Skip to main content Navigation

NC Farm to School Summit 2019

September 19–20, 2019

Raleigh Convention Center
500 South Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC

Registration is Closed

Use the hashtag #F2SNCSummit2019 on all Social Media Platforms!

Farm to School Summit, 2019: Working Together in Farm to School

Hosted by Farm to School Coalition of NC and launching the 1st annual farm to school awards of NC.

Registration is Closed!

Pre-summit workshops and field trips will take place on September 19, 2019 at various sites near Raleigh—join us for Food Sciences Teacher Workshop, School Garden Workshop, Racial Equity in Farm to School Workshop, Policy in Farm to School Workshop, Four Farm Field Trips , Composting Facility Field Trip, School and Early Care Center Field Trips

Our 2nd state-level summit, to be held September 20th, 2019 in Raleigh, NC, will be an opportunity to strengthen the network of practitioners committed to any and all components of farm to school—from local food purchasing to experiential learning about agriculture, gardening, food, cooking, nutrition and health.

Join us as we grow our membership and collaboratively build capacity of farm to school efforts across the state.

Who Should Attend?

Teachers, School Nutrition Directors, Family and Consumer Sciences Agents, Non-profits, Farmers, Cooperative Extension Agents, Researchers, Parents, Chefs, and all!

Host Hotel

Farm to School Room Block at the Sheraton Raleigh

  • Sheraton Raleigh Hotel (1 min walking from Raleigh Convention Center) 421 S Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • State rate available for single and double rooms ($149/per night)
  • Reservation link for conference attendees: Book your group rate for Farm To School Summit 2019

The last day to book with the summit hotel block is August 28, 2019.

Alternate Hotels in Downtown Raleigh

Raleigh Marriott City Center, 500 Fayetteville Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601 USA

Holiday Inn Raleigh Downtown, 320 Hillsborough St, Raleigh, NC 27603

Parking Information

​Unfortunately the Raleigh Convention Center does not provide parking but is surrounded by many parking decks.

Performing Arts Parking Deck ($3 per hour with a $12 daily max)

128 W South St Raleigh, NC 27601

https://www.downtownraleigh.org/go/performing-arts-parking-deck

Raleigh Marriott City Center ($3 per hour with a $12 daily max)

500 Fayetteville Street

Raleigh, North Carolina 27601 USA

https://www.marriott.com/hotels/maps/travel/rdumc-raleigh-marriott-city-center/

For additional parking options, visit https://www.downtownraleigh.org/getting-around/parking

Thursday, September 19th

Pre-Summit Trainings and Field Trips - various times, locations, and prices; detailed descriptions and info on registration page and on downloadable “full schedule”

Food Sciences Teacher Workshop

· Offered by The NC Department of Public Instruction

· Full day, 8:00am-5:00pm

· Museum of Natural Science, 11 W Jones St Raleigh

· Open to Ag and FCS teachers only

· Max 24

· Includes lunch

· Designed for Family & Consumer Sciences and Ag Ed Teachers currently teaching or planning to teach the FN43 Food Science & Technology course. This full-day training includes hands-on food science labs, expert presentations, curriculum overview, and instructional best practices. Questions: FCSEducation@dpi.nc.gov.

School Garden Workshop

· Offered by NC Department of Public Instruction, NC4H, and NCSU Plants for Human Health Institute

· Full Day: 8:00am-3:00pm

· Willow Springs Elementary School, 6800 Dwight Rowland Rd., Willow Spring NC 27592

· Max: 25

· Includes lunch

· Dig in with a team of educators, nutritionists,and horticulturists how a school garden can enhance hands-on learning in all K-12 curriculum areas and build a healthy school environment. At this hands on workshop, discover how to build, plant and tend an edible garden; strategies and activities for connecting to grade-level standards; and how to sustain and keep the garden growing through garden management teams.

Racial Equity in Farm to School Workshop

· Offered by we are www.weare-nc.org

· Full day, 8:00am-4:30pm

· NC Rural Center, 4021 Carya Dr, Raleigh

· Max 35

· Includes lunch

· This Racial Equity training serves as a general introduction to racial equity at the intersections of food and education. Open to anyone doing work related to farm to school (k-12); come as we work together to explore language, history & analysis to strengthen our collective ability to work through an equity lens for the benefit of all children. *We encourage coming in teams.

Policy in Farm to School Workshop

· Offered by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

· www.carolinafarmstewards.org

· The National Farm to School Network

· http://www.farmtoschool.org/

· Half Day, 1:00pm-4:30pm

· at the NC Rural Center, 4021 Carya Dr, Raleigh

· max 35

· snacks only

· From local purchases to education, farm to school has multiple benefits for kids, schools, and communities, but with layers of federal, state, and local policy, efforts can be daunting. Join this session to learn about policies that help determine what local food ends up feeding NC kids and develop strategies for educating and/or advocating to your Congressional delegates, state-level elected officials and your local school board to make the process of supporting farm to school easier at all levels of government.

Farm Field Trip to Black Cotton

· Offered by Julius Tillery at BlackCotton

· www.blackcotton.us

· Full day, 8:15am-4:30pm

· max 30

· Bus departs from Rural Center, 4021 Carya Dr, Raleigh

· Includes Lunch at La Kitchen Delite

· We’ll head first to Tillery Family Farm in Rich Square, NC where you’ll see cotton and soybean fields, the historical school house and cemetery, as well as the family garden. We’ll then stop for lunch at a local diner, La Kitchen Delite before heading to the BlackCottonUS office at old Garysburg Elementary School, now the Town Center. At the office you’ll see how cotton is processed and turned into product. Julius Tillery will share the story of why he started Black Cotton, his travels and research in developing his plan, and the impact of this farm on the community and region. He’ll also address how the context of this farm is part of what he shares with school groups coming to learn about both the production and the history of cotton farming in NC and the South.

Farm Field Trip to Durham HUB Farm

· Offered by Durham Public Schools HUB Farm

· https://www.thehubfarm.org/

· Half Day, 10am-12pm

· Max 30

· Meet at site: Durham Public Schools Hub Farm

· 117 Milton Road, Durham, NC 27712

· by Durham Public Schools. The Hub Farm engages students, teachers, and the greater Durham community in environmental stewardship, health and nutrition, and career development.

· The Hub Farm’s mission is to improve the academic achievement and well-being of students in Durham Public Schools through experiential outdoor learning. Come tour the Hub Farm’s 30 acre farm, forest and aquatic outdoor learning center, owned

Field Trip to NCSU Compost Learning

· Offered by NCSU Cooperative Extension and Wake County Cooperative Extension

· https://composting.ces.ncsu.edu/

· 4000 Chi Road, Raleigh

· Half day, 9am-12pm

· No max

· Meet at site: NCSU Compost Learning Lab,

· This education, research and demonstration site is the heart of the 1,500-acre Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory, with 26 types of backyard composting and vermicomposting units, both medium and small scale, and multiple areas for hands-on activities. A 40-ft by 30-ft Worm Barn houses a dozen types of worm bins ranging in size from household bins to a 40 square feet bed.

Early Care Center Field Trip to A Safe Place

· Offered by Kim Shaw

· Facebook @ASafePlaceChildhoodEnrichmentCenters

· Half day, 10am-11:30am

· Max 20

· Meet at site: 1216 Cross Link Rd, Raleigh

· Come visit a model farm to early care center to explore their farm to ECE work: garden & cooking education in the classroom, procurement and promotion efforts, healthy school food environment, food waste reduction through composting, hunger reduction efforts, and parent connections. The Director, Chef and teachers will share how they have made f2ECE happen, sharing out of successes and learned lessons, and the benefits and impacts of farm to early care and Education.

Millbrook Environmental Connections Magnet Elementary School Field Trip

· Offered by FoodCorps NC

· https://www.facebook.com/ncfoodcorps/

· Half day, 9am-12pm

· Meet at 1520 E. Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC 27609

· Max 20

· Optional lunch in the school cafeteria.

· Join us at local elementary schools that are growing the Farm to School movement in their own playgrounds and courtyards. Farm to School is more than connecting our cafeterias to our farms, it is also the education of our students on the food system and its impact on the health of our mind, bodies, and planet. On this field trip, you will tour a local school garden and hear from the dedicated school staff about the impact these edible spaces have on their communities, and how FoodCorps is supporting their missions in Farm to School.

Farm Field Trip to Fresh-Pik/Deans Farm

· Offered by Fresh-Pik/Deans farm

· https://deansfarmmarket.com/

· Half day, 9:00-1:00

· Bus departs from The NC Rural Center,

· 4021 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610

· Max 20

· snacks only provided

· Come meet the farmer who is a founding member and the current president of the NC Farm to School Cooperative, a farmer cooperative comprised of farmers across the state, who bid on the NCF2S contract. FreshPik sells produce across the US and into Canada but James Sharp also sells at Deans Farm Market in Wilson. Several years ago, the farm built a commercial kitchen and hired a chef. The chef now makes value-added products from the farm’s produce, including jams, sauces, dips and meal packages. Coordinated by Courtney Sharp, Deans Farm Market also hosts school field trips, holds summer camps for kids, is available for parties and has several events on the farm.

Friday, September 20th

Detailed descriptions and info on registration page and on downloadable “full schedule”

500 S. Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601

8:00am – 9:30am

Registration and Breakfast

Meeting Area North

Welcome and Who is in the Room?

306 Ballroom

break

9:45am – 11:00am

Displays, Demos, and Hands-on Activity Rooms

These activity rooms will provide displays and resources as well as hands-on activities and demonstrations. Staffed by practitioners from multiple organizations, come try some activities yourself, taste a sample, plant an herb, and ask questions from the folks who do it day in, day out as well as those developing resources at the state-level.

Gardening & Composting for Classrooms and Schools, Rm 307

hosted by NC4H, Wake County Cooperative Extension, Rhonda Sherman from the NCSU Composting Learning Lab, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and FoodCorps NC

Cooking with Students & Taste Tests, Rm 307

hosted by Guilford County Cooperative Extension, ASAP/Growing Minds, Farm to ECE Collaborative, FIG (Food Insight Group), and FoodCorps NC

F2SCoalition of NC: What’s next in Farm to School in NC & YOUR VOICE

hosted by The Farm to School Coalition of NC Steering Committee and their organizations

Concurrent Sessions

Racial Equity in Farm to School Curriculum, Rm 305B

Ronda Bullock, Executive Director for we are and Sarah Bausell, Educational Consultant for we are

This session will identify the opportunities and benefits for rooting ag, local food, and cooking related curriculum and activities in a racial equity frame. Come join us for tools and strategies to assess, revise, and develop new or current curriculum and activities from a racial equity lens. This workshop is interactive so we encourage you to bring an activity or curriculum module that you might like to revise or an idea for developing a new activity/lesson.

Your Local Food Councils and Farm to School, Room 305A

Rochelle Sparko of Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and Erin Brighton of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Food Policy Council

We’ll explore local food policy councils and how they are supporting farm to school, plus learn strategies for educating and advocating at the local level for farm to school support. This session will name the benefits to both farm to school practitioners and food councils in advancing farm to school.

Jr. Chef Competition, Rm 306C

Erica Hoskins - Apex High 2019 NC Jr. Chef Finalist Team Coach; Imanol Arteage, Jose Burgos, and Kim Davis (Coach) - Hobbton High 2019 NC Jr. Chef Finalist Team; Tracey Bates, NCDPI School Nutrition

Will Your Students be the Next N.C. Jr. Chef Top Team?

Participation in the N.C. Jr. Chef Competition offers an unprecedented opportunity to translate skills learned in the classroom to real-world kitchens, developing recipes to be featured on future school menus across the state. In this way, the Jr. Chef Competition fulfills the goals of inspiring the next generation of culinary professionals, stimulating interest in locally produced agriculture, increasing participation in School Nutrition Programs, providing nutrition education, and encouraging healthy eating habits. Want your students to be a part of this exciting opportunity? Come to this session to learn best practices for participation and hear success stories from finalist teams selected to participate in the cook-off. We might tempt your taste buds and will definitely inspire you to help us find the next top NC Jr. Chefs.

break

11:15am – 12:30pm

Displays, Demos, and Hands-on Activity Rooms (see above)

Concurrent Sessions

Farm Visits & Farmer Connections: Share Outs from Farmers & Teachers, Rm 305B

Julius Tillery of Black Cotton, Kamal Bell of Sankofa Farms, Ashley Meredith or Melissa Amoabeng of the Durham HUB Farm

Details forth coming.

Youth Leadership in f2s: Supporting Emerging Current Leaders, Rm 305B

YES! (Youth Empowered Solutions!) and CTE (Career and Technical Education DPI)

Details forth coming.

Culinary Institute: Teaching Forward for Successful Students, Rm 306C

Susan Thompson of North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and Lauren Weyand and Adrian jones of Craven County School Nutrition

The NC K-12 Culinary Institute was designed to improve student health and academic success through nutritious, appealing meals at school, increase participation in high-quality school nutrition programs, expand the capacity of local school nutrition programs to purchase, prepare and serve fresh, locally grown produce, increase consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grain-rich foods, and provide continuing education opportunities for school nutrition professionals. Over 200 new recipes, many featuring locally grown products, have been developed for NC school meals. Come to this session to learn more about the skills, techniques, recipes and resources institute graduates teach forward in their Local Education Agencies.

12:30pm – 2:30pm

LUNCH and Awards Ceremony, Next Year Announcements, and Raffle

306 A&B

Music by Dillard Academy Students

2:45pm – 4:00pm

Concurrent Sessions

The Role of Farm to School in Weather Emergencies, 305A

Calvin Allen, Rural Forward and Scott Marlow, RAFI

Schools and School Nutrition are consistently at the forefront of disaster recovery efforts from weather emergencies, keeping our kids and communities safe and protected before and after storms. This session will provide an exploration space for how farm to school infrastructure specifically—both human and material—might help enhance these efforts. What role does farm to school play in building connections between community partners, above and beyond educating students about the role climate plays in the lives of farmers and our food system? How might additional kitchen infrastructure facilitate demands and needs in weather events? This will feed into a larger conversation already long in motion about disaster preparedness and recovery in our most hard-hit NC communities.

Local Food on the Line: Share Outs from School Nutrition Directors, Rm 305B

Ruth McDowell, Edgecombe School Nutrition and Janette Broda, Asheville City School Nutrition

In this session School Nutrition Directors will share the various ways they get local food into their cafes, the easiest ways to start, what direct relationships with farmers can bring, how promotions and connections to other farm to school efforts increase the impact. From Western city to Eastern rural, these voices will offer direct experience.

Local Foods Curricula: Teaching Resources, Rm 306C

Jodie Riedel of Wakefield High, Megan Sedaghat of Swift Creek Elementary, Liz Driscoll of North Carolina State/Cooperative Extension, Reno Palombit of NC Department of Public Instruction

How do we raise a generation who is food literate? This session will explore a variety of curricula and instructional resources and methods to promote teaching young people about local food. From elementary to high school, Extension to Career and Technical Education, these resources will provide you with tools you can use and strategies to reach across disciplines and practice settings to increase food literacy.

4:00pm

​Turn in Nametag !

There is an option to register for pre-summit field trips and workshops separately, you do not need to register for the Summit to attend pre-summit events. Each workshop/field trip has its own registration link.

Friday Summit

All-Day Farm to School (F2S) Summit - $35

  • Offered by The Farm to School Coalition of NC
  • Includes lunch
  • Full day, 8:00am-4:30pm
  • at Raleigh Convention Center,
  • 500 S. Salisbury St, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • demo/resource room for gardening & composting
  • demo/resource room for cooking & taste
  • concurrent sessions am and pm
  • open session opportunities in afternoon
  • awards ceremony over lunch

Thursday,Pre-Summit Trainings and Field Trips

Pre-Summit Food Sciences Teacher Workshop - $40

  • Offered by The NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Full day, 8:00am-5:00pm
  • Museum of Natural Science, 11 W Jones St Raleigh
  • Open to Ag and FCS teachers only
  • Max 24
  • Includes lunch
  • Designed for Family & Consumer Sciences and Ag Ed Teachers currently teaching or planning to teach the FN43 Food Science & Technology course. This full-day training includes hands-on food science labs, expert presentations, curriculum overview, and instructional best practices. Questions: FCSEducation@dpi.nc.gov.

Pre-Summit Racial Equity in F2S Workshop - $40

  • Offered by we are www.weare-nc.org
  • Full day, 8:00am-4:30pm
  • NC Rural Center, 4021 Carya Dr, Raleigh
  • Max 35
  • Includes lunch
  • This Racial Equity training serves as a general introduction to racial equity at the intersections of food and education. Open to anyone doing work related to farm to school (k-12); come as we work together to explore language, history & analysis to strengthen our collective ability to work through an equity lens for the benefit of all children. *We encourage coming in teams.

Pre-Summit School Garden Workshop - $40

  • Offered by NC Department of Public Instruction, NC4H, and NCSU Plants for Human Health Institute
  • Full Day: 8:00am-3:00pm
  • Willow Springs Elementary School, 6800 Dwight Rowland Rd., Willow Spring NC 27592
  • Max: 25
  • Includes lunch
  • Dig in with a team of educators, nutritionists,and horticulturists how a school garden can enhance hands-on learning in all K-12 curriculum areas and build a healthy school environment. At this hands on workshop, discover how to build, plant and tend an edible garden; strategies and activities for connecting to grade-level standards; and how to sustain and keep the garden growing through garden management teams.

Pre-Summit p/Policies to Support f2s Workshop - $25

  • Offered by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
  • www.carolinafarmstewards.org
  • The National Farm to School Network
  • http://www.farmtoschool.org/
  • Half Day, 1:00pm-4:30pm
  • at the NC Rural Center, 4021 Carya Dr, Raleigh
  • max 35
  • snacks only
  • From local purchases to education, farm to school has multiple benefits for kids, schools, and communities, but with layers of federal, state, and local policy, efforts can be daunting. Join this session to learn about policies that help determine what local food ends up feeding NC kids and develop strategies for educating and/or advocating to your Congressional delegates, state-level elected officials and your local school board to make the process of supporting farm to school easier at all levels of government.

Farm Field Trip to Black Cotton - $40

  • Offered by Julius Tillery at BlackCotton
  • www.blackcotton.us
  • Full day, 8:15am-4:30pm
  • max 30
  • Bus departs from Rural Center, 4021 Carya Dr, Raleigh
  • Includes Lunch at La Kitchen Delite
  • We’ll head first to Tillery Family Farm in Rich Square, NC where you’ll see cotton and soybean fields, the historical school house and cemetery, as well as the family garden. We’ll then stop for lunch at a local diner, La Kitchen Delite before heading to the BlackCottonUS office at old Garysburg Elementary School, now the Town Center. At the office you’ll see how cotton is processed and turned into product. Julius Tillery will share the story of why he started Black Cotton, his travels and research in developing his plan, and the impact of this farm on the community and region. He’ll also address how the context of this farm is part of what he shares with school groups coming to learn about both the production and the history of cotton farming in NC and the South.

Farm Field Trip to Durham HUB Farm - $20

  • Offered by Durham Public Schools HUB Farm
  • https://www.thehubfarm.org/
  • Half Day, 10am-12pm
  • Max 30
  • Meet at site: Durham Public Schools Hub Farm
  • 117 Milton Road, Durham, NC 27712
  • by Durham Public Schools. The Hub Farm engages students, teachers, and the greater Durham community in environmental stewardship, health and nutrition, and career development.
  • The Hub Farm’s mission is to improve the academic achievement and well-being of students in Durham Public Schools through experiential outdoor learning. Come tour the Hub Farm’s 30 acre farm, forest and aquatic outdoor learning center, owned by Durham Public Schools. The Hub Farm engages students, teachers, and the greater Durham community in environmental stewardship, health and nutrition, and career development.

Field Trip to NCSU Compost Learning Lab - free

  • Offered by NCSU Cooperative Extension and Wake County Cooperative Extension
  • https://composting.ces.ncsu.edu/
  • 4000 Chi Road, Raleigh
  • Half day, 9am-12pm
  • No max
  • Meet at site: NCSU Compost Learning Lab,
  • This education, research and demonstration site is the heart of the 1,500-acre Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory, with 26 types of backyard composting and vermicomposting units, both medium and small scale, and multiple areas for hands-on activities. A 40-ft by 30-ft Worm Barn houses a dozen types of worm bins ranging in size from household bins to a 40 square feet bed.

Early Care Center Field Trip to A Safe Place - $20

  • Offered by Kim Shaw
  • Facebook @ASafePlaceChildhoodEnrichmentCenters
  • Half day, 10am-11:30pm
  • Max 20
  • Meet at site: 1216 Cross Link Rd, Raleigh
  • Come visit a model farm to early care center to explore their farm to ECE work: garden & cooking education in the classroom, procurement and promotion efforts, healthy school food environment, food waste reduction through composting, hunger reduction efforts, and parent connections. The Director, Chef and teachers will share how they have made f2ECE happen, sharing out of successes and learned lessons, and the benefits and impacts of farm to early care and Education.

Millbrook Environmental Connections Magnet Elementary School Field Trip - $20

  • Offered by FoodCorps NC
  • https://www.facebook.com/ncfoodcorps/
  • Half day, 9am-12pm
  • Meet at 1520 E. Millbrook Road, Raleigh, NC 27609
  • Max 20
  • Optional lunch in the school cafeteria.
  • Join us at local elementary schools that are growing the Farm to School movement in their own playgrounds and courtyards. Farm to School is more than connecting our cafeterias to our farms, it is also the education of our students on the food system and its impact on the health of our mind, bodies, and planet. On this field trip, you will tour a local school garden and hear from the dedicated school staff about the impact these edible spaces have on their communities, and how FoodCorps is supporting their missions in Farm to School.

Farm Field Trip to Fresh-Pik/Deans Farm - $20

  • Offered by Fresh-Pik/Deans farm
  • https://deansfarmmarket.com/
  • Half day, 9:00-1:00
  • Bus departs from The NC Rural Center,
  • 4021 Carya Dr, Raleigh, NC 27610
  • Max 20
  • snacks only provided
  • Come meet the farmer who is a founding member and the current president of the NC Farm to School Cooperative, a farmer cooperative comprised of farmers across the state, who bid on the NCF2S contract. FreshPik sells produce across the US and into Canada but James Sharp also sells at Deans Farm Market in Wilson. Several years ago, the farm built a commercial kitchen and hired a chef. The chef now makes value-added products from the farm’s produce, including jams, sauces, dips and meal packages. Coordinated by Courtney Sharp, Deans Farm Market also hosts school field trips, holds summer camps for kids, is available for parties and has several events on the farm.
Tracey Bates, MPH, RDN, LDN, FAND

Tracey Bates, MPH, RDN, LDN, FAND

School Nutrition Specialist and Co-Chair of the Farm to School Coalition of NC
Show Bio

Tracey Bates, MPH, RDN, LDN, FAND is a School Nutrition Specialist for School Nutrition Services with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. In this role, she coordinates nutrition communications and outreach, develops educational materials and resources, supports healthy school environments, and provides professional development for School Nutrition personnel, educators and others working with school-age children and their families.Bates is currently co-chair for the Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina and serves on the advisory committee for FoodCorps NC and the Whole Child NC interagency committee. In addition, she serves on the steering committee and is a past chair for NC Action for Healthy Kids. Bates is a former House of Delegates Director and Board of Directors member for the national Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. A Fellow of the Academy as well as a former delegate and past president for the North Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Bates received the Recognized Young Dietitian and Member of the Year awards.

Ronda Taylor Bullock

Ronda Taylor Bullock

Director, We Are
Show Bio

Ronda Taylor Bullock is originally from Goldston, NC. In 2018, she earned her doctorate at UNC Chapel Hill in the Policy, Leadership, and School Improvement Program. Her research interests are critical race theory, whiteness studies, white children’s racial identity construction, and anti-racism. Prior to entering her doctoral program, Dr. Taylor Bullock taught English for almost ten years at Hillside High School in Durham, NC, where she now resides.

Dr. Taylor Bullock is the co-founder and executive director of we are, which stands for working to extend anti-racist education. As a non-profit, we are works to equip children, parents, and educators with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand the complexity of racism. we are uses a three-pronged approach to dismantle systemic racism in education by offering summer camps for children in rising 1st-5th grade, workshops for parents, and professional development for educators.

Dr. Taylor Bullock is the wife of Dr. Daniel Kelvin Bullock and mother of son Zion and daughter Zaire.

James Sharp

James Sharp

Owner of Deans Farm Market
Show Bio

As a child growing up on a tobacco farm, James Sharp started a garden, selling produce to the farm’s employees. At age 15 he named his company Fresh-Pik Produce. The next year, with driver’s license in hand, James began selling produce to a local grocer, Bailey Red and White, then Piggly Wiggly. From that garden Fresh-Pik Produce has grown to more than 350 acres of cantaloupe, watermelons, strawberries, cabbage, collards, field greens, romaine lettuce and other produce. James started selling produce to the public-school system through the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’sFarm to School (NCF2S) program. He is a founding member, and current president of the NC Farm to School Cooperative, comprised of farmers across the state, who bid on the NCF2S contract.

Janette Broda, MHS, RDN, LDN

Janette Broda, MHS, RDN, LDN

Director of School Nutrition, Asheville City Schools
Show Bio

Janette Broda, MHS, RDN, LDN has served the School Nutrition program for seven and a half years. Janette started her School Nutrition career as Director of School Nutrition for Cherokee Central Schools on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Reservation. While in Cherokee, Janette connected with local, state and national partners to develop a farm to school program. Janette’s deepest interest was to incorporate good quality, scratch made, healthy meals for her students. Janette transitioned to Asheville City Schools and is currently serving as Director of School Nutrition. Janette’s goal is still the same, serve students good quality foods to enhance learning, performance, growth and development in the classroom and beyond. Janette supports locally grown products by purchasing from the state’s DOD program, NC Farm to School Program and purchasing locally from district produce vendor. Janette’s leadership roles include Board Chairman for the NC Procurement Alliance, serves on the NC Food Distribution Advisory Council, member of the Farm to School Coalition of NC and Advisory Council for the F2S NC AWARDS and School Nutrition Association. Janette resides in Waynesville, NC, with her husband Corey and two children, Oliver and Hannah.

Ruth McDowell, MS

Ruth McDowell, MS

School Nutrition Director for Edgecombe County Public Schools
Show Bio

Ruth has worked in Child Nutrition for thirty -three years and has enjoyed every minute of it. She started her career as a Women Infant and Children (WIC) Nutritionist with the Washington County Health Department. Other work experience includes working for the NC Cooperative Extension Service as a 4-H Agent and also the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) as the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) coordinator. Because Ruth is committed to supporting Farm to School, she diverted commodity entitlement dollars to purchase locally grown produce from Department of Defense (DOD). She currently serves as the School Nutrition Director for Edgecombe County Public Schools. Ruth is an active member of the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and has served on the SNA Executive Board. She has also served on the NC Food Distribution Advisory Council and currently serves on the NC Procurement Alliance Board of Directors and the Farm to School Coalition of NC. Ruth received three USDA Best Practice awards and received the SNA 2018 Director of the Year award.

Linden Thayer, PhD

Linden Thayer, PhD

Director of Research & Innovation, Food Insight Group (FIG)
Show Bio

Linden is passionate about community-based, food-as-social-justice work. She holds a PhD in Nutrition Intervention and Policy from UNC-Chapel Hill, and she relishes the opportunity to work across disciplines, social agendas, and geographies to build programs, policies, research, and connections that promote the health and wellbeing of communities. As a former Lunch Lady, she has a particular passion for supporting schools’, students’, and families’ efforts to grow school food systems that nurture community wellbeing from farm to school to child. She hopes that her work empowers others to take up food system causes in their own communities. She also hopes more people find time to dig in the dirt because dirt is awesome.

Kimberly Shaw

Kimberly Shaw

Owner and Operator of A Safe Place Child Enrichment Center
Show Bio

Mrs. Kimberly Shaw is the owner and operator of A Safe Place (ASP). Mrs. Shaw started as a family child care home in August 1997 and the business has been growing ever since. Mrs. Shaw began childcare operations out of the family residence. One year after inception, the Shaw’s had to renovate and expand to their home to meet demand for the quality care she provided. The growth continued to include two full-time five stars, NAEYC accredited centers dedicated to quality childcare to families that would otherwise not be able to afford such. A Safe Place has NC pre-K classrooms and are community partners with Early Head Start providing activities that create opportunities for children to learn about themselves in a safe and healthy environment. ASP provides a loving atmosphere that supports the development of self-esteem and self-confidence, and provides good models and tools to be successful in life. These attitudes and philosophies for doing business have enabled A Safe Place to become the success it is today. ASP is located in a food desert and has continued to work to create access to fresh, healthy foods and activities for the community. This urban mini-farm is currently a POD (Preventing Obesity by Design), F2CC( Farm to Child Care), and Shape NC location in Wake County to teach the children and families involved about growing food, eating healthier, and maintaining active lives both at the school and at home.


Mrs. Shaw currently serves on the boards of Wake County Smart Start, Child Care Services Association.

In 2014 Mrs. Shaw received The Dorothy B. Graham Child Care Leadership Award.

In 2017, 2018 Served on the board of the Early Education Coalition.

In 2017, 2018, and 2019 Served as a Statewide Mentor for the Farm to Early Care and Education Initiative.

In 2015 and 2017 A Safe Place CEC Inc. received the City of Raleigh Urban Agriculture Award.

Jodi Riedel

Jodi Riedel

Agricultural Education and Family Consumer Science Teacher at Wakefield High School
Show Bio

Jodi Riedel is a high school agricultural education and family consumer science teacher of 19 years at Wakefield High School in Raleigh, NC. She loves to write curriculum and get her hands dirty with people of all ages. Jodi helps to manage a greenhouse, gardens, goats, chickens, and quail at her school. She facilitates the Wakefield Garden Army ( a growing horticultural collaboration between the high school, middle school, and elementary) and the student agricultural leadership organization called the FFA. When not working, she enjoys mischief in her home garden with the her four children, ages 9, 3, 1, and 45 (her husband counts as another one of the children).

Amy M. Stanley

Amy M. Stanley

Director of School Nutrition Services for Bladen County Schools
Show Bio

Amy Stanley resides in Whiteville with husband Jay and 3 children. She graduated from Mount Olive with a bachelor of science in business administrative management and organizational development. She began her career with Columbus County Schools over twenty years ago. She has been the Director of School Nutrition for Bladen County Schools for the past ten years. She is a member of the School Nutrition Association of North Carolina where she has held the position of District Director, Treasure, Vice President, President-Elect and President. As a member of the executive board for SNA NC she has traveled to Washington to discuss the importance of School Nutrition for the students in North Carolina and across the nation with legislators as well as participated in the Future Leaders program. She also sits on the southeast region advisory council for The Dairy Alliance. She is also a member of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with family and friends.

Reno Palombit

Reno Palombit

Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Education Consultant, NC Department of Public Instruction
Show Bio

Reno is a Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Education state administrator at the NC Department of Public Instruction where he manages Career and Technical Education courses such as, Food & Nutrition, Culinary Arts & Hospitality, and Food Science & Technology. Reno works to deliver relevant curriculum to over 125,000 students who take FCS courses annually, as well as supporting over 1,000 FCS teachers through professional development experiences and technical assistance to the field. He is passionate about preparing students for careers in food, nutrition, and culinary arts and helping to raise a generation of young people who are food literate.

Doug Vernon

Doug Vernon

Extension Assistant, NC State University Plants for Human Health Insititue
Show Bio

Doug Vernon is a retired agricultural education teacher. In his role with PHHI Extension, he connects PHHI with the community, especially through local schools and school gardens. He forges partnerships that help facilitate outreach program efforts. Vernon also coordinates Scientist for a Day, a unique experience where select students from Kannapolis City Schools spend a day at PHHI hearing from scientists and learning about STEM careers and research that is taking place at the Research Campus.

Quina Weber-Shirk

Quina Weber-Shirk

Extension Agent, Community and School Gardens in Guilford County
Show Bio

(Quina sounds like “KEE-na,” rhymes with Tina) Quina works to support a vibrant network of community and school gardens throughout Guilford County which contribute to a just and sustainable food system. She does this by coordinating educational programs for community and school gardeners, including garden site visits, technical assistance with garden start-up, community organizing, garden-based curriculum and activities, and year-round sustainable gardening practices. Quina believes that school gardens are living laboratories where gardeners of all ages learn by observing, doing, and interacting with each other.

Jason and Tay Brown

Jason and Tay Brown

Owners of First Fruits
Show Bio

Jason Brown, a former NFL player, says he and his wife Tay work with school groups to “teach the life cycle of plants, how to plant a seed, the importance of the soil, and how to be good stewards of the land—all universal concepts that are important for every child to know and understand.” At their farm, you’ll get a farm trolley tour of the whole farm, from garden to barnyard and hear how they work with school groups. Jason and Tay have been dedicated to donating produce for hunger relief, and will share their story and faith-based mission behind starting the farm.

Liz Driscoll

Liz Driscoll

4-H Specialist, NC Cooperative Extension
Show Bio

Liz loves tromping around gardens, woods, swamps and beaches, exploring interesting plants, soils and bugs and sharing their stories. Her favorite activities include grazing in the garden, stalking interesting insects, whispering secrets to snapdragons and building sand castles. As a 4-H Specialist with NC Cooperative Extension across the departments of Horticulture, Crop and Sciences, Entomology and Plant Pathology at NC State, she has been working to connect youth and educators to opportunities in agriculture and natural resources in meaningful ways. Liz’s 4-H Grow For It program focuses on developing curriculum, publications and experiential projects that foster curious and wondering youth, inspire critical thinking and problem solving, build a positive science self-concept, connect kids to good food and nurturing environmental stewards of the land through gardening and agriculture.

Heather Barnes

Heather Barnes

Marketing Specialist, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Show Bio

Heather Barnes is a Marketing Specialist with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. She works with the NC Farm to School program and several agriculture commodities. She lives with her husband and three sons on their family farm in eastern NC.

Chloe Marshall

Chloe Marshall

Policy Specialist, National Farm to School Network
Show Bio

Chloe Marshall serves as the Policy Specialist for the National Farm to School Network, and is based in their Washington, D.C. office. She previously served as the Maryland Advocacy & Outreach Coordinator with Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C, where she represented the food bank on policy and budget issues locally and on Capitol Hill. She is also founder and co-chair of the Food Justice Coalition of 20743, a collaboration of residents, community organizations, and grassroots leaders who seek community-led solutions to local food equity issues. Chloe is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a degree in Culinary Nutrition.

Amy Bowan

Amy Bowan

Extension Assistant, NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute
Show Bio

Ms. Amy Bowman, is an Extension Associate in STEM Education with the N.C. Cooperative Extension component of PHHI. She develops and implements STEM-based instructional initiatives related to the research efforts by PHHI faculty. Initiatives include classroom modules, hands-on activity kits, web resources and handouts. She targets K-12 students by sharing resources with teachers, county Extension agents, home school groups and the general public. She coordinates training opportunities with fellow STEM educators to feature PHHI research and demonstrate seamless integration of PHHI resources into the curriculum. A 15-year veteran middle grades teacher, Bowman holds her National Board Certification in Math.

Gavin Fardel

Gavin Fardel

K-12 Science Consultant, NC Department of Public Instruction
Show Bio

Gavin Fradel is a science consultant in the K-12 Standards, Curriculum and Instruction division at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Gavin obtained his Undergraduate teaching degree in Middle Grades Education with a concentration in science from East Carolina University. He taught 14 years in Middle Schools in central North Carolina. During this time, he has been recognized as a Young Teacher of the Year for his school and district, coached middle school boys and girls basketball, and has obtained his Masters Degree in Science Education from East Carolina University. At NCDPI, Gavin has delivered and continues to deliver professional development for teachers, principals and district leaders to increase understanding of the NC Standard Course of Study.

Rhonda Sherman

Rhonda Sherman

Director, NC State University Composting Lab
Show Bio

Rhonda Sherman is the director of the Compost Learning Lab and has been providing education and technical assistance on vermicomposting and composting at NC State University for 26 years. A leading authority on vermicomposting, she organizes an annual conference on large-scale vermicomposting that draws participants from all over the world. Rhondagives about 40 presentations annually, has conducted countless training courses and workshops, and has a variety of publications on composting and vermicomposting. Her new book is The Worm Farmer’s Handbook.

Rochelle Sparko

Rochelle Sparko

Policy Director, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Show Bio

Originally from western Massachusetts, Rochelle now calls Durham, North Carolina home. Rochelle earned undergraduate degrees from Barnard College and the Jewish Theological Seminary, as well as a law degree from Georgetown University. For nearly 10 years, Rochelle had a career as a lawyer and advocate for low-income people in Hawaii and North Carolina. In 2013, Rochelle joined the CFSA staff as the policy director. Since then, she has worked hard to ensure that policymakers hear about small- and mid-scale farms, organic farms, and regional food systems in the Carolinas. She’s committed to doing her best to bring clear and accurate information about policy changes to CFSA’s members and supporting members who are willing to serve their communities through advocacy.

Jessica Sparks-Mussulin

Jessica Sparks-Mussulin

Program Manager, Growing Minds at ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project)
Show Bio

Jessica Sparks-Mussulin is the Program Manager for Growing Minds at ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project). She coordinates the Growing Minds @ University program, Growing Minds Farm to School Funding opportunities, provides teachers, undergraduate, and graduate students with Growing Minds resources, training, and technical support. Jessica also serves as state supporting partner for National Farm to School Network and a Steering Committee member for the Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina.

Megan Sedaghat

Megan Sedaghat

Second Grade Teacher, Swift Creek Elementary School
Show Bio

Megan Sedaghat is an elementary classroom teacher with 31 years of experience. She grew up in “the Garden State,” New Jersey knowing the smell of cows in the pasture and rotting potatoes in late summer. She received a BA in Elementary Education and Spanish at Muskingum College and an MA from The Ohio State University. Megan has 3 grown children who have graduated from public schools and from private and public colleges in North Carolina.

Megan presently teaches second grade at Swift Creek Elementary. Ten years ago with the help of parents and volunteers her second graders began growing strawberries. Two years later the classes planted sweet potatoes for the summer. Professors from North Carolina State University have supported these gardens with plants and expertise. Recently with the support of Interfaith Food Shuttle of North Carolina and the Swift Creek PTA, all students at Swift Creek created 3 small gardens from the ground up and have been learning about soils, weather, life cycles and patience.

Amber Ellis

Amber Ellis

Graduate Research Assistant, NC State University
Show Bio

Born and raised in western NC, Amber grew up in the Christmas tree fields and family garden plots of the mountains. After graduating with an undergraduate degree in geology and Africana studies, she spent several years doing collaborative farm to school work in Brunswick County through FoodCorps and Cooperative Extension. She now lives in Raleigh, working with Cooperative Extension to compile and produce state-wide farm to school resources while pursuing a master’s degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from NCSU.

Erin Carson

Erin Carson

Partnership Manager, Rural Forward NC
Show Bio

Erin Carson started with Rural Forward NC as a partnership manager in 2018. Her work is rooted in a passion for social justice and building the capacity of historically marginalized groups to advocate for themselves and create sustainable change. With a background in journalism, political science, and local organizing, she brings an understanding of community, storytelling, solutions-based problem solving, and the power of human capital to the role.

Through coalition-building and intent to find, build trust with, and work alongside all of the folks that make up community, she has helped facilitate work to create more fresh food options in areas plagued by food apartheid, create safe community spaces for healthy activity in under-resourced neighborhoods, and introduce tools for youth and families to buffer against toxic stress.

Erin serves as RFNC principal in Edgecombe and Nash Counties and leads Rural Forward NC’s work on food systems and healthy eating resources.

Calvin Allen

Calvin Allen

Director, Rural Forward NC
Show Bio

Calvin Allen joined Rural Forward NC as their first Director in October 2014. In his role as director, Calvin supervises staff, sets program vision and direction. He manages key state and national relationships and provides technical assistance and support in Healthy Places NC counties.

Prior to joining Rural Forward NC, Calvin has worked in the nonprofit sector as an administrator, trainer, facilitator, advocate, and consultant, primarily around rural economic development. Most recently, he worked for the Golden LEAF Foundation’s community grants making programs for three years as a program officer and three prior years as a consultant. He was also the associate director at the Southern Rural Development Initiative, helping small towns become economically sustainable without having to become urban.

Calvin graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Duke University in 1992, and is also a 1994 graduate of Leadership Durham. He received a certificate in nonprofit management in September 2004 and is a 2003-2005 graduate of the William C. Friday Fellow for Human Relations through the Wildacres Leadership Initiative.

Adrian Jones

Adrian Jones

School Nutrition Manager, Tucker Creek Middle School
Show Bio

Adrian is a Marine Corps veteran where he prepared and supervised the production of over two thousand meals a day. After his military career, he began working with the community youth and organized a non-profit sports program in addition to working as a Food Service Officer in a NC State Correctional facility in North Carolina, teaching and supervising a large staff and making many dietary accommodations. His love for kids led to a School Nutrition Manager position in Craven County at Tucker Creek Middle School. Since his arrival, the program has experienced a 30% participation increase. He started a Junior Chef Club so students can learn food safety and culinary techniques, portion control, measurements, and inventory control. His student mentees entered the New Bern SoupBowl which raised funds for the local food bank. After completing the 3-day NC K-12 Culinary Institute, he brought new techniques and recipes to his staff and club members.

Susan Thompson

Susan Thompson

Senior Consultant for Continuing Education and Resource Development, NCDPI School Nutrition Services Division
Show Bio

Susan Thompson is the Senior Consultant for Continuing Education and Resource Development with NCDPI School Nutrition Services Division. She began work with DPI in January 2006 after serving 12 years as a Supervisor and Registered Dietitian for Wake County Child Nutrition Services and 8 years teaching Food Service Management with the NC Community College System. Susan develops and coordinates continuing education opportunities state-wide for North Carolina’s School Nutrition professionals. She supervised and directs the exciting NC K-12 Culinary Institute which has provided over 1200 participants with instruction in topics such as knife skills, weighing and measuring accurately, preparing foods for just-in-time service, work simplification and scheduling, effective use of equipment, and quality food preparation and service for a variety of meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, and condiments.

Susan is a member of School Nutrition Association, The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and two of their Dietetic Practice Groups: School Nutrition Services and Food and Culinary Professionals.

Beth Katz

Beth Katz

Co-founder, Food Insight Group (FIG)
Show Bio

Beth is passionate about the intersections of food, ecology, culture, and social justice. She earned her PhD in Nutrition Intervention and Policy at UNC-Chapel Hill and has worked across North Carolina and around the world to support communities in building equitable and resilient food systems. Beth is a co-founder of Food Insight Group (FIG), an applied food systems research and policy firm based in the Triangle. FIG is a certified Benefit Corporation that uses quantitative and qualitative research methods in their work with farmers, grocery retailers, schools, nonprofits, foundations, and community development financial institutions. Beth has worked on farms in North Carolina, Utah, Oregon, and Alaska and strongly believes in the power of food to connect people. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Durham Co-op Market.

Melissa Amoabeng

Melissa Amoabeng

Farmer and Educator, Durham Public Schools Hub Farm
Show Bio

Originally from Maryland, Melissa spent much of her youth engaging in environmental education in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Her passion for nature led her to study environmental science at UNC Chapel Hill where she went on to earn a Masters of Science in Public Health. After a year teaching English in France, Melissa returned to the Piedmont to spend two years teaching in school gardens with Guilford County Cooperative Extension 4-H. This experience led her to NC State University where she received a Masters in Horticultural Science. In addition to six years of teaching experience, Melissa has professional skills in landscape design, ornamental horticulture, and sustainable agriculture. These days you can find her at the Durham Public Schools Hub Farm, engaging K-12 students in experiential learning outdoors.

 Zoe Carmon-Rogers

Zoe Carmon-Rogers

Graduate Student, Center For Environmental Farming Systems
Show Bio

Zoe Carmon-Rogers is a recent NC State graduate with a degree in Agriculture Extension Education and a minor in Horticulture. Her interests as an early career professional include curriculum and program development as well as community outreach as it relates to urban agriculture. She currently works for the Center For Environmental Farming Systems at their Agroecology Education Farm. There, she helps lead and develop education programs for youth groups who visit the farm, offering hands-on learning experiences. In the future, she is looking to possibly start a career in extension as a 4-H agent.

Crystal Lawrence

Crystal Lawrence

Show Bio

Hello, My name is Crystal Lawrence, I have three wonderful children; Shontya (24) Mashia (21) and Christian (17), in addition to my family I have two grandchildren Jace (1) and Bryson (3). I grew up around family that loved to cook so that instilled in me. Although I have had many jobs in my life, cooking has always been above them all. As a child I knew cooking was initially what I wanted to do. Ultimately, life prevented me from attending culinary school, yet is has always been a dream of mine. I worked from WCPSS for fifteen years, during those years I learned positive teamwork, cooking in large amounts, and love for children. After retired, my plan was to move out of state, essentially life had other plans. Until I found A Safe Place, and it was truly a safe place, the teachers and staff welcomed me and I started to think that this was my new home. Working at a safe place has truly been a dream come true, I was able to be myself and cook delicious food. Here I am able to cook fresh, locally grown produce as well as produce that comes from our industrial garden right here at A Safe Place. Cooking is my passion, and here I am able to place my heart and soul into my meals; in addition, I get to observe children and staff eating good healthy foods. which makes my journey that much better.

Dr. Jamee Lynch

Dr. Jamee Lynch

Principal, Millbrook Environmental Connections Magnet Elementary (MECME)
Show Bio

Dr. Jamee Lynch is the principal of Millbrook Environmental Connections Magnet Elementary (MECME). She graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism. Teaching was her second career, and she taught high school English at Camp Lejeune, NC and Garner Senior High School in Wake County. She then served as assistant principal at Selma Middle School in Johnston County, NC, and at Vance Elementary in Wake County. She has served as principal at Hodge Road Elementary in Knightdale, Sanford Creek Elementary in Rolesville, and East Wake High School of Integrated Technology. One of her proudest moments was being named WCPSS Principal of the Year in 2006 and North Central Regional Principal of Year in 2007. In 2010, she joined the charter network KIPP, and traveled the country before opening the first KIPP elementary school in Dallas, Texas. She returned to WCPSS to lead MECME in 2015.

Jose Godinez

Jose Godinez

NC FIELD
Show Bio

Hello, my name is Jose Godinez and I am currently working with the non-profit organization NC Field and its youth group PJC. NC Field focuses heavily on assisting migrant farmworker families in need within our community and the surrounding area. PJC on the other hand focuses on preparing migrant youth for their futures through workshops and alternatives for income. I have been with both of these organizations since their inception in 2009. We’re based in Kinston, North Carolina where I also currently reside. I graduated from the Early College program at Lenoir Community College and am now still deciding where to go from there. Im working full time at a restaurant called chef and the farmer as both a server and bartender. As for what I do in my free time, I’ve reignited my love for reading and also continue to sketch both digitally and physically.

 Lauren Weyand MDA, RDN, LDN

Lauren Weyand MDA, RDN, LDN

School Nutrition Director, Craven County Schools
Show Bio

Lauren’s love of food began when, as a child, she would go with her mom to the Caribbean market to shop for fresh locally grown foods for all meals. Purchasing fresh produce there was less expensive than purchasing frozen or canned ingredients. Early exposures to good foods led to an undergraduate degree in nutrition and dietetics from Georgia State University and competing a dietetic internship with Utah State University. A 14-week internship rotation led to a discovery of school nutrition where she developed a five-day menu for the school district including only locally grown foods. Local farmers were invited to the schools to display their products and talk to students about their careers. Lauren worked at this school district for 5 years before completing her master’s degree in dietetic administration in North Carolina. She worked previously as a school nutrition supervisor in Pitt County before accepting her current role as Craven County School Nutrition Director. Lauren is passionate about feeding kids and feeding them well! “Well” includes nutritious, tasty, and variety and her goal is to educate and encourage students to try new foods.

 Mrs. Randi Jones

Mrs. Randi Jones

Magnet Coordinator, Millbrook Magnet Elementary School
Show Bio

I am from the great city of Chicago, IL. I received my Bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language and Photography from Columbia College and my Master’s degree from New York University in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. I had the privilege of teaching English as a Second Language in Wake County for 12 years. This is my second year at MECME, and I am thrilled to be here to continue to help our magnet theme grow. Although I am in my second year here, I am no stranger to Millbrook, because I have been a parent here for the past seven years!

My husband, Doug, and I have two children, Lila and Ezra. Lila completed fifth grade at Millbrook in 2017 and Ezra is a current fifth grader. We have been living in Raleigh since 2005, and have really enjoyed making this city our home. Together as a family we enjoy hiking, traveling, attending local events, watching the Blackhawks (on TV of course), and spending time with our two saint bernards, Heidi and Gretchen, and our boxer, Blondi.

Arneisha Smallwood, M.S.

Arneisha Smallwood, M.S.

Farm to School Outreach Extension Assistant, Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS)
Show Bio

Arneisha Smallwood serves as the farm to school outreach extension assistant for the Farm to School Coalition of North Carolina at CEFS (Center for Environmental Farming Systems). Also, she is the Founder and CEO of Agriculture is Life, LLC a t-shirt business that highlights women of color in the agricultural industry. Ms. Smallwood is dedicated to creating her own path within the agricultural industry and helping others along the way. She is passionate about building generational wealth and educating individuals about agriculture. Arneisha is a member of the Gamma Sigma Delta - Honor Society of Agriculture and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Currently, she serves as an ambassador for Toucan Education Programs of Belize and supporting core partner of North Carolina for the National Farm to School Network. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Agricultural Education (Professional Services) with a concentration in Agribusiness from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

Ashley Heger

Ashley Heger

Food Council Coordinator, Orange County Food Council
Show Bio

Ashley Heger is the Food Council Coordinator for the Orange County Food Council. She previously served as council coordinator for the North Carolina Local Food Council and has worked in the network of North Carolina food councils since 2014. Her work with Orange County began in the fall of 2016. During this time, Ashley and the council have focused their efforts in key areas of the local food system including: racial equity, the local food economy, food access, farm to school, land access and local agriculture, and food waste. Ashley has a B.A. in Community Development from UNC Asheville and, in a previous life, she worked as a cook and baker on Ocracoke Island.

Ayn Corrigan

Ayn Corrigan

Urban Agriculture Education Manager, Inter-Faith Food Shuttle
Show Bio

Ayn Corrigan is the Urban Agriculture Education Manager with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. She’s been in agriculture for nine years, and this is her fourth year as an educator. Her passion for this work is rooted in fighting hunger through school and community learning gardens.

Braedyn Mallard

Braedyn Mallard

Program Manager , Farmer Foodshare
Show Bio

Braedyn was born in Georgia but considers NC home. Many years ago he earned a bachelor’s degree in History from NC State University and subsequently worked in food retail for almost a decade, learning so much about food and the food system along the way. He recently returned to school to earn a second bachelor’s degree in Nutrition at NC Central University, where he also completed his dietetic internship and will be earning a Master’s of Science in Nutrition in the not too distant future. Braedyn currently lives in a little blue house in Durham with his partner, their coonhound Finnegan, Maggie the cat, and a very large (and ever expanding) vegetable garden.

Danielle Baptiste

Danielle Baptiste

Operations Director, Dillard Academy
Show Bio

Mrs. Baptiste is a Goldsboro High School graduate. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as a NC Teaching Fellow and a member of the Air Force ROTC . She served in the US Air Force for six years and separated as a Captain in 2005. Since then, she has worked at Dillard Academy Charter School as an afterschool director, federal programs coordinator and assistant principal. Now, as the operations director, she manages federal programs and the day-to-day operations at Dillard Academy. Mrs. Baptiste and her husband, Will, are the proud parents of Xavier, a 7th grader at Dillard Academy.

Julius Tillery

Julius Tillery

Founder of Black Cotton
Show Bio

Julius Tillery is the NC State Coordinator for the Black Family Land Trust. He is a 5th Generation life-long row crop commodities producer (cotton, soybeans, peanuts) from Northeastern, North Carolina. His career has focused on worked as an advocate and resource provider in the North Carolina agriculture and environmental sectors since 2009. Julius has also worked at Rural Advancement Foundation International and The Conservation Fund. Julius currently serves on Southern SARE’s Administrative Council and the North Carolina Forestry Advisory Council. Julius is a rural economic development advocate and is also known for his entrepreneurial business role as Founder of BlackCotton.Us. You can find Julius anywhere between his farm working on producing crops, on another farmer’s farm helping consult with new enterprise development, or any meeting that is focused on improving the lives of farmers and farming communities across the USA. Julius is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in Economics and minor in Entrepreneurship in 2008.

Katie Rainwater

Katie Rainwater

Program Coordinator, FoodCorps
Show Bio

Katie works as the Program Coordinator for FoodCorps in North Carolina. This is her sixth year with the organization, after beginning as a service member in 2014. Katie is deeply invested in the wellbeing and vibrant futures of our youth, and how food can be a vehicle for empowerment.

Shironda Brown

Shironda Brown

Farm to Early Care & Education Training Project Coordinator, Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS)
Show Bio

Shironda Brown is the current NC State University Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) Farm to Early Care & Education Training Project Coordinator. She has a B.S. in Child Development and Family Relations from East Carolina University and has worked in the ECE field for over twenty years. Shironda’s experience started as a classroom teacher and she has also worked as an Education Coordinator and Center Director in both the private and non-profit arena. Shironda and her rich experience in early childhood and Farm to ECE has been integral in developing and delivering training around Farm to ECE to NC’s child care centers, Head Start Schools, Child Care Health Consultants, Partnerships for Children and local extension agents.

Brandy Starnes

Brandy Starnes

Western Region Field Representative, North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services Food Distribution
Show Bio

Brandy is the Western Region Field Representative for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services Food Distribution Division where she works with Schools Child Nutrition department’s to develop their Farm to School programs. She graduated from NCSU a BSS in Agriculture Education, Animal Science minor. After graduation she briefly taught Agriculture at North West Cabarrus, but soon after spent time at Duke Energy doing environmental assessment. Brandy went back to teaching where she developed her love of using Hydroponics and Aquaponics in the classroom. Brandy lives with her husband and two children on a working farm in Rowan County.

Amber Bell

Amber Bell

K- 5 educator and Community Engagement Director for Sankofa farms
Show Bio

Every day Amber Bell encourages her community as a passionate educator, and dedicated community engagement director in the surrounding Durham area. Inspiring young minds to thrive with compassion, self-awareness and purposefulness in order to positively impact the world through healthy living is her motto and foundation of everything she does through Sankofa Farms. Throughout her career Amber has made a strong effort to bring awareness to health and wellness for her surrounding community.

Megan Lewis

Megan Lewis

1st Grade Teacher ,Willow Springs Elementary
Show Bio

Megan Lewis is a first grade teacher at Willow Springs Elementary in Wake County. As a graduate from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, she has been teaching for 25 years in North Carolina and is a National Board Certified Teacher, former member of the NC Governor’s Teacher Network and a Go Global NC Teachers to China Borchardt Award recipient. At her school, Megan serves on the Instructional Leadership and MTSS Teams. She is also contracted as WCPSS’s edible garden coordinator and is the originator and coordinator for her school’s outdoor learning center, The Grow Zone. She began her adventures in gardening in 2007 with a dream and a grant application. Her school garden became a reality in 2008 and has been influencing the lives of children for the past 12 years. Personally, Megan has two daughters who benefited from having a school garden and her oldest is a freshman Teaching Fellow at NC State for Agricultural Education. Megan knows first-hand the benefits school gardens can provide to children, their families and the agriculture community.

Tiera George

Tiera George

Graduate Student, NC State University
Show Bio

Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, Tiera is a Masters student in the Agricultural and Extension program at NC State. She serves her department as a graduate teaching and research assistant. After completing undergrad, Tiera spent time in the AmeriCorps before returning to school and now looks to focus her research in community engagement, sustainable and equitable community development, curriculum and instruction, non-formal education, and inclusion and intersectionality in Extension.

Nathalie Kauz

Nathalie Kauz

Show Bio

Nathalie Kauz is an organizer, educator, and doula. She immigrated to the US in 2001 and is from Ecuador and Switzerland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from Duke University, and, most recently, served in two Durham elementary schools as a FoodCorps AmeriCorps service member focusing on culturally relevant and anti-racist garden education.

Abby Husten Lublin

Abby Husten Lublin

Show Bio

Abby Husten Lublin has always believed in the power of story to build empathy, change narratives, and act collectively.

A veteran teacher of New York City public schools, Abby encouraged students to consciously discover themselves and the world through reading, writing, and speaking (English class) at The Beacon School, a performance-based assessment high school, and mentored a student collective of writers and slam artists called the Live Poets Society. While at Beacon, Abby co-coordinated global experiential learning (http://inparentheses.org/mozambique/beacon.html), including trips to India, Mozambique, New Orleans, and Spain. As a parent in Brooklyn, Abby co-organized and participated in anti-racist affinity groups for parents and teachers in her children’s schools and throughout the district.

Abby moved to her ancestral home of Troy, NY in 2010, where, as a community-based educator, Abby organized projects and programs in urban agriculture, public storytelling, youth apprenticeships, and alternative economies, in the effort to help the post-industrial city move towards greater equity and sustainability.

A recent transplant to Durham, NC, Abby lives with her ESL-teaching husband Tolu Fashoro, and children Kayode and Yemi. She is currently pursing a Masters degree in Restorative Practices, and seeks to further her anti-racist learning, organizing, and teaching.

Abby earned a B.A. in Urban Studies from Columbia College and an M.A. in Instructional Technology and Media from Teachers College of Columbia University.

Kim Davis

Kim Davis

Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and NC FCCLA advisor
Show Bio

Kim Davis is a Family and Consumer Sciences teacher and NC FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America advisor at Hobbton High School in Sampson County. Ms. Davis successfully coached her NC Jr. Chef finalist team to the 2019 cook-off winning a silver medal. The team was invited to present about their recipe and experience with the NC Jr. Chef Competition during the Thrive NC Festival, the NC Career and Technical Education Conference and now the Farm to School of NC Summit. Ms. Davis has a background working with NC Cooperative Extension and loves teaching about food and nutrition.

Imanol Arteage

Imanol Arteage

NC Jr. Chef finalist team from Hobbton High in Sampson County
Show Bio

Imanol Arteage is a member of the 2019 NC Jr. Chef finalist team from Hobbton High in Sampson County. The team successfully prepared their Chicken Fajita Bowl school lunch entrée recipe using NC grown ingredients to receive a silver medal. The team was invited to present about their recipe and experience with the NC Jr. Chef Competition during the NC Career and Technical Education Conference and now the Farm to School of NC Summit.

Erica Hoskins

Erica Hoskins

Culinary Arts Instructor, NC FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) Adviser and Career and Technical Education
Show Bio

Erica Hoskins is a Culinary Arts Instructor, NC FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) Adviser and Career and Technical Education Department Co-Chair at Apex High. Ms. Hoskins successfully coached her NC Jr. Chef finalist team to win first place in both the 2019 state cook-off and the 2019 Southeast Jr. Chef Competition at Sullivan University in Louisville, Kentucky! The team was invited to share their story for the North Carolina Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier and now at the Farm to School of NC Summit. Ms. Hoskins loves teaching students about food and nutrition.

Jose Burgos

Jose Burgos

NC Jr. Chef finalist team from Hobbton High in Sampson County
Show Bio

Jose Burgos is a member of the 2019 NC Jr. Chef finalist team from Hobbton High in Sampson County. The team successfully prepared their Chicken Fajita Bowl school lunch entrée recipe using NC grown ingredients to receive a silver medal. The team was invited to present about their recipe and experience with the NC Jr. Chef Competition during the Thrive NC Festival, the NC Career and Technical Education Conference and now the Farm to School of NC Summit. Jose loves cooking and creating new recipes and hopes to blend his skills in culinary arts and animation for a future career.