UNCP offers sustainable agriculture certificate


A training program in sustainable agriculture will be offered in late 2010 by UNC Pembroke’s Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development.

 Emily Locklear

Emily Locklear, certificate program corrrdinator, and marketing materials

The goals of sustainable agriculture are environmental health, economic profitability and social and economic equity. The movement has resulted in local markets for new and traditional, locally grown farm products and tourism.

It is a 48-hour certificate program coupled with work experience that focuses on new trends in agriculture and new ways to produce agricultural income, said Sylvia Pate, Regional Center director. Enrollment is limited to 25 persons annually for three years.

“Topics will include an introduction to sustainable agriculture along with organic farming, agri-tourism, farm-to-table marketing, aquaculture, beekeeping, grape and wine production and related topics including technology and entrepreneurship,” Pate said. “Our goal is to help farmers and small businesses produce more income from their land and resources.”

“We have a coordinator in place, and have begun developing our marketing materials, completing final course development and hiring qualified faculty,” Pate continued.

The program serves Robeson, Scotland, Bladen and Hoke counties. Scholarships are available for tuition, fees, course materials, field trips, paid work experiences and many related expenses.

The Sustainable Agriculture Certificate program is funded by a three-year $478,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to N.C. Department of Commerce's Division of Workforce Development for a State Energy Sector Partnership grant and contracted to UNCP through the Lumber River Workforce Development Board. The funds are provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) with adherence to Equal Opportunity Employer/Program requirements.

Applicants must be 18 years old and meet other eligibility program requirements. Participants may be currently unemployed or can be currently employed on a farm or farm-related business.

For additional information, please contact UNCP’s Sustainable Agriculture Coordinator, Emily Locklear, at the Regional Center at 910.775.4000 or email emily.locklear@uncp.edu. The Regional Center is a division of UNCP’s Office for Outreach.