2018 Scotland County Plan of Work

Approved: January 25, 2018

I. County Background

Scotland County is located in southeastern North Carolina adjacent to the South Carolina border. The county has a total area of 204,262 acres; spanning 18 miles east to west and 25 miles north to south. Scotland County is located halfway between Charlotte and Wilmington. In 2013, the population was 36,025 with approximately 47% White, 39% Black, 11% American Indian, and 3% other.

Nearly 16,000 people live in Laurinburg, the county seat. Gibson, Wagram, East Laurinburg, Laurel Hill, and a part of the town of Maxton make up the various other communities in the county. Of the approximately 36,000 people living in the county, 18,472 are considered rural with 546 living on farms.

According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture's website, 190 farms are located in the county with an average farm size of 346 acres. The major crops produced are cotton, soybeans, corn, and small grains. Major animal production includes swine, cattle, and poultry. The estimated cash receipts from the sale of farm products in 2013 were approximate $81 million.

The median family income is $29,592 with a total of 15,233 housing units in the county. The unemployment rate for 2013 was the highest in the state. Scotland County is considered a TIER 1 county based on economic indicators.

The Scotland County School system has 13 schools, which enroll approximately 7,000 children annually. The 2013 SAT average score in Scotland was 1278 the state average is 1485. Additionally, St. Andrews Presbyterian University is located in Scotland County with an average enrollment of 900 students.

The Environmental Scanning process utilized secondary data collected from Scotland County Department of Social Services, The Rural Center, North Carolina A&T University, Scotland County Health Department, Scotland County Partnership for Children and Families, Juvenile Justice, North Carolina Employment Security Commission, The Small Business Technology Development Center, and the Scotland County Economic Development Plan. Also, key elected officials in the county were interviewed and a focus group was conducted in the summer of 2007. The Scotland County Advisory Council and the focus group assisted in prioritizing the issues and needs identified in the environmental scan. The following needs will be addressed by the 2017 Plan of Work.

1. Need for Economic Development Opportunities
2. Overweight/Obese Youth and Adults
3. Natural Resources Protected
4. Need for Structured Activities and Positive Role Models for Youth
5. Lack of Parenting Skills/Family Management
6. Need for Family Financial Management Skills

North Carolina Cooperative Extension is in a unique position to provide educational programming to various groups based on the identified needs. Taking research-based information generated at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A & T State University can provide Scotland County citizens with much-needed information to meet the needs of the 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 agricultural crops industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of crops was $4.72 billion, placing NC as the 17th largest in the nation. North Carolina is one of the most diversified agriculture states in the nation. The state's 50,200 farmers grow over 80 different commodities, utilizing 8.4 million of the state's 31 million acres to furnish consumers a dependable and affordable supply of food and fiber. Tobacco remains one of the state's most predominant farm commodities. North Carolina produces more tobacco and sweet potatoes than any other state and ranks second in Christmas tree cash receipts. The state also produces a significant amount of cucumbers for pickles, lima beans, turnip greens, collard greens, mustard greens, strawberries, bell peppers, blueberries, chili peppers, fresh market cucumbers, snap beans, cabbage, eggplant, watermelons, pecans, peaches, squash, apples, sweet corn, tomatoes, and grapes. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic and niche market production. Educational and training programs for producers of plant agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
North Carolina's animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.
North Carolina's livestock industry makes major contributions to local communities and the state’s economy. In 2014, the estimated farm gate value of livestock, dairy, and poultry was $8.85 billion, placing NC as the 7th largest in the nation. Hogs & pigs have historically been an important part of North Carolina agriculture. The industry has changed dramatically since the 1980s from the small farm raising a few hogs to large confinement type operations. North Carolina's number of cattle & calves on farms has remained relatively stable throughout time. Milk cow inventory and milk production have continued to decline in the state. Unlike other commodities, broiler production in North Carolina is increasing throughout the state. There is continual technological change and the relative profitability of individual farm enterprises changes over time; therefore, farmers must respond by modifying their farming operations. Changes in consumer demand create new opportunities for producers. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Educational and training programs for producers of animal agricultural products and services will enhance their ability to achieve financial and lifestyle goals and to enhance economic development locally, regionally and statewide.
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.
Farmers will increase their capacity to supply product for local food sales through market planning efforts, producer and consumer education, beginning farmer training programs and local market infrastructure development. The fastest growing area of consumer demand in agriculture continues to be organic. Farmers' markets continue to expand as do multiple efforts in local sustainable agriculture. Nationally, "Buy Local, Buy Fresh" movements have emerged in the face of concerns about the risks involved in long distance transportation of industrialized food production. Increasingly, public officials and business leaders see promotion of local farm products as good public policy and local economic development. Additionally, individuals will learn to supplement their current diet by growing their own fruits and vegetables as individuals or as community groups.
Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.
Leadership is important to every level of a community sharing in the creation of wealth and well-being. Youth and adult leaders must be capable of motivating groups to achieve common goals that impact North Carolina families and communities.They will need the confidence and skill to guide and support North Carolina community and state organizations. Citizens participating in the 2007 NC Tomorrow survey denoted the importance of leadership by clearly requesting leadership training (54%), social advising, community advising and technical assistance (45%)from their university system.
Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.
Youth and adult volunteers in North Carolina contribute thousands of hours each year to strengthen communities and create strong foundations for the future. As these individuals engage in service, they are gaining new skills, generating new programs to serve their communities, building successful organizations, and fostering an ethic of service. Cooperative Extension is poised to support the development of interpersonal skills, leadership experiences, and content knowledge to ensure that citizens are prepared to engage in meaningful service throughout the lifespan. Current research suggests that youth and adult participation positively impacts civic engagement and contributes to the development of leadership capacities. With its presence in every county, Cooperative Extension is uniquely positioned to contribute to building a stronger ethic of service among youth and adults.
Adults and youth will apply financial management practices to increase their economic security, which include to: meet basic necessities, increase savings, reduce debt, and build long-term assets.
North Carolina families are experiencing financial distress. A slowing state economy with depressed incomes, rising interest rates, housing and medical costs and increased living expenses for gasoline and food have strained household budgets. NC households (21%) lack access to enough food for an active healthy life for all household members. Families forced into home insecurity in the state reached 47% because of the inability to pay their rent or increased mortgage payments. Foreclosure starts increased 154% between the third quarter of 2006 and first quarter 2010 with projections of increases in foreclosures through 2012. The loss of housing as a primary asset hurts the family emotionally, psychologically and economically and impacts property values and tax revenue in communities. To avoid negative financial outcomes families need skills to develop and execute spending plans to better manage income to cover monthly living expenses, to evaluate, select and manage financial products, and to increase and protect family assets. Eighteen percent (18%) or 1 out of 5 households are asset poor and lack sufficient net worth to subsist at the poverty level for three months without a job or source of support. Due to inadequate savings 1 out of 3 households reported using credit cards to cover basic living expenses, including rent, mortgage payments, groceries, utilities and insurance. Credit card debt and changes in interest rate policies have forced many families to become delinquent on credit repayment. Families nationwide also report feeling that they have inadequate savings for emergencies, educating their children and retirement. Skills that help families develop and implement debt repayment strategies, make sound consumer decisions to avoid scams and frauds, like predatory lending and identity theft, and create and implement plans to achieve short-term and long-term financial goals like acquiring a home, saving for retirement and education and emergency funds can help families recover from poor financial management practices and become more financially secure. In the context of “the Great Recession” and high unemployment (10.4% North Carolina; 9% National (October 2011)) families need knowledge and skills to access information and programs that support family economic security during periods of unemployment, under-employment and/or retirement.
Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways
We are living in a new economy powered by technology, fueled by information and driven by knowledge. Extension programs provide opportunities for youth and adults to improve their level of education and increase their skills that enable them to be competitive in our global society and workforce.
Consumers and communities will enhance the value of plants, animals, and landscapes while conserving valuable natural resources and protecting the environment.
Residential, commercial and public entities will make decisions regarding plant selection, placement and management that will decrease water consumption, preserve and improve water quality, mitigate storm water contaminants, reduce erosion, energy consumption, and greenwaste, expand wildlife habitat, improve real estate value, and improve diet and nutrition of consumers. The horse and "farmer lifestyle" industry will continue to grow and have an increasing impact on North Carolina's economy, while protecting the environment. The NCDA&CS reports that 65,000 horse producers own over 225,000 horses which annually generates over $704 million of gross revenue from training, showing, boarding and breeding establishments in addition to agri-business sales of horse-related products. The total economic impact of the NC green industry is $8.6 billion, involving 151,982 employees, and 120,741 acres of production (Green Industry Council, 2006). North Carolina residential consumers spend $5.9 billion dollars per year on garden and landscape related expenses (Green Industry Council, 2006). For 2007, North Carolina's population is estimated to be 8,968,800 (LINC). The population grew by 1,323,288 (15%), between 1997 and 2007 and it is projected to grow by another 1,330,055 (13%), over the next ten years (LINC). Over 50% of the population now lives in urban areas. Despite evidence of the ecological and financial benefits, environmentally responsible landscaping strategies are not being implemented widely. Renovating a landscape to incorporate water conserving strategies may result in using 36% less water. Urban water run-off accounts for the majority of water pollution, mostly pesticides and fertilizers, that does not come from a specific industrial source. Selection of well-adapted plants, effective pest management, and appropriate care and feeding of plants will greatly reduce dependence on fertilizers and pesticides. Rain water that is not absorbed by the soil becomes erosive storm water runoff, which transports pollutants such as fertilizer, pesticides, sediment, motor oil, litter, and animal waste to local streams and rivers. Landscape designs will include rain gardens and other runoff catchment facilities (underground cisterns, etc.) that are attractive and easy to maintain in residential areas. Homeowners will learn that proper plant selection and placement can reduce winter heating bills by as much as 15% and summer cooling bills by as much as 50 percent, while reducing the need to prune over-sized plants. Wild habitat areas are rapidly being converted into housing and commercial properties, displacing native plants and animals. Choosing native or adapted plants that provide food and shelter creates a haven for butterflies, birds, lizards, and other animals. Edible landscaping can increase the amount and expand the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed.
Youth and adult program participants will make healthy food choices, achieve the recommended amount of physical activity and reduce risk factors for chronic diseases.
Many North Carolinians are affected by chronic disease and conditions that compromise their quality of life and well-being. Heart disease, stroke and cancer continue to be leading causes of death in our state. In addition, obesity and obesity related chronic diseases such as diabetes continue to rise at alarming rates. Healthy eating and physical activity are critical to achieve optimal health. Many North Carolinians have diets that are too high in calories and too low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Portion sizes, foods eaten away-from-home and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages continue to rise. In addition, most North Carolinians do not engage in regular physical activity. The prevalence of overweight and obesity has nearly doubled in the past 10 years. If the trend of overweight is not slowed, it will eliminate the progress we have made in reducing the burden of weigh-related chronic disease. One in every three US children born after 2000 will become diabetic unless many more people start eating less and exercising more. The cost of obesity in North Carolina in health care costs alone is over 2 billion dollars. There are many proposed reasons for the obesity epidemic, however unhealthy eating and physical inactivity are widely recognizes as primary contributors to the problem. Those who make healthy food choices and are physically active are more likely to achieve and maintain a healthy weight as well reduce chronic diseases. Ultimately, this will lead to reduction in health care costs, increased longevity, greater productivity and improved quality of life.

III. Relationship to County Government Objectives

The mission statement for both the County of Scotland and North Carolina Cooperative Extension are very similar. These similarities allow the Cooperative Extension staff to develop many educational programs which focus on high priority needs in the county. The strategies identified in the County of Scotland Strategic Plan focused on crime/drugs, community development, economic development, education, and social concerns. Cooperative Extension staff helps to address these local issues with research-based knowledge and resources, creating opportunities which empower people to collectively solve problems.

In the event the Scotland County Emergency Operation Plan is activated, Cooperative Extension has a critical educational role. Cooperative Extension specifically educates the public in preparing for, planning for, responding to, and recovery from natural disasters and other hazards. Examples of educational programs include food safety, crop damage assessment, stress management, financial information, and protecting/feeding livestock. Some educational publications dealing with disasters are also available in Spanish.

IV. Diversity Plan

Scotland County Cooperative Extension is committed to embracing the value of diversity and the elimination of discrimination on the basis of irrelevant characteristics such as race, nationality, socio-economic status, religious beliefs, ethnicity, family and marital status, gender, age, disability, or sexual orientation. These differences are the basis for our values, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that allow us to develop educational programs for the betterment of our county. The following methods will be utilized to promote the importance of diversity.

Every Agent and program associate will have a functioning advisory committee that is reflective of both county demographics and their specific customer and programming base.

• To be inclusive, relevant, and responsive to planning, designing, implementing, and evaluating the program for a diverse audience.

• Incorporate diversity into publications, exhibits, mass media, and other marketing efforts.

• Utilization of curriculum that emphasizes diversity.

• Incorporate measures of diversity into staff appraisals.

This plan of work when implemented provides a framework to assist Extension staff in accomplishing the programmatic goals in a manner consistent with the Extension vision, mission, and values.

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 Scotland 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 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. 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 Scotland 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 Scotland County. Evaluation methods are the way we make those observations about 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 pre and post tests and 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 impacts 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.

VI. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Scotland County Extension Advisory Council
Brenda Gilbert
Gray Gilbert
Leon Butler
Dorothy Tyson
Beatrice Sams
Joe Barnhill
Joann Barnhill
Bonnie Kelly
Steve Herlocker
April Snead
Scotland County 4-H Advisory Committee
Sommore Terry
Mikiko Fludd
Dot Coble
Johnie Gorham
Shaunee McLaurin (youth)
Iris Hamilton
Daniel bridges (youth)
Kathie Cox
Sharon Davis
angela stephens
dorothy tyson

Family and Consumer Sciences Advisory Committee
Mitchell McIver
Corniela Mceachin
Kathie Cox
Doris Graham
Noren Sanford
jennifer Byrd
sandra alford
essie davis
haley powell
dawn everett

VII. Staff Membership

Randy Wood
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (910) 277-2422
Email: randy_wood@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Livestock and Forages

Carol Capel-Baldwin
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 277-2422
Email: carol_capel@ncsu.edu

Sharon English
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (910) 277-2422
Email: sharon_english@ncsu.edu

Angela Galloway
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 277-2422
Email: angela_galloway@ncsu.edu

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (704) 283-3801
Email: richard_goforth@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.

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

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

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer & 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.

Hazel McPhatter
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Associate
Phone: (910) 277-2422
Email: hazel_mcphatter@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Nutrition Program Associate 4-H EFNEP. Provides nutrition education for Scotland County youth.

Shannon Newton
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (910) 875-3461
Email: shannon_newton@ncsu.edu

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.

Allan Thornton
Title: Extension Associate
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) 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

Scotland County Center
231 E Cronly St
Suite 800
Laurinburg, NC 28352

Phone: (910) 277-2422
Fax: (910) 277-2426
URL: http://scotland.ces.ncsu.edu