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Gabe Kenne, Dr. Buz Kloot, and their USC Soil Health Labs have been hard at work compiling all of the scientific, instructional, and educational material created/involved in within the last decade. The reason? Soil Health Labs is officially launching a brand-new website, ripe with videos, podcasts, blogs, and other free digital or print resources that you and your peers may find useful in your own soil health journeys. Their website is now live and populated with a variety of content: www.soilhealthlabs.com.

 

Stay tuned for engaging, informative, and entertaining projects and content shared on their brand-new website, as well as regular video, podcast, and written content moving forward.


The Soil Health Labs have released their first SC-specific podcast as an introduction to what they are up to. To have a listen, check out https://www.soilhealthlabs.com/podcast/soil-health-goes-south-soil-molecular-biologist-brings-new-life-to-soil-health-in-south-carolina.


Connect with the USC Soil Health Labs on social media:


About Soil Health Labs: Soil Health Labs is dedicated to advancing sustainable agriculture through innovative research and practical solutions. By bridging the gap between science and the field, we empower farmers with the tools and knowledge needed to nurture healthier soils and more resilient ecosystems.

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The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (USDA) is creating an urban county committee (COC) in Columbia, SC, joining 26 other cities across the country, that currently focus on Farm Service Agency (FSA) program delivery to urban producers. County committee members make important decisions on how federal farm programs are administered locally, and this new urban county committee in Columbia is part of USDA’s broad support for urban and innovative agriculture.  FSA will host two (2) informational meetings on May 21, 2024, and May 23, 2024, for producers to learn more about the urban county committee for Columbia. Learn more at https://www.fsa.usda.gov/state-offices/South-Carolina/news-releases/2024/south-carolina-farm-service-agency-hosts-urban-county-committee-informational-meetings.


If you or your farming organization are interested in participating in your local urban COC as a nominee or a voter, please visit fsa.usda.gov/elections for more information and resources.

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MLFC members interviewed food distributors in the Midlands, seeking to determine key barriers to local food distribution throughout South Carolina. The results of these interviews were published in a 2016 USC policy brief, Local Food Distribution in the SC Midlands: Identifying Barriers to and Opportunities for Food Producing Farmers Entering Wholesale Markets.


Interview Overview:

  • Increase food safety training supports and funding for farmer food safety audits. 

  • Educate farmers on general wholesale standards as well as standards for each, individual distributor in South Carolina.

  • Hire a Midlands organizer to build relationships between distributors and growers and coordinate crop planning according to farmer capacity and distributor needs. 

  • Conduct a feasibility study for the Midlands to access farmer capacity and needs as well as distributor capacity and needs for aggregation and distribution of locally farmed products at wholesale prices.

  • Organize local food aggregators such as farmer cooperatives or food nodes throughout the Midlands with the intention of selling to distributors, the developing food hub network in South Carolina, and other market opportunities.

(Welborn & Lamie, 2016)

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