NC State Extension

Youth, Families & Communities

kids planting garlic

Students in High Point plant garlic with Guilford Cooperative Extension

Information, resources and links on facilitating and supporting community and youth local foods programs. Materials range from youth empowered projects, leader guides for engaging youth and community members with farm to school and community gardens, and other community-based local food tools and program examples.

  • Community GardensA community garden is ”any piece of land gardened by a group of people.” (North Carolina Community Garden Partners). Dig into the organizations and programs that support community gardens throughout North Carolina.
  • Farm to SchoolFarm to School is a movement that strives to build a youth’s connection to healthy, local food through school gardening, farm field trips, hands-on cooking and nutrition and local sourcing of fresh fruits and vegetables to school cafeterias.
  • Farm to Preschool: Farm to Preschool is a movement working to build pre-K children’s connection to healthy, local food through similar means as Farm to School in child care settings.
  • School GardensSchools provide a formal context to engage youth into growing food through classroom curriculum.
  • Youth Food System Leadership: Youth have the capacity be vocal, powerful community leaders that provide access to local, healthy food.



 Youth Agriculture Programs

  • NC A&T State University – Discover Ag Program teaches young people about each aspect of agriculture and how it impacts their daily life. Discover Ag provides school field trips to the University farm in Greensboro as well as at Cherry Farm with CEFS in Goldsboro.
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program: NC 4-H has been linking youth to fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy animals and other agricultural systems for over 100 years.
  • Students Working for an Agricultural Revolutionary Movement (SWARM) is a youth food activism group supported by CEFS that teaches youth leadership, food justice and campaigns to improve food access in Wayne County.

N.C. Cooperative Extension Family & Consumer Science Programs

  • 4-H EFNEP (Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program)
    The youth component of EFNEP for school aged youth 5-19. Check out the website for program sites and information as well as tips and recipes.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education Program (SNAP-Ed) “The goal of SNAP-Ed is to assist those eligible for food assistance to eat smart and move more.”
A group of school gardeners celebrating their gardening success!

A group of school gardeners celebrating their gardening success!


Primary Contacts:
Liz Driscoll
4-H Youth Subject-Matter Specialist
Departments of Crop and Soil Sciences, Entomology and Plant Pathology and Horticulture Science
NC State University / N.C. Cooperative Extension
 / 919.513.7346

Tes Thraves
Youth and Community-based Food Systems Coordinator
Center for Environmental Farming Systems
NC State University & NC A&T State University / N.C. Cooperative Extension
tes_thraves@ncsu.edu