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Learning Journey to NC Coast Returns Value to Students

students standing in front of grain elevator

What does active learning about agriculture and entrepreneurship look like? Students over fall break participated in a learning journey to North Carolina’s coastal communities to learn more about how resources are allocated, exciting discoveries in marine sciences and aquaculture and entrepreneurial practices in action.

North Carolina’s coast is a vibrant region and many partners work every day to learn more about these beautiful and biologically diverse ecosystems and continue best practices to preserve our coasts and add value to the communities that call it home.

Ani Nagaraj, a third-year student in ABM and Ag Entrepreneurship, said “the fall break trip was a wonderful experience that entailed a lot of education and fun. We did plenty of things, ranging from visiting Shackelford Island and looking at the wild horses on our coasts, to learning about the role CMAST has in our coastal communities.” 

These experiences add value and dimension to what is learned in the classroom while bringing together students to experience active learning and engagement.

“Seeing entrepreneurship in action at Open Grounds added value to what I’m currently learning in the classroom,” Nagaraj said.

Students walk across a field in a line.

These learning journeys and alternative breaks give students opportunities to take their education out of the classroom and broaden their understanding of North Carolina’s important industries and partners. Experiencing entrepreneurship firsthand at Open Grounds Farm, learning the role CMAST has in expanding what is known about this delicate and important ecosystem and taking time to step into the environment to better understand the issues coastal communities face all better equip students to be leaders and change agents for North Carolina. Students also form closer bonds with each other and our university partners that add further depth to their professional development.

Students enrolled in the Agricultural Business Management program and the Agricultural Entrepreneurship Minor within the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics can participate in these professional development excursions and engage in active learning due to the work of the Office of Student Mentoring. The Office of Student Mentoring equips and empowers students to add value to themselves, grow their network and develop longstanding relationships with peers, faculty and our partners.

Students interested in adding the Agricultural Entrepreneurship minor or more involved with the Agribusiness Clinic for Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Economic Analysis should reach out to the Student Clinic Manager, Seeby Jarvis-Earle, at