Ken L. Fager, a researcher and educator with the university’s Center for Environmental Farming Systems, died Dec. 31. He was 48.
A native of Pennsylvania, Fager earned a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Penn State University in 1984. He moved to North Carolina in 1998. In 12 years with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, he brought a knowledge and dedication to sustainable agriculture, his work and the farmers he served.
“He was a wonderful mentor and friend to students, interns, beginning farmers and anyone interested in learning about cover crops, organic farming, home canning, operating farm equipment, raising vegetables or just about anything,” said Nancy Creamer, the center’s co-director. “He was always eager to teach and excelled at it. He was especially good with children, demonstrating patience and insight into how to inspire and challenge them and open their eyes to the natural world.”
In his spare time, Fager enjoyed backyard organic gardening with his girlfriend, Karen Strong. He spent time with his many friends and enjoyed hiking, bicycling, the ocean, cooking and preserving his own food.
He is survived by his mother, Loretta Fager; two brothers, Curt and Lou Fager, all of Pennsylvania; and his girlfriend of 11 years, Karen Strong of Benson. Services will be held Jan. 11 in Coplay, Penn. A memorial service will also be held in Raleigh at a later date. Information about the Raleigh memorial will be posted as it becomes available at www.cefs.ncsu.edu. In lieu of flowers, please make charitable gifts to your favorite gardening, sustainable agriculture or environmental organization.
A photo tribute to Ken Fager is posted online.