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

Associate Professor, CEFS

Local Foods Extension Specialist


512 Brickhaven Drive 220F


Area(s) of Expertise

  • Local Food Systems
  • Food Access to Community-Based Food Systems
  • 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 graduate research 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 support through Cooperative Extension and CEFS to develop local food value chains as part of community-based local food projects that integrate low-resource consumers and support local farmers. This has included exploring how to strengthen immigrant/refugee communities’ capacity to participate in local food production and preparation, and how to connect food pantries with local food sources. She is currently conducting research about how to build relationships between local farmers and childcare centers and senior centers.

Programs and Initiatives

  • Extension Master Food Volunteer Program
  • Local Food Online Course
  • Farm to Early Care and Education
  • Farm to Senior Services

Selected Publications

Contributing Websites