2018 Wilson County Plan of Work

Approved: February 19, 2018

I. County Background

Wilson County is located in the Coastal Plain Region of North Carolina and covers an area of 373 square miles. It has seven incorporated towns, with the City of Wilson being the largest (Population 49,628). The current population of the entire county is 81,667. The county's racial profile is approximately 47% white, 40% African-American, 10% Hispanic/Latino (Hispanics are included in applicable race categories) and 1.9% other.

Seventy-six percent or 25,704 working Wilson County residents worked inside of Wilson County. Twenty-four percent or 8,201 residents work within North Carolina, but outside Wilson County. Only 0.3% percent or 113 residents work outside of North Carolina. The unemployment rate reported in September of 2017 was 6.3% which was higher than the state unemployment rate of 4.1 percent, however it was down from the annual 2016 Wilson County rate of 8.1%. Wilson County is designated as a Tier 2 county and has remained in the Tier 2 classification since 2016.

Agriculture and agribusiness provided jobs for 11.2 percent of Wilson County's working residents according to a study completed by Dr. Mike Walden in 2015. Wilson County agriculture is critical to the economic viability of the rural communities in the county. Wilson County is a leader statewide in the production of a number of crops.

Agriculture continues to provide a major economic impact to the county with farm income estimates of over $144 million dollars in 2017. Tobacco production remains the mainstay of most farming operations in the county and generated over $49 million in gross farm income, more than any other commodity in Wilson County. In 2017, there were 9,800 acres of flue-cured tobacco in Wilson County. In addition to tobacco production, Wilson County has a long and rich history of selling tobacco and continues to be a hub of leaf sales. Completing the 127th season, the Wilson Tobacco Market is still the "World's Greatest Tobacco Market." Multiple leaf dealers and brokers purchased an estimated 120 million pounds of tobacco in 2016 with a gross value of over $258 million.

Nursery and greenhouse production added over $32 million to farm income in 2017. Wilson County has the largest container nursery in the state. Consumer horticulture thrives in Wilson County through the Wilson Botanical Gardens (WBG). The WBG is a 11 acre public garden and a 1 acre Children's Secret Garden has been installed. The WBG is maintained entirely by the Wilson County Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.

Sweet potato production generated sales of over 20 million in 2017. Agriculture producers continue to diversify into the production of vegetables and other specialty crops. This production has increased dramatically over the past five years and this trend is expected to continue. In May of 2008, a farmers market opened to offer local producers another marketing opportunity. In 2011 the Farmers Market added an additional location and increased the hours of operation. Wilson County, in conjunction with Cooperative Extension, applied for and received a Gold Leaf Grant to construct a new Farmers Market building, that new facility was completed in 2013. The City of Wilson also received a grant from the NC Tobacco Trust Fund to build a farmers market shelter at the new Whirligig Park.

While agriculture continues to play a vital role in the county, Wilson County does have four companies that employ over 1000 employees. They are Bridgestone/Firestone, BB&T, Wilson Medical Center, Wilson County Schools, and Alliance One International. In addition, two companies, S. T. Wooten Construction, Inc. and Smithfield Packing Company, Inc. employ between 500-999 people. Wilson County is touted as the largest industrial manufacturing county east of I-95 and within the top 10 counties statewide. Wilson County also grows industry well. WalletHub, a personal-finance website, reported that Wilson was ranked among the top 10 best small cities in which to start a business.

The Wilson County School System serves 12,105 students. There are three high schools, six middle schools, and 13 elementary schools. In addition to its public schools, the County is also home to Greenfield School, Wilson Christian Academy, and Community Christian School. The Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, a public residential school for deaf children from kindergarten through grade 12, is also located in Wilson.

Families and young people in the county face many challenges. In addition to having a high unemployment rate, Wilson County has an extremely high number of adolescent pregnancies and ranks high in the state for sexually transmitted diseases.

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.

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. Relationship to County Government Objectives

Wilson County is dedicated to providing quality services to its residents in the most cost effective manner possible. The Cooperative Extension Service is an integral and valuable component in Wilson County government’s efforts to accomplish this goal. Wilson County is still very much an agricultural county with many of its residents relying on the income from crops, livestock, and horticulture and nursery products. The agricultural agents provide an extremely valuable service to these families and their employees by keeping them fully informed of the latest trends in best practices as well as the most up to date research in all areas of agriculture. Wilson County also has a diverse population who rely on the consumer and family science programs provided by the Cooperative Extension Service. Families and individuals benefit from the advice, information, and involvement that these agents provide for day cares, health providers, community institutions, and other agencies involved in improving the quality of life in Wilson County. The Wilson County 4-H program must be one of the best programs in the state. The young people who participate in this program consistently excel in state competitions in every aspect of 4-H programs. There are a large number of youth involved in the county already. The Service continually improves its efforts to diversify its clientele and to involve even more young people. Probably the most important aspect of the Wilson County Cooperative Extension Service is its efforts to involve more home owners in landscaping, beautification, land and water conservation, and drought management. The Service provides advice, information, and research assistance and has the best Master Gardener program in the state. In brief the Cooperative Extension Service is an integral part in providing needed services to the residents of the County. The services provided by Extension can be found nowhere else and are provided cost effectively and efficiently.

IV. Diversity Plan

The Wilson County Extension Service values diversity as a rich attribute that allows our county to fulfill its educational mission in North Carolina within the Extension organization. Diversity is reflected in the core differences of all human beings and is valued among employees, clientele, and educational partners. These differences are the basis for our values, attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that allow us to develop human road maps for the good of our world. We continue to welcome and acknowledge the positive impact related to differences in age, culture, class, ethnicity, gender, physical and mental abilities, races, sexual orientation, political beliefs, marital or family status, spiritual practice, and all dimensions of human diversity.

The Wilson County Extension Service will continue to place emphasis on recruiting, training, and marketing programs and volunteers to spread the word about programs. Reaching a more diverse audience will enhance sustaining the programs and the mission of the organization. Wilson has a significant population influx of Hispanics and therefore programs will be marketed to target this audience and materials will be both in Spanish and English to create a helpful relationship with all Wilson citizens. Wilson County Extension Service has expanded the 4-H staff in an effort to reach limited resource youth.

The Wilson County Extension Service will add a Farm Worker Safety and Health Educator position that will work with farm workers in Wilson, Edgecombe and Nash counties. This will continue to expand our audience to Latino clients.

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 Wilson 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 Wilson 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 Wilson 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 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

Wilson County Advisory Leadership Council
Karen Blume
Wanda Jones
Courtney Sharp
David Harrell
Bucky Robbins
Susan Barnes
Randal Barnes
Dennis Vick
RC Hunt
Pam Dew
Paul Farris
Sherry Lucas
KiKi Barrett
Paula Benson
Bonnie Wood
Dail Turner

Wilson County Ag Advisory Board
Randal Barnes
Dr. Frank Batten
Carroll Coleman
John Glover
William C. Harrell
R. C. Hunt
Augusta Jones
Lynn Pittman
Marion Pridgen, Jr.
John Lloyd Sharp
Linwood Scott, Jr.
Pender Sharp
Tim Shelton
Tommy Shingleton
Jerome Vick
Wilson County Livestock Association - Board of Directors
Dennis Vick, President
Shelton Hinnant, Vice President
Wiley Boyette, Secretary/Treasurer
Scott Sullivan
James Brake
Jimmy Miller
Thad Sharp, IV
David Blalock
Jeff Wingfield
Wilson County Tobacco Advisory Committee
Bill Harrell
Bryant Lancaster
Lin Vick
David Blalock
David Hinnant
Gerald Tyner, Jr.
Adam Gardner
Gary Scott
Ricky Webb
Brooks Barnes
Donnie Boyette
Lynn Pittman
Jason Beamon
Linwood Scott
Thad Sharp IV
Wilson County Young Farmers Association - Officers and Board of Directors
Rob Fulghum, President
Frank Scott, Vice-President
Ron Lamm, Treasurer
Ryan Beamon, Past President
Travis Aycock
Joey Kirby
Tyler Lamm
Daniel Sharp
Mark Batts
Adam Gardner
Rob Glover
Bennett Williford
Andrew Lewis
Wyatt Scott
Walker Shelton
Thomas Webb
Wilson County 4-H County Council
Javan Harrell
Charlotte Edwards
Josiah Carpenter
Wilson County 4-H Advisory Committee
Akea Barrett
Pam Gardner
Beth Barnett
Brenda Wind
Randy Jones
Cynthia Smith
Edwina Lucas
Calvin Woodard
Sherry Lucas
Wilson County 4-H Development Fund Board Members
Paul Farris, Chairman
Adam Gardner
Pam Gardner
Sandy Ingram
ECA Officers
Angela Abrams, President
Nancy Lamm
Ann Baker, Treasurer/Secretary
Faye Taylor, Issues Coordinator
Wilson County Forestry Advisory Committee
Billy Lamm
Dwight Batts
Bob Mazur
Colby Lambert
Bucky Robbins
Brandon Webb
Will Tulloss
Dylan Howard
CD Barrett
Wilson County Green Association Board
Janie Thomas
John Koster
Melissa Dudley
Wilson County Master Gardeners - Officers
Judy Buzard
Wanda Jones
Sue Holland
Jerney Minshew
Wilson Farmers Market - Board of Directors
Rejeanor Kiefer, President
Michael Kiefer, Secretary Treasurer
Spencer Davis
Johnathan Edwards
Jerry Coleman
Teddy Lamm
Naida Minniti
Marcia Garcia
Michael Bass
Wilson Botanical Gardens Board
Linda May
Jane Connor
Jane Allman
Larry Daniel

VII. Staff Membership

Norman Harrell
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: norman_harrell@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Tobacco, corn, soybeans, grain sorghum and wheat

Jessica Anderson
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: jessica_a_anderson@ncsu.edu

Tommy Batts
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Horticulture
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: tmbatts@ncsu.edu

Pam Beaman
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant, Agriculture
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: pdbeaman@ncsu.edu

Daniel Campeau
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Poultry
Phone: (919) 542-8202
Email: dan_campeau@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Work mainly with Commercial Poultry industry. I also work with small scale poultry production. Service area is now the North Central District from Guilford to Halifax with the southern edge being Chatham and Wake county respectively.

Kenyatta Dixon
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: kenyatta_lanier@ncsu.edu

Erin Eure
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Fruits & 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.

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

Joy Harrell
Title: 4-H Program Assistant, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: joy_harrell@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.

Cassidy Hobbs
Title: Area Extension Agent
Phone: (919) 989-5380
Email: cdhobbs3@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: My goal is to educate consumers how to better their health through food-based programs. I encourage healthy lifestyles through nutrition education programs and food preservation. I serve as a resource to community members who want to live healthy on a budget while working with markets, food pantries, and community partners.

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

Cyndi Lauderdale
Title: Extension Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Ornamental and Consumer Horticulture
Phone: (252) 237-0113
Email: cynthia_lauderdale@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Commercial Ornamental and Consumer Horticulture

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

Jessica Manning
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: jessica_manning@ncsu.edu

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.

Roberto Rosales
Title: Farm Workers Health and Safety Educator - Farm Safety
Phone: (252) 237-0111
Email: rmrosale@ncsu.edu

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

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.

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.

VIII. Contact Information

Wilson County Center
1806 SW Goldsboro St
Wilson, NC 27893

Phone: (252) 237-0111
Fax: (252) 237-0114
URL: http://wilson.ces.ncsu.edu