North Carolina Agromedicine Institute recognized with national designation

The North Carolina Agromedicine Institute has been nationally recognized for an exemplary project by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium.

An inter-institutional partnership among East Carolina University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, and North Carolina State University, the institute collaborates with organizations throughout the state to address the health and safety challenges facing North Carolina farmers, foresters, fishermen, and their families and communities.

The institute’s efforts to provide health care and safety training were recognized at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ Commission on Economic and Community Engagement summer meeting on June 14. The designation has been granted annually to select projects since 2011 by the ESC for outstanding accomplishments in their communities.

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Previous recipients of the honor include Purdue University, the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Louisville, and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, among others.

“To recognize the work of the institute is to acknowledge the importance of health and safety for the people in our state and beyond who work diligently day in and day out to produce food and fiber for the rest of us,” said ECU’s Robin Tutor Marcom, director of the North Carolina Agromedicine Institute. “We are honored to serve them and to be able to tell their story.”

To recognize the work of the institute is to acknowledge the importance of health and safety for the people in our state and beyond who work diligently day in and day out to produce food and fiber for the rest of us. We are honored to serve them and to be able to tell their story.
- Robin Tutor Marcom, director, North Carolina Agromedicine Institute

The institute serves more than 10,000 individuals annually, including students, agricultural leaders and employees of businesses serving agricultural workers. In 2020, it operated in 97 of 100 counties in the state and provided services to citizens across 30 states and three tribal nations.

Established in 1999, the institute leverages the strengths of its academic partners in medicine, nursing and allied health with expertise in agriculture led by the state’s land-grant campuses. The institute identifies issues relevant to agricultural workers and their families in the state — which make up 17% of North Carolina’s worker population — and provides boots-on-the ground programs and training to help combat those issues.

Its programs include the AgriSafe-NC program, Certified Safe Farm program and the AgrAbility program, among others. Its services include health care screenings and tests for farmers, foresters, fishermen and their families; behavioral and mental health care services; medical and safety training; and research that has led to more than 320 academic publications.

“The work that the NCAI and its partners undertake every day exemplifies the impact university-community connections can have on individuals, communities and campuses,” said Sharon Paynter, ECU assistant vice chancellor for economic and community engagement. “This partnership is one of the best examples in the nation for putting research into practice.”

The Engagement Scholarship Consortium is a nonprofit educational organization composed of higher education member institutions. Its goal is to work collaboratively to build strong university-community partnerships anchored in the rigor of scholarship and designed to help build community capacity.

ECU and N.C. State are both members of the ESC.

About East Carolina University

East Carolina University has a rich history of economic and community engagement scholarship and programs, including its Engagement and Outreach Scholars Academy, SECU Public Fellows Internship Program, and various economic development. ECU has been recognized as a Carnegie Foundation Community Engaged institution and has been designated by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities as an Innovation & Economic Prosperity University. In 2017, the university was the recipient of the ESC’s W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award for its MATCH Wellness program.

About North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is the nation’s largest historically Black university, as well as its top ranked (Money magazine, Best Colleges). It is a land-grant, doctoral university, classified as “high research” by the Carnegie Foundation and a constituent member of the University of North Carolina System. A&T is known for its leadership in producing graduates in engineering, agriculture and other STEM fields. The university was founded in 1891 and is located in Greensboro, North Carolina.

About North Carolina State University

As a research-extensive land-grant university, NC State University is dedicated to excellent teaching, the creation and application of knowledge, and engagement with public and private partners. By uniting its strength in science and technology with a commitment to excellence in a comprehensive range of disciplines, NC State promotes an integrated approach to problem solving that transforms lives and provides leadership for social, economic, and technological development across North Carolina and around the world.