Everyone eats, and that’s why food matters. A growing global population and increasing food needs make the sustainable production of food all the more important. NC State features industry-leading research and highly-respected academic programs related to agriculture. These programs have a direct impact on North Carolina, where agriculture is the state’s largest industry.
is the average annual percentage of local food purchased by NC State Dining. This includes 4,000+ pounds of campus-grown produce.
What We Do
NC State Dining features award-winning sustainability programs focused on sourcing local food, water conservation, composting, recycling cooking oil and several other waste reduction initiatives. There's also a weekly student-led Campus Farmers' Market on the Brickyard.
Pollinators such as bees are vital to food supply, making their health paramount to sustainable food systems. Browse the campus sustainability map to see NC State’s actively-maintained bee hives or explore the university’s apiculture program.
There’s food no more local than food you grow yourself. Several community garden projects exist on campus, including the student-run SOUL Garden, Agroecology Education Farm, herb gardens and several garden ideas in development.
An interdisciplinary group of staff, faculty and students are working to improve student food and housing security on campus.
How You Can Help
1. Eat local food to support local farmers and reduce environmental impacts of food shipment.
2. Minimize food waste. An estimated 40% of the U.S. food supply is wasted annually.
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A Garden With SOUL
Near the banks of Lake Raleigh is an NC State garden that grows food while also developing student leaders.
A Perfect Pairing
NC State Dining and Agroecology Education Farm work together to bring fresh, local food to the university’s dining halls.
Extension in Action: Protecting a Farmer’s Harvest
When farmer Martha Calderon needed help keeping her tomato harvest fresh, she turned to NC State Extension. The result? An innovative project that protects her crops and ensures profitability.
NC State’s Cooperative Extension offers the following resources related to agriculture and food.
- Center for Environmental Farming Systems
- 10% Campaign encourages the purchase of at least 10 percent of food from NC farmers
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension offers numerous resources on agriculture and food, as well as beekeeping
The following opportunities are available on NC State’s campus:
- Buy directly from farmers at the Campus Farmer’s Market or nearby State Farmer’s Market
- SOUL Garden is a student-led organic garden that offers volunteer opportunities and the opportunity to learn about gardening
- Feed the Pack Food Pantry is a community-based initiative sustained by the greater NC State community to combat the food insecurity experienced by members of the Wolfpack family
- Agroecology Education Farm offers volunteer and educational opportunities
- Howling Cow dairy products from NC State are produced on campus and available for sale
- College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ students have many student groups related to food.