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.

Track 2 is a curriculum program for beginning innovators who have a great idea for a new product or process but don’t have experience in business.  Participants will learn key principles of developing business and marketing plans, as well as understanding market trends and prospective customers. Upon completion of the curriculum, participants may choose to apply for the fast track entrepreneur program.

Track 2 curriculum is in development and is expected to launch in late 2018.  Please help us connect with you by using the button below to view more information.  We will keep you updated on the curriculum launch and how you can participate.

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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 is working with an agribusiness consulting firm in Aiken, SC to connect South Carolina applicants with appropriate grant opportunities in the areas of:

  • Marketing
  • Feasibility studies
  • Personnel
  • Logistics
  • Access to local and regional food products
  • Technology
  • Education and training
  • Agritourism
  • Advancing the industry, finding new opportunities for your business and others in your community

Not qualifying:

  • Equipment
  • Infrastructure improvements and new buildings

If you are interested in discussing grant opportunities with us please click the button below.

Click here

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

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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