New Extension faces for 2016

By: By Eileen Coite - Contributing columnist

As the new year rolls in, we hope you will take time to meet one or more of our new additions to Cooperative Extension. Four new staff members have come on board over the last few months. Let me take a moment to introduce you to our most recent additions to the team.

4-H program assistant, Elizabeth Rowe, came on board in November. Elizabeth is a Wayne County native and has known 4-H for most of her life. Her passion is learning and teaching through animal science projects, particularly with goats and horses, but any livestock will do. Elizabeth’s leadership, public speaking, and presentation skills blossomed throughout her 4-H years and refined during her college years. She is a graduate of the University of Mount Olive with a BS in Agriculture. Elizabeth will bring strength and refinement to compliment our well established, existing 4-H program.

Margaret Ross also joined our Extension team in November. Margaret is our new area specialized poultry agent. She most recently served as livestock agent in Craven & Jones Counties, with a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Animal Science. Margaret is based out of Jones County, but she will travel and support all counties east of Interstate 95. Being the number one county in turkey production, as well as a leader in the chicken industry, she will definitely be spending time in Sampson County.

Sydney Johnson has recently become our Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, and will be serving both Sampson and Duplin Counties. She joined our team in December. While a student at UNC-Wilmington , Sydney was instrumental in bringing fresh produce to underserved audiences in the Wilmington area, by introducing them to community gardens. Sydney is looking forward to helping citizens of Sampson County to develop healthier diets and more active lifestyles.

Finally, we are excited to introduce Brad Hardison. Brad joined our team in January as our Horticulture Agent. Brad is a native of Sampson County, who most recently worked at the NCDA Cherry Research Farm in Goldsboro. Brad is a well-rounded addition to our staff, with a broad agricultural background in livestock, field crops, and of course, horticulture. He is looking forward to working with gardeners, homeowners, and plant industry professionals across Sampson County.

Please join me in welcoming Elizabeth, Margaret, Sydney, and Brad to our Extension team this year. To reach any of them, call the Sampson County Extension Center at 910-592-7161 or visit our website at

Eileen Coite is the county extension director for the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center.

By Eileen Coite

Contributing columnist

Eileen Coite Coite

Eileen Coite is the county extension director for the Sampson County Cooperative Extension Center.