2020 Surry County Plan of Work

Approved: January 22, 2020

I. County Background

Surry County is located in the North Central District with a population of approximately 74,000. The elderly population (65 years and over) is approximately 11,000. Latino populations in the county have increased approximately 600% over the last five years. The largest age segment of the population in Surry County is the 5-19 year old group, representing approximately 20% of the population. There is an increasing need to teach life and technical skills to the youth in the county, in order to prepare them for an employable future.

There is increasing concern for the health and well-being for Surry County citizens. Over 68% of the county population is considered overweight or obese. Heart disease, stroke, and cancer are the leading causes of death in the county. Approximately 30% of Surry's population has been diagnosed with diabetes.

Surry is primarily rural with a high agricultural income. In 2018 (latest available numbers) the agricultural income was in excess of $275 million. Agriculture is shifting from a traditional tobacco based system to other alternative agricultural enterprises. The average age of the farmer is increasing and fewer young farmers are emerging. Value-added agricultural enterprises are being evaluated. The local Farmers Markets are growing and are helping expand market potential for fresh locally grown produce to be marketed. Surry is very fortunate to have an abundance of natural resources and efforts such as easements and agricultural districting to protect these resources are increasing. Traditional agricultural enterprises are continuing as well.

Surry has four municipalities, Mount Airy, Elkin, Dobson, and Pilot Mountain. Job losses due to loss of textile manufacturing is driving the need for new economic development.

Environmental scans of all advisory groups and discussions with elected officials determined priority issues and the ranking of the issues. These scans were accomplished through group interaction, surveys, and individual conversations. The identified issues in order of importance are 1) Economic Development, 2) Aging, 3) Youth, 4) Natural Resources, and 5) Agricultural Awareness. Extension will address these issues through a multifaceted approach of educational programming to all relevant audiences.

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 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 natural resource and environmental programs conserve our precious natural resources and maintain a clean and healthy environment.

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

Surry County is interested in promoting economic development, developing youth in entrepreneurial strategies, and health and wellness. To that end, Extension is providing many educational opportunities for county citizens to accomplish these objectives. Extension serves as an information portal for information on agricultural, youth, and family issues during emergencies. Extension is working in conjunction with county officials to develop new marketing systems for local food production. Extension is recognized as an integral part of county economic well-being and is valued in decision making for future directions for the county. Extension showcases how Economic Development and Agriculture can work hand in hand to better the overall economy of the county. This effort specifically has brought attention to agriculture and county efforts to display the economic impact of agriculture on the total county economy. Health and nutrition educational programs are delivered/presented through partnerships with many allied agencies such as the Surry County Health and Nutrition Center, Reeves Community Center, Surry Community College, area school systems, ECA, newsletters, radio, and state agencies such as DHHS. Extension is also working in partnership with the NC Department of Insurance through the SHIIP program to educate those on Medicare about choices for the Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage. This partnership saves those on Medicare a substantial amount of money annually.

IV. Diversity Plan

All Extension programs will be advertised in local print media and newsletters with all reasonable efforts to accomodate anyone. Programs are offered in a variety of locations throughout the county. Special accomodations for attendance at any meetings will be provided as feasible. Partnering with other agencies expands advertising and delivery to new, underserved, or non-traditional clientele. Continue to seek grant funding to sustain current bilingual and limited resource programming. EFNEP Paraprofessional serves as the initial point of contact for Latino audiences. Even though EFNEP is mainly nutrition oriented, Seydel is a team player in integrated programming. She helps to define, develop, and deliver other educational programs such as the Pesticide/Farmworker Protection Toolkit.

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 Surry 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 focus. 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 Surry 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 Surry 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

Surry County Livestock and Forage Advisory Board
Wayne Allred
David Bledsoe
Kit Burcham
James Bledsoe
Matt Coe
Gilvin Guyer
Mark Johnson
Frank Sprinkle

Surry County Extension Advisory Council
Cindy Marion
David Bledsoe
Eddie Harris-BOCC
Kelly Whittington
James Bledsoe
Greg Smith
Van Cooke
Donna Collins
Paula Brinkley
Todd Tucker
Mike Jones
Terri Mosley
Terry Willis
Cory Early
Myra Cox
Joy Hemmings
Wayne Allred
Jamie Draughn
Ginger Branyon
Cindy Brannock
Stephanie Webb
Family and Consumer Science Program Committee
Kelly Whittington
Celena Watson
Sarah Welch
Bradley Key
Seydel Cropps
Amanda Royall
Donna Collins

4-H and Youth Advisory Committee
Brittany Estrada
Stephanie Tucker
Madaline Jones
Bonnie Cahall
Cathy Williams

Extension and Community Association County Council
Susan Johnson
Joy Hemmings
Jean Hardy
Juanita Gillespie
Marilyn Geiger
Goldie Sparger
Lisa Royall
Ann Davis
Peggy Folk

Horticulture/Alternative Agriculture Program Committee
Joy Barlow
Eugene Brown
Michella Huff
Donna Marion
Van Cooke
Surry County Beekeepers
Davie Simpson
Eugene Brown
Paul Madren
Ed Reynolds

Master Gardener Board
Terry Willis
Sharon Poindexter
Janice Johnson
Sue Miles
Joy Barlow

VII. Staff Membership

Bryan Cave
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (336) 401-8025
Email: bryan_cave@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administration, Livestock, Forages

Seydel Cropps
Title: EFNEP Educator, Extension Program Associate
Phone: (336) 401-8025
Email: seydel_cropps@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Work in EFNEP Nutrition Education Program with limited resource audiences

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.

Lauren Greene
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (336) 651-7347
Email: lauren_greene@ncsu.edu

Tim Hambrick
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (336) 703-2857
Email: tim_hambrick@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Field Crop Agent for Forsyth, Stokes, and Surry, and Yadkin counties. Responsibilities include educational programming and research in flue cured tobacco, corn, small grain, and soybean production.

Marissa Herchler
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.

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

Carmen Long
Title: Area Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (336) 401-8025
Email: carmen_long@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Agent for the Family and Consumer Sciences programs in Surry and Alleghany Counties.

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables and Fruits
Phone: (828) 684-3562
Email: craig_mauney@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities, training and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in Western NC. (My office is located at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center not the Henderson County Extension Center as is noted by IT on this website. Please do not contact the Henderson County Extension Center as I am not located there.)

Bailey McGill
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 401-8025
Email: bailey_mcgill@ncsu.edu

Joanna Radford
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Phone: (336) 401-8025
Email: joanna_radford@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.

Amanda Royall
Title: Program Assistant, EFNEP - Youth
Phone: (336) 401-8025
Email: amanda_royall@ncsu.edu

Nicole Vernon
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (336) 401-8025
Email: nicole_vernon@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

Surry County Center
915 E Atkins St
Suite 300
Dobson, NC 27017

Phone: (336) 401-8025
Fax: (336) 401-8048
URL: http://surry.ces.ncsu.edu