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Budget Priorities

Rural Health Cooperative Extension and Research

Recurring Request: $2,390,000

Economic development studies point to the need to link agriculture and food systems to nutritional outcomes and public health.  South Carolina has made significant gains in the quality and quantity of food production, and in improving market pathways and local food environments.  Alongside those gains, more research and Extension efforts are needed to bring the consumers and producers closer through awareness of the connections between diet and wellness.  Obesity, type 2 diabetes, micronutrient deficiencies, and other non-communicable diseases are among the key challenges in health in SC.  Agriculture and rural development can positively contribute to a healthier and nutritious supply of food, but research and education that more directly tackle the barriers to the adoption of healthy diets and lifestyles are needed.

Clemson Cooperative Extension currently develops and delivers science-based programs that help South Carolina citizens lead healthy lives by giving them the tools they need to fight  chronic health conditions such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes.  These efforts, supported by sporadic and limited grant funds, have reached approximately 1,000 South Carolinians through forty 16-hour programs delivered by three (3) Extension agents since 2018.  Participants showed improvements in weight, knowledge, blood glucose and blood pressure at the end of the programs.  This success provides proof-of-concept that a statewide Extension Team supported by base budget funding, and coupled with nutrition research, would greatly improve the health and lives of South Carolinians.

Clemson Cooperative Extension seeks to enhance and expand its current health and nutrition programming by creating a team that will deliver research-based nutrition and wellness education programs in the counties. The focus will be on prevention of chronic disease and self-management of diabetes and heart disease. Extension Agents will empower South Carolinians to adopt healthy lifestyles through programs like “The National Diabetes Prevention Program”, “Health Extension for Diabetes,” and “The Hypertension Management Program.” Traditional and innovative strategies focused on healthy cooking skills and online support will be used to promote lifestyle behavior changes. Partnerships with health systems will allow agents to connect citizens to healthcare and social services. Four (4) Faculty will conduct applied research in nutrition and disease (2), community nutrition (1), and nutrition and physiology (1).  Their findings will be organized into plain language materials by a Curriculum Coordinator (1) and Program Trainer (1), and materials will be delivered to citizens by a team of Extension agents (20).

Funding Request Breakdown

Extension Personnel FTE Salary Fringe Total

Extension Agent





Curriculum Coordinator and Trainer





Research Faculty salary










Extension Supplies & Travel





Research Operating










Public Service and Agriculture
Public Service and Agriculture | 130 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson, SC 29634