Allen University seeks to grow more South Carolina farmers

Through a series of agricultural outreach workshops, Allen University aims to cultivate a new crop of South Carolina farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs. Its first seminar, Get the Tools: Showcasing Agriculture and Conservation Practices, will be held from 9 a.m.  – 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 in the South Carolina State Farmers Market Phillips Market Center (117 Ballard Court, West Columbia). Open to the public, the event is free, though registration is preferred at bit.ly/2HS0XIe.

A range of topics will be discussed such as organic farming, best practices in conservation, protecting the consumer through inspections and the effects of weather on farming presented by WIS-TV Chief Meteorologist Dominic Brown. Other speakers include:

  • Matt Burleson, field specialist, South Carolina Department of Agriculture
  • Jerome Brown, district conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS)
  • Brennan Washington, 1890 Land-Grant Liaison, Southern Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education
  • Mark Nettles, extension agent, SC State University 1890 Research Program
  • English Ratlcliff, Ph.D. student in Clemson University’s Plant and Environmental Sciences program

 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about various state and federal programs and services available to assist new and existing farmers.

The series of workshops are funded through a two-year, $150,000 grant awarded to Allen University by USDA –NRCS. The agency provides technical and financial assistance to farmers, ranchers and forest managers. The grant’s focus is to improve food security by bringing fresh produce into South Carolina food deserts, create local sustainable projects that boost economic development, educate farmers on best management conservation practices and develop a new generation of farmers.

Over a two-year period, Allen University will hold 10 agricultural outreach workshops in select South Carolina counties including Charleston, Greenville, Greenwood, Jasper, Richland and Williamsburg. While any individual with interest in farming can attend, small and beginning farmers; youth in rural and urban areas; members of faith-based communities; women; those with interest in organic farming; veterans and land owners are strongly encouraged to attend.

For more information on the agricultural outreach workshops or the grant, contact Evette Salters, Allen University program director, at esalters@allenuniversity.edu or (803) 376-5721.