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Davon Goodwin


Generating local pride through agriculture, while making homegrown food accessible to all.

Headshot of Davon Goodwin

After suffering a traumatic brain injury during his deployment in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army Reserve, Davon Goodwin returned home to Scotland County, North Carolina, where he studied biology and botany at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. With fresh eyes, he found an agriculturally rich county that nevertheless had deep poverty and food insecurity. Interested in food access, he took a position as a farm manager at a nearby farm and went on to become the director of Sandhills AGInnovation Center, a food hub that supports local farmers and provides fresh fruit and vegetable boxes to communities in need.

But Goodwin’s passion is his own 42-acre farm, which he and his wife purchased in 2019. At Off the Land Farms, Goodwin cultivates muscadine grapes and other produce using sustainable practices. But his vision is even bigger: a farm that serves the community in new and profound ways.

Scotland County is home to 34,000 residents, 40% of them Black and 13% Native American. The poverty rate is over 52%, and chronic diseases, like diabetes, are more prevalent than in surrounding counties. Access to fresh food is scant and unequal.   

With the Emerson Collective Fellowship, Goodwin will transform Off the Land Farms into a hub for the community by building out a unique farm store, The Marketplace at OTL Farms. In addition to offering you-pick grapes for jelly and its signature muscadine slushie, the store will host Front Porch Conversations and special Farm Dinners, where a diverse cross-section of residents will gather to talk about critical topics in the community. These gatherings will be designed to catalyze positive change, building the foundation for a new—and delicious—future for all. 

More about The Emerson Collective Fellowship.

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