Initiatives

Research Initiatives

We are bringing South Carolina’s premier researchers together to assist in developing cutting edge, new technologies for the food, feed and agribusiness world. Our Co-Directors of Research are working to connect agribusiness challenges with South Carolina higher education researchers to create new solutions and technologies.  The team will work to ensure safety of food and agricultural products, to promote environmentally sound practices, and to develop new market opportunities for the South Carolina agricultural industry.

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Entrepreneurship Center

South Carolina is ripe with budding entrepreneurs who have new and innovative ideas in row crops, specialty crops (fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture and nursery crops), protein, aquaculture, timber, mechanical harvesting and agribusiness technology

ACRE’s Entrepreneurship Center will serve this audience with two tracks: Track 1 is for agribusiness entrepreneurs who are ready to launch their product or process into the marketplace but need investors and/or mentors. ACRE will work with entrepreneurs using a process similar to the very popular entrepreneurship television show where potential investors and successful business mentors help open doors, fuel potential and provide advice in creating new enterprises.

 

Agribusiness Curriculum Application

The curriculum program is a partnership between ACRE and Clemson Cooperative Extension. This certificate program is for beginning innovators who have a great idea or prototype for a new product or process and would benefit from a business curriculum program. Participants will learn key principles of developing business and market- ing plans, as well as understanding market trends and prospective customers. The curriculum program culminates in an opportunity for each participant to pitch an idea to an agribusiness panel for the chance to win substantial cash rewards. Upon completion of the curriculum program, participants may choose to apply for Track 1 in winter 2019.

The curriculum program will give an overview of the business planning process and how to best manage an agricultural business. Topics covered include pre-planning, marketing, pricing, cost of production, profitability, financial statements and management. All courses will be taught by Clemson’s Agribusiness Team.

Program Dates

October 1 • Applications are due
October 15 • Applicants will be notified of their application status
October 23 • 1st course (6 hours)*
November 6 • 2nd course (6 hours)*
November 20 • 3rd course (6 hours)*
December 11 • Pitch Day (6 hours)*

*Meetings to occur at Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center (Columbia, SC)

Agribusiness Development Grants

Every year, federal and state grant money that could assist agribusiness entrepreneurs goes left undiscovered and unutilized. The ACRE Agribusiness Development Grants program has working with an agribusiness consulting firm in Aiken, SC to create a comprehensive guide to agribusiness grants.

ACRE will work to strengthen SCDA’s existing Farm Link program. The purpose of Farm Link is to facilitate conversations between farm owners and farm seekers and to track results of these connections.  ACRE’s enhancement will include program promotion, development of additional participants, collaboration with Clemson Extension to develop workshops and materials for farm transition, development of a user interface on the SCDA website, and facilitation of links between agribusinesses and farmers.

Applications

Download the landowner application

Download the farm seeker application

FAQ’s

View our Frequently Asked Questions here

View Available Acreage here

Policy

Growth of agribusiness in SC is dependent on policies and laws that are welcoming of new and expanding businesses and farms.  ACRE will conduct research on local, state and federal agricultural topics and create white papers, talking points, crisis communications plans and official SCDA stances on critical issues.

Local Food and Logistics

ACRE will work to strengthen the collaboration between local farmers and the five South Carolina food hubs. To facilitate this collaboration, we will prioritize production coordination and logistics between farmers and the hubs with regularly scheduled pick-ups from the first haul to the last.

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