South Caorlina's Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers is pleased to wish everyone a Happy New Year. With the beginning of 2013, Commissioner Weathers suggests that this is a time to review farming operations and maybe think outside the box a little as new ways to remain viable and on the farm.
Weathers uses the Garrison family farm near Anderson, Denver Downs Farm as example. Denver Downs has evolved from a dairy farm to an agritourism destination, as well as a location for engineering research for a Texas company that manufacturers products related to highway construction.
“It’s a time for change and time to think about change and how farms change over generations. An example are the Garrisons, a great family rooted in agriculture. Senator Ed Garrison was a dairy farmer. The next generation was Tom and his brother, and they diversified to do some agri-tourism, fruits and vegetables, road side markets and blend all that in with what they were doing. Then, Tom’s nephew is now using the farm facilities and working with a company out of Texas that manufactures erosion control products for highway use. The dairy isn’t operating anymore but many of the diversifications in road side markets and agri-toursim still are. It’s a great example of how South Carolina farms evolve over time and generations.
The Big Show in Florence coming up in mid-January is designed to talk about the new opportunities out there. Maybe there is someone that hears about the Garrisons and thinks about bringing a partner in and doing something with their property. We just have to look at things differently going forward.”