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Ashley Chaifetz

Ashley Chaifetz, M.S
Research Assistant, Ph.D. student
Department of Public Policy
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Interest Areas
Food safety education
Garden food safety
Food policy

Research project
Federal and state guidelines do not exist for school and community gardens and in NC, produce served in the cafeteria must be GAP (Good Agricultural Practices) certified. Through community-based contacts, our team built guidance materials, based on academic research, as a practical application of GAP but tailored to garden needs (essentially a baby-GAP). In the summer of 2012, we have visited 25 school and community gardens in Wake, Durham and Orange counties to support guideline implementation, building on the relationships established in the project’s preliminary phase. Project activities include answering questions about current operations, orchestrating garden layouts, and assisting in best practices for water, compost, and harvest procedures, providing resources as needed. After we re-visit the gardens this fall, we will be able to evaluate the curriculum’s feasibility as well as measure the relative safety of the gardens.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 2000, Ashley Chaifetz worked in electoral politics across the country, from New York to Virginia to Texas to Oregon. In 2005, she earned a Master of Arts in Women’s History from Sarah Lawrence College; her thesis focused on the community/survival programs of the Black Panther Party. Currently a PhD student in public policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Ashley is interested in food and agricultural policy, specifically the policies and regulations (or lack thereof) regarding food safety but also the inequality of goods available to and demanded by socioeconomically diverse communities. With Dr. Benjamin Chapman, she has worked to develop a food safety curriculum for use in school and community gardens.

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