N.C. A&T Cuts Ribbon Extension and Research Farm Pavilion

By Lydian Bernhardt / 09/21/2021 Research and Economic Development, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 21, 2021) – “A dream 20 years in the making” was realized today at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s 492-acre farm as local, state and national dignitaries lined up to cut the ribbon and open its Extension and Research Farm Pavilion.

“This is a big moment in the life of our university, because what we do here today, in opening this facility, is symbolic of our role as a land-grant university,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., Ph.D. “The farm has been a critical research and educational asset to the university since its inception in 1904. This is an expansion of that role.”

Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, N.C. Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler and District 1 Councilwoman Sharon Hightower joined Martin; Mohamed Ahmedna, Ph.D., dean of the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences; Andy Perkins, associate vice chancellor for facilities; Leon Moses, farm superintendent; and animal sciences student Tahirah Jones, president of the university’s chapter of the national association Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences (MANRRS), in opening the state-of-the-art Pavilion.

“This Pavilion makes this beautiful farm not only the university’s largest classroom and largest


 laboratory, but also its largest community-engagement space,” Ahmedna said. “As the largest college of agriculture among 1890s universities, we take our commitment to research, teaching and Extension very seriously. This building demonstrates that commitment.”

The $6 million, 17,000 square foot facility will be used to conduct research and deliver educational programming to students, farmers and community members. It includes a 500-seat auditorium, classrooms, labs, a conference room and a kitchen. 

The Pavilion’s opening also marks a major step in a building boom at the farm, Ahmedna said. Additional projects planned for the space include an amphitheater; a community and urban food complex with a dairy, research labs, classrooms; and a small business incubator. Already, the college has opened student and community gardens near the Pavilion as part of the planned expansion.

These projects will be important economic drivers for east Greensboro, said Vaughan.

“N.C. A&T and the city of Greensboro are intertwined,” Vaughan said, “In a city challenged by food insecurity, to be able to have a land-grant institution like A&T right here with the innovations they’re making, are all going to have a major impact on the city.”

Jewel Bronaugh, Ph.D., USDA deputy secretary of agriculture, delivered recorded remarks.

“The college is to be commended on opening this building, which will be so important in helping to deliver programs to stakeholders across the state and the nation,” she said.

Steve Troxler, N.C commissioner of agriculture, thanked the college and the farm's staff for its excellence.

"North Carolina agriculture has a $95.9 billion impact, and I can say that this farm is the best in North Carolina. I ought to know because the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services runs 18 research farms," Troxler said. "When I came and toured the farm recently, I was blown away. I congratulate A&T for its work with small farms and for our work together."

The Pavilion was built with funds from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

“This building is a dream 20 years in the making,” said Leon Moses, the farm’s superintendent of 45 years. “This is a great day for the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, for the farm and for the people of North Carolina.”

Media Contact Information: jmhowse@ncat.edu

All News