2018 Bertie County Plan of Work

Approved: January 21, 2018

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 19854 (2016 Census estimate). This is a 6.7% decrease since 2010. Most residents (75%) live outside of the corporate limits of the eight towns located throughout the county. Median household income in 2016 was $31,129 and the percent of the population with income below the poverty level is 24.4%. The county population is 61% Black, 36% White, 2.1% Latino and 0.9% of other races.

Agriculture and forestry are major industries in the county generating approximately $196 and $11 million dollars, respectively, in sales during 2016 and 2015 respectively (last year data available). Field crop production contributed $48.5 million to the sales total primarily from cotton, corn, soybeans, peanut and clarey sage production. This is down $14.7 million or 23% from 2015, primarily due to the impacts of TS Julia and Hurricane Matthew. Livestock, primarily broiler production, added $133.7 million to the annual income. 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 $14.1 million dollars up $9.7 million or 220% in 2016 again as a result of lower commodity prices and the impact from tropical storms.

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 needs that emerged were: Profitable and Sustainable Agricultural Systems, Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems, Local Foods, Leadership Development, Community Development, Volunteer Readiness, School to Career, Urban and Consumer Agriculture and Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction. 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 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

North Carolina's plant 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

Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.

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

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, posted on web page, 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 focus. 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

4-H
Rodney Jack
Lauree Cherry
Ron Wesson
Vivian Saunders
Lori Speller
Tundra Woolard
Sheila Craig
Marcia Winston
Field Crops
John Feher
Dalton Williams
Clint Thompson
Danny Perry
Ron Swain
Brad Ward
David Leggett
Stanley Thompson
Wood Farless
Lymon Harrell
Herbie Tayloe
Master Gardener/Consumer Horticulture
Bill Tibbs
Mary Tibbs
Joan Dunston
Jim Davis
Marie Webb
Jean Richter
Gail Jernigan
Diana Johnson
Forestry
Mike Hoggard
David Jennette
Mike Neal
Chuck Daniels
Allen Hoggard
Bill Jenkins
County Advisory Council
Irma Robbins
Sharon Lee
Lauree Cherry
Blount Knowels
Joseph Baker
Carl Bond
Jean Richter
Gail Jernigan
Sid Copeland
Rodney Jack
Jacqueline Rowe-Higgs
Vivian Saunders
Sylvia Walton
Jim Morris
Tundra Woolard
Family and Consumder Science
Casey Owens
Donna Mizelle
Eleanor bond
Emily Jernigan
Ernestine Byrd
Irma Robbins
Joyner, Luann
Ronald Wesson
Sandra Simmons
Shelia Craig
Wanda Stallings

VII. Staff Membership

Billy Barrow
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, Agriculture - Peanuts
Phone: (252) 794-5317
Email: wbarrow@ncsu.edu

Anassou Banna
Title: Area Agent, Small Farms Management
Phone: (252) 358-7822
Email: anassou_banna@ncsu.edu

Susan Chase
Title: Regional Nutrition Extension Associate - Northeast EFNEP and SNAP-Ed
Phone: (252) 902-1700
Email: susan_chase@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Job Description: Provides programmatic supervision to the EFNEP program in the Northeast District

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer & 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.

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

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.

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.

Deidre Goines
Title: County Extension Secretary
Phone: (252) 794-5317
Email: dtgoines@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.

Guy Holley
Title: 4-H Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 794-5317
Email: gaholley@ncsu.edu

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

Lynette Johnston
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-0303
Email: lynette_johnston@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, 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.

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

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

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

Whitney Watson
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (252) 794-5317
Email: whitney_watson@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

Bertie County Center
104 Dundee Street
Windsor, NC 27983

Phone: (252) 794-5317
Fax: (252) 794-5375
URL: http://bertie.ces.ncsu.edu