College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Public Service and Agriculture

SC New and Beginning Farmer Program launches new advanced program


Clemson Extension program now accepting applications for 2023-24

Columbia, SC — South Carolina farmers looking to grow their farm businesses now have access to advanced level business and production training thanks in part to a $600,000 grant from the United States Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA-NIFA), awarded in 2022 and supporting the Clemson University South Carolina New and Beginning Farmer Program through 2024.

The South Carolina New and Beginning Farmer Program (SCNBFP) is a Clemson University Cooperative 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.

Now in its 13th year, the SCNBFP has graduated over 450 new and aspiring farmers from its basic, beginning level cohort program. The SCNBFP Advanced Level 3 Program is a new certificate program for 2023 and offers a higher level of instruction for those who are still relatively new to farming but are looking to further their education in key areas of agribusiness and production. The SCNBFP Advanced Level 3 Program offers 20 full-day workshops and is designed so that qualified participants may choose whatever SCNBFP Advanced Workshops best suit their individual needs.

These curated training events are the product of strategic collaborations within Clemson University as well as additional agricultural support organizations such as Soil & Water Conservations Districts, the Small Business Development Center, and farmer educators throughout the state.

“While our established core curriculum provides comprehensive training at a basic level, there is a need in South Carolina for continued new farmer education at a higher level” says SCNBFP Director and Clemson Extension Agribusiness Agent Ben Boyles. “Our new Advanced Program provides a deeper dive into critical and/or niche topics appropriate for the experienced but still growing new farmer audience.”

The SCNBFP Advanced Level 3 Program runs from September 2023 through March 2024 with a series of full-day workshops hosted throughout the state, many at on-farm locations and several through online platforms. All workshops are also available on an individual basis to the general public not enrolled in the full program.

Any legal resident of South Carolina, at least 18 years of age, with 3-10 years of farming experience is eligible to apply for the SCNBFP Advanced Program. Additional information, including program outline, workshop schedule, fee structure, and an online application can be found at The deadline to apply is August 13, 2023.

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