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Michael Schulman

Grants

Date: 11/30/-1 - 9/30/22
Amount: $55,572.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture - National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA)

This is an applied research/engagement project investigating the dimensions and sources of economic and emotional stress among farmers in NC, SC, and VA. The project is a collaboration between researchers at NC State with the Rural Advancement Fund International and other organizations that address the needs of socially disadvantaged farmers including the NC Agromedicine Institute and Clemson University. The original funding is based on a SARE Grant to RAFI. The goal of the project is to interview 45 farmers who have or who are experiencing financial and/or emotional stress armers with an open-ended questionnaire that includes questions about demographic, farm operation, mental health, and economic crises characteristics and experiences. All research instruments and data collection procedures have been approved by the NCSU IRB. Interviews will be done by zoom, telephone, and/or in-person following COVID protocols for interviews. Farmers will located in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Data analysis will identity the nature and extent of financial and emotional crises and resources used to cope with these crises. Farmers to be interviewed will be identified through snowball procedures using farmer informants/collaborators in RAFI's network. Coding of open-ended questions will utilize qualitative software. The results of the interviews will be used to evaluate existing materials on farm financial and mental health stress and to develop additional materials to address identified needs. The results of the research will be disseminated through presentations at professional society and agromedicine meetings and through publication in professional and applied journals.

Date: 09/30/16 - 12/29/18
Amount: $1,547,354.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Health & Human Services (DHHS)

Increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity in the U.S. remains a significant public health concern. Being overweight or obese is associated with increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and a range of other chronic diseases. Research shows that minority and low-income populations are disproportionately affected by obesity compared to the general population. This project, “A Multi-Level Approach to Prevent Obesity: Extension and Engagement in Four North Carolina Counties”, identifies several strategies to prevent obesity in four counties in North Carolina: Lee, Edgecombe, Halifax, and Northampton. By partnering with local Extension offices, health departments, parks and recreation departments, schools, and faith communities, we aim to: 1) increase opportunities for individual education around healthy eating and physical activity, drawing on research-based Extension programming such as EFNEP, SNAP-Education and Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More; 2) increase partnerships and supporting coalitions that are focused on increasing access to healthy foods and places to be active; 3) increase the number of organizations (faith communities and schools) and food retail establishments (corner stores and farmers’ markets) that implement healthy food standards or increase access to fresh and local foods; and 4) increase the availability of places to be active through Active Routes to School programs, shared use practices in community organizations, and standards that encourage physical activity in Afterschool setting. Through a comprehensive approach, based on the socio-ecological model, we aim to better understand the role Extension can play in preventing obesity, particularly in low-income and minority communities in North Carolina.

Date: 09/01/14 - 8/31/16
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

The Long-Term Farming System Research trial (FSRU) at CEFS was initiated in 1998 and comprises more than 200 acres with 5 different systems replicated 3 times. The objectives for initiating this trial 13 years ago were to research: 1) how the various systems impact long-term sustainability of soil and water resources, 2) whether some systems are more resilient to perturbations in weather, input and market prices, and 3) how the systems impact biodiversity, wildlife, pest dynamics and the ecological services of farmland. Our study is designed to provide a better understanding of how different systems interact with and impact the natural resource base and economic viability of farms, as well as identify alternative approaches with potential for synergistic effects, (such as diversification, access to direct markets, environmental conservation, etc.). Over time the FSRU systems experiment has become irreplaceably unique for several reasons. First is the comprehensive nature of the systems being studied and their relevancy in the South. Second, the scale (200 acres) and large plot size gives us the ability to study important production system dynamics (e.g., insect and disease management) that others cannot, making our results more relevant to producers. We are also a model of interinstitutional collaboration with involvement of various departments and colleges at each 1890 and 1862 Land Grant university, the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and NGO's as diverse as Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and the NC Farm Bureau. Our systems experiment has also integrated outreach at every level with farmer involvement in both research and educational programming. These funds will set our project on a path of long-term sustainability at a critical time as the state prepares for major budget cuts that put the experiment at risk. The NC Department of Agriculture and both universities are cutting personnel and operating support. Short-term grant funding has been indispensable with starting this project, but after 13 years of piecing together support we have learned that maintaining the core components of a systems trial is extremely difficult with sporadic funding. We are also preparing the FSRU for a new future. The majority of our advisory board are new members of CEFS. Their guidance on what is the current thinking of the farm community lends new vitality to our work. Similarly, the university is in the middle of rapid turnover. Eight of the faculty involved with this grant were not involved with the establishment of the FSRU. This experiment is key for recruiting new faculty to work in sustainable agriculture. New research questions in soil processes, insect ecology, livestock productivity, and socioeconomic impact of cropping systems were developed for this grant in response to board input and new expertise at our institutions. We hope to use this grant to prepare a solid future for the FSRU over the coming decades.

Date: 07/15/13 - 7/14/16
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

The Long-Term Farming System Research trial (FSRU) at CEFS was initiated in 1998 and comprises more than 200 acres with 5 different systems replicated 3 times. The objectives for initiating this trial 13 years ago were to research: 1) how the various systems impact long-term sustainability of soil and water resources, 2) whether some systems are more resilient to perturbations in weather, input and market prices, and 3) how the systems impact biodiversity, wildlife, pest dynamics and the ecological services of farmland. Our study is designed to provide a better understanding of how different systems interact with and impact the natural resource base and economic viability of farms, as well as identify alternative approaches with potential for synergistic effects, (such as diversification, access to direct markets, environmental conservation, etc.). Over time the FSRU systems experiment has become irreplaceably unique for several reasons. First is the comprehensive nature of the systems being studied and their relevancy in the South. Second, the scale (200 acres) and large plot size gives us the ability to study important production system dynamics (e.g., insect and disease management) that others cannot, making our results more relevant to producers. We are also a model of interinstitutional collaboration with involvement of various departments and colleges at each 1890 and 1862 Land Grant university, the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and NGO's as diverse as Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and the NC Farm Bureau. Our systems experiment has also integrated outreach at every level with farmer involvement in both research and educational programming. These funds will set our project on a path of long-term sustainability at a critical time as the state prepares for major budget cuts that put the experiment at risk. The NC Department of Agriculture and both universities are cutting personnel and operating support. Short-term grant funding has been indispensable with starting this project, but after 13 years of piecing together support we have learned that maintaining the core components of a systems trial is extremely difficult with sporadic funding. We are also preparing the FSRU for a new future. The majority of our advisory board are new members of CEFS. Their guidance on what is the current thinking of the farm community lends new vitality to our work. Similarly, the university is in the middle of rapid turnover. Eight of the faculty involved with this grant were not involved with the establishment of the FSRU. This experiment is key for recruiting new faculty to work in sustainable agriculture. New research questions in soil processes, insect ecology, livestock productivity, and socioeconomic impact of cropping systems were developed for this grant in response to board input and new expertise at our institutions. We hope to use this grant to prepare a solid future for the FSRU over the coming decades.

Date: 07/01/14 - 6/30/15
Amount: $10,000.00
Funding Agencies: NCSU Office of Extension & Engagement & Economic Development

 Immigrant and refugee populations have been shown to have poorer health outcomes than the general population, which is often related to the accessibility, availability and affordability of healthy food in their communities. While a variety of initiatives have relied on using local food to increase access to healthy and affordable foods, immigrant populations are often socially isolated from organizations that provide services to address health issues through connections with local food. This project will establish and strengthen partnerships with these diverse communities in order to learn how existing Extension programs and delivery methods can be adapted to meet the specific needs of immigrant and refugee populations. We will work through Faithful Families Eating Smart and Moving More (Faithful Families) and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Program (EFNEP) to create and strengthen social networks with immigrant communities. Our goal is to enhance immigrant communities’ ability to access resources that address health disparities and improve connections with local sources of healthy food. Ultimately, this project will contribute to our understanding of the best practices for improving the well-being of immigrant communities by integrating them with Cooperative Extension programs to address health through support for local food production and preparation.

Date: 06/15/12 - 6/14/15
Amount: $100,000.00
Funding Agencies: US Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

The Long-Term Farming System Research trial (FSRU) at CEFS was initiated in 1998 and comprises more than 200 acres with 5 different systems replicated 3 times. The objectives for initiating this trial 13 years ago were to research: 1) how the various systems impact long-term sustainability of soil and water resources, 2) whether some systems are more resilient to perturbations in weather, input and market prices, and 3) how the systems impact biodiversity, wildlife, pest dynamics and the ecological services of farmland. Our study is designed to provide a better understanding of how different systems interact with and impact the natural resource base and economic viability of farms, as well as identify alternative approaches with potential for synergistic effects, (such as diversification, access to direct markets, environmental conservation, etc.). Over time the FSRU systems experiment has become irreplaceably unique for several reasons. First is the comprehensive nature of the systems being studied and their relevancy in the South. Second, the scale (200 acres) and large plot size gives us the ability to study important production system dynamics (e.g., insect and disease management) that others cannot, making our results more relevant to producers. We are also a model of interinstitutional collaboration with involvement of various departments and colleges at each 1890 and 1862 Land Grant university, the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and NGO's as diverse as Carolina Farm Stewardship Association and the NC Farm Bureau. Our systems experiment has also integrated outreach at every level with farmer involvement in both research and educational programming. These funds will set our project on a path of long-term sustainability at a critical time as the state prepares for major budget cuts that put the experiment at risk. The NC Department of Agriculture and both universities are cutting personnel and operating support. Short-term grant funding has been indispensable with starting this project, but after 13 years of piecing together support we have learned that maintaining the core components of a systems trial is extremely difficult with sporadic funding. We are also preparing the FSRU for a new future. The majority of our advisory board are new members of CEFS. Their guidance on what is the current thinking of the farm community lends new vitality to our work. Similarly, the university is in the middle of rapid turnover. Eight of the faculty involved with this grant were not involved with the establishment of the FSRU. This experiment is key for recruiting new faculty to work in sustainable agriculture. New research questions in soil processes, insect ecology, livestock productivity, and socioeconomic impact of cropping systems were developed for this grant in response to board input and new expertise at our institutions. We hope to use this grant to prepare a solid future for the FSRU over the coming decades.

Date: 03/01/04 - 8/31/08
Amount: $672,000.00
Funding Agencies: Kellogg Foundation

A supplement to our grant at this time will allow us to lay the ground work and position ourselves for a major expansion of our work that includes the following: ? Expansion from pork to include all animal-based proteins including beef, pork, lamb, goat, chicken, dairy, and eggs. ? Focus in improving processing and marketing opportunities allowing farmers to take advantage of growing and diverse marketing opportunities, capturing fair return in the marketplace. ? Growing the number of farmers who can take advantage of developing larger-scale retail opportunities. ? Expanding the marketing support and coordination we provide to facilitate opportunities in local retail and food service markets through a partnership with Food LogiQ. ? Provide support for at-risk youth, their families, and communities to engage positively in the food system through providing healthy food choices and a range of engagement, learning, advocacy, empowerment, and entrepreneurial opportunities.


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