South Carolina's Ag Commissioner Hugh Weathers is pleased that South Carolina producer Monty Rast of Calhoun County was chosen as the South Carolina Farmer of the Year at the Sunbelt Ag Expo in Moultrie, Georgia last week. Rast has been actively involved in farming and innovations in farming since his graduation from The Citadel, first working in boll weevil eradication, then fostering the peanut industry in the state.
“It was the 35th Ag Expo and it was the 23rd year that they have had a Farmer of the Year contest for all of the participating states. Our representative from South Carolina this year, Monty Rast, from Calhoun County who was nominated by his extension agent. The winner was from Florida, a dairy farmer.
Monty Rast has been very active and held a lot of positions over the years. Upon graduation from the Citadel, he went to work on the eradication of the boll weevil. He then turned his attention to the peanut potential in South Carolina. He, along with a few other farmers, combined together to form a peanut buying station. He now also grows strawberries and blueberries. Cotton has also been in the Rast family for generations. His father and uncle were cotton ginners. The family is widely known for cotton and of course peanuts. His daughter is our director of SC Grown program.”