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Land-Grant Local Food Systems Solutions

lang grant local logoLand-Grant Local Food Systems Solutions is a College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences (CBSHS) initiative to enhance economic, social and health outcomes in South Carolina by more fully integrating the work of local farms into Clemson University. The program’s immediate goal is to bring foods from local farms into the Clemson environment. CBSHS leadership is already shaping future curriculum and research centered on food systems that stress solutions for food insecurity and hunger across the state.

Improving access to local foods has an immediate effect on health, but it also helps to stimulate the South Carolina economy, build relationships across communities, and introduce a model that others can emulate. Pursuing a program such as Land-Grant Local further positions CBSHS as a 21st-century, land-grant college dedicated to teaching, research and service to the state of South Carolina.

Land-Grant Local provides transparency about the proximity, qualities, and farmers of food that will appear in Clemson Dining in measured, reported form. The initiative is designed to impact student lives by increasing education in the dining setting and access to fresh, affordable food in the campus markets, and applying research to every step of the process from the farm to healthy outcomes.


Mike McGirrMike McGirr is director of Land-Grant Local. He previously served as executive director of Feed & Seed, a nonprofit collaborative organization seeking to increase food security for all South Carolinians. He works directly with CBSHS Dean Leslie Hossfeld and partners with Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences and other entities to develop, nurture and create food systems initiatives at the university. His goal is to bring together an interdisciplinary service-learning, facilities and community-programmatic team focused on food systems.


Mike McGirrOne of the key initiatives of Land-Grant Local is the FoodFORWARD Research Symposium, hosted jointly by the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences. Started in spring 2019, the symposium brings together Clemson food researchers for campus-wide collaboration. Researchers from areas such as food systems, food safety, food packaging, food production, food anthropology, food insecurity, and food communication come together for poster presentations and talks from experts in food research.



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