September 2013
Final CEFS CC Banner
In This Issue
Board Member Spotlight: Andrea Reusing
Welcome Evan Taylor!
Shorlette Ammons Awarded Food Equity Fellowship
Upcoming Events: Third Annual Carolina Meat Conference
CEFS Co-Director Dr. John M. O'Sullivan Awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine
NC 10% Campaign Surpasses $50 Million Milestone, Becomes National Model
CEFS' Organic Research Unit Hosting Stevia Research Trials
NC Growing Together Project Sponsors Nation's First Local Foods-Focused Business School Supply Chain Fellowships
CEFS' Teisha Wymore Learns about Organic Agriculture and Sustainable Tourism in Cuba

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Board Member Spotlight: Andrea Reusing
Andrea Reusing, chef-owner of acclaimed Chapel Hill restaurant Lantern, has been on the CEFS Board of Advisors since 2006. 
Reusing is the 2011 winner of the James Beard award for Best Chef: Southeast.  She has written for Saveur, Domino, Fine Cooking, and The News & Observer.   Reusing's first book, Cooking in the Moment: A Year of Seasonal Recipes, was named one of 2011's most notable cookbooks by the New York Times.
Reusing is known for her enthusiastic support of local farms and farmers.  Lantern's Asian-inspired menu features many ingredients sourced from North Carolina farms and fisheries. 
Says Reusing, "It has been an honor to serve on the CEFS board and be able to experience firsthand the talent and vision of the CEFS team as their work and partnerships help strengthen and transform our local food economy."
Lantern was named one of "America's Top 50 Restaurants" and "best farm-to-table restaurants" by Gourmet Magazine, as one of "America's 50 Most Amazing Wine Experiences" by Food & Wine and as "Restaurant of the Year" in 2009 by The News & Observer.
For more information about Lantern Restaurant, visit their website.

Welcome Evan Taylor!



Evan Taylor has joined the CEFS team as a research specialist at CEFS' 2000-acre research facility in Goldsboro.  Evan brings years of experience at NCDA research stations including the Caswell Research Farm and the Cunningham Research Station, both in Kinston.  From 2009-2012 Evan was the Organic Research Specialist for the Kinston stations.  At CEFS, Evan will work on research projects in both the Farming Systems Research Unit and the Small Farm Unit.  He will also assist with CEFS' apprenticeship, internship, and community-based programs in Goldsboro.


Says Evan, "my main areas of focus over the last several years have been grain production and cover crop production, especially in organic cropping systems.  I am also very interested in stevia.  I have worked with it for the last two years and find it interesting as a new crop for our NC farmers." 


Evan graduated from Lenoir Community College with an Associate Degree in Horticulture Technologies.  He lives with his wife on the outskirts of Kinston. 


   Shorlette Ammons Awarded Food Equity Fellowship from the Center for Social Inclusion
SShorlette Ammons headshothorlette Ammons, CEFS' Community-Based Food Systems Outreach Coordinator, has been awarded a one year Food Equity fellowship by the Center for Social Inclusion (CSI).  Based in New York, CSI is a national public policy strategy organization that works to unite public policy research and grassroots advocacy to transform structural racial inequity into structural fairness and inclusion.  CSI Founder and President Maya Wiley, a noted Food Justice Advocate, came to North Carolina to deliver CEFS' annual Sustainable Agriculture Lecture in February 2013.
Said Ms. Wiley, "Shorlette exemplifies the leadership and the grassroots engagement we want to support. We respect and appreciate the leadership that she provides her community, the Center for Environmental Farming Systems and North Carolina A&T.  We are offering  Shorlette the opportunity to be a CSI Food Equity Fellow to inform her own work and strategies and to participate, with CSI, in identifying and supporting greater community-of-color innovation in policy reforms and programs to meet our shared goals".
As part of the fellowship, Shorlette is embarking on a year-long project to interview women of color working on food issues throughout the South.  The process will help create and strengthen women-of-color networks in the South, and a resultant brown paper will offer policy recommendations for addressing structural inequalities in the food system.
The fellowship also includes a two-week writing retreat, during which Shorlette and her twin sister Shirlette, an accomplished poet, musician and author, will write about food in the context of Southern culture.
Shorlette, a former librarian, has a Master's Degree in Library Science from North Carolina Central University.  She has developed her growing experience by working closely with the Goldsboro community over the past five years through the Wayne Food Initiative and various community-based food systems projects, including community gardens and a recently-established urban farm.
Read more about Shorlette's Community-Based Food Systems work on the CEFS website.


CEFS is Working to Help Build the Food System in the Charlotte Metropolitan Area!


Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), and Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) are partnering with the Centralina Council of Governments and the Catawba Regional Council of Governments to support CONNECT Our Future, a three-year initiative funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant Program. The CONNECT Our Future project aims to promote regional economic development, including the local and regional food system, in order to grow jobs, strengthen the economy, and improve quality of life in the Charlotte region.
Over the course of the next year, ASAP, CEFS, and CFSA will work collaboratively with community members, public and private partners, and non-profit organizations to conduct a regional food system assessment, develop an action plan for food system work, and foster the development of food policy councils in the Charlotte region.  For this project, ASAP, CEFS, and CFSA will engage communities across a 14-county bi-state region including Anson, Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly, and Union counties in North Carolina; Chester, Lancaster, Union, and York counties in South Carolina; and the Catawba Indian Nation.
We are looking for people to participate in public meetings and join the dialogue about the future of food in the Charlotte metropolitan area. If you live within the project region and are interested in helping to guide the growth of food and farming in your community, please contact Jared Cates at to join the conversation!
Upcoming Events
The Third Annual Carolina Meat Conference, December 9-10 


NC Choices' Carolina Meat Conference enters its third year of innovative educational programming and unparalleled networking opportunities for niche meat supply chain partners including farmers, processors, chefs, buyers and industry support businesses.


The Carolina Meat Conference is a gathering of professionals from all sectors of the local and niche meat industry for two days of panel discussions, presentations, workshops, live butchery and animal handling demonstrations, a trade show, great meals featuring local meats and Monday night social, dinner and keynote address.


Conference topics include livestock production, meat processing, innovative marketing techniques and the latest updates on how new regulations will affect small food businesses.

For more information, please visit the NC Choices website or


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    Message from the Directors   
Dear CEFS Friends,
I'm taking the opportunity to kick off the Fall 2013 CEFS e-newsletter and encourage you to browse the many interesting topics contained here.  You'll find research, outreach and engagement updates from CEFS' programs across North Carolina.  Welcome and enjoy!
In addition, I have the great honor of informing you of my recent (August 2013) induction into the North Carolina Order of the Long Leaf Pine. The Order is presented to those who have provided exemplary service to the citizens of North Carolina. It is quite an honor - one that I am very proud to have received - and one that I must share, since it reflects the work of so many.
Community service is our work and our passion.  As my thirty years of working in rural North Carolina have unfolded,  it was the pursuit of innovative solutions to the challenges facing agricultural producers, community members, and consumers interested in good, wholesome, healthy, foods that led me to this milestone. It was the work of all, and the successes coming from our CEFS partnerships that made it happen -- and still make it happen every day.
The whole CEFS team deserves the recognition, and I thank each and every member of the CEFS and Extension families for the roles they all played in achieving this great honor!

 John O'Sullivan Signature
Dr. John M. O'Sullivan, CEFS Co-Director

CEFS Co-Director Dr. John M. O'Sullivan Awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Governor McCrory

   JMOS headshot
Dr. John M. O'Sullivan, Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, Local and Community Food Systems at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) and Co-Director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), has been awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine by North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory.  Conferring the title of "Ambassador Extraordinary", the award is one of the highest civilian awards presented by the state and recognizes exceptional public service.   


Says Dr. Nancy Creamer, CEFS Co-Director, "John knows how to bring about changes in the broader community through policy and outreach, and how important a strong research and extension base is to facilitating such a change. He is a visionary and well-connected nationally and internationally, and will continue to bring prestige, recognition, vision, and resources to NC A&T, CEFS and the state of North Carolina." 


Dr. O'Sullivan has been a faculty member at NC A&T since 1983, where he has worked as a farm management and marketing specialist with the Cooperative Extension Program, helping small scale producers address issues of marketing and sustainable production.  He now holds the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Agriculture, Local and Community Food Systems at NC A&T.  


Dr. O'Sullivan holds the M.A. and Ph.D. from UCLA and an M.S. from Auburn University.  He has served on the faculty at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, California; Tuskegee University in Alabama; and NC A&T. 

10% tomato NC 10% Campaign Surpasses $50 Million Milestone, Becomes a National Model

The NC 10% Campaign, a CEFS initiative that encourages all North Carolina individuals and businesses to spend 10% of their existing food dollars on locally-produced food, has hit a big milestone.  The Campaign, which counts over 6700 individuals and 870 businesses among its supporters, has tracked more than $50 million in local foods purchases since July 2010. 
"Reaching this goal is a testament to the commitment of our partners to source and purchase North Carolina foods whenever possible," says Teisha Wymore, outgoing State Coordinator of the NC 10% Campaign.*
The Campaign, which recently marked its third anniversary, aims to support a local food economy in North Carolina.  Supporters sign up on the campaign's website,, and record their local foods purchases each week.  The Campaign's database aggregates purchases and allows individuals and business partners to track their progress over time.  The campaign has social media, educational, and community-building components as well. 
The NC 10% Campaign has been so successful that other states are beginning to use it as a model for local food initiatives in their own regions.  This summer, Connecticut launched its own 10% Campaign, organized by, a collaboration of the Connecticut Northeast Organic Farming Association, CitySeed, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, UConn Extension, and Connecticut Farm Bureau Association. 
They were particularly drawn to the functionality of the NC 10% Campaign's database.  "This online tracking program will be very valuable to us in Connecticut because it will put a spotlight on and provide a standardized approach to collecting information about how much our residents and businesses are spending on locally grown products," says Jiff Martin, UConn Extension's Sustainable Food Systems Educator.
Other states are in varying stages of developing their own 10% Campaigns, as well.  Efforts are underway in both Michigan and South Carolina.  "Many states are interested in adopting an initiative for supporting local foods and farms, and they are looking to us as a successful model.  We're proud of our program and excited about the successful relationships we've built with other states looking to adopt a local foods initiative," said Wymore.
Funded by the Golden LEAF Foundation, the NC 10% Campaign works with the NC Cooperative Extension Service in all 100 North Carolina counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.  For more information please see


*Outgoing State Coordinator of the NC 10% Campaign, Teisha Wymore, has recently transitioned to a new role at CEFS: the Farm to Fork Action Plan Operations Manager.  Robyn Stout is now the interim State Coordinator of the NC 10% Campaign and can be reached at
    CEFS' Organic Research Unit Hosting Stevia Research Trials
Stevia at CEFS
Stevia plants at CEFS
Life is a little sweeter these days at the CEFS research farm in Goldsboro.  Since 2012, CEFS has been involved in research trials for Stevia, a perennial herb of the Asteraceae family native to South America.  Stevia rebaudiana is grown for the sweetness of its leaf, which is about 30 times sweeter than sugar in its raw form and up to 300 times sweeter than sugar after it has been processed.*
The research trial is intended to evaluate the feasibility of commercial stevia production in eastern North Carolina.  The project, funded by the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission and Sweet Green Fields, Inc.  (a commercial Stevia producer), has research trials planted in multiple locations in the state to help determine optimum fertility, pest management, and harvesting practices for the area. 
"We're excited about participating in this Stevia research trial, as Stevia has the potential to be a lucrative commercial crop for the farmers of eastern North Carolina", says Chris Reberg-Horton, Coordinator of CEFS' Organic Research Unit.
Stevia production has many things in common with tobacco production.  Seedlings are started from seed or cuttings, grown in greenhouse float beds, and transplanted much like tobacco.  The crop is harvested once or twice a year by cutting the plants, which are then dried in conventional tobacco box barns.  It is a crop well-suited to the climate in eastern North Carolina and could be grown in both organic and conventional production systems.
Unlike tobacco, stevia is a perennial crop;  one planting is productive for three or more years. The oldest plantings in North Carolina are 3 years old, and are still very productive, so the potential productivity of a single planting is not yet known.  To date, there have been few disease or pest problems noted in the state, although two stem rot diseases well-known to growers in NC have been observed on stevia plantings.  Tests are being conducted on how to manage the diseases caused by the fungal pathogens Sclerotium rolfsii and Sclerotinia sclerotiorum
"Even though the weather this season has been a bit challenging in some areas, we are extremely pleased with the performance of our 2013 crops and we are very excited about further expanding in 2014," commented Hal Teegarden, Vice President of Agricultural Operations for Sweet Green Fields. "We've learned a lot this season through the work at CEFS, and as a result of the expertise and enthusiasm of the NCSU and NCDA teams.  We truly appreciate the support that is being provided and the grower interest we have received, all of which aligns with our plan to significantly bolster our supply of American-grown stevia with stevia grown in North Carolina."
For more information about the project Stevia Production in NC, please contact Molly Hamilton: 828-628-2675 or

NC Growing Together Project Sponsors Nation's First Local Foods-Focused Business School Supply Chain Fellowships

2013 SCRC Food Chain Fellows
2013 Supply Chain Fellows.  Sebastian is sixth from right in blue striped shirt, and Jessica is fourth from right in dark blue shirt.
The NC Growing Together (NCGT) project and NC State's Poole College of Management Supply Chain Resource Cooperative (SCRC) have partnered to offer the country's first local foods-focused business school supply chain fellowships.  A CEFS initiative, the NC Growing Together project aims to bring more locally-produced meat, dairy, seafood, and produce into the state's mainstream retail and food service supply chains.  The Supply Chain Resource Cooperative is a unique, industry-university partnership dedicated to advancing the supply chain industry and the professionalism of its practitioners.
NCGT LogoThe fellows will provide supply chain research and expertise to develop successful, economically viable connections between local food producers and mainstream retail and institutional food buyers.  Fellows will analyze the sourcing practices of NCGT project partners as well as research novel practices used by other retail and food service companies across the country.
Said Dr. Robert Handfield, Co-Director of the SCRC, "this is an exciting opportunity for the two colleges (Agriculture and Management) to collaborate on a project that brings the two fields together in a unique fashion.  We are applying supply chain tools and methodologies to the field of local agriculture, and both parties are learning from one another in the process.  The fellows are working on mapping end-to-end supply chains to identify gaps in processing, distribution, and customer service that can be addressed through innovative solutions." 
This year's fellowships were awarded to Sebastian Naskaris, a first-year MBA student who previously spent two years with NC FoodCorps, and Jessica Newsome,  a second-year MBA student who previously had an internship as Lowes Home Improvement headquarters in Mooresville, NC.  
Said Sebastian, "Through my two years of civil service with FoodCorps in NC, I began to believe that sustaining sustainable agriculture and making its produce accessible to all requires a change in the business of food.  Learning supply chain management seemed like my best next step to support my mission. Working with CEFS' new NC Growing Together project, which seeks to scale up local food supply chains, while learning from Dr. Handfield, the SCRC, and an highly innovative group of NC farmers and sustainable agribusinesses, was an opportunity I could not pass up". 
Added Jessica, "I was drawn to the CEFS/SCRC fellowship because it will give me the chance to engage in economic development in my home state.  This particular fellowship is unique in that my research into seafood and dairy supply chains will hopefully lead to new and more profitable marketing channels for NC fishermen and small and mid-size farmers".
The fellowship awards provide tuition support, financial stipends and benefits.  Two more fellowships will be awarded over the duration of the NCGT project.
For more information about the NC Growing Together project, please visit

CEFS' Farm to Fork Action Plan Operations Manager, Teisha Wymore, Learns about Agriculture and Sustainable Tourism in Cuba


Teisha hard at work!

Teisha Wymore, CEFS' Farm to Fork Action Plan Operation Manager, recently visited Cuba as part of a summer study abroad course in Sustainable Tourism development.  Through the program, offered by Eastern Carolina University, Teisha was able to witness firsthand the country's thriving organic production sector and accompanying agri-tourism industry . 


As program materials note: "Cuba is home to one of the world's largest examples of organic agriculture; when the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba was forced to become agriculturally self-sufficient, transitioning abruptly from a largely imported food supply to one characterized by urban organic farming.  Today, what can Cuba teach the world about agricultural self-reliance and sustainability?"


Here, she offers some reflection on her experiences...
Q:  What drew you to this study abroad program?
A:  I've always wanted to go to Cuba, since childhood. Probably it was the fascination with going someplace you are not necessarily allowed to go!  Also, more recently, in the past 10 years, I've read a lot about the organic agriculture in Cuba and have been seriously researching going there, so when this came up it was perfect.
Q:  What was the food like?  Did anything about it stand out to you?
One of the country's many organoponicos.
A:  In general, if the food is fresh, it's organic.  The best food on the planet was the food we had for lunch at the organoponico (the urban organic gardens found throughout Havana) we visited; it was entirely grown and cooked on the farm so it was fresh and delicious. Also, they do not eat fancy food -- all the food is simple and good, they can't afford to waste it experimenting on new or otherwise risky types of cooking styles.
Q:  What was your home stay like?  Who did you stay with?
A:  They have these things, Casa Particulars ("private homes"), which is one type of entrepreneurial activity that the government allows.  They range in scope from rustic to very nice urban apartments in the heart of Havana. We stayed at a nice place: it was a condo, top floor, owned by a women, Aurora, and her son. She offers a few rooms, and he offers a taxi service. They were wonderful people, very easy to talk with (if you know a little Spanglish) and helpful about the community and where to find certain things or places!  I loved staying with them.
Q:  What was the most surprising thing you saw, felt, or experienced on the trip?
A:  Cubans are very proud.  Everyone we came across -- farmers, artists, shop-workers, bartenders -- was so passionate and outspoken.  They don't feel as they are missing out on anything -- they are proud to be Cubans and they work together, they have a sense of working together rather than "every man for themselves".
Q:  Were there things about Cuba's sustainable/eco/agri-tourism sector that could be applicable here in NC?
A:  Absolutely! Cuba is a world model for organic production and integrated pest management. They are leaders in research in these areas not out of want, but out of need, and that is apparent in how they conserve and protect what they have.  They are masters of making it work!  The Cuban agricultural experience is amazing, and certainly the concepts are applicable, although what goes along with that is the necessity to make it work!
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 and Consumer Services at the Cherry Farm facility near Goldsboro, NC in 1994. These partners work closely with state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, 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