Distinguished Professor of Horticulture and Sustainable and Community-Based Food Systems
North Carolina State UniversityCefs.ncsu.edu
Nancy Creamer is a Distinguished Professor of Sustainable Agriculture and Community Based Food Systems at NC State University, and Director of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS). CEFS includes a 2000 acre sustainable and organic agriculture research, outreach, and teaching facility, and also has programs statewide in local food systems development. She was a founding member of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research and also a member of the Scientific Congress of Organic Agriculture Research, established by the Organic Farming Research Foundation.
In 2009 she provided leadership for a statewide North Carolina initiative engaging many diverse sectors and partners resulting in a statewide action plan: From Farm to Fork, a Guide to Building North Carolina’s Sustainable Local Food Economy, and has spearheaded the development of many of the strategic initiatives identified in the report. Dr. Creamer was a member of the USDA Specialty Crops Advisory Committee, and has served as a consultant to the European Commission on funding and evaluation of European-wide organic agriculture research activities. She was appointed by the North Carolina Governor to the legislated NC Sustainable Local Foods Advisory Council in 2010, and was Vice Chair of the Council through 2013.
The CEFS team was awarded the Southern Region’s C. Peter Macgrath Community Engagement Award, a national distinction which recognizes outreach and engagement partnership efforts of four-year public universities. In 2012, CEFS received one of the highest awards that USDA gives: the USDA Secretary’s Honor Award for “Assisting Rural Communities in Creating Prosperity so they are Self-Sustaining, Repopulating, and Economically Thriving”.
Dr. Creamer was recently appointed as a founding Board member for the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research which was allocated $200 million in the 2014 Farm Bill to support agricultural research. In 2015 she was appointed an advisory team member to the Organic Farming Research Foundation.
Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s accessible freshwater. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Overcoming Water Scarcity Challenge Area addressed water use efficiency in agriculture by developing water conservation and reuse technologies, improving crop and livestock breeds, creating improved agronomic practices, increasing the social and economic tractability of conservation practices and enhancing the efficacy of Extension services.
FFAR’s Sustainable Water Management Challenge Area builds on earlier work to increase water availability and water efficiency for agricultural use, reduces agricultural water pollution and develops water reuse technologies.
FFAR’s 2016-2018 Healthy Soils, Thriving Farms Challenge Area increased soil health by building knowledge, fueling innovation, and enabling adoption of existing or new innovative practices that improve soil health.
The Soil Health Challenge Area advances existing research and identifies linkages between farm productivity and soil health, while also addressing barriers to the adoption of soil health practices.
FFAR’s 2016-2018 Protein Challenge Area sought to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainability of diverse proteins.
The Advance Animal Systems challenge area supports sustainable animal production through environmentally sound productions practices and advancement in animal health and welfare. Additionally, the Next Generation Crops Challenge Area develops non-traditional crops, including plant-based proteins, and creates new economic opportunities for conventional crops to increase future crop diversity and farm profitability.
About 40 percent of food in the US, or $161 billion each year, is lost or wasted. FFAR’s 2016-2018 Food and Waste Loss Challenge Area addressed the social, economic and environmental impacts from food waste and loss through research that developed of novel uses for agricultural waste, improved storage and distribution, supported tracking and monitoring, minimized spoilage through pre- and post-harvest innovations and changed behaviors to reduce food waste
FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area addresses food waste and loss and supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.
Supporting innovation is necessary for sustainable results. Over the last 50 years, farmers have tripled global food production thanks to agricultural innovations. Forging the Innovation Pathway to Sustainability was a 2016-2018 Challenge Area that focused on understanding the barriers and processes that prevented the adoption of technology and research results into sustainable practices.
The 2016-2018 Urban Food Systems Challenge Area addressed feeding urban populations through urban and peri-urban agriculture and augmenting the capabilities of our current food system.
The Urban Food Systems Challenge Area continues this work and enhances our ability to feed urban populations.
FFAR’s 2016-2018 Making My Plate Your Plate Challenge Area focused on helping Americans meet the USDA 2015 Dietary Guideline recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption, including research to both produce and provide access to nutritious fruits and vegetables.
FFAR’s current Health-Agriculture Nexus Challenge Area supports innovative, systems-level approaches to reduce food and nutritional insecurity and improve human health in the US and globally.