CLEMSON — The Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service along with the S.C. Department of Agriculture has scheduled numerous educational workshops throughout the state to help farmers apply for assistance under the S.C. Farm Aid Grant Program.

The S.C. General Assembly approved $40 million in state aid for farmers who suffered losses from last October’s historic flood. Farmers can apply for grants covering 20 percent of their crop losses up to $100,000. Applications must be postmarked by Aug. 15.

Clemson Extension agribusiness specialists Nathan Smith and Scott Mickey have held numerous training sessions throughout the state already to help county Extension agents, crop insurance agents, community organizations, agricultural service agencies, vocational educators, lenders and others who work directly with farmers understand the application process.

Local county Extension offices throughout the state, meanwhile, have scheduled July workshops to walk farmers through the application process. Applications will be available at the meetings.

The first workshop is Friday. For a list of scheduled workshops, click here, or scroll to the bottom of this news release. Information on the Farm Aid Program has been posted online to a new SCDA webpage  here.

“As always, Clemson Extension agents in all 46 counties of the state are also a phone call away, ready to provide technical assistance and support,” said Clemson Extension Director Thomas Dobbins. “These funds are critical to the South Carolina agricultural community, and we appreciate the support given by the South Carolina General Assembly. We will continue to work with farmers throughout the application period to ensure this much needed assistance is put to good use.”

To qualify for assistance under the Farm Aid Grant Program, farmers must have experienced a verifiable loss of at least 40 percent of agricultural commodities from the October 2015 flood and must operate a farm in a county declared a flood disaster area by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This includes every South Carolina county but Pickens, Cherokee, Jasper and Oconee. Applicants must have a farm serial number issued by the Farm Service Agency.

To complete the application, Smith said farmers will need a copy of their 2015 Report of Acreage Form 578 from the Farm Service Agency, a current Member’s Information Form CCC-901 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a copy of their schedule of crop insurance, a notice of loss or claims summary from crop insurance to verify a loss, and receipts for crop sales. Growers of fruits and vegetables must provide receipts for seed and seedling purchases to verify planted acreage if they did not certify planted acreage with the Farm Service Agency.

The Farm Aid legislation called for the creation of an advisory board to assist the state Department of Agriculture in administering the grants. Kathy Coleman, director of the Clemson University Sandhill Research and Education Center in Columbia, was named to the board along with Martin Eubanks of the SCDA; Meredith Cleland of the S.C. Department of Revenue; Delbert Foster of South Carolina State University; Neal Baxley of the S.C. Farm Bureau; Kelly Wiseman of ArborOne Farm Credit; Matthew Flemming of Midland Agency Insurance; and Walter Dantzler, an agricultural commodities representative.

“I am honored to work with these outstanding individuals on the advisory board to ensure this process works to the most benefit for our farmers as intended by the S.C. General Assembly,” Coleman said.

Farm Aid Workshops

Friday, July 1, 10 a.m.-noon
Brown’s Bar-B-Que
809 N. Williamsburg County Highway, Kingstree, S.C.
Meal provided – Registration required.
Contact: Jacob Stokes (803) 460-3971

Tuesday, July 5, 10 a.m.-noon
JJ Mitcheom Community Center
2221 Hemingway Highway, Hemingway, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contact: Tony Melton (843) 601-3464.

Tuesday, July 5, 6-8 p.m.
Tommy Lee’s Farm Shed
13797 Plowden Mill Road, Alcolu, S.C.
Meal provided – Registration required by July 1.
Contact: Clarendon County Extension Office (803) 435-8429

Wednesday, July 6, 10 a.m.-noon
The Bean Market
111 Henry Street, Lake City, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contacts: Tony Melton (843) 601-3464 or Jacob Stokes (803) 460-3971

Wednesday, July 6, 2-4 p.m.
Pee Dee Electric Cooperative
1355 East McIver Road, Darlington, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contacts: Tony Melton (843) 601-3464 or Jacob Stokes (803) 460-3971 or Trish DeHond (843)858-0754

Wednesday, July 6, 3-6 p.m.
Dorchester FSA Office 5809 W. Jim Bilton Blvd., St. George, S.C.
Drop-in only – no formal program/meal
Contact: Rebecca Hellmuth (904) 254-9795

Wednesday, July 6, 7-9 p.m.
Horry Electric Cooperative
2774 Cultra Road, Conway, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contact:  William Hardee (843) 222-8701.

Thursday, July 7, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Moree’s River Lodge
143 Kolb’s Tomb Road (off US 15/US 401), Society Hill, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contact: Trish DeHond (843) 858-0754

Thursday, July 7, 6-8 p.m.
Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College
3250 St. Matthews Road, Orangeburg, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contacts:  Jonathan Croft (803) 534-6280 or Charles Davis (803) 874-2354

Friday, July 8, 10 a.m.-noon
Dillon Wellness Center
1647 Commerce Drive, Dillon, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contact: Justin Ballew (803) 206-1538 or Trish DeHond (843)858-0754

Friday, July 8, 2-4 p.m.
Agribusiness Career Center – Pelion High Schoo
l600 Lydia Drive, Pelion, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. Registration requested.
Contact: Lexington County Extension (803) 359-8515, ext. 111.

Monday, July 11, 2-4 p.m.
State Farmers Market – Phillips Market Center
3483 Charleston Highway, West Columbia, S.C.
Registration Contact: Paige Robinson (803) 734-2193

Tuesday, July 12, 7-9 p.m.
Garden Alley Restaurant
313 S. Main St., Mullins, S.C.
Meal provided – Registration required
Contact:  William Hardee (843) 222-8701

Tuesday, July 19, 9-11 a.m.
County Line Steak & Seafood Restaurant
9340 Bamberg Highway, Brunson, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contact: Joe Varn (803) 245-2661

Tuesday, July 19, 2-4 p.m.
Clemson University’s Edisto Research & Education Center
64 Research Road, Blackville, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contact: Joe Varn (803) 245-2661

Wednesday, July 20, 1-5 p.m.
USDA Vegetable Lab
2700 Savannah Highway, Charleston, S.C.
Light refreshments/snacks provided. No registration required.
Contact:  Zack Snipes (843) 730-5209

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