SC New and Beginning Farmer Program Returns to In-Person Programming

September 7, 2022


After two years online through zoom 43 new and aspiring farmers were accepted into the South Carolina New and Beginning Farmer Program Class of 2022 cohort.  York County is well represented, with three new farmers as members of this year’s core program.

Class of 2022 members brainstorm business concepts during a recent workshop

Class of 2022 members brainstorm business concepts during a recent workshop

The program, in its 12th year, is a Clemson Extension agribusiness public education program focused on enabling new and beginning farmers to be successful, productive, and innovative members of their local agricultural community by providing them with the tools, knowledge, and skills necessary to be successful entrepreneurs, sound business managers, exemplary stewards of the natural environment and successful marketers of the unique products they create.

The program, led by York County Agribusiness Agent Ben Boyles, was recently awarded a $600,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA) to support the program’s delivery over the next 4 years. “One in four South Carolina producers are considered new and beginning farmers with less than 10 years of experience,” said Boyles. “These emerging farmers need targeted training and technical assistance to make sure they have the skills necessary to sustain and grow their new farm businesses. Our program helps participants accelerate the development of their farm business so they can accomplish their goals faster while helping to improve access to healthy, locally-produced food for South Carolina consumers.”

Cohort members participate in a series of 8 core agribusiness workshops with the ability to then participate in any of 10 advanced workshops held throughout the state.  Graduates leave with a solid business concept and plan, new contacts and resources, and the skills needed to manage all aspects of their operations.


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