COLUMBIA- The South Carolina Department of Agriculture (SCDA) and the South Carolina Specialty Crop Growers Association announce the Cold Storage Cost Share Program, funded through the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Specialty Crop Block Grant.
Through this program, farmers are eligible for a reimbursement of up to $750 for installing a Cool-Bot cooler system for the holding of specialty crops. This system can be used on an affordable walk-in cooler powered in conjunction with a standard air conditioning unit. The Cool-Bot system uses multiple sensors, a heating element, and a programmed micro-controller to direct the air conditioner’s compressor to cool the room to 36°, without ever freezing up.
Eligible farmers must meet and agree to the following criteria:
- Must be a South Carolina farmer
- Must grow specialty crops
- Attend a food safety workshop hosted by SCDA or Clemson Extension. Proof of attendance must be provided in application for reimbursement.
- Sign an affidavit with SCDA to ensure cold storage unit will be used solely for the handling, holding, and distribution of specialty crops.
- Provide primary source documentation for all expenditures related to installation of the cold storage technology unit.
- Enable an on-site audit by key SCDA personnel to authenticate cold storage technology is being used solely for specialty crops.
- Provide data, information, statistics and/or testimonials after six and twelve months of installation of the cold storage unit to SCDA for tracking project success.