South Carolina AgriBiz and Farm Expo will be January 11th-12th in Florence

Get ready to learn where your food and fiber comes from at the 2017 South Carolina AgriBiz and Farm Expo in the Florence Civic Center Jan. 11-12.

Hosted by leaders in the South Carolina agricultural industry, the Expo is an event representing all aspects of agriculture both large and small. Admission is $5 per person. Children 10 and younger are admitted free with a parent. Tickets are available cash-only at Civic Center ticket booths. The Florence Civic Center is located at 3300 West Radio Drive.

Attractions at this fifth Expo include a farm show with a wide variety of equipment and farm products, coupled with educational components.

“Education is a vital part of the South Carolina AgriBiz Expo,” said Thomas Dobbins, director of the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service. “Several educational sessions that are designed to help South Carolina farmers be productive will be held during the Expo.”

Clemson experts in organic crop production, agribusiness and marketing, vegetable production, food safety and hay production will be among the presenters.

The theme for this year’s educational sessions is “Efficiency on Your Farm.” Educational sessions during this year’s Expo include several sessions slated for 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 11, in the concourse area of the Civic Center. They will cover how to recognize and maximize opportunities found on farms, the business basics of small farming operations, attracting and retaining customers, post-harvest handling and packaging of products from farm to fork and growing organic vegetable crops and cover crops.

S.C. AgriBiz Youth Day event will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday. This event is free, but registration is requested for planning purposes. Also on Wednesday, the FFA Statewide Tractor Operations and Safety CDE Contest will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event is for registered FFA participants, but everyone can attend.

Thursday’s activities are scheduled begin at 9 a.m. in the Pee Dee Room. Thursday’s events feature a vegetable production meeting and a discussion on the Food Safety Modernization Act. Attendees also will hear small farming success stories and other tips to help farmers create and maintain successful farming operations.

A Certified Animal Manure Managers class is scheduled for 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, in the Santee Room. The class is titled “Impact of Fluctuating Fertilizer Prices on Manure Nutrient Value” and will teach farmers how to improve efficiency by using litter on their crop land. Attendees will receive two hours of certification hours. For information about the CAMM class, contact Bryan Smith, CAMM program coordinator, at 864-984-2514, ext. 112, or wsmith@clemson.edu.

Other events taking place during the Expo include a Food Truck Rodeo from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day and features vendors It’s a Matter of Taste and The Donut Guy.

A Taste of South Carolina reception will be from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday Jan. 10, and will feature key agribusiness companies, leaders, award-winners and advocates associated with South Carolina agriculture. This reception is an invitation engagement with limited tickets available. To purchase a ticket, go to http://bit.ly/2i7S5Os.

South Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers will host a Breakfast with the Commissioner from 8 to 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Expo. Admission is $25 for individuals and $250 for corporate tables. To register, go to http://bit.ly/2gUKx0C.

“Year after year, this Expo continues to be an exceptional event for showcasing all that South Carolina agriculture has to offer,” Weatherman said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this exciting opportunity to gain insight into the latest technological and agricultural innovations while networking with trade show exhibitors and other agribusiness leaders.”

The Clemson University College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences will host a reception for CAFLS Tuesday, Jan. 10. For information, go to http://bit.ly/2hBfcnw. Other events scheduled to be held in conjunction with the Expo are the Florence Youth Leadership Class, a Waste Pesticide Collection class and Professional Development for Career Specialists. For information on these events, go to http://bit.ly/2hQpiS6.

For a full list of events, or for more information, go to http://scagribiz.com/expo/.

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