2020 Union County Plan of Work

Approved: January 21, 2020

I. County Background

Union County is located in the central, southern of North Carolina. It encompasses 640 square miles or approximately 404,160 acres. Of that acreage, 1,059 farms utilize 201,655 acres for food and fiber production. In North Carolina, it is one of fourteen counties that fall within the Charlotte-Metro area.

For more than twenty years, Union County has been in transition, moving from a traditional rural county to more of a bedroom community of Charlotte. As of 2019, the Union County population is estimated to be 236,290 and apart of the more than 1 million people in the greater Charlotte area. Most of those residents reside in the northern and western areas of the county. The southern and eastern areas have remained primarily rural. Demographically that breakdown is 74% White non-Hispanic, 12% Black, 10% Hispanic, and 4% other.

Agriculture continues to play a significant role in the economy of Union County. Almost 16% of the total workforce and over 15% of the County GDP results from the agricultural sector. Overall cash receipts in all agricultural areas in 2019 were over $496 million for a number 3 ranking in NC. In 2019 Union County ranked number 2 in layer production, number 2 in broiler production and number 4 in turkey production in NC. In fact, Union County is consistently in the top 20 poultry producing counties in the US ranking 11th in turkey production and 18th in broiler production per the latest published Census of Agriculture. In other commodities, the county ranked as follows in North Carolina in 2019: 1st in wheat, 3rd in soybeans, 8th in corn for grains, and 10th in all cattle.

Through the use of environmental scanning and strong client manned advisory committees, Union County Cooperative Extension identified and prioritized key issues. Educational programs are then planned and developed to respond to those issues where appropriate. Local programming falls under several state level objectives. They are as follows:
- Family and Consumer Sciences
-Plant Production Systems
-Animal Production Systems
-Community Development
-4H Youth Development
-Natural Resource and Environmental Systems
-Consumer Horticulture
-Food Safety and Nutrition

Union County Cooperative Extension Agents are providing programs under these objectives in the areas of: livestock production and marketing, crop production, alternative agricultural opportunities, farmers market support, development of local food production and market outlets, urban horticulture, farmland/green-space preservation, food safety, pesticide education, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math education) for youth, civic responsibility, senior wellness, nutrition and healthy lifestyles

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

Union County adopted a comprehensive plan in 2010 entitled “Union County 2025 Comprehensive Plan”. Of the nine goals or key issues identified, Extension is strongly positioned to have an impact within six of them. They are: Promotion of New and Existing Businesses, Preservation of Agriculture and Open Space, Public Facilities (Water Use), Environmental Protection, Future Land Use Plan and Attractive Community Appearance and Image. In fact, Cooperative Extension is actually referenced in three of the policy statements related to the goal of Preservation of Agriculture and Open Space. Also, several areas of focus reported in the Union County Health Assessment are important programming areas for Cooperative Extension.

IV. Diversity Plan

In Union County educational program opportunities are offered to all people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. Efforts are made to make sure that advisory committees are representative of the population in Union County. New partnerships and relationships are continually sought to bring a more representative clientele into Extension programs. All reasonable efforts are implemented in order to ensure adequate notification of potential participants. By forging new relationships with diverse groups, designing programming for the broad spectrum of clientele allows difficult ground to be covered.

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 Union County with the knowledge, skills and tools to improve their economic prosperity, environmental stewardship and quality of life. An Extension program delivery system features a planned and organized mixture 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. 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 Union 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 Union 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

Union County Extension Advisory Council
Anthony Hailey
Ben Rippy
Brian Nance
Carlos Santiago
Derek Phillips
Estelle Coffey
Heidi Medlin
Isabelle Gillespie
Jackie Morgan
Jerry Simpson
Jessica Honeycutt
Jim Chaffin
Karen Carnes
Kathy Price
Lawrence Willis
Martie Smith
Phillip Austin
Rick Pigg
Wanda Stegall
Family and Consumer Sciences Program Committee
Traci Colley
Kathy Deese
Andrew Friend
Julia Mitchell
Jackie Morgan
Kathleen Engart
Nancie Mandeville
Estelle R Coffey
John Hawthorne

4-H Youth Development Program Committee
Roslyn Forrester
Louie Rodriguez
Debbie Iannarelli
Angelia James
Doralisa Pellene
Ida Smith
Katie Ann Dayton
Jim Bention
Anderson Bannister
Beef Cattle Specialized Committee
Farrah Hargett
Chuck Broadaway
Jerry Davis
Jim Traynham
Michael Greene
Jessica Honeycutt
Jim Harley
Greg Little
Kathy Maye
Mike Mills
Chuck Steele
Gene Price
Field Crops Specialized Committee
Greg Hargett
Everette Medlin
Brian Nance
Everette Little
Phil Austin
Logan Watson
Brian Gilliard
Mike Lathan
Ronnie Cook
Gene Alexander

Horticulture Specialized Committee
Sonia McElveen
Michael Luther
Lorraine Houser
Donna Thrasher
Annie Howell
Karen Carnes
Sonia McElveen
Tina Sagartz
Diana Garmon
Tracy Brown
Barb Apelian
Carol Larrimore
Mary Sipe
Ben Rippy
Nicholas Tropeano
Senior Health and Wellness Specialized Committee
Julia Mitchell
Linda Smosky

Poultry Specialized Committee
Ronnie Parker
Todd Moore
Robert Lew
Roddy Purser
Tommy Porter
Bobby McCollum
John McInnis
Tommy Deese
Chris Dewitt
Marcus Norton
Chris Yaklin
Jeff Maness
Anthony Elkins
Derek Phillips
Scott Baucom
Ronnie Parker
Rodney Hopper
Alex Simpson
Mark Huneycutt
Jason Gurley
Cameron Faulkner
Alan Lane
TG Gibson
Shelby Ford
Audrey Bales
Katie Duncan
Faye Varney
Margaret Morrow
Harriet Metrosky
Estelle Coffey
Evelyn Sholar
4-H Dance
Terri Beeson
Judy Cook
Charlie Griffin
Debbie Iannarelli
Don Kerr
Jerry Simpson
Baxter Starnes
Freida Starnes
Clara Wiggins
4-H Fall Festival
Roslyn Forrester
Jessica Honeycutt
Debbie Iannarelli
Angelia James
Amanda Baucom
Heidi Medlin
Kelly Liddington
Crystal Starke
Yaneth Pena
Union County Farm City Committee
Carrie Stroud
Greg Little
Michelle Sarno
Elaine Austin
Kathy Price
Jodie Smith
Ron Cox
Sherry Thomas
Charlie Griffin
Chris Austin
Karen Carnes
Richard Goforth
Kelly Liddington
4-H Foundation Board
Carrie Cameron
Todd Johnson
Charlie Griffin
Debbie Iannarelli
Rick Pigg
Ida Smith
Freida Starnes
Michelle Sarno
Angelia James
Jeff Broadaway
James Bention

Mexican Consulate
Homero Andrade
Gustavo Arevalo
Adela Blandino
Rosana Campos
Amber Goodall
Ashley Lantz
Maria Laury
Helen Leak
Patrica Martinez
Roberto Mendez
Kyla Montes
Kim Wolfe
Jackie Morgan
Thelma Munguia
Doralisa Pellane
Martha Pulgarin
Mary Ann Rasberry
Sonia Ravnitzky
Dora Sanchez
Terry Stralow
Jaime Tejada

4-H Wake Up to Agriculture
Doug Latta
Dale Cochran
Farley Strickland
Mitchell Bryant
Tim Blair
Amanda Price
Ben Shumate
Bethany Vawter
Christina Sanders
Jonathan Deese
Lauren Marzetta
Steven Capobianco
Farmers Market
Jackie Morgan
Scott Howard
Valerie Greene
Susan Sganga
Holly Tartaglia
Jim Davis
Joy Goforth
Rocky River Local Foods
Gary Sikes
Phyllis Walsh
Brian Johnson
Robert Stoveall
Dale Nelson
Gabe Lowder
Joe Stegall
Kent Lowder
Scott Howard
Valerie Greene
Holly Tartaglia
Arely Sanchez
Isabelle Gillespie
Bryan McAllister
Bea Colson
Leigh Ellen Dudley
Nancy Mandeville

VII. Staff Membership

Andrew Baucom
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (704) 283-3738
Email: andrew_baucom@ncsu.edu

Cheri Bennett
Title: Nutrition Educator, Extension Program Assistant
Phone: (704) 283-3737
Email: cheri_bennett@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Nutrition Educator, Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) in Union County. Provides nutrition education to adult participants ages 19 and up.

Jenny Carleo
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain Crops
Phone: (704) 873-0507
Email: jscarleo@ncsu.edu

Candice Christian
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and Retail Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9148
Email: cadescha@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: The overall goal of the Area Specialized Agents (ASAs) in Consumer & Retail Food Safety is to provide North Carolinians with technical food safety information and to support Family and Consumer Sciences agents in delivering timely and evidence-based food safety education and information to stakeholders.

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.

Debbie Dillion
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (540) 270-9553
Email: dddillio@ncsu.edu

Richard Goforth
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (910) 893-7530
Email: richard_goforth@ncsu.edu

Mikayla Graham
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (704) 283-3736
Email: mikayla_graham@ncsu.edu

Kim Griffin
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (704) 283-3742
Email: kim_griffin@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
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

Leah Joyner
Title: 4-H Program Assistant
Phone: (704) 283-3740
Email: lcjoyne2@ncsu.edu

Jessica King
Title: Local Foods Market Coordinator
Phone: (704) 564-2883
Email: Jessica_King@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Coordinate and manage the Union County Farmers Market. Work with local farmers, bakers and artisan crafters to produce and sell goods.

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.)

Marcus McFarland
Title: Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences
Phone: (704) 283-3830
Email: marcus_mcfarland@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Providing support and outreach in regards to food safety, nutrition education, and improving the longevity of lives in the union county community.

Aaron Moore
Title: Area Agent, Small Farms
Phone: (704) 283-3743
Email: jamoore2@ncat.edu

Rachel Owens
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (704) 283-3739
Email: reowens2@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.

Bill Smith
Title: Urban Forester
Phone: (704) 283-3510
Email: bill_l_smith@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 5/3/18. Not on A&T payroll in 2017 lists, so switched status to No.

Crystal Starkes
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (704) 283-3735
Email: crystal_starkes@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: 4-H Youth Development Program

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

Union County Center
3230-D Presson Rd
Monroe, NC 28112

Phone: (704) 283-3801
Fax: (704) 283-3734
URL: http://union.ces.ncsu.edu