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Florida A&M University opens its new Agroecology Center

Several people stand outside under a tent looking at vegetables on a table.
Tom Flanigan
Visitors to the grand opening of the Lola Hampton-Frank Pinder Agroecology Center were saw lots of freshly harvested produce to illustrate the kinds of foodstuffs the community gardens will generate.

Florida A&M University celebrated the rebirth of its Orange Avenue community garden plot Saturday. The space will also serve as a classroom and laboratory.

FAMU Professor Kwasi Densu is the co-director of the new Lola Hampton-Frank Pinder Agroecology Center.

"The Agroecology Center is a partnership with the Black Food and Justice Alliance and at the level of the university, it's a collaboration between the College of Agriculture and Food Sciences and the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities."

Meaning, said Co-director Dr. Jennifer Taylor, a holistic center for promoting more community self-reliance, better nutrition and economic growth.

"In support of building healthy soils, food systems and environment."

Taylor added the ultimate purpose of the Center is to reconnect people with the source of their sustenance.

"I see it laying the foundation through which we have a lens to build and to see a healthier environment and a healthier food system and a healthier community. Based on agroecology and organic farming strategies, that will be beneficial, not only for underserved communities but for all communities."

Run in partnership with the Cooperative Extension Service, the site will also provide a community garden space for area residents. The center celebrated its grand opening on Saturday with a day-long showcase event.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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