CEFS Celebrates its 20th Anniversary!

Greetings from the Center for Environmental Farming Systems!

CEFS: 1994-2014

CEFS: 1994-2014

We are fortunate in that 2014 marks our 20th anniversary and we have many events planned throughout the year to celebrate this extraordinary accomplishment. In case you were curious of our humble beginnings…

In 1994, a small circle of leaders in sustainable agriculture came together with a single vision: to create a center for the study of environmentally sustainable farming practices in North Carolina.

A task force of university faculty and administrators, state and federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, farmers, and citizens was charged with developing strategies to build a strong sustainable agriculture program in North Carolina. Out of that effort grew the CEFS Research Facility, a 2,000-acre research farm in Goldsboro.

The farm became home to CEFS’ core research programs and units. The Farming Systems Research Unit, Pasture-based Dairy and Beef Units, Alternative Swine Unit, Organic Research Unit, and Small Farm Unit all provide research opportunities for faculty, graduate students and visiting scientists, and educational opportunities for farmers, extension agents and students.

Over the years, CEFS has broadened its focus to include community-based food systems and local food supply chain development. CEFS also transformed the niche meat supply chains with the formation of N.C. Choices. In addition, CEFS has partnered with community organizations to support youth engagement and leadership development initiatives in areas most affected by food system inequities, educational programming – including NC A&T’s Discover Ag, NC State’s Agroecology Program, our Summer Internship and Apprenticeship Programs and so much more. CEFS has grown to become a local, state, national and international leader in sustainable agriculture and the local foods movement.

As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we have many exciting events planned. We are fortunate to have CALS bringing in as part of their “Future of Food” lecture series, Dr. Ricardo Salvador of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Previous to his position at UCS Dr. Salvador served as the program officer for Food, Health and Wellbeing at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and in this capacity helped CEFS secure twin endowments for both NC State and NC A&T State University. Find more events at cefs.ncsu.edu

By: JJ Richardson & Lisa Forehand