Strengthening University Local Food Systems: Train the Trainer Approach through Extension, Student, and Food Service Collaboration

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2014: $78,547.00
Projected End Date: 08/15/2018
Grant Recipient: North Carolina A&T University
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Kathleen Liang
North Carolina A&T State University

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Education and Training: extension, mentoring, networking
  • Farm Business Management: farm-to-institution
  • Sustainable Communities: leadership development, local and regional food systems


    A train-the-trainer approach was facilitated by the NC 10% Campaign to prepare Cooperative Extension agents on strengthening university local food systems in North Carolina with a Local Food Ambassador Program at 6 Minority-Serving Institutions. The first of a two-year effort - to build, facilitate, and educate university local food teams; understand institutional-level food service; and direct farmers on the regulations and best-practices needed to sell to institutional markets - will be followed by another year of the program and an extension-train-extension workshop so that additional Extension agents can understand the opportunities and challenges of this emerging market for small and mid-scale farmers.

    Project objectives:

    The following behavior-based objectives support the project goal of equipping Extension educators with the knowledge and programming materials to effectively train others in the creation of effective working teams that simultaneously build student demand for local foods and university dining services' ability to procure local foods.

    Objective 1: Extension educators, Local Food Ambassadors, and University Dining Service representatives are equipped to identify the structure and components of the university community dining system and can explain the benefits and challenges of university procurement of local food to a variety of audiences.

    Objective 2: Extension educators are equipped with the knowledge and training materials to lead a collaborative and participatory process of building local food supply chains to university dining. Extension participates in an effective university dining –student -- producer partnership.

    Objective 3: Increase the amount of local food procured by university dining partners.

    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.