Commissioner Hugh Weathers: John de la Howe School for Agriculture

The John de la Howe School for Agriculture is set to welcome an inaugural class of 80 agriculture students in August 2020. Here to tell us more about this exciting advancement in ag education is SC Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers.

  • I recently had the pleasure of visiting John de la Howe’s revitalized campus.

Located in McCormick, South Carolina, John de la Howe is one of the oldest learning facilities in the state, opening its doors in 1797, just 9 years after South Carolina’s incorporation as a state.

  • The school operated as a working farm for state orphans from its inception until the 1990s, when it transitioned into an alternative school for troubled youth
  • After a state-conducted feasibility study on the effectiveness of agriculture-focused schools in South Carolina and a change in administration, the school has rebranded as a “pre-university” experience for 10th and 11th graders interested in pursuing agriculture – the first of its kind in the nation
  • Our hope is that JDLH will become the premiere school for agriculture in the nation
  • While all general education courses will be ag-focused, there will also be three main agriculture education pathways for students to take: Plant and Animal Sciences, Environmental and Natural Resources with a heavy emphasis on forestry management, and Horticulture
  • The campus is comprised of 1,310 acres of forests and farmland, greenhouse operation and working farm composed of Polled Herefords, Yorkshire hogs, goats, and horses
  • The school will accept both residential and day students who will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in all school activities, farm responsibilities and events.
  • Eligibility requirements and applications can be found online at Applications are open to current rising high school juniors and seniors in South Carolina and are due by February 13, 2020
  • If you are interested in having a John de la Howe representative speak to students in your county, or in touring the campus, please contact Tim Keown,