Commissioner Hugh Weathers: Beef and Dairy Month

June in the agriculture world means National Beef and National Dairy Month. Both of these commodities are very important to South Carolina and the economic impact. SC Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers is here to tell us more.

DAIRY

  • Dairy is especially prevalent in my world based on my background in the industry with my family farm
  • Dairy Month began in 1939 making it a 79 year tradition. It began as a way to distribute extra milk during the war months of summer
  • SC dairy facts:
    • Newberry is the top milk producing county in the state
    • Nearly 40 dairy farms throughout the state
    • South Carolina is home to about 15,000 milk cows
    • In 2017, the total amount of milk produced in the state amounted to 247 million pounds
    • The state beverage of SC is milk. Milk was designated as the official State Beverage in 1984 because the General Assembly stated that dairy farmers could be found in almost all counties of the state and it was a multi-million dollar enterprise for SC
  • One of our ten roots farmers features a dairy farm—Kent Whetsell with Lowcountry Creamery in my neck of the woods
  • National campaign is “Get more with milk”

 

BEEF

  • June is a perfect time to celebrate beef with plenty of summer barbecuing and grilling
  • SC beef facts:
    • SC Cattleman’s Association represents over 3,900 cattle producers
    • Generate over $150.56 million in cash receipts annually
    • Supports thousands of jobs
    • There are approximately 174,000 head of beef cows in SC
    • From the last census, Anderson County was the highest producing county
  • National Cattlemen’s Beef Board and Beef Association use the campaign of “Beef: It’s What’s for Dinner”
  • Another one of our ten Roots farmers is from a first generation family cattle farm—Lydia Yon with Yon Family Farms in Ridge Spring