2019 Washington County Program Impact Report

Approved: January 16, 2020

I. Executive Summary

Washington County Cooperative Extension continues to offer a solid, needs-based program focused on improving the lives, land, and economy of Washington County. In 2019, our staff delivered educational programs and provided face-to-face education and assistance to over 991 citizens. Here is a breakdown of our efforts.

Direct Contacts (Face to Face) = 3,160
Digital Media = 38,946
Non Face to Face Contacts = 1,872
Grants = $36,427
Other Financial Benefits to the Citizens (SHIIP) = $265,000
Volunteers = 39
Volunteer Hours = 375
Dollar Value of Volunteers = $9,536
Total Participants = 991
Total Hours of Educational Workshops = 309

From Camp to College - A 4-H Journey

According to a 2015 report from the National Foster Youth Institute, half of the youth raised in foster care do not finish high school. Without stable homes and a sound support system, many foster youth struggle to keep up with their peers. The rising number of youth in the foster system statewide and youth being raised by grandparents and relatives creates a crucial need for safe, stable environments as provided through 4-H programs. One young lady in Washington County began her 4-H journey via a referral from the Department of Social Services and through NC Cooperative Extension involvement bettered herself, made a lasting impact on the 4-H Program, and rose above statistics.

Due to the high number of youth raised by non-parents and in foster care, the Washington County 4-H Program, in partnership with the local Department of Social Services, receives referrals when program scholarships are available. Keymiya Norman was referred to the Washington County 4-H Program as a prospective youth to attend our annual Northeast District 4-H Science Camp in 2013. Miss Norman attended the aforementioned camp, along with subsequent 4-H programs through local scholarships. Although reserved and withdrawn in the beginning, encouragement, and support from the Washington County 4-H Program through the years created a lasting impression. She attended 4-H Summer Camp, District Teen Retreats, participated in 4-H Presentations competing at the State Level, 4-H State Congress, 4-H Citizenship Focus, and NCACC Youth Voice. On the local level, Miss Norman became a cornerstone of the 4-H Program serving on 4-H County Council and assisting with a variety of projects.

The impacts of 4-H on Miss Norman did not stop with just her. These impacts could be noted in her family, as well as her 4-H family. When asked during her 4-H AIRE Program Interview why she enjoyed 4-H, Miss Norman responded that through 4-H she gained enough confidence to approach people without fear of rejection. From a shy, unsure youth to a competent, confident 4-H advocate, Miss Norman welcomed the opportunities provided by her 4-H Agents and made the most of her experiences. Although these stories tend to involve large numbers and dollar figures, Miss Norman’s demonstrates the long term effects 4-H and Cooperative Extension Programs have on our youth. Miss Norman graduated from Washington County High School in May 2019 and received several scholarships, including an expense-paid education at North Carolina A&T State University where she is currently enrolled as a Freshman. Washington County 4-H provided Miss Norman a safe and caring environment that allowed her a foundation for success. The life skills and knowledge she gained will not only aid her, but allow her to impact many others throughout her life.

Establishing a Unique Cover Crop

A young grower in Washington County is beginning to farm more land on his own and likes experimenting with different methods of improving his operation than those used by the generation before him. This grower has been having a compaction issue on a particular 40-acre farm and came to Extension with an interest in cover cropping with tillage radishes to alleviate this issue. To the knowledge of Extension and this grower, tillage radishes have never been grown in Washington County. This cover crop can be particularly useful in no-till operations where their large roots have the ability to penetrate and “break apart” compacted soil, as well as to prevent nutrient leaching. The root acts as a nutrient “sponge”, soaking up nutrients in the soil and releasing them after decomposition.

Washington County Extension reached out to collect information from personnel at the Piedmont Research Station where tillage radish is a commonly used cover crop. Extension also purchased a soil penetrometer to determine where compaction started in the soil and for the ability to measure improvement in compaction after the radishes are terminated.

Using information provided by Washington County Extension, this grower decided to plant the full 40-acre farm in a tillage radish/cereal rye mix. Using the soil penetrometer, the grower discovered he has compaction issues on more farms than just the one he was originally concerned about. The grower claims the 40 acres of radishes is a trial run – if the cost-effective improvement is seen, he plans to use tillage radish as a cover crop on all compacted acres.

Our Growing Medicare Population

Medicare Part D is a voluntary prescription drug benefit for people with Medicare. In 2019, 45 million people are enrolled nationwide. Washington Co. has over 23 different drug programs and 3,399 local Medicare beneficiaries trying to navigate this information and make informed decisions.

Washington County Extension office has worked for the last 10 years to help the citizens of the county navigate Medicare.gov. They have earned a very notable reputation in the county of caring and compassion for all those who need help. The local senior center has also joined as a counseling location in the past few years.

Working in partnership with the Dept. of Insurance and the SHIIP program has brought people to our office who have not been historic users of Extension. Our non-biased, educational approach to help over 250 local citizens navigate these decisions has saved our citizens $205K in drug-related costs this year.

II. County Background

Profile of the County:
Washington County is located in Northeastern North Carolina. It is bordered on the north by the Roanoke River and the Albemarle Sound, the largest fresh water sound in America. There are more miles of shoreline within five miles of Plymouth than anywhere else in North Carolina. Washington County land area is 348 square miles, or 222,843 acres. The total land in farms is 91,398 acres, and 72,000 acres of that is harvested cropland.

Agriculture and forestry are two of the major industries in the county. Cash receipts and government payments for the agricultural industry in 2017 totaled over $80 Million. High land rent, low crop prices and monumental rains has affected our producers for over three years now. We have seen our wheat acres decrease by 50% statewide. Drainage continues to be an issue for producers, municipalities, and homeowners. Ongoing discussions with state and federal partners, funding for clearing and snagging and weather disasters continue to bring this issue to the table. Solar farms are now on our landscape and more land is being converted all the time. We have lost 4,800 acres of prime agriculture to this new "crop."

Our county continues to be one of the counties that has negative population growth. Since the last data collection, we have had a -9% change in population. Rural broadband access also plaques this county. Of the 6,000 households in the county, only 56% have access to broadband. In a recent statewide study, Washington County was in the bottom 25% for health factors. These factors included health behavior (tobacco use, diet, exercise, alcohol, drug and sexual activity), access & quality of clinical care, social & economic factors and physical environments.

Data provided by Dept. of Commerce, USDA Food, Environment Atlas & Atlas of Rural and Small Town America.

III. 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.

Value* Outcome Description
5Number of producers who gain skills or knowledge to increase production for local markets.
2Number of producers who improve local food marketing skills or knowledge.
30Number of pesticide applicators receiving continuing education credits
6Number of pesticide credit hours provided
26Number of crop (all plant systems) producers increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, and/or skills as related to: 1. Best management production practices (cultural, nutrient, and genetics) 2. Pest/insect, disease, weed, wildlife management 3. Financial/Farm management tools and practices (business, marketing, government policy, human resources) 4. Alternative agriculture, bioenergy, and value-added enterprises
2Number of Extension initiated and controlled county demonstration test sites
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
0Number of producers (and other members of the local food supply chain) who have increased revenue
248Number of acres in conservation tillage or other Best Management Practice
10Number of crop (all plant systems) producers adopting best management practices, including those practices related to nutrient management, conservation, production, cultivars, pest management (weeds, diseases, insects), business management, and marketing
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our community development programs build strong and thriving communities.

Value* Outcome Description
4Number of participants who developed new jobs skills
3Number of adult participants acquiring the skills needed to serve as a volunteer
20Number of participants acquiring knowledge and skills to convene and lead inclusive groups
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

Our 4-H youth development programs grow the skills young people need to succeed in life and career.

Value* Outcome Description
8Number of teachers trained in 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum
120Number of youth (students) increasing knowledge in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
50Total number of female participants in STEM program
15Number of youth (students) participating in 4-H dropout prevention (student at-risk) programs
8Number of high school age youth (students) participating as members of 4-H clubs
165Number of youth increasing knowledge of life skills
58Number of children/youth who improved knowledge of local food and agricultural systems.
35Number of youth increasing/improving knowledge, attitudes, skills, and/or aspirations regarding leadership
45Number of youth demonstrating increased knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.
Value* Impact Description
8Number of teachers using 4-H STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) curriculum in their classrooms
8Number of youth (students) gaining career / employability skills
165Number of youth using effective life skills
15Number of youth increasing their physical activity
7Number of youth volunteers serving in new or expanded roles within Extension
7Number of youth assuming new/expanded leadership roles in the community
* Note: Values may include numbers from multi-county efforts.

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.

IV. Number of Contacts Made by Extension

Type of ContactNumber
Face-to-face* 3,164
Non face-to-face** 76,826
Total by Extension staff in 2019 79,990
* Face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make directly with individuals through one-on-one visits, meetings, and other activities where staff members work directly with individuals.
** Non face-to-face contacts include contacts that Extension personnel make indirectly with individuals by telephone, email, newsletters, news articles, radio, television, and other means.

V. Designated Grants Received by Extension

Type of GrantAmount
Contracts/Grants $38,602.00
Gifts/Donations $575.00
In-Kind Grants/Donations $0.00
United Way/Foundations $1,000.00
User Fees $0.00
Total $40,177.00

VI. Volunteer Involvement in Extension Programs

Number of Volunteers* Number of Volunteer Hours Known client contacts by volunteers Dollar Value at 25.43
4-H 35 270 198 $ 6,866.00
Other: Agriculture 3 89 0 $ 2,263.00
Other: Community, Family & Individual Development 3 100 210 $ 2,543.00
Total: 41 459 408 $ 11,672.00
* The number of volunteers reflects the overall number of volunteers for multiple events.

VII. Membership of Advisory Leadership System

4-H & Youth
Lois Davis
Deborah Brooks
Gerda Rhodes
Bonita Cuthrell
General James
Joyce Taylor
Stacey Johnson
Sandra Boyd
Livestock Executive Committee
Bonita Cuthrell
Sandra Boyd
Stacey Johnson
John Spruill
Gerda Rhodes
Agricultural Committee
Tim Griffin
Eddie McNair
Justin Allen
Bill Sexton
Doug Maxwell
Steve Barnes
Voluntary Agricultural District
Tim Griffin
Eddie McNair
Dwight Davenport
Bill Sexton
Doug Maxwell
Steve Barnes

VIII. Staff Membership

Rebecca Liverman
Title: County Extension Director, Washington and Interim Co. Extension Director, Dare
Phone: (252) 793-2163
Email: rebecca_liverman@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Rebecca_Liverman@ncsu.edu

Christie Bell
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (252) 793-2163
Email: christie_bell@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administrative Assistant to the Washington County 4-H Agent, Washington County Agricultural Agent and the Washington County FCS Agent/Director.

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.

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits and Vegetables
Phone: (252) 357-1400
Email: erin_eure@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provides educational opportunities and technical support to commercial fruit and vegetable growers, agents, and industry in northeastern NC.

Gene Fox
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (252) 946-0111
Email: gene_fox@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: I work in all areas of home horticulture from vegetables and fruit to ornamentals, houseplants, and lawns. I also work with commercial landscapers in the area to provide their continuing education credits.

Steve Gabel
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Aquaculture
Phone: (252) 482-6585
Email: steve_gabel@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsible for aquaculture educational programs for the NC NE extension district.

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

Danny Lauderdale
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Ornamental 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.

Lori McBryde
Title: Area 4-H Agent, East Region
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: lori_mcbryde@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Provide support the Eastern 34 Counties of the Northeast and Southeast Districts in 4-H Youth Development.

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!

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

Beth Stanley Jackson
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 793-2163
Email: beth_jackson@ncsu.edu

Scott Tilley
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Grain
Phone: (252) 793-4428
Email: scott_tilley@ncsu.edu

Jalynne Waters
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (252) 793-2163
Email: bjwaters@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.

IX. Contact Information

Washington County Center
128 E Water St
Plymouth, NC 27962

Phone: (252) 793-2163
Fax: (252) 793-1562
URL: http://washington.ces.ncsu.edu