COLUMBIA — The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association has named Clemson’s Institute for Economic and Community Development the institute of the year for its work in sustainable agriculture programs.
Clemson’s Dave Lamie received the award on behalf of the institute for a program that helps new farmers grow successful businesses and for its work in local food system development.
The Institute for Economic and Community Development, based at the Clemson University Research and Education Center, addresses a broad spectrum of statewide economic and community development needs. The institute’s focus areas are agribusiness, community development, entrepreneurship, leadership development, strategic planning and research.
The Carolina Farm Stewardship Association recognized the institute for its S.C. New and Beginning Farmer program, which provides tools, knowledge and skills to help farmers become successful entrepreneurs, marketers and stewards of the land; and the NxLevel for Agriculture Entrepreneurship initiative, a step-by-step business planning program designed to help agricultural entrepreneurs begin, manage and grow their businesses.
Other innovative programs at the institute include S.C. Market Marker, a web-based interactive mapping system and resource that puts the state’s freshest agricultural products and from-the-boat seafood in the hands of consumers; and the Pee Dee AgriTourism Passport, which incorporates Google Maps to enable residents and visitors locate on-farm lodging, produce stands and other agriculture-related businesses.
The awards were announced at the 27th Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference in Greenville. They recognize institutions and individuals that make outstanding contributions to the sustainable food movement in North and South Carolina, and help make the region one of the fastest-growing sustainable agricultural sectors in the country.
Story Courtesy of Clemson University.