Climate Change and Food System Innovation Hub

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) is committed to research, extension, and education in sustainable agriculture and community-based food systems. CEFS envisions a future of vibrant farms, resilient ecosystems, strong communities, healthy people, and thriving local economies. Significant current and projected severe weather changes due to greenhouse gas emissions and other drivers of climate change threaten agricultural production, natural resources, and food security, with a disproportionate impact on farmers and communities of color. CEFS believes all people deserve access to healthy soils, clean air, and clean water and that climate mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency are critical to ensuring a thriving and equitable food system.

CEFS field research and local food initiatives work to create more resilient local food systems and provide evidence-based solutions and resources to producers and consumers on best practices for mitigating and adapting to current and future impacts of climate change. By increasing the efficiency of food supply chains, CEFS also indirectly promotes strategies that help reduce the carbon footprint of the food and agricultural sector.

Our focus on sustainable agricultural practices naturally addresses the ecological challenges that climate change poses to the agricultural sector. Research conducted at CEFS’ Field Research, Education, and Outreach Facility located at Cherry Research Farm in Goldsboro, N.C. is pioneering in many ways. The findings produced by CEFS Research Units account for variables such as soil profiles and weather patterns that closely resemble conditions experienced across the Southeastern U.S. and many areas in the Global South. Through partnerships and collaborations, CEFS researchers are able to share information and practices, making CEFS a research hub in the Southeast and globally.

Since its establishment, CEFS has operated as a space where different groups and individuals can come together and share a vision for food and agriculture. This purpose remains vitally important today, as we are seeking solutions to climate change. Economic and structural disparities render many of the strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions ineffective or impractical for those who are most affected by climate change. CEFS aims to amplify the voices of frontline communities, to find solutions that work across regions, industries, ethnic and racial groups. The impact of climate change affects us all, but has disproportionate impacts on Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. For this reason, addressing structural racism in the food system and in society is critical to this work.

Click on the headings below to learn about how CEFS initiatives and research programs are working to address climate change mitigation and adaptation. Below you will also find a table listing other organizations and partners that address climate change in North Carolina and beyond.