Recent Posts

Starting the Year Off with a “BAM”

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – NC State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) is kicking off 2020 with the start of its first clinical research trial, the...

How Epigenetics Could Change How We Grow Food

To understand epigenetics, nutrition, and the work of Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh, it helps to begin long before he was even born, back during World War...

New Faculty: Andrew Neilson

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The interaction of the gut microbiome with human health is an emerging field in biology, nutrition and medicine.  With the addition of Andrew Neilson,...

New Faculty: Abdulkerim Eroğlu

Abdulkerim “Kerim” Eroğlu, PhD, set up his nutrigenomics lab at the NC Research Campus in August 2018 when he joined the Plants for Human Health...

High School Culinary Student finds Recipe for Success

KANNAPOLIS, NC — For an eager culinary arts student, the challenge was intriguing: Find a palatable culinary use for watermelon concentrate. Samuel Jijon (Sammy), a...

Bowman leads PHHI-based STEM session at Grow Academy

North Carolina high school teachers have a unique new opportunity to gain hands-on experience in agriculture and life sciences education, thanks to NC State’s new...

A new spin on Carrot Cake just in time for Easter

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – Carrot cake may be on the menu for upcoming Easter celebrations, but you’ve probably never tried a carrot cake that has no...

Results Feature Article Reaps Award of Excellence

The feature article, Reaping a Healthy Harvest, recently won an Award of Excellence in the “Best Article of the Year” category at the southeast regional conference of...

The Power of Blueberries (Today’s Dietitian)

Dr. Mary Ann Lila was featured in a Today's Dietitian article illustrating the powerful phytochemicals and health benefits associated with the blueberry. Studies suggest that blueberries can be effective against cancer, diabetes and neurocognitive diseases, as well as support heart health and memory.

PHHI Hiring Small Fruit/Vegetable Researcher

PHHI is hiring a faculty member to lead a genomics program in small fruits and/or vegetables. The successful candidate’s research will focus on genetics, genomics, germplasm improvement and breeding of small fruits (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) and/or vegetable crops.

Duke Energy Foundation Grants $150K to P2EP

The Duke Energy Foundation has renewed their support of the North Carolina Research Campus-based, Plant Pathways Elucidation Project (P2EP) with a contribution of $150,000.

PHHI Researchers Link Alaska Seaweed to Efficacy Against Diabetes, Obesity

PHHI scientists were featured in an Alaska Dispatch article highlighting their discovery of powerful health-promoting phytochemicals in seaweed. The findings suggest that seaweed may provide protection against conditions like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Reaping a Healthy Harvest: Results Cover Story

The latest issue of Results, published by N.C. State University's Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development, features PHHI Director Dr. Mary Ann Lila on the cover. The story captures the spirit of Lila's work and the mission of the Plants for Human Health Institute.

PHHI Hiring Nutrition-related Extension Associate

PHHI is hiring for a nutrition-­related position with its N.C. Cooperative Extension team. The position will be responsible for creating a nutrition-­oriented program to develop research-based resources that educate people about the health-­promoting characteristics of plants.

Blueberry Benefits | Growing Magazine

Dr. Mary Ann Lila, director of the Plants for Human Health Institute, was featured in Growing Magazine's January 2014 issue.

PHHI Featured on UNC-TV

The Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI), and director Dr. Mary Ann Lila, were featured on UNC-TV's "North Carolina Now" program.

N.C. Cooperative Extension Service Mapping its Future

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service has launched a strategic visioning and planning initiative to evaluate the organization’s business model, adapt accordingly to the current economic environment and devise a strategy going forward.

N.C. State Program Awards Funding to Expand 20 Agricultural Businesses

The North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) program, coordinated in part by the Plants for Human Health Institute's Extension component, has announced $311,938 in equipment cost share awards for 20 agricultural operations across the state.

N.C. State Announces Plans to Expand Farm Management Training

The North Carolina State University Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) will conduct four Farm Management Training Schools, patterned after the award winning “Piedmont Farm School,” in 2014-2015.

N.C. State Scientists Searching for Salmonella

A team of North Carolina State University scientists is looking for Salmonella on tomatoes and around tomato production areas. What they find could help farmers grow tomatoes that have a decreased likelihood of carrying the harmful bacteria.

Researchers study impacts of cooking methods on blueberry benefits

In a scientific study, researchers with N.C. State's Plants for Human Health Institute measured the levels of health-promoting phytochemicals in blueberries after putting them through a variety of cooking methods. The results revealed a decline in certain compounds depending on cooking method.

PHHI Researchers Recognized with Awards

Three faculty and staff with N.C. State University's Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI) have been acknowledged for their respective efforts in 2013.

Whole Grains: Addressing the Challenges, Maximizing the Potential

Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh from the Plants for Human Health Institute is leading research on grains to provide new insights into how scientists can impact seed size, nutritional value and other traits valued by farmers and consumers.

PHHI Initiates Biodiscovery Partnership in Malaysia

PHHI's Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky will make the first steps in establishing long-standing collaboration with the International Medical University of Malaysia (IMU). Ultimately, the project will focus on engaging scientists from developing countries in both local and global human health research.

North Carolina agriculture continues to grow

Agriculture and agribusiness — food, fiber and forestry — continue to grow in North Carolina, according to a new study from N.C. State University. The latest data values the N.C. agriculture industry at $77 billion, more than 17 percent of the state's total economy.

Agbiosciences drive economic growth, job creation in the Southern U.S.

Amid news of a still sputtering U.S. economic recovery, a report shows the nation’s agbioscience industries are growing, especially in the South. According to the study, agriculture, forestry and fisheries production generates $240 billion in regional economic activity within the Southern region and supports over 2.2 million jobs.

PHHI Research, Extension Collaboration Wins Award

PHHI's Pack 'N Cool mobile refrigeration unit received a 2013 Blue Ribbon Extension Communication Award from the Southern Region of the American Society of Horticultural Science.

New CALS Dean Richard Linton Tours PHHI

New College of Agriculture and Life Sciences dean Richard Linton toured the North Carolina Research Campus, including the Plants for Human Health Institute, on November 7, 2012.

Ecuadorian President Visits the N.C. Research Campus, PHHI

President Rafael Correa of the Republic of Ecuador and a delegation of ministers spent October 30, 2012, touring the N.C. Research Campus (NCRC) in Kannapolis, including N.C. State University's Plants for Human Health Institute.

N.C. State Snags New Plant Scientist, Continues Growth at N.C. Research Campus

The Plants for Human Health Institute continues its expansion efforts by adding another established scientist to its team at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis. Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh is developing a research program centered on the biological systems of flowering plants, including fruits and vegetables.

Pack ‘N Cool Construction Summary

N.C. State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute has developed a mobile refrigeration trailer – the “Pack ‘N Cool” – that agricultural producers can use...

N.C. State University Opens Greenhouse Complex by N.C. Research Campus

N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute has begun operations at three new greenhouses in Kannapolis. The $340,000 greenhouse complex will strengthen N.C. State’s infrastructure at the N.C. Research Campus, creating about 10,000 square feet of additional space.

PHHI Postdoc Jump-starts Campus Collaboration

At the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, the N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute and the Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory have collaborated to form a joint industry-academic postdoctoral position, the first of its kind at the campus.

PHHI Business Director Wins Award for Excellence

Tara Vogelien received a 2012 Award for Excellence from N.C. State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. The award annually recognizes outstanding individual accomplishments and contributions to the college mission.

Graduate Students Affiliated with PHHI Win Awards

Graduate students of Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie, professor with N.C. State Plants for Human Health Institute, were recently recognized for their research projects at the American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS) Southern Region meeting in Birmingham, Ala.

PHHI Lays Groundwork for Cabbage Breeding Program

Two scientists with the N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis are studying more than 300 cabbage varieties as part of the initial phase in a cabbage breeding program.

N.C. MarketReady Announces 2012 Equipment Funding for Agricultural Operations

The North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share program is accepting applications for the 2012 equipment cost share funding cycle. The program provides up to $50,000 to agricultural producers and processors seeking to purchase specialized equipment to start or grow a value-added operation.

New N.C. Blackberry Production Budget Available

North Carolina blackberry growers have an updated sample operating budget to guide them in tracking, maintaining and managing their business costs.

PHHI Researcher Receives Vegetable Publication Award

Dr. Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a postharvest physiologist with the Plants for Human Health Institute, received the 2011 Vegetable Publication Award from the American Society for Horticultural Science.

N.C. MarketReady Faculty Teach Business Planning at Piedmont Farm School

Two N.C. State University faculty members based at the N.C. Research Campus will be instructors in the 2012 Piedmont Farm School, presented by N.C. Cooperative Extension. Mike Roberts and Jonathan Baros, both affiliated with the N.C. State agricultural and resource economics department, will teach business planning seminars. Baros is also a member of N.C. MarketReady, the Cooperative Extension outreach of the Plants for Human Health Institute.

N.C. MarketReady Awards 2011 Equipment Cost Share

The N.C. Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) program, administered by N.C. MarketReady, recently selected 12 agricultural operations to receive nearly $170,000 in funding for value-added equipment purchases.

PHHI Adds Two Scientists at the N.C. Research Campus

The Plants for Human Health Institute will add two more scientists to its faculty in the summer of 2011. Dr. Slavko Komarnytsky and Dr. Xu Li will research fruits and vegetables and their impact on human health.

“Chefs-of-Tomorrow” Visit Local Farm to Learn About Agriculture

More than 30 culinary students from Johnson & Wales University visited a local farm and agricultural research station on April 1, 2011, as part of the N.C. Strawberry Project, a first-of-its-kind partnership between North Carolina State University’s Plants for Human Health Institute at the N.C. Research Campus in Kannapolis and Johnson & Wales University.

New Farm & Agribusiness Management Position Helps Fresh Produce Growers

N.C. MarketReady welcomes Jonathan Baros as the new farm and agribusiness management specialist. He will develop and sustain programs that help N.C. fruit and vegetable producers explore efficient economic options and optimize profits for their farming operations.

Fresh Produce Safety Trainings Make an Impact in 2010

The N.C. MarketReady Fresh Produce Safety – Field to Family Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) Training Curriculum is bearing fruit for the nearly 300 growers and more than 120 Extension agents who have completed the training. Read more to find examples of the impacts the training is having on N.C. farms.

Nooherooka Natural: Delivering Value-Added Beef in Eastern North Carolina

Nooherooka Natural, a farm that specializes in Black Angus beef in Snow Hill, NC, received an N.C. Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) award. The business is at a pivotal stage of growth where demand for their product could outpace supply without careful inventory management. Read more to find out how the award will help their operation.

Bobcat Farms: A Family Livestock Operation Looking to Diversify

Henry and Tracy Moore of Bobcat Farms in Clinton, N.C., recently received an N.C. Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) award. The Moore’s began their farming operation as pork production, but have been adding Black Angus cattle to their livestock mix. They plan to expand their beef business through branding and marketing to provide further financial diversity and security for the farm.

Hyde County Vegetable Growers Venture into Processed, Fresh Vegetables

Wilson and Debbie Daughtry, owners of Alligator River Growers in Engelhard, N.C., on behalf of three Hyde county farms and Parker Farms, in southeastern Virginia, were recipients of an N.C. Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) award. These vegetable growers are looking to establish a packaging business for fresh produce, including snap beans, sweet corn and broccoli florets, creating a ready to cook product.

Governor Expands N.C. Value-Added Cost Share Program

Gov. Beverly Perdue announced a package of programs, the Family Farm Innovation Fund, to help North Carolina farmers rebound from the recession. The N.C. Value-Added Cost Share program (NCVACS), administered by N.C. MarketReady, will receive $150,000 from the Family Farm Innovation Fund, as well as an additional $150,000 from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to expand its equipment cost share program for value-added producers and processors of N.C. agricultural commodities.

N.C. MarketReady Team Members Receive Awards

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) recently recognized Dr. Blake Brown and Diane Ducharme of the N.C. MarketReady program for achievements in their respective areas. Dr. Brown received the Faculty Resource Development Award and Ducharme accepted an Award for Excellence.

The Produce Lady Offers Healthy, Economical Options for Easter Eating

The Produce Lady is encouraging North Carolinians to invest more of their holiday food budgets in local foods and healthy eating this Easter. Find recipes and tips to share a community’s fresh produce to family and friends while supporting the local economy.

N.C. MarketReady Announces Spring Cost Share Cycle for Value-Added Equipment

The North Carolina Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) program, administered by N.C. MarketReady, is now accepting applications for the spring funding cycle, Equipment Cost Share. This program is funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to support the development of value-added agricultural operations, an emerging sector of North Carolina agriculture. Applicants can seek to purchase new or used equipment with cost share funding. Equipment cost share awards will vary from 25 to 50 percent of the total cost of the equipment, up to a maximum of $25,000.

N.C. MarketReady Is New Name for the Value-Added Agriculture Program

N.C. State University's Program for Value-Added & Alternative Agriculture will become N.C. MarketReady, effective Oct. 20. "We are excited about this new name," said Dr. Blake Brown, the director of the program. "The new name, N.C. MarketReady, more accurately communicates the scope of our program's work."

September Is Food Safety Month

N.C. Cooperative Extension, in cooperation with the N.C. Fresh Produce Safety Task Force, is leading an initiative to educate fruit and vegetable growers and consumers about measures that can minimize food safety risks. The organization has received more than $250,000 in grant funding to support the statewide Extension and research effort.

N.C. State Launches a New Online Resource for N.C. Strawberry Growers

When a question about strawberries comes to mind there’s no need to go globetrotting across the World Wide Web, one stop at the recently launched Strawberry Growers Information Portal will provide the answer. The N.C. State University Program for Value-Added & Alternative Agriculture, with a grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, developed the Strawberry Growers Information Portal to bring together on one Website all the resources pertaining to business management and production of strawberries in North Carolina.

N.C. State Announces $1.2 Million Value-Added Cost Share Program to Help Farmers

The N.C. State University Program for Value-Added & Alternative Agriculture, in cooperation with the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission, announces the N.C. Value-Added Cost Share (NCVACS) program, which is designed to enhance rural economic development and strengthen farm families. This new $1.2 million effort is funded by the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission to support the development of value-added agricultural operations.

N.C. State University Introduces Online Tools to Grow N.C. Farmers’ Businesses

The “Business Development Files,” for small- to mid-size farmers, offer step-by-step advice for those interested in building or expanding an agricultural business. This resource consists of seven files, or steps, that each provide guidance on various aspects of developing an agricultural business, from estimating market potential to marketing and promotion.

South Rowan High School Students Shadow N.C. State Staff at the Research Campus

Two South Rowan High School students are part of a new program that N.C. State University has implemented at the N.C. Research Campus to expose local teens to the many possibilities when it comes to the work world. The teens were selected to “shadow” or spend at least one and one-half hours each week for a semester with N.C. State faculty and staff at the campus.

N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission Helps Grow the Value-Added Web Site

The TTFC highlights the Program for Value-Added & Alternative Agriculture website in its May newsletter. The Produce Lady, fresh produce safety information and other resources are available on this site with the assistance of TTFC funding.