On Saturday, June 28, 2014, AgSouth Farm Credit partnered with the SC State Farmers Market to host Family Fun Day at the Market. The event was held at the State Farmers Market in West Columbia.
At a dedication ceremony prior to the beginning of the activities, AgSouth donated a joggling bench to the market. S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers, AgSouth Board Member Lydia Yon, former FFA State President Anna Mink, and AgSouth’s Georgia Chief Lending Officer Van McCall briefly addressed the crowd on the importance of supporting and promoting agriculture before the fun began.
AgSouth employees then led participants though “The Ag Experience: Counting Collards” as part of the Department of Agriculture’s Family Fun Day. According to Marketing Manager Miriam Pflug, “We wanted to showcase South Carolina’s state vegetable while educating the public about what it takes to grow the food we eat in a fun, easy to understand manner.”
At the Ag Experience, participants visited learning stations to simulate what it takes to grow the food they eat. More than 100 adults and children participated in the experience, learning in a hands-on teaching environment about ag lending, crop production, and marketing and selling crops. Pflug added that, “Children and parents alike were very engaged in the process, and we hope they take that excitement for agriculture into their communities as new advocates of agriculture.”
Commissioner Weathers said, "We started Certified SC Grown® for the same reason AgSouth developed the AGAware® program. We saw a need to bring attention and education to the public about just what it takes to get your food to the table. AgSouth has done a great job in educating the community about the farm-to-table philosophy. Their team accomplishes this through a very entertaining program that makes it fun for the future farmers and consumers of our state to learn about agriculture.”
In addition to community events, AGAware includes workshops, speaker forums, community involvement projects, grants to farmers markets, and financial assistance to those attending the seminars who would like to further their agricultural education by attending the Farm Credit University Ag Biz Planner program.
As McCall explained, “The food we eat is generated by farmers who plant and harvest our crops, lenders that finance the farmers, agricultural production companies that use those crops to make all sorts of food and products, businesses that sell the final products, and consumers who purchase those products. There are many hands connected to the one strong arm of agriculture. We hope that after attending Family Fun Day at the Market, participants came away with a better understanding of agriculture and what it takes to get their food on the table.”