publication Clemson helps keep the farms in the family | Agriculture

JONATHAN VEIT Clemson University

According to the USDA’s 2017 Census of Agriculture, the average age of South Carolina farmers is 58.2, and 96% of farms in the state are family-owned.

With numbers like these, it’s no secret that the orderly transfer of farms from one generation to the next is critical to the future viability of South Carolina’s agribusiness and tradition. state family farming.

A Clemson Cooperative Extension Service publication that guides farmers through the process of keeping farms in the family has been named a 2021 Notable Document by the State Library of South Carolina.

The publication, “Business Transfer Guide: Senior Generation,” is the brainchild of Clemson Extension Agribusiness Partner Steven Richards. Richards is part of a team of Clemson Extension agents and specialists who provide insight and training on using business and economic principles to make decisions about agriculture, natural resources and communities. The Clemson Extension Agribusiness team is based at Clemson’s Sandhill Research and Education Center in Colombia.

People also read…

Apps Calculate Soil pH: Growers Get Help to Increase Profits and Reduce Costs

“The purpose of this handbook is to move the farm transfer discussion forward, because families often put off these kinds of discussions for too long,” Richards said. “This manual contains worksheets to complete, farm transfer examples and challenging questions for the senior generation of farm owners. I hope South Carolina farm families can use this manual to start the farm transfer process.

Online course teaches farming basics

Graphic design of the binder was done by Stephanie Finnegan Design and Photo. Scott Mickey, also a member of the Clemson Agribusiness team, helped with current and future business analysis examples.

The publication is part of a series of business transition handbooks that guide farmers through the farm transfer process, step by step, at their own pace. It is part of a suite of Clemson Extension Agribusiness resources and programs on topics such as starting a farm business, creating a joint business arrangement, using farm assets for retirement, estate planning for farm families and much more.

“The Agribusiness team receives requests every year for information or assistance on how to start and plan for the succession of a family farm,” said Nathan Smith, Team Leader of the Clemson Extension Agribusiness program. “Some agricultural transitions are planned, others are not. Workbooks are a great tool to use no matter what stage of farming or agribusiness you are in, starting an agribusiness, partnering through a joint agreement, planning the succession or retirement planning. Contact your local county officer to request a farm succession workshop in your area. »

The winning papers for 2021 were selected by judges, including state library staff, statewide records librarians, and state employee representatives. Papers were scored on design, writing style, and extent of information. Leesa Aiken, director of the state library, said the annual award showcases some of the strongest work done by state agencies.

“South Carolina state records provide a wealth of information, statistics, and share a wide range of knowledge about our state,” Aiken said. “I am pleased that we are able to publicly recognize these important publications and websites as noteworthy records and hope that all agencies in the State of South Carolina will continue to produce high quality records like these. .”

Clemson Extension is no stranger to the Notable State Documents Awards. The Clemson Extension CU in the Woods newsletter has been named to the South Carolina State Library’s 2020 Notable State Papers list. The extension publication, Common Weeds and Wildflowers, written by Bert McCarty , was declared a notable state document in 2019 for calendar year 2018. In 2018, the Clemson Extension website,, was named to the 2017 List of Notable State Documents of the South Carolina State Library and Clemson Extension Impacts magazine was named to the list in 2015.

“Clemson Extension’s mission is to deliver unbiased, research-based information to help South Carolina citizens, families and communities thrive,” said Thomas Dobbins, director of Clemson Extension. “The Business Transfer Guide: Senior Generation is just another example of the many ways Clemson Extension is working to help family farms remain the backbone of the state’s agribusiness industry. I am proud of Steven and the entire Agribusiness team for producing such quality information to help improve the lives of the people of South Carolina. » $1 for the first 26 weeks

Documents declared noble state documents, along with other state government publications, are available online through the State Records Repository. State Library staff also digitize paper records and post born-digital documents available on state agency websites. These publications provide information about state government, including statistics, annual accountability reports, and data on a wide variety of state-related topics.

Jacob L. Thornton