Small Farmers gather on the ncat farm

N.C. A&T to Break Ground on Farm Pavilion, July 11

GREENSBORO, N.C. (June 28, 2018) – The College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at N.C. A&T will hold a groundbreaking at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 11, for a $5 million pavilion at the University Farm, 3136 McConnell Road in Greensboro.

The CAES Extension and Farm Pavilion will expand the farm’s capacity for education, research and outreach. Funded by USDA’s National Institute for Food and Agriculture, the 17,000-square-foot structure will include an auditorium, laboratories, a demonstration kitchen, a 50-person classroom and a 400-person conference room.

“The University Farm is ready for its renaissance with the start of the pavilion,’’ says Dr. Shirley Hymon-Parker, interim dean of the CAES. “We’ve never been dormant, but breaking ground for our new pavilion is the first phase of a four-part building boom taking place at the farm. This growth will help us fulfill our mission to achieve excellence in the food, agricultural, family and environmental sciences.”

USDA-NIFA will provide financial support for three additional projects in the next four years. The subsequent projects are an amphitheater, student and community gardens, and a community and urban food complex with a dairy, research labs, classrooms and a small business incubator.

The 492-acre farm is the largest classroom on campus, a laboratory for agricultural research and a showcase of the latest farming resources and technology.

Continued development at the University Farm is in keeping with strategic goals of the university and the CAES to promote excellence in research, strengthen community engagement and outreach, and foster entrepreneurial success. The expansion also portends economic and development benefits for the East Greensboro corridor where it is located.

One of the farm’s greatest advocates is its superintendent, Leon Moses, who started working at the farm when he was an undergraduate.

“After spending 42 years of my life on this farm, I have seen it evolve,” Moses says. “It is an illustrious modern and model farm on a state and national level. My motto is ‘excellence is an effort and not an accident,’ so I firmly believe that the efforts to bring these new facilities to the farm have placed us on a sure path of excellence in agriculture.”