2020 Transylvania County Plan of Work

Approved: January 27, 2020

I. County Background

North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, Transylvania County Center works with an advisory leadership system to remain in touch with the most pressing needs of the county. Extension Advisory Leaders were utilized to discuss strategies, objectives and the capacity of the local staff to address issues as they related to Cooperative Extensions mission. In addition, Cooperative Extension conducts evaluations of all programs to constantly improve their effectiveness and make sure that we can document the level to which we are improving knowledge gain and affecting positive behavior change. As a result of these discussions and Extension Staff recommendations the following statewide objectives were selected for major program emphasis.

Through our environmental scanning we have devised the following priorities for our programs in 2020 (goals similar to last year, but updated):

Profitable plant systems and consumer horticulture:
Engage at least 150 customers per month with educational material at the Farmers Market
Log at least 2000 volunteer hours from our Master Gardeners
Incorporate at least 15 private land owners in the Hemlock Cost share program
Make contact with everyone in the Voluntary Ag District Program to educate them on the program and update their application.
Provide adequate classes for Landscape Contractors to meet their CEU requirements to stay in business
Provide classes for the 100+ Pesticide Applicators to insure that they remain compliant with environmental law.
Provide classes for the 15 Private Pesticide Applicators

EFNEP and Ag Program Assistant-
Provide Nutrition Education to 500+ Transylvania County students through EFNEP programming
Address Nutrition, Physical Activity and Weight Health Priority established by the Transylvania County Community Health Assessment (CHA)
Support the 4-H locavore program
Support Master Gardener programming
Maintain Nourishing North Carolina Garden

Profitable animal systems:
Continue to expand Mountain Cattle Alliance- Increase # of participating producers to 15 and # of cattle one million.
Coordinate with Rosman to provide Beef Quality Assurance PQA or YQCA training to all animal science students.
Provide educational programs for at least 100 beef producers at district-wide conferences.
Engage with at least 50 livestock producers in the county to promote best management practices.
Assist with Administration of TNRC
Participate in Riverfest

4-H and Youth Development
Risk Management for Safe Learning Environments: Support club leaders to be in compliance with NCSU Minors on Campus policy and Reporter system by April 1.
Work with volunteers to model 4-H experiential/inquiry-based science lessons in schools (grades 2-5 at BES and RES).
Support 4-H Teen Council goals to practice interviewing & etiquette, plan/led a leadership workshop for clubs, and attend 4-H Teen Retreat.
Start Balsam Grove 4-H SPIN Club and maintain other clubs and special interest groups (sheep showing; cooking; sewing) for youths to explore their “sparks”, serve others, gain mastery and independence, and experience sense of belonging.
Encourage 4-H’ers to do presentations at club, county, district, and state levels.
Co-lead Aldo Leopold Education project for Brevard College students
working towards NC Environmental Ed. Certification that prepares
them for teaching/natural resource careers.

Family Consumer Science and Senior Health Insurance Information Program
Secure additional funding for FCS program
Recruit and train at least 2 new SHIIP councilors
Increase level of FCS programs oriented towards seniors
Support Transylvania County's early childhood development efforts
Support food and wellness initiatives stemming from Brevard’s Blue Zones project

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

Transylvania County government is and will continue to be a valued partner in providing quality Extension education to our citizens. The County as well as the Town of Rosman and the City of Brevard are also important clients and will continue to receive technical information and assistance from Cooperative Extension when possible to assist with leadership development, community planning and infrastructure management. The Transylvania Cooperative Extension Center will also continue to be a resource to county and municipal government in times of disaster, providing planning, assessment and mitigation assistance in the form of technical information, communication with citizens and manpower as needed. We have made sure that the County understands that we are available to assist with the 2020 Census.

IV. Diversity Plan

Transylvania County has a total population of about 33,000 people of which 52% are female and 48% male. The racial make up is 92.5% white, 5.3% black, 1.6% Hispanic,.5% Asian and 1% other.
Transylvania County Cooperative Extension programs are made available to all citizens. Reasonable efforts to reach all county citizens with information about programs are continually evaluated and improved.

The Transylvania County Cooperative Extension Center is committed to the provisions of equal employment opportunity for all staff, accessibility to programs for all citizens, to the cultural value of diversity and to the elimination of discrimination on the basis of irrelevant characteristics such as race, nationality, religious belief, political beliefs, family and marital status, gender, age, or disability. In addition to this, NC State University has a policy covering sexual orientation.

Cooperative Extension is also committed to Affirmative Action, that is, the development of programs and practices which promote equal opportunity for members of target groups identified by legislation as having experienced disadvantages in employment.

In fulfilling this policy, NC Cooperative Extension Administration will:
1. Promote the development of an environment that is supportive of employment equity and diversity principles ensuring that the policies and practices reflect and respect the social and cultural diversity contained within the Organization, including the volunteer staff and Advisory Leadership Council, and the community it serves.
2. Provide equal employment opportunity by identifying and removing barriers to participation and progression in employment and programs.
3. Provide environments and conditions that are supportive and free from discrimination.
4. Comply with State and Federal legislation on discrimination, equal employment opportunity and affirmative action.
All Extension staff are expected to understand Affirmative Action guidelines and to be in compliance with NIFFA (USDA) and NC State University guidelines.

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 Transylvania 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 Transylvania 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 Transylvania 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 behavior, 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 creating dialog 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

Green Industry Advisory Committee
Ken Allison
David Bradley
Alan Johnson
Anthony LeBude
Joey Galloway
Lynn Goldsmith
Hope Janowitz
Chad Owenby
Lynn Goldsmith
4-H and Youth Development
Kae Parker
Darby Dame
Julie Queen
David Mackey
Jim Boyer
Chuck Megown
David Smith
Beecher Allison
David Mackey
Sarah Rhymer
Jeff Bradley
Steve Tabor
Justin Raines
Dwight Parker
Farmland Preservation/AAB
Devin Gentry
John Blythe
Leslie Logemann
Maryann Duvall
Leroy Newell
John Witherspoon
Jeff Parker
Emily Pohlman
Jimmy Whitmire
Natural Resources
Lee McMinn
Woody Noland
Dan Hodges
Jeff Parker
David Whitmire
Jason Guidry
Jennifer Kafsky
Mac Marrow
Davis Whitfield-Cargile
Kent Wilcox
Dave Casey
RK Young
Elizabeth Reshower
Stephanie Adams
Robert McGraw
David Whitmire

Extension Program Development Council (County Advisory Council)
Carol Parker
Clare Hannon
Dale Robertson
Dick Bir
Jennifer Kafsky
Jason Davis
Mark Tooley
Jennifer Williams
Page Lemel
Shelly Webb
Lynn Goldsmith
Nicola Karesh
Master Gardener Board (Ag Program Assistant Advisory Committee)
Lani Leary
Laura Cunningham
Barb Jackson
Joy Evans
Cindy Gilbert
Nancy Carroll
Carol Roth
Mary Miller

VII. Staff Membership

Bart Renner
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 884-3109
Email: bart_renner@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Small Farms & Horticulture

Addison Bradley
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock and Field Crops
Phone: (828) 884-3109
Email: acbradl2@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.

April Dillon
Title: Area Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 482-4365
Email: april_dillon@ncsu.edu

Sara Freeman
Title: EFNEP Educator, Agriculture Program Assistant
Phone: (828) 884-3109
Email: sara_freeman@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides Expanded Food and Nutrition Programs to limited resource families in Transylvania County. Provides and supports Agriculture programs in Transylvania County.

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

Marissa Herchler 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.

Renay Knapp
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (828) 697-4891
Email: renay_knapp@ncsu.edu

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.)

Maryann Mickewicz
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (828) 884-3109
Email: mmickew@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.

Clifford Ruth
Title: Area Agent and Regional Certification Program Coordinator, Agriculture
Phone: (828) 255-5522
Email: cdruth@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Current Responsibilities: Provide educational programs primarily for the folk in the commercial green industries in WNC as well as pesticide education for farmers in Buncombe and Transylvania County. Coordinate certification and licensing workshops across the western third of the state. (30 counties and EBCI)

Debbie Stroud
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9149
Email: dlstroud@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Specialized Agents in Consumer and Retail Food Safety help to ensure that Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Agents have access to timely, evidence-based food safety information. This is accomplished by (1) working with FCS Agents in their counties, (2) developing food safety materials and (3) planning and implementing a NC Safe Plates Food Safety Info Center.

Amanda Taylor
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Nursery and Greenhouse, Western Region
Phone: (828) 475-2915
Email: amanda_jo_taylor@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides programming to commercial nursery and greenhouse producers in Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Gaston, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey Counties.

Skip Thompson
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (828) 456-3575
Email: Skip_Thompson@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide educational opportunities and technical support to the trout and carp aquaculture industries in 42 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) in western North Carolina. Fish health, production management, and waste management educational programs will assist trout farmers, fee-fishing pond managers, carp ponds and trout fingerling producers with the management and sustainability of their facilities.

Email: setruema@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

Transylvania County Center
106 East Morgan Street
Suite 109
Brevard, NC 28712

Phone: (828) 884-3109
Fax: (828) 884-3142
URL: http://transylvania.ces.ncsu.edu