Training the Trainers in Community-based Food Systems: a project-oriented case study team approach

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2009: $99,266.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Nancy Creamer
North Carolina State University

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: technical assistance, extension
  • Farm Business Management: marketing management
  • Sustainable Communities: community planning, leadership development, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban agriculture

    Proposal abstract:

    This two year project is focused on training extension-led, county-based teams in community based food systems including project development and implementation. From responses to a call for participation, 6 county-based teams were selected from around the state. Chosen participants attended a two-day initial intensive training covering all aspects of community-based food systems. They are currently receiving specific planning assistance for their own county projects. Our Project Team, and others as needed, are serving as consultants providing ongoing support as each team develops and implements their project. During year two, the county-based team will select, train, and mentor a county-based team in an adjacent county with a “passing on the gift” approach, ultimately developing a total of 12 counties trained and networked through Extension. At the end of year two, we will conduct a short-course at Southern SAWG to share this approach (successes and challenges) across the Southeast.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    Objective 1. Food Systems Education: for and with extension

    • Hire administrative support, program evaluator and project manager: completed July, 2009
    • Host a Project Team meeting, review farmer needs (based on 1 ½ year long statewide initiative with six regional meetings and statewide summit), develop RFP to select extension, led teams, develop agenda and resources for training: completed January, 2010 (see attached list of Request for Proposals, and Project Teams Selected
    • Develop website for project, provides tools and resources, highlight case studies, and links project teams and collaborators: currently using Base Camp for many of these functions, as county-based projects get underway, we will have public page on CEFS website.
    • Conduct information sessions for cooperative extension upper administration and County Directors about the program: As part of this grant and an additional project to implement a 10% campaign in North Carolina, the NC Cooperative Extension Service has agreed to designate a local food coordinator in every county.
    • Release a RFP for selection of county based teams (released in October, 2009, see attached).
    • Conduct a two-day intensive and comprehensive training about food systems (completed February 25 and 26, see attached agenda)

    Objective 2. Food Systems Project Development: hands-on learning

    • Activities for Objective 2 are just getting underway (including project development, assigning consultative teams, establishing evaluation logic models, monthly conference calls, etc.

    Objective 3, Collaborative Training System: Passing on the Gift

    • This objective will take place wholly in year 2 of the project, however, a grant proposal for $9,000 was submitted to the Alces Foundation to fund the implementation of year 2 projects.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.