South Carolina Corn & Soybean Association Assures State

Name: Steven Gamble

County/State: Clarendon County, South Carolina

Association:South Carolina Corn and Soybean Association

Type of farming operation: 3600 arcres of corn, soybeans, wheat and grain sorghum.

Family: Wife, Courtney and three sons

 

Steven is the current president of South Carolina’s Corn and Soybean Association and sees the state association as a conduit to have the farmer’s voice heard in Washington:
 

“I feel the primary role is informative and letting our growers understand what the National Corn Growers Association and the American Soybean Association does for them in Washington and on the local levels.”
 

When it comes to challenges facing Carolina producers of corn and soybeans, Gamble says it takes a very sharp pencil to remain viable:
 

“We deal with a lot in the southeast including urban sprawl. Our input costs are always rising and our yields are not rising at the same pace so we have to be better farmers and better stewards of the land. You have to be a very efficient farmer to survive in the southeast. We have very good markets here, that’s the best thing we have going for us. We have so much livestock industry here as well. Most growers in this area use the feed industry for most of their grain.”
 

Regarding one goal Gamble has for the Corn & Soybean Association, he says it would be to rebuild the membership:
 

“I think we have a large pool to draw from history seems to indicate the association has been complacent in the past. But with Kathy Fudge taking over as Director, it has really taken us to the next level. She has gotten our name out around the state and let people know what we stand for and what we do. From that our membership has grown considerably over those past three years. But there is still a large pool to draw from and we must continue to make ourselves known and let them understand what we are here for.”
 

Gamble feels that being a member of South Carolina Corn & Soybean Association has value, not only to individual farmers, but making the whole stronger:
 

“I think as an organization we need to get our name out and let people know what we stand for. A lot don’t know what the national organizations are doing in South Carolina as they have been quiet. I would like all farmers to jump on board because it’s a cheap way to have a voice in Washington. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.”
 

All eyes have been on Washington the past few weeks and Gamble feels that southeastern states and South Carolina producers in particular have been well represented in DC during the farm bill debates:
 

“I personally have not participated in any Washington activities, but our soybean representative from American Soybean Association has attended some of the meetings and been involved in the farm bill debates and proposals.”

Gamble feels as many southern farmers do; that the Senate version of the farm bill left southern producers standing on the curb in favor of the Midwest producers:
 

“There are some differences between the House and Senate versions. I personally like the House bill better and I feel that most southern farmers would because of peanuts and cotton. Typically we have had a strong southern voice in Washington, but with budget cuts we have to really speak up and protect our crops. I see where we need a lot of price support help here in the south because we are not a guarantee yield producer here, we don’t have the high yields like they do in the Midwest. Generally speaking they have good crops compared to ours so we need a price support system for the southern farmers.”
 

Steven Gamble, president of the South Carolina Corn & Soybean Association and Clarendon County farmer.

For more of our association presidents profiles, cllick here.


SFNToday.com is dedicated to serving the agricultural industry in the Carolinas and Virginia with the latest ag news, exclusive regional weather station readings, and key crop market information. The website is a companion of the Southern Farm Network, provider of daily agricultural radio programming to the Carolinas since 1974. SFNToday.com presents radio programs, interviews and news relevant to crop and livestock production and research throughout the mid-Atlantic agricultural community.

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