May 31, 2016: For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Rebecca Dunning, Research Assistant Professor, Center for Environmental Farming Systems – or 919-389-2220.

Raleigh, NC: The Center for Environmental Farming Systems, a partnership of North Carolina State University (NC State), North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T), and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, has been awarded a two-year grant from the United States Department of Agriculture to focus on building connections between farms and university campuses.

UFOODS-logoThe project, called UFOODS (University Food Systems), is working with collaborators at six target universities: Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina A & T State University, North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina Pembroke, and Winston-Salem State University.

Researchers at NC State and N.C. A&T will investigate the ways in which food reaches each of the six campus communities, identify entry points for bringing local foods to campus, and determine location and market readiness of farmers in the counties surrounding each university. Project staff will also create tools that can be adapted for use by others in building the farmer-to-campus-community food system. “Universities are recognized as important economic drivers for their communities. Our hope is that this project can help create the same positive impacts for local agriculture,” said Dr. Rebecca Dunning, Principal Investigator for UFOODS.

The funds were awarded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational program (grant no. 2016-68006-24740), administered by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). NIFA’s Small and Medium-sized Farm program assists farmers and ranchers with strategies and technologies to improve the viability and competitiveness of small and medium-sized dairy, poultry, livestock, crop, forestry, and other commodity operations.

For more information about UFOODS, please see

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems is a partnership of NC State University, NC Agricultural and Technical State University and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  CEFS develops and promotes just and equitable food and farming systems that conserve natural resources, strengthen communities and provide economic opportunities in North Carolina and beyond. For more information please visit