Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. The average age of South Carolina’s farmers is 59 and a half years, a sobering statistic when you consider that agribusiness is the largest sector of South Carolina’s economy. Some of these growers do have family members interested in continuing these businesses, but there’re many farms that don’t have a younger person training to take over their operation.
To help attract new people to the production end of farming, a wide array of sponsors offered a Small Farmer Symposium the 2017 Agri-Business and Farm Expo. Extension Agent Tony Melton brought several of his successful small acreage growers to emphasis the importance of not only growing a quality crop but knowing that a market exists for it once it’s harvested. Besides the traditional outlets of roadside stands and farmers’ markets, some growers form viable relationships with local restaurants or specialty food stores.