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BEGINNING FARMERS & GARDENERS

FIND YOUR LOCAL OFFICE AND RESOURCES

Please consider reaching out to local offices to get connected to individuals and organizations working directly in your area. Many of these individuals can provide you with no-cost technical assistance and help determine which resources and agencies are most appropriate for your needs.

Clemson Cooperative Extension

https://www.clemson.edu/extension/

Each County in South Carolina has several different Extension officers working across a broad range of topics to support farmers and gardeners. Clemson cooperative Extension agents work closely with the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences research faculty to develop apps, spreadsheet formulas, classes, training materials, home-health aids and factsheets designed to save you time and money.


Farmer Veteran Coalition of SC

https://www.facebook.com/SCFarmVetCo/ 

A platform for military veterans interested in agriculture and food system careers which build food security. Also check out the Homegrown by Heroes marketing tools. 

South Carolina Department of Agriculture

https://agriculture.sc.gov/

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture was established in 1879 to oversee and promote agriculture in the Palmetto State. They help the state’s farmers and agribusinesses grow and prosper. New farmers are encouraged to look into their ACRE Programs

 

USDA Farm Service Agency

https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/South-Carolina/index

The USDA Farm Service Agency is equitably serving all farmers, ranchers, and agricultural partners through the delivery of effective, efficient agricultural programs for all Americans.

This is the office where you can apply for your Farm Number in order to participate in other federal programs. 

USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/conservation-basics/conservation-by-state/south-carolinaThe USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service delivers conservation solutions so agricultural producers can protect natural resources and feed a growing world. NRCS provides both conservation technical assistance as well as financial resources to implement conservation practices on your farm.  
 

South Carolina Farm Bureau

https://www.scfb.org/

The South Carolina Farm Bureau informs lawmakers about the impact of policies, trains young farmers about getting started, and helps to educate teachers and students about agriculture.  

Farm Bureau has a state office, regional directors, and a local board in each county. 
 

SC Small Business Development Centers

https://www.scsbdc.com/locations 

SC Small Business Development Centers offer free, private consulting, resources and seminars to help your small business thrive. New farmers are encouraged to reach out to get connected to a 

agribusiness consultant that can provide FREE technical assistance. 

SC Agrability

https://aged.sites.clemson.edu/faculty/layfield/agrabilitysc/

South Carolina's AgrAbility project is a joint partnership between Clemson University, South Carolina State University and Able SC. Supported through USDA, the partnership will increase South Carolina disabled farmers' productivity on the farm through programs and training through education, networking, direct assistance, and marketing.

Another great way to connected to these folks is to attend local and regional conferences and visiting the exhibitors. Here are a few to look into:

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) Sustainable Agriculture Conference


Georgia Organics SOWTH


Organic Growers School (Also check out their Farm Beginnings and CRAFT programs)


SC Black Farmers Conference (St. Helena)

GENERAL RESOURCES

National

USDA How to Start a Farm: Beginning Farmers and Ranchers

https://www.farmers.gov/your-business/beginning-farmers 

South Carolina

The following are several state specific lists of resources and programs compiled by relevant agencies:

Clemson New Farmer Resources

https://www.clemson.edu/extension/newfarmer/resources.html 

SC Grower Blog and Resources

https://scgrower.com/resources/  

The Center for Cooperative and Enterprise Development

https://coopcentersc.org/

ACRE Program for Food and Farming Entrepreneurs
https://acre-sc.com/

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

https://www.carolinafarmstewards.org/get-technical-assistance/

FUNDING

Funding Sources for Food-Related Businesses

https://www.canr.msu.edu/resources/food_business_funding_sources

 

South Carolina Department of Agriculture Grants

https://agriculture.sc.gov/divisions/agency-operations/grants/ 

South Carolina Specialty Crop Growers Association Grant Applications

https://scspecialtycrop.com/grants/ 

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