What We Do
Sustainable Agriculture, Local and Community Food Systems Program
The Cooperative Extension Program at N.C. A&T State University educates its audiences about how food is produced and consumed in our communities and about the impact of community-based food systems on agriculture and jobs.
Through strong partnerships between N.C. A&T State University, N.C. State University and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) was established in 1994 to develop and promote food and farming systems that protect the environment, strengthen local communities, and provide economic opportunities.
NC 10% Campaign
In 2008, CEFS launched a Farm-to-Fork initiative to build North Carolina’s local food economy. The North Carolina 10% Campaign is one program developed from that initiative. The Campaign is a statewide effort to increase demand for local foods as a means to positively affect the health, economy, environment and food-related jobs of North Carolina’s communities. The Campaign creates demand for local foods by encouraging consumers – individuals, organizations and institutions – to spend at least 10% of their existing food dollars on foods raised, produced and caught in North Carolina. The 10% Campaign has been very successful and, to date, has tracked more than $60 million in local-foods spending across the state, from more than 900 partnering businesses/organizations and 7,000 individuals.
In 2010, at the initiation of the NC 10% Campaign, North Carolina Cooperative Extension designated Extension agents as Local Food Coordinators (LFCs) in each of the state’s 100 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to work with the Campaign and, in 2012, inaugurated local foods as an Extension flagship program. The Campaign works closely with and develops outreach, promotion and educational programming for LFC Extension agents, enabling the Campaign to have community-based effectiveness across the state.
The goal of the Campaign is to support the state’s local economies by keeping 10% of the estimated $35 billion – $3.5 billion – spent on food in North Carolina.
To sign-up for the NC 10% Campaign go to www.nc10percent.com
Community Food Systems Endowment
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has funded an endowment in the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T State University to involve the university in supporting local food systems. The former endowed chair, Dr. John O’Sullivan, developed programming to link students with where their food comes from, created courses related to sustainable agriculture (link here: http://www.ncat.edu/academics/schools-colleges1/saes/academics/nred/BS_urban_comm_hort.html) and local foods, and supported Extension and outreach efforts in this area.
- Increase sustainable production and consumption of safe, healthy local foods
- Increase local community economies by supporting local food businesses
- Promote food equality
Visit model comprehensive community-based food systems initiatives in every region of North Carolina (mountain, piedmont, and coastal plain regions); http://www.cefs.ncsu.edu/
N.C. A&T State University, Cooperative Extension Coordinator for the NC 10% Campaign