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Farm Business Workshops in 2016

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

December 8, 2015

ABBEVILLE — The Freshwater Community Coast Foundation (FCCF) is excited to teach a series of training workshops for farmers throughout the year 2016. These workshops will give farmers the opportunity to learn more about production systems, marketing strategies, record-keeping, organic production, and more.

Each class will teach a different subject, pinpointing certain relevant areas of agriculture. The classes are as follows:

 

  • Pasture Management – January 14th
  • Farm to School – January 21st
  • Soil Sciences – February 18th
  • Pest, Disease, & Weeds – March 17th
  • Farmers’ Market Strategies – April 14th
  • Backyard Poultry – May 12th
  • Sustainable Small Farming – August 18th
  • Drip Irrigation – September 15th
  • How to Grow Organic Crops – October 13th
  • Farm Financial Recordkeeping – November 10th
  • Farm Production Costs – December 8th

 

Each workshop will be taught by an expert on the given subject, ensuring the best possible advice and instruction. The goal of these workshops is to increase and improve agriculture in Abbeville and McCormick County and the Starr-Iva area of Anderson. The FCCF desires to strengthen farmers and their production knowledge, ensuring the continuation of the locally-grown and harvested products.

These workshops are just one aspect of all of the progress the FCCF is making in the surrounding areas for agriculture, entrepreneurship, and education. The FCCF understands the importance of locally-grown crops and the strong need for farmers, so the FCCF desires to help, inform, and promote agriculture as much as possible.

Let’s Talk About It: Business is Booming

From your hardware to your bank account, the Freshwater Coast’s local businesses have you covered for life – literally. Harris Funeral Homes, the First Bank of Abbeville, Stoll Fireplace, and Pettigrew Hardware are just some of the businesses in our community that serve every need, from a warm cozy fireplace to the death of a loved one.

Stephen Pettigrew at home behind at the counter at Pettigrew Hardware in Calhoun Falls.

Stephen Pettigrew at home behind at the counter at Pettigrew Hardware in Calhoun Falls.

Stephen Pettigrew is the owner of Pettigrew Hardware and Supply in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina. Pettigrew Hardware celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and Stephen could not be more proud. Stephen is a native of Calhoun Falls and now lives in Clemson, South Carolina. Although Stephen travels 50 miles to work every day, the distance does not stop him from knowing just about every face that passes through Calhoun Falls. A face seldom passes through the town without a quick “hello, good to see you again” from Stephen. His parents began Pettigrew Hardware and passed it on down to Stephen who now works with his own son. Stephen says that the best part about working in this store is that “It’s not routine,” and that he has the best customers. As far as the progress of the store, “We’ve kind of evolved as situations have changed,” Stephen stated. He said that one of his favorite aspects of running the shop is that it is a family association. “You know everybody and feel comfortable around them,” Pettigrew said regarding his community and customers. Such loyalty is appreciated in the small-town business world, especially at The First Bank of Abbeville, a place of warm people, trusted service, and guaranteed satisfaction.

Abbeville First Bank sits right outside of the famous square in Abbeville, South Carolina.

Abbeville First Bank sits right outside of the famous square in Abbeville, South Carolina.

The bank is fully community-based in every aspect, even the name of the bank, which the community voted upon. “We are 100% invested in Abbeville,” Andy Timmerman mentioned, “We give back to the community when we can.” Personal service is a strong point at Abbeville First Bank. Every call is answered by a real person on the other end of the phone, ready to meet the needs of customers, people who the workers usually know personally! “Everyone seems to know everybody,” said Andy when asked what his favorite part about working in the Abbeville community is. Just as the bank knows everyone, everyone knows Brad Evans, owner of Harris Funeral Homes. Andy Timmerman, the current president, moved to Abbeville from Columbia with his family when he decided to make the transition to a small-town bank.

Harris Funeral Home is established in a building that was originally built in 1904.

Harris Funeral Home is established in a building that was originally built in 1904.

Evans was born and raised in Abbeville, where he spent his high school summers washing cars at the Harris Funeral Home. Since then, Brad has come a long way in the funeral home business. But as he says, “I wouldn’t change a thing about how I’ve gotten to be where I am today.” Brad’s faith and lifestyle color his position at the funeral home. The very components of running the business depend on Christianity, integrity, and hard work. “We’re all about service,” Evans says, “We want to raise the bar in funeral home service.” Brad believes in hard work, persistence, and prayer as areas that must be covered in order for Harris Funeral Home to run successfully. This company is all about the people they serve. “I believe being involved with the community is vital,” Evans mused.

Part of Harris Funeral Home’s objectives in serving the Abbeville community is ensuring that they are doing everything they can to help make Abbeville the best place to live and the most comforting place to celebrate the life of loved one. As Brad said, “Abbeville is a great place.” The location is great for Harris Funeral Home and the community is even better. Another company that greatly contributes to the community is Stoll Fireplace Inc. in Abbeville, South Carolina.

People work hard at Stoll Fireplace, whether they are cutting metal or exacting measurements.

People work hard at Stoll Fireplace, whether they are cutting metal or exacting measurements.

This company is run by Gary Yoder, grandson of the founder of Stoll Fireplace. William Stoll began the company in 1969 after he created his own fireplace to put into his new home once he and his family moved to Abbeville from Virginia Beach, Virginia. After creating his first masterpiece, folks began requesting he make theirs, too, and Stoll Fireplace Inc. was born! This business benefits the community through many ways, one of which is by providing jobs for around sixty people in Abbeville County. Gary is proud of his employees, and he understands that Abbeville provides a “good work force.” The community and the atmosphere of Abbeville make Stoll Fireplace a great place to work, and also provides Gary and his team with everything they need. Whether it’s technology, improvements, or other things, Abbeville stays up to date, an essential aspect of any successful business. Gary loves running the business because he loves the creativity put into designing and making the fireplaces. “We stress customization,” said Gary. When asked to what he owes his success and the success of the company, Gary says “To God, first of all.” The company runs on honesty, the golden rule, friendship, and quality. As Mr. William Stoll once said, “Honesty is not a question, and to correct mistakes is an opportunity to show integrity.” They have over 1,000 dealers in the U.S. and Canada. Each dealer goes through training, Part of the reason Stoll Fireplace maintains so many friendships is that they have prayer time every morning at 8:30. This office-wide prayer time often involves praying for prayer requests from dealers all over the United States. This is something that is unique to Stoll Fireplace. Faith-based and faith driven, God provides the success for Stoll Fireplace Inc.

For the people in the Freshwater Coast, community is everything. Small businesses generally thrive because of the surrounding community, but in Abbeville County’s case, the community thrives because of the local businesses.

McCormick Small Business Night Success

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

August 26, 2015

MCCORMICK — The town of McCormick was excited to host its first Small Business Night, and even more excited to see its success. Many people gathered together last Thursday night in McCormick Middle School’s cafeteria to listen to speakers, ask questions, and strategize the growth of the town.

The meeting opened up with talk about the need for a central hub for tourism in McCormick, as well as other ideas that could promote tourism.

Small businesses must decide what their market is and understand how rural tourism applies to them.

Visitors look for entertainment, excitement, and education, and McCormick could easily produce all of these for rural tourists.

Southern hospitality was then discussed as the secret to tourism in South Carolina. No other place is known for being as courteous and familial as the communities in South Carolina, a trait that must be continued and embraced by the McCormick community.

Signage was also brought up as a factor that could change the face of rural tourism in McCormick. Signs drawn attention, keep attention, and guide onlookers to where their attention may be transformed into entertainment, excitement, or education.

Lauren Ponder then took over the meeting, promoting SC Great Outdoors, a website that is dedicated to preserving and promoting the historicalness of our counties, facilitating grants, and creating a sense of place. As Lauren said, “Development will happen, you just have to plan it.”

Lauren discussed potential changes that would enhance McCormick, such as new lighting, multimodal transportation, and more.

Next on the agenda was speaker Matt Wiggins. Matt talked about how to put small businesses on the map worldwide, primarily through web services. Matt said that “online presence is key,” and he offered his website skills to everyone at the meeting.

McCormick’s Small Business Night was a smashing success; now, the community eagerly awaits to see the fruits of this productive meeting.

Whether augmenting the structure of the town, creating new local businesses, or putting current businesses on the map, McCormick is on the brink of becoming a successful county of rural tourism.

The community of McCormick County excitedly discusses the potential of local businesses and how to improve McCormick through new local businesses and new strategies of promotion.

The community of McCormick County excitedly discusses the potential of local businesses and how to improve McCormick through new local businesses and new strategies of promotion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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