Workshop Mini-grant Program for Ag Educators

What is the Mini-Grant program?

The SCNBFP is looking to expand educational opportunities to new farmers seeking advanced agribusiness and production training by broadening partnerships with other educators and resource providers.  Survey efforts have identified 10 topics of need and interest.  We are issuing a Request for Proposals for those interested in partnering with us in the planning and delivery of our 2023 advanced programming workshops through a mini-grant program.  Ten mini-grants will be issued in 2023.

What is included in a mini-grant award?

  • $1,000 in approved workshop expenses such as venue rental; speaker fees/travel; staff support; workshop materials
  • Reimbursement of catering/food & beverage costs for in-person workshops (up to $35.00 per participant)
  • Turn-key marketing support, including co-branded promotional materials; workshop registration services; and advertising through social media as well as SCNBFP and Clemson University platforms, including 450+ SCNBFP alumni and class of 2023 participants
  • Workshop evaluation services (with shared results)

Who may apply?  Any individual, team, educational institution, government agency, NGO, or organization with an interest in farmer education.  Demonstrated experience in workshop planning within the agricultural sector preferred.  You may apply for more than one mini-grant!  Please submit a separate application for each workshop of interest.

How do I apply?  Please complete our online form by clicking here.

What is the deadline to apply?  Please be certain to submit your application before 10:00 am, Monday, March 20th, 2023

Awards will be announced in early April and we will work with all recipients to set the program schedule by May 1, 2023.   

When do workshops under the mini-grant program need to be delivered?  So that they fit within our established SCNBFP programming, new workshops under the mini-grant program will need to be delivered between December 11, 2023 – March 31, 2024.  We will work with all mini-grant recipients on developing a conflict-free schedule.  Workshops may be scheduled for any day of the week.

What are the expectations for workshops under the mini-grant program?

  • Your proposed agenda should fit within the general topics listed as priority areas. (See below.)
  • While these workshops are primarily targeted to farmers with less than ten years of farming experience, content should be at an advanced level. (Many if not most attendees will have some prerequisite knowledge.)
  • Workshops should be a full-day event, with 4-5 hours of active learning + meal/break time. For in-person workshops, lunch should be included.  Plan for 30-50 attendees.
  • Geographically, workshops under the mini-grant program may be delivered anywhere within the state of South Carolina. (We will be seeking geographic diversity.)
  • Although online delivery will be considered under appropriate circumstances, in-person is preferred, with special consideration for on-farm venues for production-related topics.
  • Mini-grant recipients will be responsible for the planning and delivery of their workshop(s). While the SCNBFP will be providing co-branded marketing materials, we expect recipients to actively engage in promotional activities.  Recipients will be expected to share final workshop agendas with SCNBFP staff in advance, as well as provide accurate attendance records.

What are the identified priority topics for workshops under this program?  These are the general workshop topics for which we are offering mini-grants:

  • Labor Issues & Management
  • Scaling Up to Wholesale Markets
  • GAPs Certification
  • FSMA/Post-Harvest Handling
  • Website Development & Analytics
  • Pasture Management & Cover-cropping
  • Water Resource Management
  • Conservation Issues & Techniques
  • Advanced Soil Health Management
  • Advanced Integrated Pest Management

Note that we do not have preconceived ideas of what should be included under the above general topics.  This is where we welcome your creativity and expertise!

Who is the target audience for these workshops?  While these workshops will be open to the general public, we expect a great deal of participation from participants of our 2023 class, as well as our 450+ alumni.  These are mostly small-to-medium-scale family farms with a focus on local food markets and environmental sustainability.  Attendees will be engaged in all types of crop/livestock production; most will be diverse; many farms will also include non-production enterprises such agritourism, value-added production; on-farm retail; etc.

For reference, what additional topics are currently covered in the SCNBFP? 

Beginning Level:

  • Legal Issues & Risk Management
  • Start-Up Logistics & Basic Farm Financial Management
  • Developing a Business Concept & Basic Business Plan
  • Introduction to Marketing, Branding, & Communication
  • Basics of Direct-to-Consumer Markets
  • Opportunities in Mediated (Wholesale) Markets
  • Regulatory Issues & Resources
  • Fundamentals of Soil Health Management
  • Introduction to Integrated Pest & Weed Management

Advanced Level:

  • Enterprise Budgets & Profitability
  • Financial Assistance through Farm-Focused Grants
  • Organic Production & Certification
  • Land Acquisition, Conservation, Transfer, & Preservation
  • Opportunities in Agritourism
  • Advanced Business Planning & Comprehensive Business Plan Development
  • Advanced Farm Financial Management & Analysis
  • Tax Management for Farming Enterprises
  • Developing a Year-Round Operation Plan
  • Social Media & Analytics for Small Farm Businesses

What if I have additional questions?  Please contact us!

Ben Boyles, SCNBFP director, boyles2@clemson.edu803/981-3021

Diana Vossbrinck, SCNBFP assistant director,, 864/933-0559

Thank you for your interest in Clemson University’s South Carolina New & Beginning Farmer Program!

This study is funded by USDA-NIFA Award No. 2021-70033-35707. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of USDA-NIFA. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.


We are now accepting mini-grant applications! Please be certain to submit your application before 10:00 am, Monday, March 20th, 2023 by clicking on the button below:

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