Clemson Extension employs 7 extension agents with primary economic andcommunity development responsibilities in South Carolina. These countyagents work closely with state extension specialists and researcherslocated on campus and at the various research and education centerslocated across the state. They provide expertise in topics ranging fromleadership development, strategic planning, town charrettes anddowntownredesign, entrepreneurial training and support, local economicdevelopment planning and support, local community development planningand support, industry cluster development, and economic impact analysis.
Find your local agent by clicking on your county in the map below.
State Economic and Community Development Extension Specialists
|Dr. Ken Robinson
Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist
Chesterfield : Darlington : Dillon : Florence : Marlboro
Pee Dee Regional Community and Economic Development for 22 years. Senior Extension Agent
B.S. Mars Hill University; Home Economics and Business
M.A. from Columbia College; Conflict Management and Human Behavior
Graduate of the Economic Development School at the College of Charleston, the Public Issues Management School at Clemson.
Serves as the State Coordinator for Annie’s Project, a National Risk Management program for Women in Agriculture
Director, South Carolina Women in Agriculture Network
Certified facilitator; certified community mediator, certified grant writer and certified business retention and expansion consultant.
Regional Community Development Agent – Clemson University, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, and Bamberg Counties, SC 2008 - Current
Conducted design charrettes and public workshops, assisted in workforce development initiatives, conducted extensive community surveys, successfully engaged community members in participating in planning, established a public community computer lab in a distressed neighborhood designed to enhance the capabilities of the local population, facilitated data gathering for the EPA’s Environmental Justice efforts, worked closely with community leaders to incorporate common interests for collaboration.
Community Development Agent – Clemson University, Barnwell, Hampton, Allendale, and Bamberg Counties, SC 2007 - 2008
Conducted design charrettes and public workshops, assisted in workforce development initiatives, conducted extensive community surveys, successfully engaged community members in participating in planning, secured funding for a local farmers market ($96,000), worked closely with community leaders to incorporate common interests for collaboration
Impact Assessor - Engineers for a Sustainable World. University Park, PA 2006
Led an impact assessment project for a proposed water supply project in Morazon, El Salvador. This assessment identified strategies crucial to plan implementation.
Social Impact Assessor - The Pennsylvania State University. University Park, PA 2006
Conducted an impact assessment for a landfill project in rural Pennsylvania using NEPA guidelines that provided a positive outcome for a rural community in Pennsylvania.
Community Development Intern - La Asociación Pro Mejoras de Playa Tamarindo. Costa Rica 2005
Acted as a General Intern for a community development/government organization in a community under considerable stress from tourism development. Aided in the development of ordinances designed to preserve the integrity of the natural resources in the region.
Ecotourism Project Leader - The Pennsylvania State University. University Park, PA 2005
Developed and implemented a community assessment program that aided members in strategic planning and plan implementation in Monkey River Town, Belize
Project Leader - The Pennsylvania State University. University Park, PA 2004
Guided students in several survey design/implementation classes in Negril, Jamaica
Instructor's Assistant - The Pennsylvania State University. University Park, PA 2003 - 2005
This was an instructor's assistant position for seven different sections of the senior level Strategic Management class at Penn State University's School of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management.
EDUCATIONMaster Certificate, Applied Project Management 2011Villa Nova University- Philadelphia, PALeadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional in LEED for Homes, and LEED Building Design and ConstructionM.S., Community and Economic Development 2006The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PennsylvaniaConcentration on economic development for communities pursuing tourism as a sustainable economic strategyM.S., Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management 2006The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PennsylvaniaConcentration on the hospitality industry as an economic driver for communities pursuing tourism as a sustainable economic strategyB.S., Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management, Minor: Recreation and Park Management 2002The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PennsylvaniaConcentration on Sustainable Tourism Development Planning
Skills•Strong background in business development for service industries and tourism•LEED AP++ Building Design and Construction and LEED for Homes•Research: extensive data analysis, survey administration and design experience•Software skills: GIS (ArcInfo), Microsoft Project, Access, Excel, Power Point, and Word, basic Autocad, as well as Minitab statistical software for data analysis, Macromedia Dreamweaver for web design and Adobe Photoshop for planning documents•Languages: conversational Spanish•Planning: proficient in strategic planning, project development, tourism planning, and accustomed to international settings•Management: skilled in construction supervision and project implementation, extensive university level management and strategic management training•Extensive experience in conducting Participatory Appraisals and public workshops•Instruction: teaching skills in both informal and university settings•Extensive experience in building construction
|Robert (Bob) Guinn
Beaufort : Colleton : Jasper
843.470.3655 ext. 116
Blake M. Lanford, Economic and Community Development Agent, Clemson University, Public Service and Agriculture;
Seven (7) years as an employee of Clemson University. Five (5) years previous experience as a planner for city, county and regional level planning agencies. Professional experience includes that related to agritourism program development, local foods systems planning, farmers market development/support, comprehensive land use planning, regulatory planning, economic development planning, open-space planning and rural development strategies. Additional experience includes grants acquisition related to the implementation of planned economic development strategies and existing industry support.
B.S. Parks Recreation and Tourism, Clemson University, 2000
M.S. City and Regional Planning, Clemson University, 2003
2003 - 2004 Regional Planner, Upper Savannah Council of Government.
2004 - 2005 Senior Planner, Horry County Planning Department.
2005 City Planner, City of Myrtle Beach.
2005 - 2006 Principal Planner, Horry County Planning Department.
2006 - 2012 Regional Economic and Community Development Agent, Clemson Extension Service,
Clemson Institute for Economic and Community Development.
2011 - 2013 Regional Lead Agent – Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Dorchester, Horry, Georgetown, Williamsburg Counties
Current Program Priorities
Local Foods System Planning and Development - Extension plays a key role in the development of local foods systems through planning, entrepreneurial development and training related to direct marketing. In many cases, such initiatives would not be possible without the coordination of grower and consumer relationships that Extension facilitates. A number of current grant proposals have been developed for the purposes of 1) Conducting a Community Foods Assessment (CFA) for the Waccamaw Region: Horry, Georgetown, and Williamsburg Counties, 2) Establishing a local foods distribution cooperative, 3) Creating a demand survey for utilization by local growers; conduct seasonal planning workshops, 4) Establish local food hub business model and/or infrastructure through farm to chef cooperative, 5) Establish local foods directory and 6) Creating local foods educational campaign for deployment through tourist infrastructure.
Farmers Market/Direct Market Support – Extension plays a direct support role for farmers markets in Horry County through the Coordination of a grower/vendor cooperative known as the Waccamaw Market Cooperative (non-profit). Extension works work with community stakeholders in all parts of the county to coordinate the training, marketing, and operation of three distinct markets in the communities of Conway, North Myrtle Beach and Loris. Future program developments include the addition of new market, the establishment of market facilities and the expansion of public education and demonstration programs. Extension will coordinate technical support for direct market cooperatives and producers who participate in related programs including Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and farm to restaurant distribution programs and farmers markets.
Agritourism Development and Support- Clemson Extension was awarded a USDA RBEG grant in 2008 for the purposes of developing components of a regional agritourism program including, but not limited to the inventory of all regional agritourism assets an collateral development of marketing materials related to such assets, the development of a web based marketing and mapping platform, the formation of a regional agritourism business organization and the development of a master plan for agritourism product development in the Pee Dee Region. To date all proposed outcomes have been completed and additional regional throughout the state have been engaged in the development of similar initiatives. Current and future work is directly related to the priority objective and strategies that are proposed as part of the agritourism product development plan. Extension plays crucial role as the coordinator of the Pee Dee Agritourism Passport initiative (www.peedeeagritourism.org) and will be instrumental in the achievement of goals and objectives for existing and future agritourism development in South Carolina.
Specialty Crop Producer Training - The SC MarketReady program seeks to educate and help food suppliers succeed in today’s markets and continue to be profitable. The training is based around best business practices identified by buyers in these markets that are actively seeking to engage local suppliers. SC MarketReady will help farm vendors selling dairy, fruits, meats and vegetables design a better business strategy to succeed. Clemson Cooperative Extension and the South Carolina Department of Agriculture have partnered to offer the program which teaches participants about current food policy legislation, building relationships with restaurant managers and chefs, proper packaging and labeling, marketing strategies, pricing structures and regulatory concerns. The two part program focuses on both direct market sales and those within the wholesale and retail grocery markets. SC MarketReady provides professional marketing education to improve sales relationships with institutions. The SC MarketReady training program addresses issues of food safety, insurance, product quality, and traceability risks and will prepare producers for these business transactions selling dairy, fruits, meats and vegetables.
Job Duties: County Coordinator, Colleton County
Community Development Agent with emphasis on Leadership Programs
Eat Smart Move More Colleton County, Principal Investigator
Management & Delivery of Builders of Tomorrow Dropout Prevention/Workforce
Agri-Tourism and Agri-Business Training & Development
Grant writing and funding
Grassroots/Non Profit & Volunteer Management Training
Eat Smart Move More Colleton County (ESMMCC) is partnered with Eat Smart Move More SC, the Alliance for Healthier Generation, Blue Cross/Blue Shield and a host of local and regional organizations. ESMM is a comprehensive, sustainable plan to combat childhood obesity by improving the community’s access to healthy food and physical activity. The campaign engages the entire community including schools, worksites, and faith-based organizations. This multi-sector approach affects the child by direct intervention and by indirect intervention through reaching out to adults important in the child’s life. Let’s Go is being evaluated by a team from the University of South Carolina. ESMMCC works with teams of volunteers: Community Team, Schools Team, Pre-Schools Team, Faith Team and Worksite Team. We have grant funded staff working full time, 11 community gardens, a mobile farmers market, walking clubs, school programs and educational materials, and 30 churches participating in Faithful Families health initiative. We have facilitated both policy and environmental (walking trails, exercise rooms) changes in the community at the governmental level and within the community and community organizations.
Builders of Tomorrow is focused on academic achievement, leadership and civic engagement for middle school students at risk of dropping out of school. Builders of Tomorrow provides youth leadership programs focused on developing life skills. To achieve the desired outcomes, the following components are designed to help meet our goals: Youth Leadership & Team Building, Career Development & Workforce Readiness, and Service Learning & Civic Involvement, and Tutoring.
Strengthening Communities through Grassroots, Non Profit and Volunteer Management helps local communities develop the infra structure to provide needed services in underserved rural counties. We provide training on management, board training, volunteer training, funding, sustainability, and marketing and public relations.
Tourism is a key component in economic development of the lowcountry counties. As an extension agent, I spent four years working exclusively on Heritage Tourism, AgriTourism and Nature-based Tourism. I continue to work closely with the Colleton County Tourism Council and the SC National Heritage Corridor
Education: University of South Carolina May 1973
BA College of Journalism and Mass Communications
Minors in History & English