The Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute
At the Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute, our mission is to create thriving rural communities through sustainable and equitable food ecosystems across North Carolina, pioneering innovative solutions that span from the farmer's field to the community’s table. Grounded in our core values, we are committed to fostering resilient agricultural practices, promoting local food economies, and ensuring access to healthy and affordable food for all.
Our mission encompasses:
We strive to advance environmentally responsible farming practices that prioritize soil health, water conservation, and biodiversity. Through education and support, we aim to equip farmers with the tools and knowledge needed to cultivate food in ways that benefit both the community and the planet.
Local Food Economies
We work towards building strong and vibrant local food economies that connect farmers with consumers. By facilitating direct relationships between producers and communities, we aim to create a sustainable market for locally grown products, fostering economic growth and resilience.
Food Justice and Equity
The Eva Clayton Rural Food Institute is dedicated to addressing food inequities in rural areas. We advocate for and work towards a fair and just food system where everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, has access to nutritious and culturally relevant food. We collaborate with communities to eliminate barriers to food access and promote food sovereignty.
We believe in the power of education to drive positive change. Through workshops, training programs, and outreach initiatives, we empower individuals and communities with the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions about their food choices, health, and sustainable living.
Innovation and Research
The institute is committed to fostering innovation in agriculture and food systems. We support research initiatives that explore and implement cutting-edge technologies and practices, with the goal of enhancing the efficiency, resilience, and sustainability of rural food production.
We actively engage in advocacy efforts at local, regional, and national levels to promote policies that support the interests of rural communities and sustainable food systems. By partnering with like-minded organizations and individuals, we work towards creating an enabling environment for positive change.
Who We Serve
At a Glance
- 11 northeastern counties in North Carolina
- Over 687,000 people
- 1.4 Million acres of farmland and 4,029 farms
- 1,600 new or beginner farmers
- Over 122,000 people experiencing food insecurity
Farmer, Director of Farmer Inclusion
Justice for Nature
North Carolina Central University
Board Member and Farmer
Dr. Noah Ranells
Dr. Ray McKinnie
Mary Jane Lyonnais, MPH
Food Systems Regional Planner
Juvencio Rocha Peralta
Association of Mexicans in North Carolina, Inc.