SC Commissioner Hugh Weathers: Getting Started with Fruit and Vegetable Farming

I’m here with the South Carolina Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers to tell us more about a new farmer resource provided by SCDA.

  • SCDA has a new farmer resource on our webpage for those interested in starting fruit and vegetable farming
  • This guide gives those interested in fruit and veg production the resources needed to get off the ground.
  • You can visit this resource page to find out more info on connecting with your local Farm Service Agency and Clemson Extension Agents, finding grant and funding opportunities, connecting with the SC Food hub Network, marketing resources and additional regulatory information.
  • There is also information about organic GAP certification, CSA’s, SC Certified and the specialty crop growers association.
  • One thing to keep in mind when starting your fruit and vegetable business is Produce Safety Rule compliance.
  • This regulation focuses on setting the first-ever federal regulatory standards for the production, harvest, and handling of fruits and vegetables, in an effort to prevent microbial contamination and reduce foodborne illnesses associated with fresh produce.
  • Depending on your farm’s annual income, not all growers will be required to comply with this regulation. To find out if you are required to comply with the federally mandate PSR, visit scproducesafety.com or contact Kelly Johnson at kjohnson@scda.sc.orgfor more information.