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NC State Extension

Youth, Families & Communities

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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.

kids planting garlic

Students in High Point plant garlic with Guilford Cooperative Extension

The links below will direct you to resources, tools and programs on each of the specific topics

  • 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 Early Childcare Education (ECE): Farm to Early Childhood Education 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.
  • Farm to Fork Camp: Farm to Fork Camp is a collaborative program between 4-H, FCS, and Agriculture to teach youth (8-18) where their food comes from and how to prepare meals using fresh items from the farm.
  • 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.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension’s 4-H Youth Development Program has been linking youth to fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy animals and other agricultural systems for over 100 years.

  • NC 4-H Grow for It Program focuses on plant-based education, emphasizing horticulture, agronomy, soil science and entomology
  • NC 4-H Youth Livestock Program provides opportunities for youth to learn about livestock animals, including goat, sheep, beef and swine.
  • NC 4-H Dairy Program offers learning experiences with Dairy Cattle.
  • NC 4-H Poultry Program has numerous opportunities and materials to support youth poultry programs.
  • The Food Youth Initiative (FYI) is a project housed at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), and carried out with many community partners, with the mission of envisioning and supporting the advancement of a just food system where youth envision and support the advancement of a just food system.

N.C. Cooperative Extension Family & Consumer Science Programs

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

Remi Ham
Assistant Teaching Professor
Department of Horticultural Science
North Carolina State University / N.C. Cooperative Extension
raham@ncsu.edu / 919.515.5373


Written By

Joanna Lelekacs, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionJoanna LelekacsExtension Local Food Flagship Program Manager Call Joanna Email Joanna ANR/CRD
NC State Extension, NC State University

Contributing Author

Liz Driscoll, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionLiz Driscoll4-H Specialist Crop & Soil Sciences, Entomology & Plant Pathology, Horticulture Call Liz Email Liz Horticultural Science
NC State Extension, NC State University
Page Last Updated: 4 months ago
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