Exemplarary Service | Beaufort County Now | North Carolina Agromedicine Institute recognized with national designation

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Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Matt Smith.

North Carolina Agromedicine Institute Director Robin Tutor Marcom, left, shares protective masks and disinfectant wipes with Tracey Taylor, owner of Stone Mountain Farms in Vilas. The institute was recognized by the Engagement Scholarship Consortium for an exemplary project for working across the state to provide health care and safety training to farmers, foresters, fishermen, and their families and communities. | Photo: Marie Freeman / Appalachian State University

    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.

    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.
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