2018 Bladen County Plan of Work

Approved: March 12, 2018

I. County Background

Bladen County is the 4th largest county in North Carolina with a total area of 875 square miles. According to the 2016 Census, 33,741 people live in Bladen County with 40.2 persons per square mile. The racial makeup of the county is 61% White, 35% Black, 3% American Indian, and a growing Hispanic/Latino population of 7.9%. The per capita income in 2016 was $19,510 and median household income is $30,408 compared to the national average of $55,322. Poverty rate in Bladen County is 25.4%, which is almost double the national average of 13.5%. The unemployment rate is 6.4%

Bladen County School's have identified more than 69% of enrolled students as economically disadvantaged according to 2017 data used by the NC DPI School Report Card system. Of the 14 public schools, more than half of the student population at each school is identified disadvantaged, with one of the schools having over 90% of their total population identified.

Agriculture and related industries are a significant contributor to the local economy. The value of farm products at the farm gate level is estimated to be greater than 367 million dollars and ranks Bladen County 6th in Total Farm Cash Receipts in the state due to a diverse agricultural economy. Bladen is number 1 in blueberry production, number 3 in hogs, number 2 in grapes by acreage and number 5 in turkeys in North Carolina. Smithfield Foods is the largest employer in the county with over 4,000 employees and they process approximately 32,000 hogs per day. 

The Extension staff worked with local advisory committees and members to determine the needs, issues and trends facing the county. Through this process, the staff selected the following Extension objectives to focus on in 2018: Profitable and Sustainable Plant Production Systems, Profitable and Sustainable Animal Production Systems, Safety and Security of our Food and Farm Systems, Volunteer Readiness, School to Career (Youth and Adults), Urban and Consumer Agriculture and Healthy Eating, Physical Activity and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension in Bladen County, with local resources and access to the resources of North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University, is in a unique position to provide educational programming to various groups based on identified needs. Continuing to work with and through our local advisory system, county government, and the citizens of Bladen County, the staff will plan, develop, implement and evaluate educational programs to serve citizens. Several programs in the county target limited resource audiences, due to the high percentage of minorities in the county and the high percentage of people, 26.4%, living below the poverty level. Utilizing research-based information generated at North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University can provide Bladen County citizens with the information and solutions 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 animal production systems will become more profitable and sustainable.

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.

Youth and adults will address community issues and/or challenges through volunteerism.

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. Other Objectives

Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan
II. Objectives to Address the Cooperative Extension Long Range Plan North Carolina's plant, animal and food systems will become more profitable and sustainable. Educational and training programs for producers of agricultural, horticultural and of forest 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 producers produce a wide variety of agricultural, food, fiber, and horticultural products that make major contributions to local communities and the states economy. In 2006, the estimated farm gate value of agricultural and horticultural production was $8.2 billion, placing NC as the 8th largest in the nation. The total economic impact of these agricultural, horticultural and food industries accounts for approximately one-quarter of the states economy. North Carolina farm numbers have declined consistently for decades as a result of economies of scale and global competition in traditional agricultural commodities. Producers of traditional commodities have been forced to expand or leave agriculture. 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 unable or unwilling to compete in commodity production. North Carolina's rapidly growing population creates competition for resources and the need for well informed and well crafted public policy to resolve conflicts and meet societies goals. New enterprises will develop or agriculturally-based enterprises will add value to and diversify farms by producing energy feedstocks, bioenergy, or other value-added products that will increase rural economic development. Growth in alternative forms of agriculture will include, among others, organic, niche market production, and pasture-raised livestock. Opportunities for diversification of operations and increased income on North Carolina farms will increase as emerging, alternative and entrepreneurial agricultural business opportunities are created in the marketplace. 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. 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. Training and educational programs for farmers, agricultural workers, food handlers, and consumers will provide research-based programming, materials, information and expertise to compel these individuals to implement practices relating to the overall safety and security for the food supply and farming systems. Components of this include on-farm, packinghouse, and transportation management, retail and food service establishments, and consumer’s homes. Therefore targeted audiences include farmers and agricultural workers and their families, food handlers and workers (both amateur and commercial), transporters, processors, business operators, food service and retail staff, supervisors of any food facility, long term care facility staff and individuals who purchase, prepare and serve food in their homes. With an estimated 76 million foodborne illnesses annually, costing an estimated $1.4 trillion, food safety highlights a specific area of risk to be addressed by Cooperative Extension. The recent produce-related foodborne illness outbreaks have brought public attention to a problem that has been increasing nationally for the last ten years. The issues of foodborne illness and food safety pose immediate risks for farmers affecting the areas of economics, consumer demand, and market access. Because no processing or kill steps are involved with produce that is typically eaten raw, the best measures to limit microorganisms and fresh produce related illness are to prevent microbes from contaminating the product. Practices like Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), Good Handling Practices (GHPs), and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) represent a systematic preventive approach to food safety, protecting agricultural products as they move from farm to retail and restaurants and finally to families. While there is currently no legal requirements for growers to implement GAPs, buyers have responded to the public concern by requiring their produce growers to adhere to current guidelines and possibly even require GAPs certification. The main areas of concern incorporate production, harvesting, packing, and transporting produce in the areas of water quality, manure management, domestic and wildlife management, worker health and hygiene, transportation, traceability, and documentation. For North Carolina growers to be competitive and produce safe product, it is important that they gain knowledge about and implement food safety programs that minimize physical, chemical and biological hazards Food safety risks do not stop at primary production. As risks associated with pathogens can occur at many junctions between primary production and consumption, food safety is a truly farm-to-fork issue. The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have defined 5 factors that lead to foodborne illness outbreaks: Inadequate cooking or processing procedures; improper storage and holding temperatures, cross-contamination between potentially contaminated raw materials and ready-to-eat foods (either directly or through poor sanitation); and poor implementation of personal hygiene practices. The preventative steps targeting risk reduction taken at each of the components making up the food supply chain are critical in preventing food-borne illness. Educational programs including ServSAFE, School HACCP workshops, food safety at childcare and senior centers, and targeted farm-to-fork food safety inclusion for all food handlers is necessary for important for advances in knowledge and implementation of preventative programs. Equally important is that families and children have a secure food supply. Hunger in American households has risen by 43 percent over the last five years, according to an analysis of US Department of Agriculture (USDA) data released in the report "Household Food Security in the United States, 2004." The analysis, completed by the Center on Hunger and Poverty at Brandeis University, shows that more than 7 million people have joined the ranks of the hungry since 1999. The USDA report says that 38.2 million Americans live in households that suffer directly from hunger and food insecurity, including nearly 14 million children. That figure is up from 31 million Americans in 1999. Limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and food-insecure individuals, families and communities will be provided with information and opportunities to enhance household food, diet and nutritional security. Agriculture is one of the most hazardous industries in the United States, and consistently ranks as the first, second or third most deadly industry along with mining and construction. Agriculture is unique in that the work and home place are often the same, exposing both workers and family members to hazards. In the United States on average each year, there are 700 deaths and 140,000 injuries to those who work in agriculture, defined as farming, forestry and fishing. Farmers, farmworkers and their families are at high risk for fatal and nonfatal injuries (primarily from tractor roll-overs, machinery entanglements, and animal handling incidents), musculo-skeletal conditions, work-related lung diseases, noise-induced hearing loss, heat stress and heat stroke, pesticide exposure and illness, skin diseases, behavioral health issues, and certain cancers associated with chemical use and prolonged sun exposure. The health and safety of migrant and seasonal farmworkers are complicated by other conditions such as infectious disease, hypertension, and diabetes, as well as cultural and language barriers. Farmers and farmworkers alike are subject to lack of access to health care. Agricultural injury and illness are costly, with total US annual costs reaching $4.5 billion and per farm costs equaling $2,500, or 15% of net income. Median health care coverage for farm families is $6,000 per year. In North Carolina, 27% of farm families do not have health insurance, while 29% of farmers do not have health insurance. Many others have health care coverage with high annual deductibles and high premiums. Agromedicine is a comprehensive, collaborative approach involving both agricultural and health scientists to develop solutions addressing the health and safety issues of the agricultural community through research, education and outreach. The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute, a partnership of NC State University, NC A&T State University and East Carolina University in collaboration with others, develops and evaluates effective programs to reduce injury and illness in agriculture, forestry and fishing. One such program is called Certified Safe Farm (CSF) and AgriSafe. CSF and AgriSafe were first developed and researched in Iowa. CSF and AgriSafe are being adapted to North Carolina agriculture by the NC Agromedicine Institute and its Cooperative Extension collaborators. Certified Safe Farm combines AgriSafe health services (wellness and occupational health screenings and personal protection equipment selection and fit services) conducted by trained AgriSafe health providers, on-farm safety reviews conducted by trained Extension agents, and community education and outreach to achieve safety and health goals established by participating farmers and their employees and families. Insurance incentives and safety equipment cost-share programs for participating farmers are still being developed. Other ongoing educational programs addressing agricultural health and safety include farm safety days for children, youth, or families, employee hands-on farm safety training, the National Safe Tractor and Machinery Operation Program for youth, and youth ATV operator safety certification programs. 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. 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, community planning, and/or influencing public policy. This will include building disaster resilient communities through community members increasing knowledge and skills to prepare, mitigate, respond and recover from disasters. Throughout North Carolina, communities that come together to collaboratively address issues and/or interests are enhancing the community's quality of life and its economic, social and environmental resiliency. The state's growing population and economy is producing significant changes in its communities and in some cases resulting in the emergence of new communities. The perspectives, capacity and skills of all community members are essential to aligning community decisions and actions with local needs, assets and priorities. NC Cooperative Extension has an important role in engaging and supporting the ongoing work of citizens, organizations, and communities in decision-making, and strategic dialog to influence positive public policy, foster development of partnerships, create empowered communities, be prepared to address the high potential for natural and human-caused disasters. Parents and caregivers will effectively use recommended parenting, self care practices and community resources. North Carolina communities are only as strong and viable as the families that reside there. To create and maintain viable communities where children and youth succeed and the elderly are protected and cared for parents and caregivers need knowledge and skills that build their capacity to function effectively and carryout their responsibilities. They need to be equipped to: 1) foster positive parent-child relationships, 2) address anti-social behavior with appropriate disciplinary techniques, 3) implement positive role modeling, child monitoring and supervision strategies and 4) prevent practices that lead to the abuse and neglect of children. State data suggest that strengthening parenting skills could serve as an asset to families and communities. Risk and needs assessment data on 46,041 youth involved in NC courts found that 59% of the youth had problems in school, 40% had relationships with peers associated with gangs and delinquent behavior, 40% had parents who were either unable or unwilling to supervise them, and 68% had parents with either marginal or inadequate supervision skills. A large percentage of NC working families with children under six (63.34%) must rely on child care services. Child care practitioner education and training is key to providing quality childcare. Family members provide care to a rapidly growing aging population that could double, reaching 2.8 million in the next two decades. A majority of elderly North Carolinians suffer from multiple chronic illnesses. Caregiver demands can trigger health problems, financial and emotional stress. Families who provide care and support for elderly family members also need skills to succeed with less stress and financial burden and need to be linked to community resources that provide support for the care and maintenance of elderly family members. 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. North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation. The natural resources in North Carolina are an important asset that benefit all citizens, but many citizens are unaware of the consequences of actions and practices they implement. The continued population growth of North Carolina is putting pressure on natural resources in terms of quantity and quality. To have a healthy and productive natural environment, professionals and citizens must be knowledgeable of environmental issues and conservation and management opportunities. 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.

IV. Relationship to County Government Objectives

Cooperative Extension works with the county government in emergency operations during times of emergencies and natural disasters. Extension representatives serve on the county Safety Committee and have taken National Incident Management Systems (NIMS) trainings. Cooperative Extension will work with Emergency Management to provide individuals, businesses, farms and communities knowledge and recommended practices to improve preparedness for disasters and emergencies and to increase safety in the home and work environment. Extension representatives also serve on the local emergency management plan committee (LEPC).

Extension will provide assistance and educational materials prior to emergencies or natural disasters to prepare citizens for such events. Extension will work with Emergency Management to assess losses to crops, livestock, farm buildings and equipment, stored commodities, farm and timber property, feed and supplies. The Bladen County Extension Livestock Agent assists the County Animal Response Team. Reports will be completed and submitted as requested by Emergency Management.

Extension will work with Economic Development in helping promote growth in business and industry within the county. Assistance will be given by providing data and technical assistance as appropriate.

Extension is committed to a collaborative approach in solving county needs and seeks out opportunities to build a working relationship with county government to meet its objectives. Agents collaborate with county departments to conduct integrated programs to reach diverse audiences.

V. Diversity Plan

Bladen County Cooperative Extension is committed to serving all the citizens of Bladen County. The County Extension Director is serving on a newly organized county Diversity committee that will strive to support and promote diversity and inclusion among all county employees as well as clients and customers.

Efforts will be made to reach new and under-served audiences within the county. Limited resource farmers and families will be identified and targeted to address their needs. The growing Hispanic population in the county will be targeted by working with local ministries to provide Extension materials and programs. Educational programs will be conducted in locations that are convenient and accessible to new and under-served audiences. Mass media efforts will be made promoting educational programs and events. Development of announcements, posters, fliers, etc. will be placed in public places frequented by minorities. Personal contacts will be made to minority clientele encouraging their participation. Contacts will be made with community groups that assist in informing minorities of available programs.

VI. 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 Bladen 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 combination 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 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, 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 Bladen 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 Bladen 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 as a 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.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

Bladen County Extension Advisory Council
Leon Martin, Chair
Joyce Gillespie
David Gooden
Connie Kinlaw
Barbara Knight
Kenneth Kornegay
Rufus D. Lloyd
Dorothy McKoy
Linda Rivenbark
Jimmie Smith
Joyce Walters
Jake Suggs
Greg Elkins
Harold Wright
Brenda Brisson
Joyce Ward
Wilbur Ward
Bruce McLean - Advisory Council (Specialized Committee Field Crops & Comm. Hort)
Wilbur Ward
Wanda Clay
Chris Tatum
Dean Morris
Rebecca Spearman-Advisory Council (Specialized Committee Livestock)
Rusty Patterson
Pat Patterson
Jake Suggs
Clarence Thornton
Charles Gillespie
Krista Hansen
Joy Morgan
Channing Gooden
Michael Inman
FCS Agent-Advisory Council (Specialized Committee FCS)
Janet Miller
Kory Hair
Elizabeth Ann Harris
Kelsey Edwards
Berkley Pridgen
Willie Kay McDuffie
Tiina Mundy
Carol Strickland
Linda Rivenbark
Marianne Valentiner
Olga Bauer
Stacie Kinlaw -Advisory Council (Specialized Committee 4-H)
Katrina Harbison
Kelli Hill
Connie Kinlaw
Willie Kay McDuffie
Louella Wills
Tiina Mundy
Lisa Barnes
Rhoda Hayes
Rev. Lorraine Jackson
Andy James



Nancy Olsen-Advisory Council (Specialized Committee Consumer Hort.)
Joe Horne
Christine Seme
Gwen Thompson
Eddie Walters
Jim Smith
Donna Gray

VIII. Staff Membership

Becky Spearman
Title: County Extension Director and Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (910) 862-4591
Email: becky_spearman@ncsu.edu

Elizabeth Blanks
Title: 4-H Life Skills Program Coordinator
Phone: (910) 862-4591
Email: elizabeth_blanks@ncsu.edu

Nelson Brownlee
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Farm Management
Phone: (910) 671-3276
Email: nelson_brownlee@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Small Farmers, Recordkeeping, Financial Management, Alternative Crops and Enterprises, Beekeeping

Drew
Phone:
Email: bydrew@ncsu.edu

Mike Frinsko
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 448-9621
Email: mike_frinsko@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide technical training and assistance to commercial aquaculture producers in the Southeast Extension District

Joel Fulton
Title: County No Pay
Phone: (910) 862-4591
Email: jfulton@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.

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

Stacie Kinlaw
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 862-4591
Email: stacie_kinlaw@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

LaToya Lucy
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (910) 862-4591
Email: latoya_lucy@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Assistant to CED,Agriculture (Livestock) Support, Bladen Extension Computer Contact, Leave Administrator

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.

Bruce McLean
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops and Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (910) 862-4591
Email: bruce_mclean@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Field Crop and Commercial Horticulture (Fruits and Vegetables)

Nancy Olsen
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Home Horticulture, Master Gardeners
Phone: (910) 862-4591
Email: nrolsen@ncsu.edu

Sharon Parrish
Title: County Extension Support Specialist, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (910) 862-4591
Email: sharon_g_parrish@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Part-time employee

Diana Rashash
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Water Quality/Waste Management
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: diana_rashash@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Water and wastewater issues of all types: stormwater, aquatic weed ID & control, water quality & quantity, septic systems, animal waste, land application of wastewater, environment & sustainability, climate, etc.

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

Wesley Stallings
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture- Grain Crops
Phone: (910) 455-5873
Email: wcstalli@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Agriculture-Grain Crops

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.

IX. Contact Information

Bladen County Center
450 Smith Cir
Elizabethtown, NC 28337

Phone: (910) 862-4591
Fax: (910) 862-6939
URL: http://bladen.ces.ncsu.edu