SSC17-001 Model State Program

Project Overview

Project Type: PDP State Program
Funds awarded in 2017: $55,555.00
Projected End Date: 06/30/2018
Grant Recipient: Clemson University
Region: Southern
State: South Carolina
State Coordinators:
Dr. Geoff Zehnder
Clemson University
Dr. Edoe Agbodjan
South Carolina State University


Not commodity specific


  • Animal Production: feed/forage, grazing management, grazing - rotational
  • Crop Production: cover crops, greenhouses, high tunnels or hoop houses, organic fertilizers, season extension
  • Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, on-farm/ranch research, workshop
  • Farm Business Management: apprentice/intern training, business planning, community-supported agriculture, whole farm planning
  • Pest Management: biological control, disease vectors, field monitoring/scouting
  • Production Systems: organic agriculture, organic certification
  • Soil Management: composting, earthworms, soil analysis, soil chemistry, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems

    Proposal abstract:

    The overall objectives ofthe 2017-2018 SC SARE Program 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 2016 to identify priority topics for the 2017-2018 training program that include: comprehensive IPM training for important vegetable crop families, farm labor issues, produce post-harvest handling, production of specialty grains, small farm tools and implements, non-GMO based egg production, rotational grazing strategies for livestock. 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 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 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 including under-represented groups who are involved with the planning process and 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. For 2017-2018 travel scholarships will be provided for select Extension agents and agricultural professionals to attend the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) Sustainable Agriculture Conference (November) and the Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Conference (January). These events represent valuable educational opportunities for our agents and other agriculture professionals, and also facilitate 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 open to 1890 and 1862 personnel. 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 2017 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.