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Upcoming Events

2024 Sustainable Agriculture Conference

Nov. 2-4, 2024; Durham, NC

Hosted by Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, the 2024 Sustainable Agriculture Conference brings together farmers, food system advocates and community leaders from across the Carolinas for a weekend of learning and community focused on advancing local, sustainable and organic agriculture. 

 

Planned workshop topics at this year's conference include: soil health and fertility, crop planning, farm business marketing and branding, farm diversification, food system development, advocacy and policy, agritourism and more. 

 

In addition to workshops, the conference features an expansive trade show and plenty of networking opportunities, all curated with the rich, diverse food system landscape of the Carolinas in mind. 

Richland County Local Work Group Meeting

August 1, 2024; Hopkins, SC

The Richland Soil and Water Conservation District, in cooperation with the USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service, will host the 2024 Richland County Local Work Group Meeting to discuss local natural resource concerns and identify conservation priorities for FY2025 Farm Bill Programs. Examples of natural resource concerns include soil erosion, water quality, wildlife habitat, and invasive species. Land uses under consideration include forestland, cropland, pastureland, and agricultural waste. Local Work Groups include representatives from cooperating federal, state, and local agencies; conservation organizations; and the public. Interested members of the public are invited to participate in the Local Work Group meeting. Please register for the meeting below if you plan to attend.

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Register here for the 2024 Richland County Local Work Group Meeting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is establishing a new urban county committee (COC) in Columbia, S.C., joining 26 other cities nationwide with committees dedicated to delivering USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs to urban producers. County committee members play a vital role in deciding how federal farm programs are administered locally. This new urban county committee in Columbia is part of the USDA’s broader initiative to support urban and innovative agriculture. FSA will host an informational meeting on Thursday, May 23, 2024, for producers to learn more about the Columbia urban county committee.

Broadband Equity Luncheon Series

September 11-13; 11am-1pm; West Columbia, SC

SCACED's Broadband Digital Equity Series will convene nonprofit leaders to participate in a broadband adoption effort. As $30 million in funding becomes available, this series will equip nonprofit leaders with the tools needed to leverage the funding to maximize adoption in their community.

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What we've done

MLFC Public Events

Farm & Food Summits

The Midlands Local Food Collaborative annually hosts dynamic food summits and resource showcases, gathering stakeholders passionate about shaping the region's farm and food landscape. Through collaborative efforts, they foster dialogue, innovation, and actionable strategies to promote sustainable agriculture and strengthen local food systems in the Midlands. 

The goal of these food summits is to provide farmers and local stakeholders an opportunity to communicate their regional vision and needs while the assessment of local food systems in South Carolina is being conducted.

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Sustainable Agriculture

MLFC participants promote sustainable and organic farmers and farming practices through technical workshops, on-farm demonstrations, training programs, and financial assistance.

Community Engagement and Education

MLFC launched the "Faces of Local Food" campaign in order to raise consumer awareness about the importance of supporting local farms and local food.

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SC Farmer Resource Rodeo

The SC Farmer Resource Rodeo was held at the Phillips Market Center to help farmers and resource providers navigate the complex array of technical, financial, and educational resources provided by various federal, state, local, and non-profit resource providers. The event was attended by 100 people, with participation from 22 statewide resource providers.

Land Access Initiative

The MLFC launched its Land Access Initiative with discussion facilitated by David Harper of the Pee Dee Land Trust. Twenty-four agency and organization representatives attended the first meeting and agreed to meet quarterly to further the goal of coordinating stakeholders to identify and address barriers to farmland access.

MLFC Member Events

2015

MLFC members toured several local food system sites in Charleston, including DirtWorks Incubator Farm, Sweetgrass Gardens CropStop/GAP shed, and GrowFood Carolina.

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MLFC members met with Gary Prince at the State Farmers Market to discuss initiatives which could increase production and distribution of local foods.

MLFC members visited Travelers Rest and Greenville to tour several important sites in Greenville’s local food economy: The Café at Williams Hardware, Travelers Rest Farmers Market, Swamp Rabbit Café, and Mill Village Farms. The group also spoke with the Greenville County’s Greenways, Natural & Historic Resources Coordinator; and with the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the new Feed & Seed initiative

Formation and Achievements of the MFA

2014

As an outgrowth of the “Future of Midlands Farms and Food Summit,” the Midlands Food Alliance (MFA) formed as a grassroots group under the nonprofit Sustainable Midlands umbrella to advocate and educate for a sustainable and equitable localized food system in the Midlands of SC.

 

A Memorandum of Understanding was created to outline the relationship between the MLFC and the MFA

2015

Sustainable Midlands and the Midlands Food Alliance published a Midlands Food Guide and began hosting regional potlucks to strengthen local networks of food producers and consumers.

Local Food System Planning Achievements

2015

A proposal for a Midlands Agricultural Economic Analysis was developed and initial data were compiled.

MLFC was the subject of a presentation at the 2015 Summer SC American Planning Association Conference.

2016

Several MLFC members partnered to obtain technical assistance through the Stronger Economies Together program.

Accomplishment Report

Click on the button above to view the full MLFC Accomplishment Report detailing accomplishments from 2012-2016.

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