Joint A&T-NCSU sustainable local food initiative named a finalist for national engagement award

May 21, 2012

North Carolina A&T and N.C. State University have been named finalists for a national community engagement award thanks to a joint project of the universities’ Center for Environmental Farming Systems.

The C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award is presented annually by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. A&T and N.C. State were both nominated for “Building a Sustainable Local Food Economy in North Carolina through Partnership and Engagement.” The two universities and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences, through the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), entered a brewing crisis between agricultural and environmental groups and found positive ways to tackle emerging environmental issues. The program led to the creation of NC Choices, which promotes the advancement of local, niche and pasture-based meat supply chains.  The overall program is jointly headed by Dr. John O’Sullivan, farm management specialist with the N.C. A&T Cooperative Extension Service, and Nancy Creamer, professor of horticultural sciences at N.C. State University.

CEFS was created in 1994 by A&T, N.C. State University, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at the Cherry Farm facility near Goldsboro.  The center works with state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, farmers, and residents to provide agricultural research, extension, and education.

As finalists, each institution will receive a cash prize of $6,000 as regional award winners and move on to compete for the national award during the National Outreach Scholarship Conference at the University of Alabama Sept. 30 through Oct 2.  The national winner will be announced at the APLU Annual Meeting, Nov. 11-13, in Denver, Colorado.