Clemson Public Service Activities (PSA) is part of a national network of 50 major land-grant universities—one in each state—that work in concert with the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Clemson PSA has state and federal mandates to conduct research, extension and regulatory programs that support economic growth in South Carolina’s largest industry – agriculture and forestry, or agribusiness.
We are requesting the following state investments in the science needed for South Carolina to be competitive in 21st century agribusiness.
Agribusiness & Emerging Farmers $1 million
Clemson initiated a comprehensive agribusiness program to address the business aspects of traditional cropping systems, niche crops, watershed management, agri-tourism, and financial planning for new agricultural enterprises with funds allocated in 2014. Additional funds are essential to complete the statewide program effort and establish additional programming in the state’s four major regions: Upstate, Midlands, Pee Dee, and Lowcountry.
Vegetable and Fruit Production $1 million
South Carolina’s expanding vegetable and fruit production and the growing demand for sustainable locally grown vegetables requires a focused educational program. Clemson University is working in collaboration with the SC Department of Agriculture, the SC Department of Commerce, and the Palmetto Ag Business Council on a Small Farms/Big Business program. Requested funds will be used to support the Coastal REC vegetable program, Clemson’s Online Information capability to create a more comprehensive web-based agriculture and horticulture information system, and at the SC Botanical Gardens to provide demonstration and instructional programs focused on proper plant selection, pest management, and irrigation.
4-H & Youth: Agriculture & Natural Resources Programs $500,000
Connecting South Carolina’s youth, agriculture and wise management of our natural resources is an essential step in sustaining our ability to competitively produce our food and manage our watersheds. These funds will be used to reestablish 4-H programs that were lost or diminished due to budget cuts and to improve Clemson’s ability to provide an integrated statewide 4-H program in agriculture and natural resources as well as help SC youth develop the leadership skills needed to compete in the workplace.
Farm-to-Table Extension Programs $500,000
South Carolina’s shifting demographics from rural to urban reduces the connection with our agriculture and natural resource economy. Clemson’s mission as a land-grant university is to provide programming to educate both the rural and urban populations about food, fiber, and energy production, and maintaining environmental quality. These funds will be used to increase local programs that address small-scale or niche vegetable and fruit growers, water conservation, and proper pesticide and herbicide use. Local economies will be served by the integration of this program with the Small Farms/Big Business program.
Agriculture & Natural Resources Field Facilities $3 million
Funding to renovate field facilities that support Clemson's research and education centers, campus farms, and Veterinary Lab including:
T. Ed Garrison Arena Education/Conference Center $3.5 million
The T. Ed Garrison Arena near the Clemson campus provides an exceptional event venue for livestock and equine events that draw participants and spectators from throughout the Southeast and increase the national reputation of South Carolina’s cattle, equine and other agriculture-based industries. The proposed center will attract more events to the arena and provide an excellent meeting and instructional facility that is not currently available in the upstate. It also will serve the educational needs of the university as a venue for student-centered events.
Clemson Public Service Activities (PSA) include:
Develops relevant, research-based knowledge for agriculture, forestry and natural resources to enhance economic development
Transfers science-based information on agriculture, forestry and natural resources to commercial producers and land managers, and individuals
Serves as South Carolina’s animal health authority, administers the state meat and poultry inspection program, and operates the state veterinary diagnostic center for livestock and companion animals
Regulates the safe and legal use of pesticides, the quality of fertilizer and lime, the certification of seed purity and germination, the prevention and control of plant pests, and the certification of greenhouse and nursery plants as pest-free
Prepares young people to become productive citizens through training in leadership, citizenship, and life skills through a learn-by-doing approach with a focus on agriculture and natural resources
Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science
Conducts research and education programs on coastal issues such as the environmental impact of urban development and protecting natural resources