NC A&T plans to build new urban food complex for community, students

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- A new food research complex will soon come to Greensboro.

North Carolina A&T State University is behind the facility after receiving a grant this week.

Their hope is service both the students and the community at nearly 500 acres of farm land at university farm.

"[It] will be located over in the field right down the road here,” said Dr. Richard Robbins, facility’s coordinator, as he pointed behind him.

The university plans to call the new facility the community and urban food complex.

"We hope it will mean a lot ... we plan to have community farms out here, where people in the community can come and grow food for their own use. The students will learn obviously quite a bit because many of them come from non-farm backgrounds,” Robbins explained.

This week, the United States Department of Agriculture granted the school $1.2 million in funding that will go towards the new complex. Over a five year span it will the university will get close to $6 million.

The complex will ultimately sit near the new pavilion also in the works that will hold classrooms and even research space.

However Robbins hopes the urban complex is learning tool for not only students but growers too.

"So they can come in and learn how to develop products that they would like to sell. So we believe it's going to be extremely helpful,” he said.

The university is still in planning phase with the community and urban food complex and hopes to start construction a couple of years from now.

Work on the pavilion should start on that next spring.