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Workshops and Training Programs

For more information or registration details, please follow links or contact Kelly Gilkerson



2/25 - Soil Health (Charleston, SC)@ Dirt Works Incubator Farm, 3963 Betsy Kerrison Pkwy, Johns Island, SC 29455, Lunch Provided. Hosted by Lowcountry Local First & Clemson Sustainable Agriculture Program. Interested in digging a little deeper into the building healthy soil? Join us for a full-day, hands-on workshop focused on evaluating your soil and rebuilding it using best practices and organic methods. Guest speakers Dr. Robin “Buz” Kloot and Farmer Herman Holley will provide a balanced hands-on discussion on the science and on-farm methods behind building healthy soil. Buz Kloot is a Research Associate Prof. at the Earth Sciences Department in the Arnold School of public health at the University of South Carolina and has spent the last few years focused on learning from other scientists and farmers utilizing innovative soil building techniques especially the use of cover crops. Herman Holley is the farmer at Turkey Hill Farm (Certified Naturally Grown) in Florida where he and his wife Louise have been market gardening near Tallahassee since 1999. Using compost and cover crops, they have restored some beat out sandy land to good health in the same USDA planting zone as the Charleston area. From soil test reading to cover crop management, this dynamic duo with prepare participants to get their hands dirty rebuilding their land.

MARCH 2015

3/23 - Sustainable & Organic Pest Control Workshop (Charleston, SC) Joseph Fields Farm 3129 River Road, Johns Island, SC 29455. Cost: FREE (RSVP required)
REGISTER: RSVP online or call 919-542-2402. Join Clemson Extension and CFSA for a FREE on-farm workshop:


We'll cover: * Pest management options for sustainable and certified organic vegetable production; * Preventative strategies to minimize the use of pesticide inputs; * Tips for selecting appropriate products when prevention proves insufficient; * Techniques for scouting and developing thresholds when applying approved inputs;* Best practices for scale-appropriate pesticide application through in-field demonstration;* Proper handling of organic pesticides and calibrating equipment to reduce input expenses and ensure coverage; * onus: Join in an open roundtable discussion to identify anticipated pest issues in 2015 and share management options for specific crops.

Questions? Contact Anna with registration questions:; 919-542-2402 Contact Eric with content questions:; 252-482-0696 (office), 301-221-7119 (cell)

APRIL 2015

MAY 2015

5/13 - Cover Cropping and Organic No Till Strategies for Weed Management (Clemson, SC)9:00 AM till approximately 4:00 PM - Clemson Madren Conference Center, 240 Madren Center Dr, Clemson, SC 29634


One of the greatest challenges in sustainable and organic vegetable production is how to control weeds without using herbicides and frequent tillage. Cover crops provide many benefits for soil fertility and soil health, and if managed properly they also can be a valuable tool for weed management. This one-day course will focus on selection and management of cool and warm season cover crops to suppress weeds and to provide benefits to improve soil fertility and soil health. We will also learn about allelopathic cover crops, and about ongoing research at the Clemson Organic Farm to evaluate cost-effective ways to manage cover crop residue for weed control using a no-till vegetable production system.



Dr. Mark Schonbeck – Dr. Schonbeck holds a PhD in Botany from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Dr. Schonbeck is based in Floyd, VA and currently works as an independent consultant in sustainable agriculture where he assists farmers and gardeners with various aspects of production including soil quality and nutrient management, primarily for vegetable production systems. In addition to individual consulting Dr. Schonbeck makes occasional trips outside Virginia giving talks on soil and weed management.

Dr. Nishanth Tharayil – Dr. Tharayil is Associate Professor of Plant Ecophysiology and Weed Ecology at Clemson. His research is focused on understanding the ecological role of plant secondary metabolites (PSM). Specifically, to investigate the role of PSMs in increasing the aggressiveness of exotic and weedy plant species, and in altering the soil nutrient dynamics by affecting soil biological and chemical processes.

Dr. Robin (Buz) Kloot – Buz is a research associate professor in the Environmental Health Sciences Department at USC’s Arnold School of Public Health. Buz is passionate about working directly with farmers on soil health projects and how they can leverage the cover crop to improve crop performance both in terms of yield and savings in inputs. Buz’s passion for soils has moved him into the roles of storytelling through video. His documentary “Under Cover Farmers” and his recent series on the “Science of Soil Health”, available on line, are examples of his work and passion.

David Robb – David is an M.S. candidate in the Plant & Environmental Sciences Program at Clemson. David has a B.A. from Suwanee: the University of the South. His M.S. research focuses on cost-effective management of cover crop residue for no-till vegetable production.


REGISTRATION AND COST The cost to participate is $12 for SC Extension Agents and personnel and $35 for all other participants. Registration includes lunch at Seasons Restaurant. To register please visit:


5/18 - Farm Scale Permaculture Design Workshop

(Charleston, SC) 9am-4pm @ Charleston Horticultural Society, 46 Windermere Blvd. Charleston, SC 29407
Increase your farm or garden efficiency by harnessing your existing resources, reducing time spent on farm tasks, and redeveloping your site layout using basic permaculture design principles. Join Lowcountry Local First and the Clemson University Sustainable Agriculture Program for this full day hands-on training providing the tools and resources to get landowners started on developing a site plan.

Shawn Jadrnicek, Clemson Student Organic Farm Manager and permaculture design expert will lead this full day workshop covering the following concepts: • assessing farm elements • creating a base map • addressing drainage • azimuth and elevation • personal goals • needs assessment • optimal design • design techniques REGISTRATION AND COST: The workshops is offered at no-cost to participants thanks to the support of the Clemson Sustainable Agriculture Program and lunch is available for $12 per person. Space is limited. Please register HERE. Please also see attached flyer.

QUESTIONS: For questions regarding this training, please contact: Nikki Seibert Kelley, Director of Sustainable Agriculture Phone: 843-740-5444 Mobile: 910-297-4432 Email: Website: Address: 1630-2 Meeting Street Charleston, SC 29405


5/28 - Oil Seed Crops & On-Farm Processing of Edible and Non-Edible Oils Value (Clemson, SC)9:00 AM – 4:30 PM; Clemson University Madren Conference Center 240 Madren Center Dr, Clemson, SC 29634

Join Clemson University oilseed crop researcher David Thornton and Virgin Oils Co-founder Mathew Rudolf to learn about ideal edible and high value specialty oil crops for our southern climate and lessons learned from their experience producing food and non-food grade oils. Clemson Extension Program food safety experts Kimberly Baker and Adair Hoover will provide information on regulatory guidelines for making and selling edible oils.


This workshop will cover: crop selection, process techniques, food grade processing guidelines and potential markets. Participants will perform hands on activities expelling and processing their own edible oils to take home. Participants should come prepared for both indoor and outdoor weather conditions and wear closed toe shoes and clothing that can get dirty.



Kimberly A. Baker, MS, RD, LD is a Food Safety Associate for Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension Service. She serves the state of SC by coordinating Clemson Extension’s Food2Market program, which assists food entrepreneurs with ensuring the food safety of their products so they can enter the marketplace. Food2Market’s services include product testing, South Carolina food regulation guidance and general food safety assistance. Kimberly also has an extensive background working with retail food safety and home canning. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Master of Science degree in Food and Nutrition from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, an Associates of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Food Technology from Clemson University.


Adair Hoover is a Clemson Extension Food Safety Agent. She delivers food safety programs in Pickens and Oconee Counties, provides food safety information to SC residents at the Home & Garden Information Center (HGIC) and assists food-based entrepreneurs with food safety and regulation requirements through the Food2Market program. Adair is also part of the Food Safety for Reel Program which produces educational videos related to food safety.


David Thornton is a biofuels expert and Composting Facilities Manager with the Recycling Program at Clemson University. He is in demand as an expert speaker on biofuels and on-farm energy systems at venues such as the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Conference and the Organic Growers School. While at Clemson, David has managed research projects on production of biofuels from algae and biodiesel production. He also managed program to produce biofuel for campus fleet vehicles from waste oils, algal oils, and yeast oils as part of the campus initiative for Net Zero emissions. Before coming to Clemson, David managed the biodiesel production program for Piedmont Biofuels located in Pittsboro, NC.


Matt Rudolf is the Director of Business Development for the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) and President of Virgin Oils. In his capacity at Virgin Oils Matt is an advisor to the Western NC Field to Fryer to Fuel Project generating successful production of non-GMO canola in Western North Carolina, fryer oil testing, and conversion to biodiesel. Virgin Oils also maintains a partnership with AgStrong, a northern GA based canola crush plant and food-grade oil refinery, that assists in providing canola oil to biodiesel producers and restaurant suppliers throughout the southeastern USA. Prior to his work with RSB and Virgin Oils Matt served as Executive Director of Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro, NC.


REGISTRATION: The cost to participate is $12 for SC Extension Agents and personnel and $35 for all other participants. Registration includes locally sourced lunch. To register please visit:


JUNE 2015

6/10 - Irrigation Technologies (Clemson, SC)


6/22 - Integrated Pest Management (Charleston, SC)


JULY 2015

7/8 - Biodiesel Production (Clemson, SC)


7/20 - Whole Farm Planning (Charleston, SC)



Vertebrate Pest Management for Farms (Clemson, SC)



9/16 - Sustainable Nut and Tree Fruit Production (Clemson, SC)


9/16 - Cover Cropping for Soil Healt (Charleston, SC)



2016 Open Forum on Sustainable Agriculture (Columbia, SC)


Large Scale Organic Grain Production for Livestock Feed (TBD)





MARCH 2014

11th - Pastured Pork Production - Easley, SC

March 11, 2014 - Easley, SC A day-long workshop where local pasture pork producer Roddy Pick of Greenbrier Farms will share details of his successful, pasture-based operation with heritage breed pigs. Dr. John Andrae, Clemson Extension Forage Specialist, also a featured speaker, will share his expertise in selection of forages for pasture-based pork production. TOPICS COVERED: Breed selection, rotational grazing and seasonal production, fencing, forage selection, tree species for woodland foraging, parasite management, feed supplements, and marketing strategies. MORE INFO/REGISTER

24th - Home Pork Processing - Greenville, SC

March 24, 2014 - Abbeville, SC This program is directed toward those who choose to grow and process their own pork at home. Clemson Extension Agents will share science-based information related to handling of live animals, the carcass and the butchered meat so that safe, economical food is created. This will be a full day of demonstrations plus learning by doing. Program will be conducted on the farm to give most practical, real-life experience. Please dress appropriately for this type of work. Consider bringing an apron and wear closed-toe shoes. NOTE: this day long workshop will start with a live animal and conclude with pressure canned pork. We have plenty to send home with those registered: boning knife, info packet, fresh meat ready for the home freezer, Ball Blue Book, jar of canned pork. MORE INFO/REGISTER

APRIL 2014

22nd - Black Soldier Fly Production Workshop - Clemson, SC

Use black soldier fly production as a value-added tool for making compost, while also raising a protein source for chickens or other livestock on your farm.  The black soldier fly can complement any farm’s sustainable agriculture practices of organic production, multi-animal rotational grazing, environmental stewardship, and animal welfare.  MORE INFO/REGISTER


JUNE 2014

12th - Post Harvest Processing - Charleston, SC

Interested in increasing the quality, shelf-life and safety of your agricultural products? Join Lowcountry Local First and Clemson University Sustainable Agriculture for a hands-on workshop on proper harvest, washing, and packing techniques for a variety of fruit and vegetables (leafy greens, root vegetables, fruits). MORE INFO/REGISTER

18th - Farm Scale Permaculture Design - Clemson, SC

Learn about the Farm Scale Permaculture techniques developed at the Clemson University Organic Farm.  Topics include microclimate modification, passive heating and cooling, compost heating, soldier fly digesters, aquaponics, solar/compost heated ponds, hydronic heating systems, mushroom log flood basins, wet/dry rainwater harvesting systems, keyline design and farmscaping. MORE INFO/REGISTER


JULY 2014

9th - High Tunnel Vegetable Production - Clemson, SC

High tunnels can be used to extend the growing season and enhance growth, yield, and quality of a wide variety of horticultural crops. Join Steve Moore, high tunnel crop production expert, who will share his research and experience with sustainable high tunnel vegetable production.  In addition, Shawn Jadrnicek, manager of the Clemson University Organic Farm, will give an overview of the farm’s successful high tunnel production system and lead a tour of the farm greenhouse and high tunnels. Shawn will also describe methods for optimal greenhouse location to maximize sun access and water drainage. MORE INFO/REGISTER


10th - An Overview of Renewable and Low Cost Energy Systems for Small Farms - Clemson, SC

Fossil-fuel prices are rising across the country and farmers are feeling the pinch.  As increasing energy costs cut into farm profits, adoption of renewable on-farm energy systems gains recognition as a tool for farmers to alleviate the additional expense. Please join our expert guest speakers Steve Moore (Elon University), John Bonitz (Southern Alliance for Clean Energy), and Shawn Jadrnicek (Clemson University) for a full day workshop on low-cost, farm energy systems that minimize the need for fossil fuel-based energy. MORE INFO/REGISTER



14th - Oilseed Crops - Renewable and Low Cost Energy Systems for Small Farms Series - Clemson, SC

Druing this session, we will discuss the production and use of biofuels and their application on the farm including oilseed crops, used cooking oil for biodiesel, sugar crops for ethanol and evergy crops for gassification.



23rd - Field Diagnosis of Insects and Diseases in Organic Prodution - Clemson, SC

This one-day course will focus on field diagnosis of key diseases and insect pests affecting vegetable crops in South Carolina and the region. Participants will learn about techniques for sampling and identification of key diseases and their symptoms, and for insect pests and their natural enemies. Participants will gain experience with field monitoring of disease and insect pests on vegetables at the Clemson Organic Farm, and with instruction will practice disease and insect identification using stereo microscopes and hand lenses. All participants will receive a hand lens to take home. Lunch will be provided, and there will be ample time for questions and discussion about disease and insect problems and solutions.



30th - Efficient Greenhouse Heating and Cooling - Renewable and Low Cost Energy Systems for Small Farms Series - Clemson, SC

The most common method of heating a greenhouse is with the use of fossil fuel- based energy sources such as electricity and propane. But with ever increasing costs, alternative heating methods based on renewable energy are now cost-effective and practical options for small-scale, season extension greenhouse and high tunnel production. Please join greenhouse energy experts David Thornton, Shawn Jadrnicek and Alex Pellett for this full-day workshop to learn about greenhouse energy efficiency strategies and how to reduce your greenhouse energy costs through the use of renewable energy-based heating and cooling strategies. 



13th - Tools and Implements for Weed Management in Ecological Vegetable Production - Charleston, SC

Join expert Andy Pressman with the National Center for Appropriate Technology and Steen Enterprises in learning about the utilization of tools and equipment for intensive crop production for small to mid-sized farms. Pressman will share his extensive knowledge of whole farm planning and how equipment and tools can be utilized to increase production efficiency and increase profits while minimizing the disturbance to soil. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the types of equipment and tools for soil preparation, planting, and weed management while also receiving demonstrations of equipment including hand tools, walk-behind tractors, four wheeled tractors, and a variety of attachments (cultivators, plastic mulch layers, etc.).



4th - Open Forum on Sustainable Agriculture to Determine Training Objectives for 2015 - Columbia, SC

You’re invited to the annual Open Forum on Sustainable Agriculture to discuss critical issues, challenges and needs related to Sustainable Agriculture development in South Carolina. The meeting is open to all South Carolina farmers, educators, policy makers, state and federal government and non-governmental agricultural agency personnel, and other South Carolina citizens with an interest in sustainable agriculture. Input from this public meeting will be evaluated and used to prioritize critical issues and needs and to formulate plans for statewide sustainable agriculture training and education programs in 2015.

Maintained by: Kelly A. Gilkerson    
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