December 2011
Final CEFS CC Banner
In This Issue
CEFS Field Day 2012
10% Campaign Tracks $12 Million in Local Foods
2012 SOSA Workshops
Incubator Farm Project
CEFS Internships and Apprenticeships

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CEFS Field Day Scheduled for May 3rd, 2012


CEFS is excited to announce that it will host an official field day at its 2000-acre research farm in Goldsboro on May 3rd, 2012. The event, which is open to the public, will feature presentations of key research work in the various units, equipment demonstrations, and tours of the farm and community sites in Goldsboro. For more information, please visit the CEFS website

10% Campaign Tracks $12 Million in Local Foods


The NC 10% Campaign, which invites individuals, businesses, and institutions to commit 10% of their existing food dollars to local foods, has tracked over $12 million in sales of local foods since July 2010!




The Campaign's website now includes nearly 500 business and 4500 individuals. Learn more and join the campaign at


2012 Seasons of Sustainable Agriculture (SOSA) Workshops


Shiitake Mushroom Production workshop
2011 Shiitake Mushroom Production workshop


The 2012 SOSA workshop series is coming together and has many exciting offerings for the new year!   Registration is now open for January workshops on Beekeeping and Social Media for Farmers.


See the SOSA 2012 calendar for more details and to register.  



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Message from the Directors


On Thursday December 15th, we had a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the collaboration of all the folks involved in CEFS.  Local steaks were on the grill; salads, coleslaw, vegetables, and casseroles were on the table; and a big tub of Wolfpack ice cream showed up and was set alongside the pecan pies, cheesecakes, and cookies. A delicious feast shared by the many people who make CEFS' important work possible: university faculty and NCDA&CS staff, folks working on the various programs and projects across the state, students, and our winter apprentice.


There is so much to be thankful for in terms of all the great work going on in research, in community engagement and in the growth of the local food movement in North Carolina. We thank all of our partners for the great work this past year. The New Year will bring new partnerships and projects; new challenges along with new opportunities. We have much to celebrate!


Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for the New Year,


John O'Sullivan Signature

Dr. John O'Sullivan

CEFS Director, NCA&TSU

Dr. Nancy Creamer

CEFS Director, NCSU

New Farmer Logo

CEFS Launches Incubator Farm Project

Access to land has been identified as one of the top challenges facing new farmers in North Carolina. The Center for Environmental Farming Systems' new Incubator Farm Project will work with communities to address this need by repurposing public land into places that incubate new farmers. These new farmers get access to land, in exchange for "rent" in the form of fresh farm products or other services donated to communities in need -- a win-win-win opportunity for everyone involved.


The project also makes support for beginning farmers an integral part of CEFS' 10% Campaign, an initiative that invites consumers, businesses, institutions, and agencies to commit 10 percent of their existing food dollars to local foods.  We can't have local food without local farmers! The long-term success of North Carolina's local food movement is dependent upon an influx of new and transitioning farmers.


CEFS will partner with up to five communities across the state over the next two years to plan and implement incubator farms on vacant urban, rural or peri-urban public land. Applications have been received and communities will be selected for participation in early 2012.


For more information please see the Bringing New Farmers to the Table website (


The Incubator Farm Project is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture.



SWARM (Students Working for an Agricultural Revolutionary Movement)


SWARM, the youth leadership program that emerged from the Wayne Food Initiative, has been doing some amazing work on the ground in Wayne County! The group recently received a $30,000 grant from the Funders Collaborative on Youth Organizing (FCYO) to build on their work in combating root causes of childhood obesity. SWARM was the only rural, Southern, youth-of-color-led group to be funded.


SWARMers Kebreeya, Bathsheba, JP, Akira, and Jonathan (left to right) at the Rooted in Community Conference, 2011

SWARM is currently engaged in building a campaign around healthy school lunch. The goal of the campaign is to increase access to healthy, fresh foods in Wayne County school cafeterias and to build support and capacity within the schools around this issue.


The campaign was initiated in December 2010 and is led by SWARM youth. Kebreeya Lewis, one of the SWARM leaders, developed a survey that the SWARM youth distributed to their fellow students to gauge how they feel about their school lunch. The SWARMers participated in a campaign development workshop utilizing tools of other southern rooted organizations to develop campaign criteria. They not only looked at school lunch as a root cause of childhood obesity, but also delved into other social disparities like poverty and structural racism that serve as barriers to access and opportunity for many poor youth and youth of color. SWARM youth took the lead in bringing their concerns to the School Nutrition Director and other school leadership. As a result of SWARM's hard work and collective action, the Wayne School of Engineering piloted a salad bar at the beginning of the school year!

 SWARM logo

SWARM will work over the next several months to expand their salad bar campaign. SWARMer Kebreeya Lewis, who will be featured in the HBO documentary Weight of the Nation, was selected as a national Real Food Challenge award finalist for her work and leadership with SWARM's school lunch campaign.


Find SWARM on Facebook for more information.

CEFS and 4-H Host FoodCorps in NC

 food corps



 From Tes Thraves, CEFS' Youth and Community-Based Food Systems Coordinator, and FoodCorps Co-Coordinator: 


Our six North Carolina Service Members have been on the ground with their community organizations for several months now.  We have impact numbers of square feet and numbers of activities and such, but I'm still more struck with what things are starting than what we've already accomplished.

Our monthly check-in with our service site partners, with whom our service members are placed, were so glowing, so grateful, so excited about the beginnings: new gardens, new volunteers, new partnerships with chefs and farmers both, new collectives of people who want to jump in and help, new conversations, new ideas of what is possible. 


Our most recent check-in with our service members themselves was driven and full of challenges and urgency, a passion for the kids they work with, stories of going to kids' homes to meet the families, or light bulb moments with children, of the eagerness of teachers . . .   


NC FoodCorps Service Members at the Carolina Farm Stewardship Conference
NC FoodCorps Service Members Leah Klaproth, Allison Marshall (in tree); Celeste Frisbee, Chesapeake First, Sebastian Naskaris, and Sara Quinn (on ground, left to right).

These differences make sense: one perspective from the organizations that have been and will be on the ground working in their own communities, experiencing new help, new energy; and another perspective from new people who are ever aware of the short time they will be here, or wanting to make the help they offer last through structural change, of seeing the profound need right up against the progress communities have already made and the possibilities for more those same communities see and want.


I am awed and honored to be part of this.  I believe in FoodCorps with all of my being.  I see possibilities that are years down the road, and things we can do tomorrow to make things work better.  So much work to do . . .  And thankful for having six folks on the ground helping us envision, imagine, and do it! So here we go!!!!

For more, check out the NC FoodCorps blog at

CEFS Educational Opportunities

CEFS interns learning how to make biodiesel
CEFS interns learning how to make biodiesel


Want to get your hands dirty and learn about sustainable agriculture and local foods systems from CEFS' expert faculty and staff?  Apply for the CEFS Summer  Internship or Apprenticeship programs. 


The internship is an 8-week summer program (June 4 - July 27, 2012) for undergraduate students that combines topical subject matter with real-world, hands-on agricultural experience and problem solving through various field trips to farms, markets and community sites.  The apprenticeship is a season-long (February to October) work-study program that offers the opportunity to participate in every aspect of running a sustainable small farm.  Both programs address social aspects of sustainable agriculture and feature weekly activities with gardeners, farmers, youth, civic organizations, and activists working to rebuild the local food system in Wayne County. 

Apply for the internship here, and for the apprenticeship here. 

Mission & History of CEFS

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems develops and promotes food and farming systems that protect the environment, strengthen local communities, and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond.

North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University established the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture at the Cherry Farm facility near Goldsboro, NC in 1994. These partners work closely with state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations (for example, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Rural Advancement Foundation International, Farm Bureau), farmers, and citizens to provide agricultural research, extension, and education for our state. The development of CEFS is a national model for partnership, innovation, and interdisciplinary cooperation.

To learn more about CEFS, Please visit:

Center for Environmental Farming Systems
Box 7609 - NCSU
Raleigh, NC 27695