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Eligible farmers can receive safety improvement reimbursement

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Reimbursements of up to $2,000 per year for on-farm food safety improvements are available to eligible farmers.

Through U.S. Department of Agriculture specialty crop block grant funding administered by the S.C. Department of Agriculture, farmers covered by the federal Produce Safety Rule can receive reimbursements for improvements such as worker training resources, handwashing stations and harvest bins. Such measures help reduce the risk of foodborne illness in fruits and vegetables.

Funds are available on a first-come, first-served basis until depletion. The deadline to apply for reimbursement is Aug. 1.

“I hope South Carolina produce farmers will explore this opportunity to upgrade their food safety protections,” S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers said in a news release. “These cost-share grants are an excellent use of taxpayer funds as they support farms that are already demonstrating a commitment to food safety.”

Visit to download the application, request an on-farm evaluation and learn about next steps.

The state agriculture department has allocated more than $600,000 from the 2021 USDA specialty crop block grant program to 12 projects aimed at increasing the competitiveness of S.C. specialty crops, including strawberries, watermelon and peaches.

Reach Melinda Waldrop at 803-726-7542.

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