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Certified SC Produce is Bountiful in June


Certified SC Produce is Bountiful in June

By Samantha Day

This story appears in the June 17, 2021 issue of the South Carolina Market Bulletin.

June is an abundant month for South Carolina produce. Farmers are hard at work harvesting fruits and vegetables – but some of the most important work was done back in April and May. It takes significant meteorological skills and perfect timing to beat the last frost of the season and produce the fresh and tasty harvest that makes Certified South Carolina produce so delicious.

There are countless reasons to seek out Certified South Carolina fruits and vegetables. Not only are you supporting local farmers and the local economy, you are also minimizing your carbon footprint with the minimized miles your food travels to your table.

And then there’s the matter of flavor.

“Nothing tastes better,” says Ansley Turnblad, marketing coordinator for the Certified South Carolina program at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture.

If you’re like Turnblad, most of her favorite South Carolina produce is harvested in the month of June, including sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, squash, peaches, and cucumbers.

The Certified South Carolina program was created by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture in 2006 to help consumers identify and purchase local fruits and vegetables, while supporting local farms.

Since it was launched, the Certified South Carolina Program has grown by “pulling in members, signing up new members, and also pushing out Certified commercials, and retail signage,” Turnblad says. Members of the program can use the logo on their products and in their marketing. SCDA promotes Certified South Carolina through a variety of means, including social media, advertising, events, and sponsorships.

Today, the program has 1,629 members. According to one study, the Certified South Carolina program enjoys 80 percent brand awareness among in-state consumers.

Turnblad is a member of a fifth-generation row crop farming family. After five o’clock during the week and on the weekends, Turnblad labels herself as a “glorified farmhand” because of the work she puts in helping her family’s strawberry and blueberry patches grow. She says her agricultural background helps her build meaningful relationships with the Certified South Carolina produce farmers.

“Farming is in my blood and always will be,” she says. “Even if I didn’t work for the Department of Agriculture, I would still promote South Carolina agriculture, and I still will for the rest of my life.”













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