FLORENCE – Clemson Cooperative Extension experts in agribusiness, forest management, row crop production and more will join a host of agribusiness industry leaders as featured presenters at the 2019 AgriBiz and Farm Expo Jan. 23-24.

Extension Service agents Amber Starnes and Lee Van Vlake demonstrate how to deliver cows during an educational session at the 2018 S.C. AgriBiz and Farm Expo.

Clemson Cooperative Extension Service agents Amber Starnes and Lee Van Vlake demonstrate how to deliver calves during an educational session at a former S.C. AgriBiz and Farm Expo. Similar sessions will be held at this year’s Expo as well.
Image Credit: Clemson Public Service and Agriculture

The Expo will be held at the Florence Center, 3300 W. Radio Drive, Florence, S.C. This event is free and kicks off with a Farmer Appreciation Breakfast at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, followed by the General Session at 8:30 a.m. The Trade Show opens at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Educational Tracks will be held each day in Field Crops, Fruit and Vegetable, Livestock and Women in Ag. These programs will be led by Clemson Cooperative Extension Service agents, as well as agents from the South Carolina Forestry Commission, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, North Carolina State University, the nonprofit agency SCORE, farmers, businesses and other organizations involved with agriculture. Pesticide license recertification credits will be offered for the Operation of Fruit and Vegetable Farms, as well as Goat and Free-Range Chicken Farming offered on Wednesday. Recertification credits will be offered for the Successfully Growing Fruits and Vegetables session on Thursday.

Also, on Thursday, the Crop Utilization of Manure Nutrients and Soil Fertility session will count as 2 credit hours of CAMM training. For registration and information about this session, contact Bryan Smith, 864-984-2514 ext 112, or wsmth@clemson.edu.

Extension agents David DeWitt, Justin Ballew  and Nathan Smith will review the successes and challenges of the first year of South Carolina’s Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. In addition, prescribed burning, business planning, wildlife habitats, pesticide use, weed control, safety measures and more will be addressed.

An interactive program on Wednesday will teach participants how to develop actions plan to use to advocate and have more productive conversations with the non-farm audience on topics such as animal welfare, sustainability, chemicals, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and so on.  Participants will learn about online marketing and controlled environment agriculture during the Field Crops Track Wednesday’s Lunch ‘n Learn session and how to develop farm succession plans during Thursday’s Lunch ‘n Learn session. Thursday’s Livestock Track’s Lunch ‘n Learn session features Kevin Yon, Sunbelt Southeastern Farmer of the Year, will talk about Yon Family Farms and how his family has been successful in raising Angus seedstock herds.

In addition, the Women in Ag Track will feature farming information specially designed for women and youth will be enlightened by attending sessions offered during the Youth Day Track.

For a times and locations, visit https://www.scagribizexpo.com/schedule/.

Learn about where our food and fiber comes from during the 2019 South Carolina AgriBiz Expo in Florence Jan. 23-24.

Learn about where our food and fiber comes from during the 2019 South Carolina AgriBiz Expo in Florence Jan. 23-24.
Image Credit: Clemson Public Service and Agriculture

In addition to educational sessions, other events include A Taste of South Carolina reception which will be held from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Jan. 23 to showcase key agribusiness companies, leaders, award winners and advocates. The Taste of South Carolina is an invitation engagement with limited tickets. For tickets and more information, visit http://bit.ly/TasteOfSC2019.

South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers will hold his annual Breakfast with the Commissioner beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24. Weathers’ presentation focuses on the “State of South Carolina Agriculture.” He will speak about current trends and conditions in South Carolina’s booming agriculture industry, as well as plans to further advance agribusiness in 2019. The Commissioner’s Breakfast is a fundraiser for the Commissioner’s School for Agriculture. For more information, visit http://bit.ly/SCCABreakfast2019.

The South Carolina AgriBiz and Farm Expo is held each January in Florence. Tom Dobbins, Clemson Cooperative Extension Service director, encourages everyone to come and learn about South Carolina agriculture.

“This is an excellent opportunity for people to come and learn about where their food and fiber come from,” Dobbins said. “People attending this year’s Expo also can also learn about innovative ideas for farming, new crops, new technologies and a host of other ag-related topics. We encourage everyone to come and learn more about the agricultural industry in South Carolina.”

The South Carolina agribusiness industry is responsible for more than 212,000 jobs with an estimated impact of $41.7 billion in South Carolina.

“Agribusiness is South Carolina’s number one industry and we take pride in that,” Weathers said. “Our state is located within a 24-hour reach of 100 million people and we have a ready workforce. Companies want to invest where they can enhance their competitiveness and profitability. South Carolina is that place.”

A Produce Safety Rule Grower Training will be held prior to the Expo. This training is for fruit and vegetable growers, as well as anyone interested about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs) and co-management of natural resources and food safety. This course satisfies the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement.

This training takes place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Florence Center. Cost is $100. To register, or for more information, go to http://bit.ly/psrAgribiz. Interested persons may also contact Chad Carter, Clemson Extension food systems and safety associate, at ctcarte@clemson.edu, 843-730-5211 or Brooke Horton, SCDA produce safety rule outreach coordinator, at bhorton@scda.sc.gov, 803-351-1244.

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