ORANGEBURG, S.C. — The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is investing $70 million into a partnership between South Carolina State University and Clemson aimed at addressing the needs of marginalized and underserved farmers.
“The long relationship that we have with minority farmers in the state and the outstanding relationship that they have with all farmers in the state can go a long way in making systemic change," said principal investigator at SC State 1890 Research and Extension Lamin Drammeh.
These farmers will receive education, training, and financial incentives and take part in demonstrations to support climate-smart practices. It will focus on the production of vegetables, peanuts, beef cattle, and forest products.
“If you’re a small grower, your margins are gonna be a lot smaller so there’s less room for error and so we want to make sure that small growers can be successful as well," said principal investigator at Clemson University Paula Agudelo.
South Carolina State University says it is working on building the infrastructure to initiate the programming. It starts with recruiting farmers who will be enrolled into a system that will be implemented over the next five years.
"It's going to be a collective effort to improve the quality of life and the standard of living of the citizens of South Carolina and beyond and we can do that by working together," said Drammeh.