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Creating a New Generation of Farmers

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Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The average age of South Carolina’s farmers is 59 and a half years, a sobering statistic when you consider that agribusiness is the largest sector of South Carolina’s economy.  Some of these growers do have family members   interested in continuing these   businesses, but there’re many farms that don’t have a younger person training to take over their operation. 

To help attract new people to the production end of farming, a wide array of sponsors offered a Small Farmer Symposium the 2017 Agri-Business and Farm Expo.    Extension Agent Tony Melton brought several of his successful small acreage growers to emphasis the importance of not only growing a quality crop but knowing that a market exists for it once it’s harvested. Besides the traditional outlets of roadside stands and farmers’ markets, some growers form viable relationships with local restaurants or specialty food stores.

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Amanda McNulty is a Clemson University Extension Horticulture agent and the host of South Carolina ETV’s Making It Grow! gardening program. She studied horticulture at Clemson University as a non-traditional student. “I’m so fortunate that my early attempts at getting a degree got side tracked as I’m a lot better at getting dirty in the garden than practicing diplomacy!” McNulty also studied at South Carolina State University and earned a graduate degree in teaching there.