The demonstration was part of CEFS’ SOILbration, a day-long educational event held on October 17 as part of CEFS’ 20th Anniversary celebrations. Approximately 300 people attended the SOILbration , which also offered cover crop and other demonstrations, tours of the farm’s various units, exhibitors, posters, and a delicious, locally-sourced lunch.
Kirschenmann is a distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Ames, Iowa and President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in New York. He gave an impassioned argument for the importance of long-term thinking about a range of agricultural and food systems issues, especially in the face of climate change and other pressing challenges. You can watch Kirschenmann’s lecture here.
Dr. Paul Mueller, Professor Emeritus of Crop Science at NC State University, and one of CEFS’ founders said, “What started as a ‘place’ thing, based at Cherry Research Farm in Goldsboro, has become much more than that. I never could have imagined it at the time.”
Dr. Roger Crickenberger, NC State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Administrative liaison to CEFS’ Board of Advisors, and one of CEFS’ earliest supporters, agreed. “The conference on Southern region sustainable agriculture research and education programming in Callaway Gardens, Georgia in 1993 was the first and most important engagement of a diverse array of stakeholders, prominently including farmers, to begin understanding and communicating the concept of agricultural sustainability in our region. Out of that experience came a comfort level of engaging diverse thinkers that set the model for how CEFS was organized and operates to this day,” he said.
Sue Perry Cole, President and Chief Executive Officer of the North Carolina Association of Community Development Corporations and member of CEFS’ Board of Advisors, and Shorlette Ammons, CEFS’ Community-Based Food Systems Outreach Coordinator, spoke to the most pressing problem facing our food system today, and CEFS’ biggest challenge for the future: addressing food equity issues and making good, healthy food accessible for everyone.
Following the panel discussion, CEFS Director Nancy Creamer welcomed Dan Gerlach, President of the Golden LEAF Foundation, to the podium. He said, “Passion, purpose and stewardship are what excite investors in a cause. By making more North Carolinians aware of where food comes from and who grows it, CEFS has helped expand markets and provide more opportunities for those who want to stay on the land. I personally am a 10 Percenter