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Agribusiness Curriculum Program Seeks Budding Entrepreneurs

The Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE), in partnership with
Clemson Cooperative Extension, is now accepting applications for the second annual curriculum program for agribusiness innovators.
The four-session program offers an overview of business planning and management, including pre-planning, marketing, pricing, cost of production, profitability and financial statements. Participants will also pitch their business plans to an agribusiness panel for the opportunity to be awarded $5,000 ($25,000 total in awards).
“The ACRE curriculum program introduces practices important to running any successful business, as well as some that are unique to agriculture,” said Dr. Nathan Smith, Clemson Extension Economist and Agribusiness Program Team leader.
“The entrepreneurs selected for this program will do their part to improve and diversify South Carolina’s agribusiness landscape,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “We’re delighted to be able to offer this opportunity.”
Alicia Holbrook runs Carolina Pride Pastures, an alpaca farm in Newberry County, and participated in last year’s curriculum. She says that during the program, she scrapped her initial plan and refocused it — and has dramatically increased her business as a result. “If I had not gone through the program, I never would have seen the numbers on paper and realized there were better ways to do things,” Holbrook said.
Program applications are due October 1 and can be found at acre-sc.com. Qualifying applicants must be South Carolina residents and have an agribusiness idea or product prototype. Individuals selected for the curriculum program must attend class sessions on October 22, November 5, November 19 and December 17. All classes will be taught by Clemson’s Agribusiness Program Team and will take place at the Clemson Sandhill Research and Education Center at 900 Clemson Road in Columbia.
The agribusiness curriculum program is the second track offered by the ACRE Entrepreneurship Center.
The first track, for established agribusiness entrepreneurs, was completed in June, with seven South Carolina entrepreneurs selected for funding and business development. For more information, contact Kyle Player, ACRE Executive Director, 803-734-2324 or kplayer@scda.sc.gov or Nathan Smith, Clemson Agribusiness Program Team Leader, 803–788-5700 or nathan5@clemson.edu.

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