Teaching children about the value of local, fresh foods.


The research we do today helps everyone live better tomorrow.

Reality Research

Our research is not in a lab. It’s in your town, your classroom, your farm or your kitchen. With research directed at the needs of youth, families and communities, we investigate ways to help people eat better, spend smarter and improve relationships. We also analyze human interface with agriculture, particularly learning, leading, and communicating in and about agriculture, food, and natural resources.

Our research involves thousands of people in North Carolina and across the country. Government agencies and major foundations trust us to find answers to today’s big societal questions – and have committed more than $40 million to our research. And it’s having a big impact. In 2017 alone, we published over 55 peer-reviewed articles and made over 180 presentations.

$40 million committed to research funding.

Government agencies and major foundations trust us to find answers to today's big societal questions.

Experts in their Fields

Our researchers work on the front lines of innovation, developing viable solutions to significant challenges facing North Carolina and beyond. Here are a few snapshots of our faculty members who work hard to make life better.

Lindsey Hayes-MaslowLindsey Haynes-Maslow

Dr. Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, assistant professor and extension specialist, is an expert on the intersection between food systems, nutrition and public health, as well as the impact of government policies driving the food system. Lindsey currently serves as principal investigator for Steps to Health, the university’s SNAP-ED program funded by the USDA.

Anne Hardison-MoodyAnnie Hardison-Moody

Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist, Dr. Annie Hardison-Moody focuses on the emerging field of religion and health, with a focus on gender, reproductive health, food, and parenting. Serving as the Project Director for Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More is just one of Annie’s impactful roles.

Dr. Travis ParkTravis Park

Associate Professor Travis Park focuses on reading literacy, agriculture awareness and Assessment in Teacher Preparation.

Dara BloomDara Bloom

Assistant Professor and Local Foods Extension Specialist Dara Bloom’s areas of expertise include local food systems; community food security and food access; and value chains and chain supply governance. She’s passionate about training Cooperative Extension agents to develop community-based local food projects that integrate low-resource consumers.

We trained 117 teachers in 2016 to reach over 1,800 students

Our Project Learning Tree is focused on increasing environmental literacy