The Center for Educational and Agricultural Development (CEAD) is the future home of Piedmont Community College’s (PCC) Agribusiness Technology Program and a center for economic development in Caswell County. The campus will be located in Pelham, NC and include agricultural education, economic development, and community resources.
A food hub, an incubator farm, and food retail opportunities will build opportunity for Caswell County farmers and food entrepreneurs. Educational opportunities through PCC and Cooperative Extension will focus on food and farm initiatives, while community facilities will encourage community health and wellness.
The combination of these elements are designed not only to promote Caswell’s farm community but also to drive economic development that attracts new investments, builds new jobs in Caswell, and expands the county’s community and economic opportunities.
“There’s a lot of synergy around the project overall – from community partners to the number of designers interested in being involved,” comments Ed Morrah, PCC’s ADA/OSHA Project Manager.
This was evident in the Caswell County Commissioners’ meeting held in September 2019 when the county’s elected officials approved partnering with PCC. During that same meeting, multiple community members spoke highly about the county joining forces with PCC on this specialized agricultural project.
This Project Plan is a step towards a vibrant, energetic campus where many different parts of a healthy local food system work together and strengthen each other. The overall project captures many years of vision and leadership from dedicated community members at Piedmont Community College, Caswell County, the Piedmont Community College Foundation, Caswell County Cooperative Extension and the Danville Regional Foundation.
“As we’ve moved forward with CEAD, we heard there was a need for a distribution space for local food pantries and various food distribution partners. This caused us to adjust our plan to add this space,” shared Dr. Pamela Senegal, President, Piedmont Community College. “If people are hungry, they can’t learn. We have to understand that we’re in this together as a community and need to ensure our neighbors have their basic needs met so they can thrive in other areas, such as education and being successful in their employment.”
She continues to say, “We want this space to have not only a great impact for local farmers but also be for the overall betterment of the full community.”
A groundbreaking will be held in April once a designer is selected to work on the 79-acre site that is expected to include a 15,000 square foot educational building including emergency shelter; a 6,000 square foot food hub; and a 10-12 acre incubator farm.