August/September 2016 — The USDA’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program funds valuable projects across the U.S.  One of the outputs of a recent CEFS-led SARE grant is a set of NC Agricultural Infographics. The infographics – one per county plus one for each of the state’s 16 Councils of Government – provide a visual interpretation of the 2007 and 2012 Census of Agriculture data, and illustrate growth or decline in each measure between these two census years.

Jesse Day, Regional Planner at Piedmont Triad Regional Council, says “the infographics package existing agricultural data in a way that is easily communicated to a broad audience, creating new opportunities for education and understanding of how agriculture is changing in the Piedmont Triad region, while also quantifying the positive contributions it has to our regional economy.”

Laura Lauffer, NCGT Food and Farms Coordinator at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and NCGT Summer Local Food Supply Chain Apprentice Enoch Sarku, completed the infographics project initially spearheaded by Dr. Noah Ranells, owner of Fickle Creek Farm and formerly with N.C. A&T.

“The infographics serve as a starting point for place-based conversations about local agriculture,” says Laura, “and can help local and regional governments and community groups identify particular areas to focus upon.” In the coming months, Laura and others at NCGT will be creating brief case studies of local agricultural development in NC, linking these to the online interactive map and to the census-based measures.  In particular she will be looking for instances where NC Cooperative Extension has worked with other partners to support local food economic development. If you have an idea for a case study, contact Laura:

Please visit the CEFS website to access the full set of agricultural infographics.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2016 NC Growing Together Newsletter.