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First UNCP Local Foods Conference (March 2013)

Photo of attendees of local foods conference

The first local foods conference was held at UNCP’s Regional Center on Friday, March 22, 2013.  Approximately 100 students, faculty, farmers, and consumers attended to share ideas and learn more about how to support local farmers and local foods.  Sessions ranged from backyard chickens to financing.  Lester Locklear’s New South Catering of Pembroke prepared local beef, sausage, sweet potatoes, and cabbage.  The local lunch was sponsored by the Robeson County Farm Bureau.  Dr. Debby Hanmer (Biology) assisted by Dr. Rita Hagevik (Science Education, Biology) and Dr. Brooke Kelly (Sociology and Criminal Justice) organized the conference through the support of a UNCP local advantage grant focused on supporting local foods.  (For additional coverage of the event see

Photo of local foods conference Photo of local foods conference Photo of local foods conference

Drs. Hagevik, Hanmer, and Kelly have also been working with several undergraduate research assistants (Spencer Thomas,  Scott Tyson, Valery Quinones, and Jeff Cooper) in partnership with the sustainable agriculture program, Agricultural Extension, and the Center for Community Action on a farmer interview project.  Interviews with local farmers began as a service learning project in Dr. Kelly’s social research methods course in the fall.  The UNCP local advantage grant has supported further interviewing and data analysis during the spring 2013 semester.  By finding out about the current practices and challenges that local farmers face, the project aims to further inform community partners already working to support local foods in Robeson and nearby counties.  The students presented the preliminary findings from this project at the Seventh Annual PURC Symposium.  There is much energy and enthusiasm about local foods in Robeson County.  The conference and farmer interview project are just the beginning.

Photo of people lining up for local foods Photo of locally cooked dish Photo of locally cooked food

Photo of Dr. Debby Hanmer and cooks for local foods conference Photo of attendees of local foods conference Photo of locally prepared food

Photo of organizers of the local foods conference

Organizers of the Local Foods Conference


Most photos are courtesy of Jeff Cooper

Article submitted by Rita Hagevik


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Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013

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