu

Jarette Hurry
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops, Horticulture and Forestry
Phone: (252) 794-5317
Email: jarette_hurry@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.

Lori McBryde
Title: Area 4-H Agent, East Region
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: lori_mcbryde@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide support to the Eastern 34 Counties of the Northeast and Southeast Districts in 4-H Youth Development.

Sheila Powell
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 794-5317
Email: scpowell@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!

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

Scott Tilley
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain
Phone: (252) 793-4428
Email: scott_tilley@ncsu.edu

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

Bertie County Center
104 Lancaster Avenue
Windsor, NC 27983

Phone: (252) 794-5317
URL: http://bertie.ces.ncsu.edu