Lowcountry Local First Opens Applications for Growing New Farmers Program

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Lowcountry Local First, in partnership with the College of Charleston’s School of Professional Studies, is calling for applications to the 2017 Growing New Farmers Program. 

The program provides six months of experiential, hands-on training at Middleton Place's USDA Certified Organic Farm, coupled with curriculum-based instruction in a classroom setting and an optional apprenticeship. Topics covered range from seed starting, to post-harvest handling, to business planning.

Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis through March 17, 2017. The class size will be capped at 30 participants.

The Growing New Farmers Program is a Lowcountry Local First program that began in 2010 in order to train the next generation of farmers and food system leaders.

“The average age of a South Carolina farmer today is 59-years-old and only six percent of farmers are under the age of 35, " Jamee Haley, executive director at Lowcountry Local First, said. "Creating the next generation of farmers is critical for a healthy local food system.”

According to Lowcountry Local First, they are "addressing the supply side issues facing the local food system by ensuring there are new farmers entering the market and all farmers interested in operating sustainable businesses are provided the tools, training and network to achieve their goals."

Past program participants include Spade and Clover Gardens, Compost in My Shoe, Rooting Down Farms, The Green Heart Project, the Johns Island Farmers Market, Wit Meets Grit, Sunday Brunch Farmers Market, and Murray’s Heirlooms.

For more information, or to fill out an application, click here.

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