Stella Smolowitz ’26, Carolyn Roff Henry ’87, and Elias Guedira ’26 at Tryon Mountain Farms in Tryon, North Carolina

For Earth Day, we released a three-part miniseries on sustainable farming in North Carolina.

Elias Guedira ’26 and Stella Smolowitz ’26 of the Morehead-Cain Scholar Media Team traveled to Tryon (Polk County) to understand more about the food we consume and those who produce it.

The two co-hosts spoke with representatives of a farmer’s market, the founder of a creamer, and Carolyn Roff Henry ’87 of Tryon Mountain Farms.

Listen to the trailer.

Special thanks

The Scholar Media Team trip (the first of its kind!) was made possible by Carolyn, who hosted the scholars for the visit. Thank you, Carolyn, for your hospitality and support!

Pt. 1: Maranda Williams and Jessica Mullen of Travelers Rest Farmers Market

For the first episode, Elias and Stella sat down with Maranda Williams and Jessica Mullen of Travelers Rest Farmers Market, the executive director and director of marketing and development, respectively.

Listen to the episode.

Pt. 2: Jen Perkins, owner of Looking Glass Creamery in Columbus County

In this episode, Elias and Stella chat with Jen Perkins, the owner of Looking Glass Creamery (Columbus County). Jen shares about why visitors are one of the most important parts of her business model, as well as her close-knit relationships with Carolyn and other farmers in the area. This interview took place at the creamery after Jen gave a tour of the cheese cellars.

Listen to the episode.

Pt. 3: Carolyn Roff Henry ’87 of Tryon Mountain Farms

In this episode, Carolyn shares how she and her husband, Tracy, have found a niche through their specialization in seasoning salts and simple syrups, as well as the importance of stewarding native species while exploring new flavors. She also shares advice for how anyone can support local agriculture.

After graduating from Carolina with a bachelor’s in English, Carolyn worked with Cargill Incorporated in Food Sales. The alumna earned a master’s in food science from North Carolina State University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Commerce from Lincoln University in New Zealand. She worked as a food scientist at Sealed Air Corporation before building Tryon Mountain Farms.

Listen to the episode.

How to listen

On your mobile device, you can listen and subscribe to Catalyze on Apple Podcasts or Spotify. For any other podcast app, you can find the show using our RSS feed.

The Catalyze podcast is a series by the Morehead-Cain Foundation, home of the first merit scholarship program in the United States and located at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The show is directed and produced by Sarah O’Carroll, Content Manager for Morehead-Cain.

You can let us know what you thought of the episode by finding us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram at @moreheadcain or you can email us at

“That’s the one thing about being a farmer is you’re forever curious, and I think that’s what stokes my fire so much of the time is curiosity, of what can be done, what can you do?”

Carolyn Roff Henry ’87