CLEMSON – Choosing, using and maintaining equipment and tools is important for intensive crop production on small-scale commercial farms. Clemson University experts, together with National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) experts, are ready to help South Carolina producers learn how to select and use appropriate tools and equipment to increase their production and profits.

Clemson University experts are ready to help farmers learn about choosing, using and maintaining equipment and tools for intensive crop production on small-scale commercial farms.

Clemson University experts are ready to help farmers learn about choosing, using and maintaining equipment and tools for intensive crop production on small-scale commercial farms.
Image Credit: Denise Attaway/Clemson University

A workshop, “Farm Equipment Selection, Operation and Maintenance for Small Farms,” will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 19 at the Clemson University Madren Conference Center and Student Organic Farm. Cost is $20, which includes workshop materials, lunch and appetizers during the social. Seating is limited to 40 people. Registration and agenda are available at https://tinyurl.com/SmallFarmEquipment. The Madren Center is located at 230 Madren Center Drive, Clemson, SC 29634.

Instructors for the workshop include David Robb, a research associate and doctoral student in Clemson’s Plant and Environmental Sciences program, as well as interim-manager at the Clemson Student Organic Farm. His master’s and doctoral research focuses on cost-effective management of cover crop residue for no-till vegetable production.

The workshop also features farm equipment expert and author Andy Pressman with the National Center for Appropriate Technology. Pressman has been with NCAT since 2007, helping farmers in the fields of whole-farm planning, small-scale intensive farming systems, organic crop certification, urban agriculture and community food systems. He holds a master’s degree in Sustainable Systems from Slippery Rock University with an emphasis in agro-ecology and Permaculture design, and he has extensive experience in market farming and in working with appropriately-scaled tools and equipment for the small farm. Pressman and his family also operate Foggy Hill Farm, a small diversified family farm and Community Supported Agriculture operation located in Jaffrey, New Hampshire.

In addition to selection of appropriate tools and equipment, the speakers will also discuss how the use of appropriate equipment and tools, both in terms of size and practicality, can increase production efficiency and profits while minimizing the disturbance to soil and to plant health. Specific topics will include understanding scales of production, selection of appropriate equipment, proper tool use and maintenance, buying new equipment versus buying used equipment, tractor safety and more.  The workshop will include a tour of the Clemson Student Organic Farm where participants will observe a variety of hand tools and farm equipment, including a riding tractor and a walk behind tractor with implements for a variety of operations.

For information, contact Kelly Ann Flynn, associate coordinator for the Clemson Integrated Pest Management and Sustainable Agriculture programs, at KGILKER@clemson.edu.

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