2016-2017 Model State Program Clemson University

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2016: $22,222.00
Projected End Date: 12/30/2017
Grant Recipient: Clemson University
Region: Southern
State: South Carolina
State Coordinator:
Dr. Geoff Zehnder
Clemson University


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage, cover crops, cropping systems, crop rotation, drought tolerance, food product quality/safety, greenhouses, high tunnels or hoop houses, intercropping, irrigation, multiple cropping, no-till, nutrient cycling, organic fertilizers, row covers (for season extension), season extension, varieties and cultivars
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, technical assistance, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: farm-to-institution, farm-to-restaurant, grant making, land access, risk management, value added, whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: biological control, biorational pesticides, botanical pesticides, cultural control, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, flame, integrated pest management, mulches - general, prevention, row covers (for pests), sanitation, smother crops, soil solarization, trap crops
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, organic certification, transitioning to organic
  • Soil Management: nutrient mineralization, organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health

    Proposal abstract:

    The overall objectives of the 2016-2017 SARE Program in South Carolina will be to continue the existing strategic planning process for statewide sustainable agriculture
    development, to provide professional development opportunities for Extension agents, NRCS field staff and other agriculture professionals and reward outstanding service, and to continue to organize and conduct in-service training in sustainable agriculture practices. The MSP Assistant will work with the state SARE coordinators and advisory committee to organize training activities for 1890 and 1862 Extension and other agriculture professionals that will address critical needs identified by program stakeholders. The program advisory committee met in December 2015 to identify priority topics for the 2016-2017 training program that include: ecologically-based pest management, cover cropping for no-till vegetable production, post-harvest produce handling, land access, high tunnel vegetable production, and tools and implements for small farms. The training will focus on an experiential approach to learning where classroom sessions are supplemented with hands-on training in the field. South Carolina State University 1890 Extension will continue to play a key role in planning and will continue to conduct comprehensive training on sustainable vegetable production with a focus on small-scale and minority owned farms. The MSP position will continue to facilitate program reporting and evaluation, and will assist with project accounting and budgeting. A joint budget for Clemson and South Carolina State University has been developed. Funds will be administered through Clemson; South Carolina State University will submit invoices for training expenses directly to the Clemson Sustainable Agriculture Program

    Project objectives from proposal:

     Continue the existing strategic planning process for statewide sustainable agriculture development. Building on new and existing collaborations with stakeholder groups, the state co-coordinators will work with the MSP Assistant and with the SC SARE Advisory Committee to broaden the pool of stakeholders who contribute to the planning process and to the development of educational programs. As in previous years, an annual sustainable agriculture retreat will be organized to identify priorities and to plan educational programs based on stakeholder needs. We will continue to collaborate on training programs with stakeholder organizations and with SARE PDP personnel from neighboring states when appropriate. The comprehensive and inclusive planning process will limit duplication of effort and will help to leverage available resources.

     Continue to provide professional development opportunities for Extension agents, NRCS, FSA and state Department of Agriculture staff and other sustainable agriculture educators. The outcomes of this objective are that these professionals will enhance their knowledge and competency in sustainable agriculture, they will increase their contact with the sustainable agriculture community, and they will be recognized as local experts to be called upon for information on sustainable agriculture. One major opportunity for professional development is the annual Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) Sustainable Agriculture Conference, the premier sustainable agriculture event in the Carolinas. The 3-day Conference will be held in Durham, NC in 2016 and will offer workshops on various topics related to sustainable agriculture, many with hands-on demonstrations. Farm tours
    are offered in conjunction with the Conference. The CFSA Conference represents a valuable educational opportunity for our agents and other agriculture professionals. It also facilitates interactions between agriculture professionals and farmers.

     Continue to support the “Outstanding Sustainable Agriculture Extension Agent of the Year” award to recognize SC cooperative extension personnel for excellence in sustainable agriculture outreach. A call for nominations will be released in summer of each year. The award recipient will receive a travel scholarship to attend a sustainable agriculture event and a plaque recognizing their service to the sustainable agriculture community. The award will continue to encourage the development of innovative public outreach programs by our Extension agents.

     The SC SARE PDP Program will continue to organize and conduct in-service training opportunities for Extension agents, NRCS, FSA and state Department of Agriculture personnel, agricultural educators, and for other interested persons as space permits. Workshop topics will be determined annually by the Advisory Committee (see listing of 2016 workshop topics below). The MSP Assistant, in consultation with the coordinators and the SC CFSA representative, will have overall responsibility for workshop organization, publicity and evaluation.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.