2018 Yadkin County Plan of Work

Approved: February 2, 2018

I. County Background

Yadkin County is a predominantly rural county located in the northwestern Piedmont of North Carolina that covers a land area of approximately 335 square miles. According to the 2010 Census, the county population is 38,406 with a growth rate of one-half percent annually, a trend that has continued for a number of years. The county population breakdown by race is 88.5 percent white, 10 percent Hispanic or Latino origin, 3.5 percent African American, and less than one percent Asian, American Indian and native Hawaiian.

According to the 2010-2014 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of the county population living below the poverty level is 19.4 percent, compared to 17.6 percent in the state. The median household income is $38,652, and the unemployment rate is 5.1 percent, compared to $46,693 and 6.6 percent for North Carolina.

Approximately 55 percent of the Yadkin workforce work outside of the county. The agricultural industry in Yadkin County is the top employer, followed by educational services, including health care and social assistance, and manufacturing. In recent years, there has been a slight rebound of the manufacturing industry decreasing the unemployment rate and increasing the tax base. The citizens and county government continue efforts to attract new industry and business. Highlights include a land use plan, countywide zoning and water systems, rapid growth of the wine grape industry within the county, implementation of a voluntary agricultural district program, and the addition of two middle schools. A cultural art center opened in 2010 and was followed by the opening of a theater in late 2012, offering a new attraction for residents and tourists. Yadkin Memorial Park and Lake Hampton, a new reservoir and recreation area opened in late 2014, and the new Yadkin County Agricultural and Education Center opened in 2016.

Agriculture remains the dominant industry in the county, with gross sales of agricultural products just under $125 million annually, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture. Although the number of farms continues to decrease like much of North Carolina, agricultural sales and productivity continue to increase. Yadkin County ranks in the top 10 of all North Carolina counties for production of hay, beef cattle, dairy cattle, milk, and layers, and approximately half of the county’s land area is in farms. The county also ranks fifth in grape production in the state supporting the wine and tourism industries.

The county extension staff and advisory groups conducted an environmental scan in 2007, using a combination of committee meetings, media scans and individual interviews. The scan reaffirmed and supported the educational role Extension plays in assisting county government, individual county citizens and other county entities in addressing issues of importance to this county. Needs assessments have continued since 2007 utilizing advisory groups, evaluations, surveys and interviews. Through the results of county environmental scanning and needs assessments, the following priority issues have been identified: Health and Wellness, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Economic Development, Youth Development and Community Development.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Yadkin County Center, will continue to provide educational programming to empower people and provide solutions. Extension provides practical education to help people, businesses and communities solve problems; develop skills and build a better future. In 2018, Yadkin County programs will address the following statewide objectives: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity, and Chronic Disease Risk Reduction; School to Career; Profitable and Sustainable Animal Production Systems; Profitable and Sustainable Plant Production Systems; Local Food Systems; Volunteer Readiness; Leadership Development; Natural Resources Conservation and Environmental Sustainability; Safety and Security of Our Food and Farm Systems and Urban and Consumer Agriculture.

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.

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.

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.

Individuals and groups will acquire leadership and decision making capacities needed to guide and actively participate in local and state organizations.

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

Futures that Work: School to Career Pathways

North Carolinians will make decisions and adopt practices that implement effective resource protection and conservation.

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

At the present time Yadkin County does not have a strategic plan. Cooperative Extension works with county government during times of emergencies or natural disasters. An Extension representative serves on the Yadkin County local emergency planning committee. Cooperative Extension will work with emergency management to provide individuals, businesses and communities knowledge and recommended practices to improve preparedness for disasters and emergencies and to increase safety in the home and work environment.

The County Manager and a County Commissioner hold a seat on the Extension Advisory Leadership Council. The county adopted the Yadkin County Farm Preservation Ordinance in 2003, which included the creation of a Voluntary Agricultural District (VAD) program and a Yadkin County Agricultural Advisory Board (YAAB) to oversee the program. This ordinance was revised to meet current statutes, and the Yadkin County Voluntary Agricultural District Ordinance was adopted in 2013. The County Extension Director serves as liaison to the YAAB and provides support for the VAD program. A countywide Farmland Protection Plan was adopted in 2015.

Cooperative Extension is responsible for solid waste education in the county as outlined in the Ten Year Yadkin County Solid Waste Plan adopted in 2012. Cooperative Extension is also leading a new beautification program for the county after the Board of Commissioners adopted a resolution in 2013 to increase awareness and public education for a cleaner environment.

IV. Diversity Plan

NC State University and N.C. A&T State University are collectively committed to positive action to secure equal opportunity and prohibit discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status. NC State, N.C. A&T, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating. N.C Cooperative Extension, Yadkin County Center, will make all reasonable efforts to comply with affirmative action policies and to promote inclusiveness of all citizens. Extension programs strive to be available to and encourage all citizens to take advantage of Extension programs and resources.

Yadkin County Cooperative Extension participates in Extension Today, a regular radio program on WIFM. Other mass media methods, such as the newspaper, internet, and the Yadkin Valley Living magazine, are utilized to reach out to underserved audiences and new clients. Extension participates in community outreach events, fairs, and festivals; serves on local committees and boards; and collaborates with other local agencies to expand outreach efforts and target new audiences. The Extension Advisory Leadership Council and program advisory committees also tie and keep Extension connected to the people and makeup of the county.

Yadkin County 4-H works with the Hispanic and Latino community, which make up 10% of the county population, through the Juntos Program. The Juntos Program provides Latino parents and youth with knowledge and resources to prevent 8-12th grade students from dropping out and to encourage families to work together to gain access to college. Yadkin County 4-H has worked with our local schools for seven years to serve 150 at risk Latino youth and their families in Yadkin County.

V. Primary Delivery and Evaluation Methods

Delivering timely, relevant educational programs that meet critical local needs is the cornerstone of the Cooperative Extension mission. Extension educational programs are designed to equip the citizens of Yadkin 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 Yadkin 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, tests 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 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 Yadkin 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 Yadkin 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 dialoging 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

Advisory Leadership Council
Lenuel Chamberlain
Tim Doub
Debbie Gough
Wendy Hayden
Michael Helton
Gilbert Hemric
Lisa Hughes
Brent Hunter
Sandra Kieffer
Donna Love
Ruth Matthews
Tommy Shore
Walter Smith
Justin Somers
Bobby Todd
Jason Walker
Sam Williams
Agricultural Advisory Board
Jesse Brown
Marty Casstevens
Jeff Doub
Van Hemric
Brent Hunter
Bobby Matthews
Greg Moxley
Reggie Pilcher
Walter Smith
Justin Somers
4-H Advisory Committee
Debbie Gough
Madaline Jones
Ruth Matthews
Jennie Rucker
Ashley Wilbanks
Tammy Whitaker
FCS Advisory Committee
Rhonda Beavers
Ellen Cheek
Wendy Hayden
Janice Holbrook
Donna Love
Yolanda Saffo
Brenda Vasquez
4-H County Council
Abigail Barron
Andrew Blevins
Ashley Collins
Jenna Colvin
Conner Cummings
Grayce Dorn
Grace Gilyard
Christy Rucker
Leah Thomas
Yadkin-Davie 4-H Livestock Association Officers
Bud Martin
Jennie Rucker
Tommy Shore
Judy Wilson
Farmers Market Board
Kathy Baity
Glenda Edgell
Everette Hartzog
Martha Holden
Shannon Holden
Brent Hunter
Melissa Manning
Aileen Steelman

VII. Staff Membership

Bryan Cave
Title: County Extension Director
Phone: (336) 401-8025
Email: bryan_cave@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Administration, Livestock, Forages

Brent Buchanan
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Dairy
Phone: (315) 212-1277
Email: babuchan@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Dairy Extension Programming in Western North Carolina Counties of Haywood, Madison, Buncombe, Transylvania, Henderson, Yancey, McDowell, Polk, Rutherford, Mitchell, Avery, Burke, Cleveland, Watauga, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Gaston, Ashe, Wilkes, Alexander, Iredell, Alleghany, Surry, Yadkin, and Davie.

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

Tim Hambrick
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture
Phone: (336) 703-2857
Email: tim_hambrick@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Area Field Crop Agent for Forsyth, Stokes, and Surry, and Yadkin counties. Responsibilities include educational programming and research in flue cured tobacco, corn, small grain, and soybean production.

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.

Madaline Jones
Title: Extension Agent, 4-H Youth Development
Phone: (336) 849-7908
Email: madaline_jones@ncsu.edu

Pam Jones
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Horticulture
Phone: (336) 753-6100
Email: pam_jones@ncsu.edu
Brief Job Description: Responsibilities include: Consumer Horticulture, Master Gardener Coordinator, Pesticide Education Coordinator, Commercial Horticulture.

Stacey Jones
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Commercial Nursery and Greenhouse
Phone: (704) 920-3310
Email: stacey_jones@ncsu.edu

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

Craig Mauney
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Agriculture - Commercial Vegetables & 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.

Rachel McDowell
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Consumer and 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.

Marsha McGraw
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Field Crops
Phone: (336) 753-6100
Email: mlmcgraw@ncsu.edu

Currey Nobles
Title: Area Specialized Agent, Food Safety
Phone: (919) 515-9520
Email: canobles@ncsu.edu

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.

Phil Rucker
Title: Area Agent, Agriculture - Livestock
Phone: (336) 753-6100
Email: phil_rucker@ncsu.edu

Irene Smith
Title: County Extension Administrative Assistant
Phone: (336) 849-7908
Email: irene_smith@ncsu.edu

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

Yadkin County Center
2051 Agricultural Way
Suite 201
Yadkinville, NC 27055

Phone: (336) 849-7908
Fax: (336) 849-7928
URL: http://yadkin.ces.ncsu.edu