The Governing Board of the Sandhills AGInnovation Center (SAIC) will meet at least quarterly to monitor the progress of the food hub business and advise the SAIC Manager. The purpose of the Governing Board is to ensure that the SAIC is operating in the interest of Richmond County Board of County Commissioners, satisfying the objectives of the major funders and appropriately utilizing public funds.
Bio – Davon Goodwin, Manager
Davon Goodwin grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but has rooted himself in North Carolina for over a decade now, consistently evidencing his dual commitment to agriculture and community. Davon holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, where he studied biology with a concentration in botany. While in college, Davon enlisted in the Army Reserve; he served in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he earned a Purple Heart after he was wounded by an improvised explosive device (IED).
Since 2012, Davon has been working with Growing Change, a nonprofit organization that is transforming former North Carolina prisons into therapeutic farms and community centers where youth and veterans serve in leadership roles. Through Growing Change, Davon has served as a teacher and mentor to youth who have themselves been impacted by the juvenile justice system. He has helped support Growing Change’s youth as they have become statewide leaders in CEFS’ Food Youth Initiative, a network of young people doing food justice work in their communities across North Carolina, as well as leaders nationally, sharing out this revolutionary model for community change.
As the manager of the Sandhills Ag Innovation Center, Davon is working to reinvigorate the local sustainable farm economy and support the next generation of farmers. He also owns and operates OTL Farms, a 42-acre sustainable farm located in Laurinburg, NC where he grows muscadine grapes, blackberries and vegetables.
Davon has received many awards and accomplishments. In 2017, he was named a Stone Barns Exchange Fellow. The program identifies food systems leaders that are striving to make a difference at the intersections of climate change, food and agriculture. Davon was also a part of the 2018 Documentary “The War Within”, a video series from McClatchy Studios that chronicles the lives of retired veterans who lived through the conflict in Afghanistan and are helping their brothers and sisters in arms cope with the effects of PTSD. Davon Goodwin is a driver of change, and truly a Local Food Hero!