BOONE, N.C. — Farm fresh food without leaving campus? Thanks to a new collaboration at Appalachian State University, locally sourced meat, eggs, produce and herbs are a dining hall or market away.
Appalachian’s Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development has partnered with the university’s Food Services to provide local food from its Teaching and Research Farm in Ashe County to campus dining halls and markets. Deliveries of local meat and eggs began in January and will continue a few times each week as the partnership develops.
Interim Farm Manager Todd Rudicill was instrumental in advancing the partnership with Food Services Director Pam Cline. Both he and Cline are looking forward to how the developing relationship will benefit students, faculty and staff.
“I saw an opportunity to create exposure for the farm and encourage more students and faculty to learn about what we do,” he said. “I like to see progress, and I saw a need we could fill.”
Currently, Rudicill plans to provide 400 pounds of sausage per semester, along with hundreds of eggs and a variety of herbs and produce. Food Services anticipates purchasing the produce and meat for use in the dining halls and selling the eggs in campus markets.
“We want to share the bounty across campus by not only using the farm products in our kitchens, but allowing the Appalachian Community to bring it into their own kitchens as well,” said Cline.
In the 2016-17 academic year, Food Services purchased 21.27 percent of its food from local sources. Food Services establishes lasting and beneficial relationships with local farmers and producers, as well as helps develop a stronger local economy by supporting North Carolina businesses.
Rudicill and Cline are also exploring a joint venture to place an additional greenhouse at the farm solely to grow produce for Food Services.
“We can plant high-use produce like lettuce, kale, basil and cilantro just for our dining halls,” shared Rudicill. “Sustainable development students would grow, harvest and package up the produce for Food Services.”
As part of the partnership, Rudicill will take vegetable scraps from the dining halls back to the farm for composting to reduce waste on campus.
“This collaboration highlights the hard work that both areas of campus do to fulfill the university's sustainability mission,” said Cline. “We are invested in this partnership and want to procure as much product as possible from the farm.”
About the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development
One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development at Appalachian State University prepares students to thoughtfully analyze human development while focusing on the applied practice of pursuing transformative, community-driven development and social change. It offers a Bachelor of Science degree in sustainable development with concentrations in agroecology and sustainable agriculture; community, regional and global development; and environmental studies; as well as a Bachelor of Arts and minor in sustainable development.
About Food Services
Appalachian Food Services is owned and operated by Appalachian State University and offers dining services tailored to the campus community’s specific needs. With three dining facilities, 150 vending machines and daily catering events, Food Services provides opportunities for nourishment and also building and fostering relationships over shared meals and experiences. Food Services is committed to serving the Appalachian Community using sustainable practices such as local sourcing and contributing to campus composting and a constantly evolving partnership with the Office of Sustainability.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.