Duke Campus Farm Catalyzing positive change in the food system

Duke Campus Farm
Ag Policy
The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA): Why you should care and how you can help

Written by Sarah Parsons, Former Farm Fellow. The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) is causing a stir among farmers and consumers throughout the nation. The new act, a set of rules and regulations created by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to create safeguards in food production, could place a large financial and logistical […]

The Future Health of the Honeybee and Our Food System
The Future Health of the Honeybee and Our Food System

Honeybees are what some may think of as whimsical, mythological creatures that turn flowers to fruit.  According to the EPA and USDA, their Midas touch, helps to produce approximately one-third of the food and beverages we consume in the U.S. every year1. In recent years, however, honeybees have seen a rapid decline.  Farmers across the […]

Closed loop farming
Closed loop farming

This April, I had the privilege of touring Chapel Hill Creamery in Chapel Hill, NC. I took away two major lessons from my visit and would like to use this blog post to share them with friends and visitors of the Duke Campus Farm.  First, the potential for selling a locally made “value added” product […]

Debunking Myths about the Farmer
Debunking Myths about the Farmer

On the farm there is a lot of quality time spent with your co-workers, especially at a farm with an intimate setting, such as the one at Duke’s Campus Farm.  There is a lot of story exchanging and reminiscing.  It is not rare to come out on the other end of a tomato patch (or […]

The Research Gap
The Research Gap

Hello Readers, Thank you for that introduction Emily.  I am excited about all the many adventures to come at DCF!  As Emily mentioned, I recently graduated from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke, where I received my Master in Environmental Management.  I am a lover of living creatures of all sizes and vibrant […]

Drought, You, and Yellow #2
Drought, You, and Yellow #2

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on Ag Policy here, but Tuesday night’s Colbert Report offered a golden opportunity to discuss a few of the key features of our industrial ag system. Unlike some past posts, I’ll try to stick to the (self-explanatory) facts rather than rail against the system itself. You can […]

Why Aren’t All Farmers Driving Gold-Plated Tractors?

I recently ran across this policy briefing,  “Still Waiting for the Farm Boon,” by Timothy Wise at the Tufts University Global Development and Environment Institute. In a tidy and digestible five or six pages, Dr. Wise debunks the common narrative that historically high crop prices have improved the economic situation for most American farmers. First, […]

Oh, Deer

As children growing up in rural Chatham County, my sister and I competed to spot deer while our car sped along the ribbon of back-country roads. Most nights we pulled into our driveway disappointed. But occasionally the headlights would illuminate a bright pair of white eyes lingering on the forest edge and our mom would […]

Paradigm Shifting Down on the Farm

Of all the trends in American agriculture, I want you to consider two for a minute. First, the American farmer is aging: the average farmer was just over 50 in 1978, 54 in 1997, and is about to turn 58. New farmers are not replacing their aging predecessors nearly fast enough to keep up. The U.S. […]

What does “sustainable ag” mean to you?

Last month the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association hosted its annual Sustainable Agriculture conference in Durham, and a handful of Dukies donned our best plaid shirts and headed down to the Imperial Sheraton to see what was going on. The conference attracts goers from all over North and South Carolina who are interested in “sustainable” food […]

What’s Wrong with ACRE?

Now that the specter of the Super Congress has passed, and with it the cloak room deals that would have comprised the next farm bill, we can all enjoy a winter respite and the chance to learn about farm policy before the process gets underway again early next year. A month ago I would have rung in […]


Guest post from Ali at This & That Jam. We’re hosting a pepper jam workshop with them next week. If you’d like to attend, sign up here. Keep reading to learn about their mission. When Ben and I moved from Brooklyn to North Carolina we realized we had the opportunity to re-work our business model […]

Let’s Talk About…Ag Policy

ATTN: Calling all foodies, policy wonks and friends of the earth. I want to invite you to join me on a journey through the wild and whacky world of American agricultural policy. If you’re reading this at all, you’ve probably already got some opinions on our country’s ag policies. A lot of us in the foodie […]