Upcoming Small Business Night

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

August 11, 2015

MCCORMICK — McCormick South Carolina County Chamber of Commerce is proud to host the first “McCormick Small Business Night” on August 20, 2015 at 6:00pm. This event will take place in the McCormick Middle School Cafeteria:  6979 SC HWY 28 South, McCormick, SC 29835.

This will be an evening dedicated to encouraging future business opportunities and to promoting small business growth in the community.

All business ideas are welcome at this meeting. The Freshwater Coast Community Foundation and the Small Business Development Center desire to help any feasible business ideas that come through this meeting and to listen to any community concerns or needs that that are brought up.

Whether someone desires to start a new ice cream parlor or has an idea to install a hotel, this business night wants to hear these ideas and encourage creativity and share knowledge of what it takes to start up a personal business.

Come celebrate the small businesses that already exist and learn more about the exciting things that are happening in McCormick County. Contact Charlotte Tallent or Heather McNally to RSVP or to learn more information regarding this event.

Complimentary sandwiches and ice cream will be provided, so your RSVP is necessary to ensure that there is enough food for everyone.

We look forward to hearing the community’s future business ideas and are excited about the progress that has already been made in McCormick County.


The McCormick Arts Council at the Keturah building in the middle of McCormick, South Carolina.



Growers Alliance Meeting

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

July 29, 2015

ABBEVILLE — On Thursday, the Freshwater Coast Community Food Alliance (FCCFA) held a meeting featuring guest speaker Mike McGirr, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Feed & Seed in Clemson, South Carolina.

The purpose of this meeting was to brainstorm ideas about how to enhance growers’ businesses and increase agriculture in the Freshwater Coast.

Mike McGirr spoke about the progress that he has made with Feed & Seed and with the food hub in Clemson. “We want our farmers to be profitable so that our farms remain in place,” McGirr noted regarding the future of agribusiness in the area. A high potential of productivity exists in the area, and the multiple acres of open pasture encourage advancement.

Mike McGirr leads discussion on agricultural enhancement of the Upstate with Lee Logan, Matt Wiggins, Stephanie Turner, Penny Parisi, Frank Love, Tim Hall, and others during the Growers Alliance Meeting.

Mike McGirr leads discussion on agricultural enhancement of the Upstate with Lee Logan, Matt Wiggins, Stephanie Turner, Penny Parisi, Frank Love, Tim Hall, and others during the Growers Alliance Meeting.

Organizations such as Ten at the Top and the Regulatory Services division at Clemson support agricultural growth and may be used for the benefit of the quality of life in Abbeville and McCormick counties and the Starr-Iva area of Anderson.

The meeting discussed options that would enhance the area, such as group GAP certification, the need for auditors, a food hub, a new farmer’s market system, a food truck, and a community event dedicated to locally made food and products.

The meeting concluded with forming new committees dedicated to making progress happen and following up on new ideas. The meeting determined that Growers Night will be on August 27th at 6:00 p.m.

Exciting things are happening in the community of business owners and farmers, and the FCCF looks forward to sharing these progressive steps with the entire Freshwater Coast community.

Calhoun Falls Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

July 28, 2015

ABBEVILLE— The Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) was privileged to meet with Calhoun Falls representatives recently during a meeting discussing different ways to implement more traffic, publicity, and news in Calhoun Falls.

Starting off the meeting, Will Ferreira gave everyone an overview of what the FCCF is accomplishing and what the long-term goals are.

One of the ways that the FCCF plans to increase entrepreneurship is through educational business workshops for the community. Will, along with Matt Wiggins and Andy Johnston, will be teaching these workshops in the upcoming months. These courses will be two hours long and will hopefully repeat in the spring.

Will Ferreira, Mindy Rogers, Faye Crocker, Lee Logan, Cody White, and David Porter among others listen as Johnnie Waller, Mayor of Calhoun Falls, leads discussion about Calhoun Falls and its business and tourism potential.

Will Ferreira, Mindy Rogers, Faye Crocker, Lee Logan, Cody White, and David Porter among others listen as Johnnie Waller, Mayor of Calhoun Falls, leads discussion about Calhoun Falls and its business and tourism potential.

The purpose of this meeting was to inspire new ideas and strategies to help the community and businesses of Calhoun Falls thrive. Discussion centered on a strategic economic development plan.

This plan included discussion on ideas such as refurbishing downtown, using the public library, a new historic attraction, gaming for entertainment, a walking/biking/hiking tour, a Frisbee golf course, road biking with a map, and a town painting/mural.

Recreational program promotion was the next topic of discussion. Calhoun Falls could implement a tour guide for marketing the freshwater coast, have a book written about the trails, or purchase an LED display sign that would easily advertise the activities going on in the town.

Immediate future plans for the FCCF and Calhoun Falls include two follow-up meetings, one of which will primarily discuss plans for the painting/mural.

Calhoun Falls is a place packed with opportunities, adventures, and community, and the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation looks forward to supporting and promoting this wonderful town.


McCormick Chamber of Commerce Meeting

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

July 8, 2015

MCCORMICK—Teaming with the McCormick Chamber of Commerce, the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation (FCCF) held a meeting last week to discuss the future of McCormick’s local business world, including a couple of exciting events that are in the making.

During the meeting, Heather McNally, program director for the McCormick Arts Council at the Keturah (MACK), provided information regarding the Quilt Tour in McCormick. This information will be soon sent out to community in order to promote this fun and little-known display of art and history. The goal of this newsletter will be to feature local cultural assets regularly and unite the various initiatives in shared promotion efforts.

mccormick meeting

Heather McNally, Charlotte Tallent, Joe McNinch, and Will Ferreira discuss upcoming events in McCormick and the progress of the town’s economy and community.

The next item on the agenda was discussion about the “Small Business Night” events that will take place over the course of the year. Will Ferreira, the Community Coordinator for the FCCF, explained the vision for these business nights and what he wants to see accomplished through them. The first business night will feature three guest speakers who will enlighten the budding business owners about putting McCormick on the map, the naturalism of McCormick, and tourism. The goal will be to encourage locals who have ideas about starting up small businesses and to maybe eventually even start these businesses.

Charlotte Tallent, Executive Director for McCormick County Chamber of Commerce, mentioned the constant stream of people that visit the nearby Hickory Knob State Park and suggested that the rest of McCormick use this publicity to the town’s advantage.

Although McCormick has many small businesses and opportunities, the Chamber of Commerce and the FCCF look forward to more growth of the town and more awareness in people outside of the town.


FCCF Hosts Growers Alliance Meeting

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

June 16, 2015

ABBEVILLE — The Freshwater Coast Community Food Alliance (FCCFA) recently held a meeting in which they discussed the possibility of a golf cart rental business in Calhoun Falls, a farm rental business, and what the future of farming looks like for Abbeville County.

Jason Ashley, a livestock farmer, attended the meeting and provided valuable discourse about what is required in order to maintain successful farming and also the various obstacles that are presented to local producers. Many growers are beginning to sell their products at their farms rather than in the market or through a processor in order to ensure that the customers get what they want and can pay up front. After purchasing the meat at the farm, the buyer then takes the meat to a processor and the buyer pays the processing fee rather than the grower.

The meeting discussed details of livestock farming, such as essential slaughter dates, slaughter houses, and the need for more local meat processors.

Growers Meeting Media

Will Ferreira, Cody White, Amanda Morgan, Jenny Mountford, Tim Hall and Jason Ashley discussing strategies for agribusiness project implementations in the Freshwater Coast Community.


The FCCFA was encouraged by the progress made by the feasibility studies and research on local farming. Once these studies are finished, the FCCF will make them available on its website www.freshwatercoastcommunity.org to promote potential agricultural business opportunities.

They also discussed the need for identifying local byproduct buyers as well as training for local butchers. This training would teach butchers how to cut meat well and ensure that the customers get exactly what they order.

Farmer’s market strategies were also discussed, such as the need for a meat market and a certification process required in order to sell at the farmer’s market.

As discussed in the meeting, the Freshwater Coast Community Foundation is taking even more steps to improve agribusiness in Abbeville County, McCormick County, and the southern area of Anderson County.

Freshwater Coast Community Foundation Hosts Inaugural Growers Meeting

Sally Caldwell, Communications Coordinator

May 27, 2015

ABBEVILLE — On Thursday, the Freshwater Coast Community Food Alliance (FCCFA) held a meeting in Abbeville where they gathered together with almost 30 local farmers to discuss the growth possibilities of agricultural crops, livestock and specialty foods and what is needed to increase production and sales.

The producers from Anderson, Starr, Abbeville, Iva, Due West, Donalds, Plum Branch, Lowndesville, Calhoun Falls, Honea Path, Hodges, McCormick, and Greenwood provided FCCFA with valuable discourse concerning the growth, sales, and progress of cultivation. Each grower voiced his or her needs that come up during the growing seasons, many of these needs resounding among many of the farmers.

Each agricultural business needs certain products and buyers in order to succeed, and the Freshwater Coast Community Food Alliance’s goal at this meeting was to address those needs and to eventually meet them. The Food Alliance plans to meet again on August 27th, at 6pm at the Abbeville Extension Office 265 Industrial Park Road, Abbeville, SC 29620.

Farming in Abbeville County, McCormick Count and Anderson County has been challenging, and the purpose of this meeting was to figure out why and how the community can team with FCCF and Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service to increase agricultural business successes.

Growers Meeting Media

Will Ferreira, Community Coordinator of the FCCF, gestures as he discusses horticulture and local food systems with local growers.

Since the growers have voiced their needs, FCCF and Clemson Extension will work to provide farmers with the resources and publicity required to maintain a thriving agricultural     community.

Educational Agribusiness Retreat Inspires and Equips Women


Women are often the undergirder of the household. As such, they exert near absolute authority — within the family budget, that is — over a family’s quality of food. It only stands to reason that women should then be some of the most enthusiastic drivers of agribusinesses that help provide healthy eating options for Freshwater Cost Community families. Read on to learn of one initiative that is helping women start and grow agribusinesses.

Note: While this particular event is not in our area, we anticipate providing similar training to the Freshwater Coast Community.

View the article as originally published here:


Annie’s Project to help women on the farm

, Public Service Activities

May 11, 2015

HARTSVILLE — A Chicago native with no prior agricultural experience, Sandra Kay Eubanks is now owner of a growing agribusiness and a proactive member of the South Carolina farming community.

She credits part of her success with the knowledge gained and connections made through Annie’s Project, a four-day educational retreat for women in agriculture. Clemson Extension is bringing the program to South Carolina for the fourth year June 11-14 in Hartsville. Space is limited and registration is due by May 15. To register, visit Clemson.edu/scwagn.

Annie's Project logoEubanks recounted the struggles of a woman trying to carve out a place in a male-dominated profession. “Men would look at me like, ‘What are you doing here?’ It is very energizing to be in a group of like-minded people at Annie’s Project and hear these women’s stories.”

She and her husband, who has a full-time job, founded Simple Times Farm in 2012, an agritourism business in Cross Anchor where Eubanks and her six children dress in colonial-period clothing and demonstrate the early methods of farming and living. They grow organic vegetables, sell milk and eggs and raise animals, too.

For Eubanks, who is now involved in several agricultural associations, Annie’s Project was a one-stop shop to learn about estate planning, insurance, marketing and other topics related to managing a farm.

“Annie’s Project has really empowered me to move forward,” Eubanks said.

Annie’s Project was founded in Illinois a decade ago and named for a woman who spent a lifetime learning to be an involved business partner with her husband, a farmer.

The program is sponsored by Clemson Extension, the S.C. Women’s Agricultural Network, ArborOne Farm Credit, AgSouth Farm Credit, the S.C. Farm Bureau and the U.S. Department of Agriculuture.

The share of U.S. farms operated by women has nearly tripled over the past three decades, from 5 percent in 1978 to 14 percent by 2007, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Women are the fastest growing segment in agriculture right now,” said Extension agent and Annie’s Project state coordinator Jennifer Boyles. “Some are looking for something new. They want to work with the earth. A lot of them are retiring from careers or they are receiving family land through estates. They are seeing that farming is very gratifying.”

Women pose for a group photo during the Annie’s Project education retreat last year.

To date, nearly 70 South Carolina women have participated in Annie’s Project, which enrolls about 20 women each year, Boyles said.

“They really get to know each other and network and bond,” she said.

The June program includes educational presentations, networking opportunities and a tour of McLeod Farms near McBee. Presentation topics cover financial management, marketing, social media, law and estate planning. Presenters include representatives from Clemson University, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, AgSouth Farm Credit and the Farm Service Agency.

Boyles is planning an “Annie’s II” class for September that will provide more detailed instruction on retirement and estate planning. Details to come.

Women from across the state attend. They’re diverse in age and background. Some are college students. Some are retired women. Some are professionals looking for new careers.

“We have a really diverse group,” Boyles said. “We’ve had three generations of a family come in together.”