North Carolina agriculture and university officials have brought chefs and plant breeders together to build a better strawberry.

The N.C. Strawberry Project, introduced at the Nov. 10 Southeast Strawberry Expo in Virginia Beach, Va., brings researchers from N.C. State University, Kannapolis, and Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte, N.C., together to develop a strawberry that provides consumers better taste and works better for the state growers.

The program has student chefs as well as chef Mark Allison, Johnson & Wales’ dean of culinary education, interact with area farmers.

Student chefs will visit North Carolina growers and agricultural research stations, according to a news release, to inform growers about berry characteristics that the culinary industry desires.

The project also will glean information from foodservice professionals, produce buyers and consumers to implement in strawberry breeding programs, Jeremy Pattison, strawberry breeder and researcher with N.C. State’s Plants for Human Health Institute, said in the release.

The ultimate goal is to extend North Carolina’s strawberry growing season, Pattison said in the release.