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Think and Do The Extraordinary
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Dara Bloom, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Local Foods Extension Specialist


512 Brickhaven Drive 220F


Area(s) of Expertise

  • Local Food Systems
  • Community Food Security and Food Access
  • Value Chains and Supply Chain Governance

Dara Bloom is an associate professor and Local Foods Extension Specialist at NC State University. She is also Director of Community Based Food Systems for the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). Dara was inspired by her time doing community gardening on the US/Mexican border to learn about the structure and policies of the larger agri-food system, as well as how community-based projects can enhance local food security. Dara earned her degree in Rural Sociology at Penn State University, with a focus on the Sociology of Agriculture and Food Systems. Her previous research has revolved around the challenges and opportunities of “scaling up” local food systems, including the interactions between social, environmental, and economic values as alternative movements are incorporated into conventional systems. Her current work includes providing training to Cooperative Extension agents about developing community-based local food projects that integrate low-resource consumers. She is also involved with several research projects that explore how to strengthen immigrant/refugee communities’ capacity to participate in local food production and preparation; how to connect food pantries with local food sources; how to build relationships between local farmers and childcare centers; and how to understand farmer motivations for selling to low-resource consumers.

Programs and Initiatives

  • Extension Master Food Volunteer Program
  • Local Food Online Course
  • Farm to Early Care and Education
  • Working with immigrant/refugee communities on self-directed local foods projects

Selected Publications

Contributing Websites