WEST COLUMBIA — The Clemson Cooperative Extension Service’s New and Beginning Farmer Program will host a workshop, Securing a Niche with Southern Heritage Crops, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, March 25 at the Phillips Market Center, 117 Ballard Court, West Columbia, S.C. 29172.

Clemson researchers are using state-of-the-art facilities at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center to develop a wheat variety people with Celiac Disease can eat.

The SC New and Beginning Farmer Program will host a Southern Heritage Crops Workshop March 25 in West Columbia.
Image Credit: Clemson University Public Service and Agriculture

Everyone is invited to learn about Southern Heritage Crops that were once grown in the region, contributing to the culinary heritage and culture. These crops fell out of favor as new higher yielding crops were developed to be better adapted to longer supply chain food systems. Dave Lamie, director of SC New and Beginning Farmer program, said many of these traditional crops have admirable qualities worthy of resurrection. The Slow Food Movement’s Ark of Taste is likely the most visible effort to identify and restore these products.

“We invite everyone to join us and learn all about Southern Heritage Crops and how these niche products can fit into production and marketing plans,” Lamie said. “We have a program that includes individuals who have successfully ventured into the world of Southern Heritage Crops and will share their experiences. We also will have researchers who will discuss options for these largely untapped markets.”

Speakers include Southern Heritage Crops specialists: David Shields; Stephen Kresovich, Robert and Lois Coker Trustees Endowed Chair of Genetics and director of  the Clemson Institute of Translational Genomics; Nathan Smith, a Clemson Extension economist at the Sandhill Research and Education Center; and Brian Ward, a Clemson research scientist at the Coastal Research and Education Center who is a national expert for reviving landrace and heirloom crops.

A discussion will follow on how heritage crops can make a difference in farming operations.

Cost is $30 and includes lunch, as well as a panel discussion to connect producers, researchers, chefs and consumers. Registration deadline is March 21.

To register, or for more information, go to http://bit.ly/SouthernHeritageCrops.

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