How Clemson University’s new farm will help climate change and surrounding environment

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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CLEMSON, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Clemson University’s “The Bottoms” will look different a few years from now. And it’s set to bring climate change solutions.

The land--right off Perimeter Road, in Clemson, is 90 acres and has been around for over 1,000 years. Clemson Experiment Station Assistant Director John Andrae says it will include three, sustainable systems. The university calls it the nation’s most unique farm.

“A system dedicated to restoration agriculture, a system dedicated to climate-smart agriculture, and another system devoted to regenerative organic production--all three, side-by-side,” Andrae said.

Robert Walker Miller with The Happy Berry Farm, in Six Mile, says he see the effects of climate change already. Though being environmentally-friendly isn’t easy, he encourages all local farmers to make it their goal.

“It’s really important that we be resilient and sustainable,” Miller said.

Miller has been experimenting different ideas for years. Clemson University hopes to lead the way. Their new farm is expected to provide habitats for animals and capture carbon from the atmosphere, storing it in the plants. The plan is to not till or disturb the soil or expose previous roots.

“When you expose that to air, a lot of that carbon breaks down and goes back into the atmosphere,” Andrae said.

Andrae says they also hope to collaborate with students and other departments.

“Not only agriculture, but I anticipate engineering will also be active down here and possibly even behavioral sciences,” said Andrae.

In addition to this, the farm will produce food, fiber, and fuel.

Miller says, of course, the efforts are expensive to sustain, but farmers have to understand that the costs benefit the ecosystem.

“If your objective is to get rich, this is not the things to do,” Miller continues, “You’re object is to be part of your community.”